President Donohoe to chair February Eurogroup meeting of European Finance Ministers

13th February, 2023

The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform and President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., is in Brussels today (Monday) to chair the February Eurogroup meeting of European Finance Ministers. He will also attend the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting on Tuesday to debrief on Eurogroup discussions.

The Eurogroup meeting will begin with a discussion on recent developments in energy markets. This will include a presentation from the director of the EU Agency for the Coordination of Energy Regulators (ACER), Christian Zinglersen. Energy price developments have featured heavily on Eurogroup agendas over the past year and this item will provide further valuable input for ministers.

The second item includes a discussion on euro area labour markets. The resilience of the labour market has been a feature of the euro area economy over the past few years despite a challenging external environment. However, there are several labour market issues that ministers need to be alert to, principally in the context of high inflation and wage developments, but also broad longer-term issues linked to demographics, green transition and digitalisation. 

The Eurogroup meeting will conclude with a discussion on macroeconomic and financial developments and prospects. This will be informed by the European Commission’s new Winter Forecast (released 13 February). This discussion will also shape Eurogroup’s thinking in relation to a planned statement next month on fiscal policy guidance for 2024.

Speaking ahead of the Eurogroup, Minister Donohoe commented:

The Eurogroup meeting on Monday has a full and rich agenda with a focus on energy market developments, the labour market and the macroeconomic environment. The Eurogroup has been at the forefront in assessing and analysing the impact of energy prices on inflation and growth. 

“A detailed discussion on the labour market is also timely given the challenges ahead not least with high rates of inflation. Both energy and labour market developments will feed into our thinking on economic prospects and the orientation for budgetary policy in both 2023 and 2024.”

On Tuesday, Minister Donohoe will attend part of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting to debrief ministers on the work and plans of Eurogroup.