Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has suggested a process that would help distinguish between high-risk and bad projects, within the EU-wide ‘Junker plan’. ‘‘There are projects which are highly beneficial but which may be too risky for the market or for any one particular country,’’ Minister Scicluna stated.
Speaking during the meeting of the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels on Tuesday 12 May, he pointed out that there could be projects that may also be considered as high-risk by the banks but may be essentially good projects. Therefore, it is crucial to differentiate between these kind of projects and bad ones. The criteria should be whether they are good projects or not, he said.
Today’s Council meeting was briefed on the state of play in the ongoing negotiations between the Council and European Parliament on the proposal for a Regulation that will establish the European Fund for Strategic Investments. The creation of the fund is part of the Investment plan for Europe, popularly known as the ‘Juncker plan’.
The Council adopted conclusions on in-depth reviews of macroeconomic imbalances carried out by the European Commission in 16 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). The 2015 alert mechanism report identified these countries as experiencing macroeconomic imbalances, warranting in-depth reviews to determine the nature of these imbalances.
Another item on the ministers’ agenda was how the member states implemented the 2014 country-specific recommendations, issued in the context of the European Semester – the EU policy coordination process.
The Council also adopted conclusions on a 2015 ageing report. The report provides long-term projections of the budgetary impact of ageing over the period of 2013-2060 for the 28 EU Member States and Norway. The report is updated every three years.
Minister Scicluna was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Marlene Bonnici, and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Finance, Alfred Camilleri.
– Tuesday, 12th May, 2015