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Week Ahead (12 July)

Monday, 12 July - US Treasury Secretary to meet Eurogroup to discuss digital taxation

The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, will meet Eurozone finance ministers today. Although not on the Eurogroup agenda, Yellen intends to reiterate the US’ request that EU countries delay or abandon plans to introduce an EU-wide digital levy which would affect all companies with annual sales of €50 million or more. The European Commission intends to formally propose the levy following the meeting of the College of Commissioners on 20 July.

Tuesday, 13 July - European Council to consider adoption of first batch of recovery and resilience plans

The European Council is expected to begin the process of approving member state recovery and resilience plans by adopting implementing decisions during the meeting of Economic and Finance ministers scheduled for 13 July.

Not all recovery plans have been embraced by the Commission; it was reported last week that the Commission is unwilling to approve of Hungary's request for €7.2 billion in grants from the recovery fund before a 12 July deadline. Officials have said that the plan as presently constituted does not satisfy two of the Commission's anti-corruption-related assessment criteria. The Commission has not refused to endorse a recovery and resilience plan from any other member state to date.

Tuesday, 13 July - ECON committee to vote on pilot scheme for market infrastructure based on distributed ledge technology

Members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee will vote on a European Parliament proposal for a regulatory framework for the use of blockchain technology in market infrastructure companies on Tuesday. The measures will cover businesses such as exchanges and post-trade processors which use blockchain to issue and trade digital assets such as bitcoins.

The proposers note that the regulatory framework builds on the European Commission's Digital Finance Strategy, which aims to ensure that "the Union financial services legislation is fit for the digital age and contributes to a future-ready economy that works for the people, including by enabling the use of innovative technologies".

If, as expected, ECON votes through the proposals, the legislation will be subject to trilogue negotiations involving the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council.

Thursday, 15 July - Central Statistics Office to release trade data for May

The Central Statistics Office will release data on goods exports from and imports to Ireland for May next Thursday. Data from April show that, when seasonal fluctuations are discounted, goods exports decreased by €724 million to €12.706 billion when compared with March exports. Imports for the same period increased by €51 million to €8.053 billion, leaving a seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of €4.653 billion for April.

The EU accounted for €5.139 million (42%) of total goods exports in April 2021, of which €1.351 million went to Germany and €1.047 million went to Belgium. Total EU exports in April 2021 increased by €1.028 billion (25%) compared with April 2020, while imports from the EU increased by €1.097 billion to €2.878 billion over the same period.

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