Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister of Finance of Czech Republic and Economic and Financial Affairs Council, and Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance of Ireland met in Prague on Monday 18 July.
Czech Republic has taken the helm of the Council of the European Union since 1 July 2022. The main purpose of the meeting was therefore to coordinate activities and priorities between the Eurogroup, dealing with policies related to the euro, and the Ecofin – covering economic and financial matters of the European Union. The discussion focused on topics common to both groupings, in particular the global economic outlook, the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, the coordination of national budgetary policies and the future of European fiscal rules, as enshrined in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).
Following the meeting, Minister Stanjura said: “We have both agreed that a close cooperation between the Eurogroup and the Ecofin Council is needed now more than ever. The Russian aggression in Ukraine has set off a dangerous macroeconomic cocktail of declining performance of the EU economies and rising inflation. On one hand, we have to deal with the necessary financial help to households and companies, and on the other, strategic investments into the energy security. All when trying to balance these tasks while maintaining fiscal responsibility. I thank Minister Donohoe for his visit and I look forward to our joint cooperation over the next six months.”
Minister Donohoe said: “Despite the exceptionally challenging economic environment, the growth outlook in the EU remains positive both for this year and next, according to the latest Commission forecast. However, we are not underestimating the risks linked to the ongoing war in Ukraine, supply chain pressures, a weaker global environment and inflation. This provides the backdrop to the important meeting I had with Minister Stanjura, as he chairs the group of finance ministers of the 27 EU member states until the end of the year. The close coordination of our national initiatives at European level is more important than ever to ensure that we are well placed to face down challenges in the months ahead and that the sum of our efforts translate into greater collective resilience.”