Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 18 gennaio 2022

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January
21 2022

Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 18 gennaio 2022

Priorities of the French Presidency

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The French presidency presented its priorities for economic and financial affairs for the first half of 2022.

Europe has managed to bounce back from the worst economic crisis since 1929. We took the right action at the right time. However, the crisis showed us that it is necessary to build a new economic model, based on strategic autonomy. What kind of Europe do we want to build? We want an independent Europe that is capable of defending its values, promoting investment in innovation and key technologies, and protecting the environment. We want to build a new model based on sustainable growth.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Recovery

The Council gave political guidance on new taxation rules for big multinational companies

Corporate taxation

Ministers held a policy debate on the proposed Council directive on ensuring a global minimum level of taxation for multinational groups in the Union. This comes after the Commission tabled its proposal for a directive at the end of December. The French Presidency therefore took the earliest opportunity to take work forward at Council level.

In their interventions, ministers confirmed the priority nature of this file and the need to urgently transpose the agreed rules of international corporate taxation as soon as possible.

The aim of the directive is to transpose the global OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework (IF) on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) on a two-pillar reform of the rules on international corporate taxation into EU law. This international agreement, which brings together 137 countries and jurisdictions, constitutes a major milestone towards an effective and fair system of profit taxation. The directive concerns the so-called ‘Pillar Two' of the reform, which precedes 'Pillar One', on which technical work is still ongoing in the OECD BEPS IF.

The agreement of 8 October 2021 is a success for the international community and, above all, a European success. It will provide fairness, efficiency and stability for our businesses and citizens. I am very pleased to conclude from today’s discussion that we all share the desire to make swift progress. The EU is at the forefront of this historic reform and that is good news.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Recovery

Infographic - Recovery fund: the EU delivers

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Economic recovery

Economy and finance ministers discussed the state of play regarding the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

At this stage, Commission assessments of Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for five member states are still pending. One of these five member states still needs to submit its RRP. The Council has acted swiftly on the Commission proposals and adopted Council implementing decisions approving assessments of 22 plans within the tight timeframe set in the regulation. The Commission is in discussions with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Sweden on the assessment of their RRPs.

So far, 18 member states have received pre-financing (13% of the amounts requested) for a total of €54.2 billion. To fund the plans, the Commission has already borrowed €71 billion through long-term instruments and €28 billion through short-term instruments on the financial markets.

The RRF is a temporary recovery instrument that allows the Commission to issue debt on behalf of the Union to help Member States implement reforms and investments. It makes €723.8 billion (in current prices) available in loans (€385.8 billion) and grants (€338 billion).

In their interventions, many ministers stressed the importance of a swift disbursement to the member states. The Council expects the bulk of the implementation of the RRF to take place in 2022.

Europe is stronger today than it was before the crisis. We have shown the world our unity and solidarity with a historic agreement on a recovery package of €750 billion. We now have 22 recovery and resilience plans approved and 18 of these member states have received pre-financing for a total of €54.2 billion. This is good news. We have to keep this political momentum and continue investing in our future.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Recovery

European Semester 2022

The Council initiated the annual 'European Semester' process for the monitoring of the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies. It adopted conclusions on the 2022 alert mechanism report, as well as conclusions on the 2022 annual sustainable growth survey. It approved the 2022 recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area (EAR). The EAR will be submitted for endorsement to the European Council in March 2022 before it can be adopted by the Council at one of its upcoming Ecofin meetings.

G20 EU Terms of Reference

Ministers gave guidance for further work on the G20 EU Terms of Reference, thereby advancing preparations for the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors scheduled for 17 and 18 February 2022 in Indonesia.

Any other business

Under any other business, the Presidency updated ministers on legislative proposals in the field of financial services. The German delegation updated ministers on the priorities of the G7 Presidency. Ministers were also updated on the latest EIB investment report.

Source by consiliumeuropeanunion


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