The Eurogroup was briefed on the ongoing discussions between the Greek authorities and the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Greece's comprehensive list of reforms.
The Eurogroup noted that the talks advanced and became more efficient, but that more time was needed to bridge the remaining gaps and to reach a comprehensive agreement. The disbursement of the remaining financial assistance to Greece can only take place once these reforms have been agreed and a review by the three institutions has concluded that they have been implemented.
"I would like to reiterate that the agreement of 20 February remains the framework for the negotiations and that a comprehensive deal is necessary before any disbursements can take place."
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Eurogroup President
The Eurogroup also discussed the economic situation in the euro area based on the spring 2015 economic forecast by the European Commission. It also looked into the inflation and exchange rate developments.
Economic recovery and job creation are picking up in the euro area, while the risks of deflation have abated. The ministers agreed that eurozone needs to continue growth-enhancing structural reforms as well as sound fiscal policy to sustain the recovery.
Thematic discussion on fiscal frameworks
Eurogroup ministers shared their national experiences on strengthening fiscal frameworks, which was recommended to the euro area in the 2014 European Semester. This discussion was held in the context of Eurogroup's now regular discussions on ways to strengthen economic growth and job creation.
Four presidents' report
Ministers exchanged views on possible ways to improve economic governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This discussion was held as part of preparation of a report on the same subject, which the Eurogroup President is working on together with presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Central Bank.
The Eurogroup welcomed the progress made by Ireland on fiscal, financial and structural issues, reported in the third post-programme surveillance report. The Eurogroup is confident that Ireland will maintain its good track record to tackle the remaining challenges.