President Donohoe chairs Eurogroup meeting to discuss the improving euro area economic situation

17th June, 2021

At today’s (Thursday) Eurogroup meeting, chaired by President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., euro area Finance Ministers discussed a range of economic and monetary union issues, including post-programme surveillance reports, the IMF’s views on the euro area economy, future accessions to the Euro, and Banking Union.


The President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe stated: ‘The holding of this month and last month’s Eurogroup and Ecofin as physical meetings is a positive sign of a return to normality across the EU.  These in-person meetings allow Finance Ministers to discuss and coordinate the Government supports being implemented across the euro area to protect jobs and livelihoods’. 


“Since last March, the Eurogroup has been at the forefront of this coordinated fiscal response, which has led to higher levels of economic activity and sentiment than could have been achieved through solely individual Member State actions.” 


Minister Donohoe updated on the economic situation by stating: ‘At our Eurogroup meeting, Ministers noted the positive improvements in recent economic data and in the significant upward revisions to economic forecasts. However, Ministers were very aware of the need to exercise caution given the risks posed by variants.  Also, Ministers are absolutely focussed on supportive policy measures to minimise the long -erm impacts of the pandemic, particularly for the most vulnerable sectors and population groups in society’.


“Real life examples of euro area economic progress are evidenced by the reopening of retail, construction, and hospitality sectors across the EU, which has seen millions returning to work and gives us confidence that economic life is resuming across the continent. 


“My colleagues agreed that there is a now a stronger economic outlook for both 2021 and 2022, which reflects the progress across all Member States on vaccinations, the additional fiscal support (including Next Generation EU), and better global demand (driven by globally coordinated fiscal stimuluses).  However, we are all aware of the importance of national and European measures of minimising the impacts of the pandemic.”


The broader Eurogroup agenda reflected the more normalised euro area position with the inclusion of a greater number of standard agenda items, such as the reviews of Post-Programme reports and positive updates on the implementation of reforms in Greece.  The Eurogroup also discussed the longer-term strategic issue of the accession of Croatia and Bulgaria to the Euro, illustrating the ever increasing role of the Euro across our continent.   The Eurogroup also discussed Banking Union and noted that some progress had been made on the objective of agreeing a Work Plan to complete Banking Union by the end of this year.


Minister Donohoe will also participate in the Ecofin meeting on Friday, which will discuss the progress made on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds that are now coming on stream.  The RRF will drive transformative changes in the structure of our economies, making them greener and more digital.  Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan was submitted to the EU Commission last month and it will support a strong and transformative recovery. 


Minister Donohoe noted that recent Irish economic data clearly illustrates the importance of Government supports and the phased re-opening of the economy, as evidenced by the falling Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) figures, with 18,000 fewer people in receipt of the PUP compared to last week.  Overall since February, 214,000 fewer people are receiving PUP, which shows the numbers of people returning to work.



Note to Editor: Minister Donohoe was elected President of the Eurogroup in July 2020. Further information on the Eurogroup Work programme can be found at: