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Press Release
Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Chancellor Schröder in Berlin

Date of release : 21-01-2005

Policy area : Economic and Financial Affairs Economic and Financial Affairs

The Prime Minister and current President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, travelled to Berlin on 21 January for a meeting with the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schröder.

The discussion, revolved mainly around a review of the Stability and Growth Pact after the first round of negotiations in the Eurogroup and at the "Economic and Financial Affairs" Council meetings of 17 and 18 January in Brussels. It was also attended by German Finance Minister Hans Eichel.

Speaking to the media, Jean-Claude Juncker and Gerhard Schröder underscored the necessity of a review of the pact. Particularly in view of an implementation that is "more intelligent economically in a period of unfavourable economic circumstances and more intelligent in terms of fiscal policy in a period of favourable economic conditions," as Jean-Claude Juncker stated.

The current President of the European Council and the German chancellor said they were in agreement not to withdraw entire blocks of expenditures from the application of the pact, but to establish a concise and specific catalogue of budget expenses that could be used for a more differentiated assessment of a country’s deficit by the European Commission and the Council.

"We need a broader evaluation base that takes into account the overall economic situation of a member country of the Euro Zone in particular, and the entire Euro Zone in general," Jean-Claude Juncker said.

Despite the difficulties that are essentially due to the exceptional complexity of this dossier, the three representatives stated they wanted to do everything to help the finance ministers reach a complete policy agreement on the review of the pact, which would subsequently be ratified by the heads of State and Government at the European Council meeting of 22 and 23 March 2005.

To achieve this, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder also stated that he "had complete confidence in the Luxembourg Prime Minister’s exceptional negotiating talent."

This page was last modified on : 24-01-2005

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