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Finance Ministers' Meeting Approaches w/Fiscal Rules Deal In The Balance


European Union finance ministers meet today and tomorrow with the prime subject on the agenda being the search for agreement on new fiscal rules. Today the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers meets before the group expands to the 'inclusive format' with all EU finance ministers present. Over a working dinner negotiations are expected to get underway to reach a compromise ahead of tomorrow's ECOFIN meeting of all EU finance ministers.

  • As our Policy team has noted (see 'MNI: Talks Turn Tough Ahead of Dec 8 EU Fiscal Rules Meeting, 4 Dec), the prospect of a deal being reached is very much in the balance, with one EU official saying the prospect of an agreement coming stands at 50-50.
  • As Politico notes, "The pressure is on to get a political deal before year-end so that there’s enough time for EU governments to negotiate a final legal text with the European Parliament before April. MEPs will then go on the campaign trail ahead of the European election in June, bringing Brussels’ legislative machine to a standstill."
  • The ongoing issues with regards to the German federal budget could have a spillover affect on the wider EU. With the 'traffic light' coalition in Berlin unable to agree on a 2024 budget, it would appear unlikely that Finance Minister Christian Lindner will be unwilling to take a soft line with countries like France and Italy seeking looser EU rules while he attempts to rein in the more expansionist Greens and SPD back home.

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