Stability and growth pact
The Council closed the excessive deficit procedure for Spain, confirming that its deficit has dropped below the EU's 3% of GDP reference value.
As a consequence, all procedures that were open at the height of the euro crisis have now been closed.
From now on, Spain will be subject to the preventive arm of the EU's fiscal rulebook.
The Council also issued decisions on Hungary and Romania, which are already subject to a significant deviation procedure, confirming that effective actions have not been taken, and new recommendations on measures to take to correct the deviations.
Ministers also discussed relevant issues addressed in the country-specific recommendations presented by the Commission on 5 June, ahead of the European Council's discussion of 20-21 June.
Clean planet for all
Ministers discussed the Commission communication on a strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy.
The transition towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050 will require important investments, including in the energy systems, infrastructure and buildings. Public money alone will clearly not be enough to finance all the investment needs. That's why we need to encourage investment strategies that help us achieving the objectives of the Paris agreement.
Eugen Teodorovici, minister of finance of Romania
The debate focused on investment and finance-related aspects of the Commission's communication, recognising that the transition will require important investments. Estimates suggest that the current annual investment volume of about 2% of GDP will have to increase to nearly 3%, or more than 500 billion euros, per year over the 2031-2050 period.
Financial transaction tax
The Council was updated by member states participating in the enhanced cooperation on the state of play regarding the financial transaction tax (FTT), on the basis of a note by Germany.
Participating member states indicated that they are discussing about an option of an FTT based on the French model of the tax and about the possible mutualisation of the revenues among the participating member states as a contribution to the EU budget.
While all member sates participate in deliberations, the adoption of the directive will require unanimous agreement of the participating countries within the Council, after consulting the European Parliament.
Without discussion, the Council decided to remove Dominica from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.
The Council also adopted a report for the European Council on tax issues, as well as a report and conclusions on the work carried out by the Code of Conduct group on business taxation.
The Council endorsed a progress report prepared by the Romanian presidency on the state of play of the banking union. The Commission also presented its report on the implementation of the action plan on non-performing loans.
Without discussion, the Council also adopted a regulation setting up a "pan-European personal pension product" and new rules facilitating the cross-border distribution of investment funds.