The ministers, in a long and cordial meeting, exchanged views on their cooperation within the Eurogroup and economic issues relevant to the euro-area.
A central topic for the coming months will be to strengthen the coordination between fiscal and monetary policy to fit a challenging and uncertain economic environment marked by high inflation. Both ministers reiterated that measures to support businesses and households should be temporary and targeted to vulnerable citizens and firms, and preserve the internal market. They also agreed to work further within the Eurogroup to improve the coordination of policy measures.
Ministers Giorgetti and Donohoe discussed other Eurogroup priorities for the first half of the year, including the future of European fiscal rules, and the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. They also spoke about the reformed ESM Treaty, agreed by all euro area member states in November 2020.
As I embark on my second mandate as Eurogroup President, I am delighted to start the year with a meeting with my Italian colleague, Giancarlo Giorgetti, here in Rome. This meeting was particularly timely, shortly after the adoption of the budget of the new Italian government. The current context is not without challenges, but there are reasons for optimism. Both Italy and the euro area ended last year with robust economic performances, driven by stronger than expected growth and record-low unemployment levels. Now, our outmost priority is to fight inflation through coordinated EU action while delivering the full potential of the €750 billion EU recovery plan with growth-enhancing reforms and investments.
Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup
I’m happy with Paschal’s visit to Rome. In a European and global context characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, we continue to support citizens and businesses affected by high energy prices. Indeed, our budget law concentrates the bulk of additional financial resources for 2023 on the mitigation of the economic and social impact of high energy prices. Economic growth and sound public finances are at the centre of the Italian government’s actions, including by increasing investments and implementing reforms. Against this background, we think that effective coordination and joint actions at the European level are essential.
Giancarlo Giorgetti, Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy