Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna, together with fellow Eurogroup finance ministers, participated in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Eurogroup within the Council of the European Union, which was held at the Chateaux Senningen in Luxembourg.
During the discussion, Prof. Scicluna called for the group to concentrate on those areas where there is broad agreement.
“It is positive to see optimism arising from the Franco-German Meseberg paper. However, we first need to concentrate on those areas where we have broad agreement. This includes the common backstop and an enhanced European Stability Mechanism (leading to a European Monetary Fund) whilst keeping the same principle of unanimity for decision-making. The fiscal capacity, which requires a budget and related tax issues, is a controversial area and thus should be postponed.”
The Eurogroup meeting focused on the developments exhibited by Greece, Spain and Cyprus in turning around their economies after receiving financial assistance. In particular, Eurogroup ministers reached an agreement with Greece regarding a surveillance framework that will apply after the financial assistance programme; the size of the final tranche of financial support by the ESM, debt measures, and the fiscal targets.
The Eurogroup also met with the other non-Euro area members and discussed the deepening the European Monetary Union with a view of further consolidating the Euro to withstand future challenges.
Minister Edward Scicluna was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Marlene Bonnici and by Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.
The Eurogroup is currently made up of 19 out of a total of 28 European Union member states which form part of the single currency union.