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Finance and Monetary Affairs in the EU

Latest news on economic and monetary affairs in the European Union.

Convergence Reports 2007 - Cyprus
On 16 May 2007, the European Commission concluded that Cyprus has achieved a high degree of sustainable economic convergence with the other Member States and that it fulfils the necessary conditions to adopt the euro. On the basis of its Convergence Report, the Commission is proposing to the Council that Cyprus adopts the euro on 1 January 2008. The final decision will be taken by EU finance ministers in July, after consultation of the European Parliament, and following a discussion by the Heads of State or Government at their summit in June. In its Convergence Report, the Commission assesses whether Cyprus has achieved a high degree of sustainable convergence, measured against the criteria set out in Article 121(1) regarding the government budgetary position, price stability, exchange rate stability and convergence of long-term interest rates. Compatibility of the legal framework with the Treaty is also examined.

'Taxes in Europe' Database
The "Taxes in Europe" database is the European Commission's on-line information tool covering the main taxes in force in the EU Member States. Access is free for all users. The system contains information on around 500 taxes, as provided to the European Commission by the national authorities.

Spring economic forecasts 2007 - 2008
Growth outlook raised - unemployment and public accounts to improve further as growth stays solid - The economic prospects look even brighter than six months ago: the European Commission lifts its forecast for economic growth in the European Union to 2.9% in 2007.

The EU & the Kimberley Process (blood diamonds)
The Kimberley Process is a unique initiative by government authorities, the international diamond industry and NGOs to stem the flow of so called ‘blood diamonds’ – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. These have contributed to fuelling devastating conflicts in a number of countries in Africa.

EU Budget
What is there in common between training in the job skills needed for the 2012 Olympics in London and food researchers at the Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation in Poland; the Airbus and people made homeless by earthquakes in Indonesia and Pakistan; the film which won the main prize at the 2006 Cannes film festival and small and medium-size enterprises in Hungary? All have received funding from the European Union’s budget, which helps business innovate and create jobs and growth, preserves our environment, encourages our cultural diversity, and funds the EU’s global responsibilities.

European Union Budget at a glance
Taxpayers' money is used by the European Union to fund activities that all Member States and parliaments have agreed upon in the Treaties. A small amount – around 1% of the Union's national wealth, which is equivalent to about EUR 235 per head of the population – comes into the EU's annual budget and is then spent mainly for its citizens and communities.

Adjustment in EMU: A model-based analysis of country experiences
This paper uses a two-country-three-sector DSGE model to analyse adjustment in the Euro area. A particular distinction is made between tradeables and non tradeables and non tradeables are further disaggregated into housing and services. The experience of six countries which have shown strong divergences in the early years of the euro area, namely Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain is analysed. The framework allows replication of actual developments in euro-area Member States using a model that is inherently stable. It is found that to a large extent, the diverging growth and inflation developments and current account shifts can be attributed to one-off adjustment to EMU which broadly seems to have run its course. The absence of an exchange risk premium in EMU allows an increase in capital mobility resulting in a lower correlation between domestic savings and investment. Increased capital mobility seems to have been an important driving force behind the current account dynamics. Due to the absence of risk premia, investment – and especially housing investment - responds strongly to exogenous shocks.

Payment Services Directive: Frequently Asked Questions
The aim of the PSD is to ensure that payments within the EU – in particular credit transfer, direct debit and card payments – become as easy, efficient, and secure as domestic payments within a Member State, by providing the legal foundation to make the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) possible. The PSD will reinforce the rights and protection of all the users of payment services (consumers, retailers, large and small companies and public authorities).

International customs operation Diabolo
The joint 'Diabolo' customs operation was a maritime operation that focused on containers shipped from Asian ports of loading to EU ports of discharge. The operation focused mainly on counterfeit cigarettes, but the possibility that other counterfeit goods or sensitive goods could be retained or seized by the EU Member States was also incorporated.

Slovak economic boom, 2009 euro entry on track
Slovakia's economy is on track for further growth and should meet adoption criteria for the euro early 2009, the OECD said on Thursday.

Eurozone services sector slows slightly in March: survey
Growth in the eurozone 's service sector lost more steam in March but nonetheless remained at a high level.

Eurozone retail sales rise in February after German VAT hike
Retailers in the 13 countries sharing the euro saw their sales rise in February as German spending bounced back from a value added tax hike the previous month, official EU data showed Wednesday.

EU cuts red tape for awarding EU funds
New implementing rules for EU funds will simplify access to EU funding and cut associated administrative burdens, particularly for SMEs.

EU cuts red tape for awarding EU funds
New implementing rules for EU funds will simplify access to EU funding and cut associated administrative burdens, particularly for SMEs.

EU funding rules information pack
Overview of new financial rules and funding opportunities 2007-2013

EU financial rules 2007-2013
Overview of new financial rules and funding opportunities 2007-2013.

Euro commemorative coins
Commemorative coins are 2-euro circulation coins bearing a special national design to commemorate a special event or personality. Commemorative coins have legal tender status throughout the euro area.

Community Reference Laboratories
CRLs are analytical laboratories designated by Community directives and regulations. They are an integral part of European risk management system. The mission of the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) is to promote a common and reliable European measurement system in support of EU policies.

EU excise duties on commercial diesel – Frequently Asked Questions
The new proposal is based on the fact that existing tax differentials on diesel used by trucks ("commercial gas oil") create distortions of competition within the liberalised Internal Market of the haulage sector. In addition, they lead to "fuel tourism", where truck drivers alter their routes in order to benefit from low tax rates applied in certain Member States, thereby having a negative impact on the environment. In consequence, the Commission’s proposal aims at narrowing these differentials while reducing environmental damages.

European Neighbourhood Policy
Since the 2004 enlargement of the EU, relations with its neighbours have become the EU’s main external priority. Through the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU aims to avoid new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours to the east and on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It invites these neighbours, on the basis of a mutual commitment to common values, to move beyond existing cooperation to deeper economic and political, cultural and security cooperation - strengthening stability, security and well-being for all concerned. The new feature goes beyond cooperation to include economic integration, for those ready and able.

EU Microsoft Statement - questions & answers
Competition: Statement of Objections to Microsoft for non-compliance with March 2004 decision - frequently asked questions

EU to propose lifting diesel taxes to avoid 'tank tourism'
The EC is to propose lifting minimum diesel taxes to discourage hauliers from tanking up in countries with low rates.

EU earmarks a billion dollars to combat South African poverty
The EU will hand over EUR 980m to the South African government in the next seven years to help fund anti-poverty programmes

Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
The Stability Pact is the first serious attempt by the international community to replace the previous, reactive crisis intervention policy in South Eastern Europe with a comprehensive, long-term conflict prevention strategy.

Public pension expenditure - projection results
Public pension expenditure in the EPC and the European Commission projections: an analysis of the projection results