The Eurogroup was briefed by the institutions (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) on the state of play of their discussions with the Greek authorities. The aim of the talks is to reach an agreement on a comprehensive list of reforms, which Greece is expected to complete according to the current agreement.
Successful completion of this task is key to closing the final review of the current programme and to unlocking the payment of the remaining tranche of the agreed financial assistance. The Eurogroup calls for a much swifter progress in the discussions and will evaluate the situation at its upcoming meeting in May.
The Chair of the European Central Bank's supervisory board, Danièle Nouy, will present the first ECB annual report on supervisory activities.
The Eurogroup underlined it was important that the member states which have not yet transposed the bank recovery and resolution directive into their national law do so without further delay. It also stressed the importance of the ratification of the intergovernmental agreement on the single resolution fund - these are two important elements for the functioning of the banking union. The banking union should be fully complete from 1 January 2016.
The Eurogroup evaluated how the euro area as a whole had implemented the structural reforms recommended to it last year in the context of the European Semester. Ministers agreed to hold such discussions regularly and outlined a list of policy areas to be discussed and benchmarked against best practices by the end of the year.
The ministers welcomed the positive outcome of the third post-programme surveillance mission by the European Commission and the ECB in Spain. The mission report concluded that Spain has stabilised its financial sector and secured a strong economic recovery and advised the country to continue reforms to eliminate remaining imbalances. The next post-programme surveillance mission will take place in autumn 2015.