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Coordination of Economic and Budgetary Policies

Razstava evroWithin the EU, individual economic policies are coordinated among the member states, which is particularly important with the view to the functioning of the single market, and Economic and Monetary Union. The central instruments for coordinating economic policies are the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines, and the Stability and Growth Pact.


The Lisbon Strategy

One of the key instruments of economic policies and reform processes is the Lisbon Strategy. Its main purpose is to increase growth and employment, and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU through both national- and EU-level reforms. At the end of 2007 the European Commission published the Strategic report on the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, on the basis of which Slovenia as the presiding country will conduct a mid-term review of the Renewed Lisbon Process. The latter will provide the basis for the new Integrated Guidelines for the period 2008-2011, comprising the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and the Employment Guidelines.


The Stability and Growth Pact

The member states have committed themselves to running balanced and responsive budgetary policies, as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact. Its main principles were included in the Treaty on the European Union, which stipulates that government deficit must not exceed 3 per cent of the GDP, while maximum government debt should stand at 60 per cent of GDP. Excessive deficit procedure is initiated towards a member state which fails to reach the goals, and the country is instructed to take appropriate measures. The Stability and Growth Pact also imposes the obligation to use a favourable economic climate for budgetary consolidation, allowing room for manoeuvre in a less favourable economic environment. For each member state, a mid-term budgetary goal is set, considering specific factors, including debt level, potential growth and the implementation of economic and structural reforms.


Enlargement of the Euro Area

It may be that during Slovenia's Presidency some member states will apply for membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II, while others could fulfil the requirements for the adoption of the euro. Slovenia's Presidency will ensure a thorough and timely appraisal of any such cases, and convergence reports on the basis of the criteria set out in the European Community Treaty, including those relating to stable macroeconomic developments and to a high degree of sustainable convergence.

On 1 January 2007 Slovenia introduced the euro. Slovenia endorses further enlargement of the Eurozone and is prepared to share its experience with future members to ensure their smooth transition to the new currency.


10th Anniversary of the ECB

On 1 June 2008 the European Central Bank will celebrate its 10th anniversary. In cooperation with the ECB, the Slovenian Presidency will celebrate it accordingly.


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Date: 03.01.2008