EU-flash: A new digital EU commissioner and the outcome of the July ECOFIN meeting


Op 7 juli 2017 benoemde de Raad, Mariya Gabriel, als nieuwe commissaris voor digitale economie en de samenleving. Enkele dagen later keurde de Raad tijdens de ECOFIN-vergadering een actieplan goed om het probleem van de niet-renderende leningen in de banksector aan te pakken. Daarnaast bereikte de Raad een akkoord over de aanpassingen van het actieplan EU-kapitaalmarktenunie en bracht het zijn aanbevelingen en adviezen voor 2017 over het economisch, werkgelegenheids- en begrotingsbeleid van de lidstaten uit.

Hieronder vindt u een Engelstalige samenvatting van deze topics terug.

Mariya Gabriel appointed digital commissioner

On 7 July 2017, the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, appointed Mariya Gabriel as the new commissioner for digital economy and society. The appointment takes effect immediately, and applies for the remainder of the current term of office of the Commission which ends on 31 October 2019.

Mariya Gabriel is a Bulgarian national and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009. She replaces Kristalina Georgieva who resigned to join the World Bank.

The Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society will support the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy that the European Commission adopted in May 2015.She will contribute to delivering a Digital Single Market helping to lay the groundwork for Europe's digital future with pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups. She will also contribute to projects steered and coordinated by Vice-President Andrus Ansip in charge of the Digital Single Market and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

Her responsabilities:

  • Facilitatethe adoption by the co-legislators of all the legislative proposals presented by the Commission to complete the Digital Single Market.
  • Prepareambitious proposals for the completion of a connected Digital Single Market, based on the mid-term review.
  • Develop and implement measures to make Europe more trusted and secure online, so that citizens and business can fully reap the benefits of the digital economy. 
  • Ensure that the EU can be a catalyst for public and private investment, focusing on high-quality, digital network infrastructure.
  • Support the development of creative industries and of a successful European media and content industry.
  • Contribute to activities that turn digital research into successful European innovation stories.

More information.

Outcome of the July ECOFIN meeting

EU Finance ministers met on 11 July 2017 in Brussels to adopt conclusions on the Commission's review of the EU's capital markets union action plan, and on non-performing loans in the banking sector.  The Council also issued its 2017 recommendations and opinions on the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies.

ECOFIN: Banking - Council sets out action plan for non-performing loans

The Council approved an action plan to address the problem of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking sector.It outlined a mix of policy actions to help reduce stocks of NPLs, which remain at high levels within the EU, and to prevent their future emergence.

It agreed to revert to the issue regularly.

Full details.

Economic, employment and fiscal policies: 2017 country-specific recommendations

The Council issued its 2017 recommendations and opinions on the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies.
This was the final stage of the 2017 'European Semester', an annual policy monitoring process. The recommendations had been endorsed the European Council in June.

Here you can find the recommendations for Belgium.

Capital Markets Union: Council agrees on action plan adjustments

The Council adopted conclusions on the Commission's review of the EU's capital markets union action plan.

The Council renewed its commitment to the action plan, which is aimed at securing a fully-fledged capital markets union by the end of 2019. It supported a number of priority initiatives set out by the Commission.

The Council reconfirmed the plan's priorities, which are to:

  • strengthen capital markets so as to attract more investment, including foreign investment, for European companies and infrastructure projects;
  • improve access to finance in particular of European SMEs and start-ups, and especially in innovative industries.

The Commission outlines the mid-term review in a communication issued on 8 June 2017.

It puts a specific focus on actions related to sustainable finance and financial technology. The communication sets out three categories of actions to be pursued:

  • actions announced in 2015 and not yet delivered;
  • the follow-up to actions completed under the 2015 action plan;
  • new priority actions.

Read more.

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