(L-R) Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank; Gilles Roth, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance; Credit: European Union's Council

Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, Gilles Roth, participated in his first meetings of the Eurogroup and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December 2023 in Brussels.

The central theme of the discussions during these two days was the reform of the European budgetary framework. In a negotiating session lasting late into the night, finance ministers made significant progress towards a political agreement. In this regard, Gilles Roth emphasised: “For me and the new government, it is essential to adopt a prudent approach to fiscal policies. I think that for many member countries, the coming years will be mainly dedicated to readjusting their public finances. Therefore, the framework must respond to current economic realities while setting a viable standard for all Member States.

Within the Eurogroup, Eurozone Finance Ministers took a close look at the economic and budgetary situation in their respective countries, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance noted. They then had a first exchange of views on the recommendation on the euro area, previously published as part of the autumn package on 21 November 2023. These discussions were followed by constructive dialogues on the future of European financial and capital markets. Minister Roth also took this opportunity to present the economic and financial priorities of the new Luxembourg government, a common practice during Eurogroup meetings.

Within the framework of Ecofin, Finance Ministers reached a political agreement on the appointment of Nadia Calviño as Werner Hoyer's successor as President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The application may be confirmed as part of the nomination procedure at the Bank level. Minister Roth declared: “Luxembourg welcomes the agreement reached regarding the appointment of Nadia Calviño. She has the necessary experience to lead this European institution, headquartered in Luxembourg and which plays a crucial role in the financing essential to the success of the dual digital and sustainable transition in Europe and around the world.”

Ministers also discussed the economic and financial repercussions of Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), a performance-based temporary recovery instrument. Regarding new resources, ministers took note of the Spanish Presidency's progress report and set out their priorities for further work.

On the sidelines of the formal meetings, Minister Roth held a bilateral meeting with the President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, to discuss the President's priorities in the context of the Eurozone’s coordination of fiscal policies.