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EURO: COMMISSION AND THE G-7.

Summary:EU Foreign Ministers and the European Commission decided on February 22 to urge the German Presidency to continue with its efforts to ensure that the external representation of the Euro zone within the Group of Seven most industrialised nations is in keeping with a deal brokered at the EU Summit last December in Vienna (see previous issue of European Report). The other Member States belonging to the G-7 forum (France, Italy and the United Kingdom) are also being asked to lend support to the action of the Presidency, which also chairs the Euro-11 Council.

The two Community bodies involved in this external representation process believe the Commission's participation in the February 20 G-7 meeting in Bonn was less than satisfactory. The Council of Ministers believes the Euro-11 Council's future involvement is not guaranteed. Finland, which does not belong to the G-7, is due to take over the Presidency of the Euro-11 Council and the EU next July. The Council of Ministers has therefore recalled the agreement reached at the Vienna Summit last December: the Presidency of the Finance Council, or, if the Presidency is held by a non-Euro country, the Presidency of the Euro-11 Council, assisted by the European Commission, will participate in G-7 Finance meetings.

The United States takes exception to allowing the G-7 to be extended to a member of the European Commission. Nor does Washington want a Finance Minister not belonging to the Group of Seven to take part in G-7 meetings on behalf of the Euro zone. The attendance of Wim Duisenberg, the European Central Bank President, was, nonetheless, accepted by the non-European members of the G-7: United States, Canada and Japan.

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Publication:European Report
Date:Feb 24, 1999
Words:277
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