Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Finance
453. To ask the Minister for Finance if at EU Council level, that is, including at preparatory levels, Ireland proposed the additions of words by the use of secondary markets and the replacement of the word encouraging with the words where necessary, using, in the third Country Specific Recommendation for Ireland for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41363/21]
As the Deputy is aware, Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) provide individual tailored guidance to Member States on macro-economic, budgetary and structural policies in accordance with Articles 121 and 148 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Following the initial publication of draft Country Specific Recommendations by the European Commission, Member States have the opportunity to discuss the draft recommendations, address inaccuracies and seek factual clarifications as part of the preparation for the Ecofin discussions. It is not uncommon for the text of Country Specific Recommendations to be amended taking account of these discussions, and indeed, the documents may go through a number of iterations before final adoption by Ministers at ECOFIN.
As discussion on the Country Specific Recommendations proceeds through ECOFIN's preparatory committees, Member States and the Commission work collaboratively in the first instance, as regard any proposed changes to the text in advance of Ecofin discussion. In such cases where consensus on wording is not reached, a vote on proposed draft language may take place.
In relation to the proposed wording amendments to which the Deputy refers, I can confirm that these were included in an early draft of Ireland's third Country Specific Recommendation. I can also confirm to the Deputy that no vote took place as to their inclusion at that time, and that my officials and I were satisfied with the final wording, agreed as part of a collaborative process with inputs from both parties.
The drafting process for Country Specific Recommendations is an iterative process with input from member states themselves, the Commission and other member states. The process behind our 2018 Country Specific Recommendations was no different.