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Remarks by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis at the informal ECOFIN press conference

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 16 april 2021.

Thank you João, good evening everyone.

Let me start with the recovery.

We are entering the final stage in preparing the national recovery and resilience plans.

The European Commission has received information from nearly all EU Member States, from 26 out of 27 Member States, on what they intend to include.

However, progress still varies a lot.

Some Member States are nearly there and submitting their plans by the end of April is achievable.

For others, this looks more difficult. Finalisation will require somewhat more work for a couple more weeks. We are working hard with all Member States to close off the remaining gaps.

The next few weeks will be challenging and intensive.

But I am confident that we will achieve a positive result.

As you know, before the Commission begins its borrowing programme, all Member States need to approve the own resources decision.

Today Commissioner Hahn explained to ministers how we intend to raise financing for Next Generation EU.

Our diversified strategy will use a wide range of maturities and instruments that will ensure a larger market absorption capacity.

It will make EU one of the largest euro-denominated issuers, particularly of green bonds.

It should also attract investors to Europe and strengthen the international role of the euro.

On state aid, Executive Vice-President Vestager updated ministers on how the EU rules are supporting the economy in the context of the pandemic and recovery.

Under the Temporary State aid Framework, the Commission has taken more than 500 state aid decisions approving national measures worth more than €3 trillion to support businesses.

At present, the Temporary Framework applies until the end of the year. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before that date whether it needs to be extended.

Rules on state aid also play an important role in making sure that RRF funds are spent effectively, and add value.

They help to avoid any duplication of private investment or removal of incentives to innovate.

Regarding the Capital Markets Union:

The Commission is moving quickly to follow up on the action plan presented last September.

We will soon present proposals to make more progress towards a real single market for capital in Europe.

We want capital markets to support a green, inclusive and resilient economy and also give Europeans the opportunity to invest safely in the future.

Lastly, let me turn to international aspects of the meeting.

For the last two years, the EU has been assessing how to improve and rationalise Europe's setup for financing development policies: European financial architecture for development.

This has included a study focusing on activities of two European institutions: the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Today, ministers discussed strategic directions and how to move forward with strengthening the financial architecture.

The Commission will feed into this process, including by proposing measures to enhance EU coordination, efficiency and visibility.

Thank you and I am open to your questions.

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