Finance Minister underlines importance of strengthening national ownership of the Implementation of Country Specific Recommendations (CSRS)
“It is believed that a combination of the sharing of the Commission’s findings of the County Specific Recommendations (CSRs), better consultation with Member States, social dialogue and an enhanced bilateral phase prior to the issuance of CSRs would remove most of the contentious issues that arise, thus smoothening the process as a whole” said Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna.
Prof. Scicluna was speaking following a meeting in Luxembourg of the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council on Tuesday 15th October, 2013.
The Minister for Finance maintained that “CSRs must not be prescriptive in nature, so as to allow Member States to mature the policy space necessary for the implementation of structural reforms”. This would ultimately lead to increased Member States’ ownership of recommendations, and a more efficient and effective implementation of the overall CSRs.
The Finance Minister also believes in the importance of exchange of best practices, as long as these are not used to benchmark Member States against best performers in a one-size-fits-all approach. It is equally important that effective coordination needs to take place whereby Ministers within the respective Council formations maintain their say.
The ECOFIN meeting discussed the outcomes of the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group meetings which were held in Washington, D.C., this past weekend, and which were also attended by Prof. Scicluna.
Ministers also discussed the economic situation in the Euro area and received updates on the programme countries namely Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.
Minister Prof. Scicluna was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Alfred Camilleri.
– Tuesday, 15th October, 2013