The first vice president and acting minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, believes that the time has come to move to the political negotiation phase on the reform of fiscal rules to achieve a consensus as soon as possible. And so she is going to raise it this Saturday before the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union at the informal meeting of Ecofin being held in Santiago de Compostela.
“We have worked very intensely throughout the summer with one or even two weekly meetings to cover all the technical aspects. We have already addressed and achieved a consensus text of 70% of the text of the regulation and to the ministers today what we are going to propose is the need to move now to the political negotiation phase to achieve the necessary consensus as soon as possible,” said the first vice president in statements to the media before participating in the Ecofin meeting.
One of the “key” dossiers that will be discussed at this meeting will be the new fiscal rules of the European Union, which Calviño also hopes to close before the end of the year, since there is a “broad consensus” among the 27 regarding which Spain has outlined as the four pillars of the agreement: institutional balance, common safeguards, fiscal space for investments and incentives and the guarantee of greater participation by EU countries.
For Calviño, the rules must be agreed on the appropriate balance between a sustained reduction in public debt to GDP ratios – and therefore sustainable public finances in the medium and long term – and the necessary investment and incentives to address the structural reforms.
“This is the heart of the most important elements that can allow us to achieve a consensus in the coming weeks,” said the minister, after recalling that Spain is going to propose to the ministers an ambitious calendar so that we can have that agreement before end of the year and that the new rules apply “from January 2024”.
Furthermore, Calviño has pointed out that the agreement and consensus must achieve the appropriate balance between the existence of personalized treatment that responds to the needs of each of the countries and at the same time a common framework that guarantees that there will be sustained paths of reduction of debts. sustained over time that protect fiscal and financial stability in the medium and long term.
“We have covered with this intense technical work 70% of the text that has already been closed in the corresponding articles and now the time has come to work at the political level to achieve the necessary consensus,” he emphasized.
Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have already expressed their support to Calviño to lead the negotiation regarding the return of fiscal rules that, after four years frozen by the pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, will once again demand a reduction in the deficit. . public below 3% of GDP and a public debt below 60%.
However, although this Saturday’s talks address the reform informally, diplomatic sources have indicated that the Spanish presidency will use them with a view to presenting a first agreement proposal at the next meeting of the ministers of the sector, which will take place in Luxembourg on October 17.