The Communication recalls that the BEPG
for 2001 had already made provision for a slight downturn in growth.
It is expected that when the BEPG
are discussed at the Summit, an EU head of state will raise the issue of the liberalisation of the electricity market in connection with the EdF-Montedison case (see separate article in Section III).
The Irish Finance Minister, Charlie McCreevy, who has not opposed the BEPG
project, nevertheless said he regarded a draft for 2000 based on the most recent and uncertain forecasts would not be valid once the Irish Budget for 2002 is presented in December.
The discussion of the BEPGs
at the Employment and Social Policy Council follows on from the conclusions of the Barcelona Council in March, which stresses better co-ordination of economic and social strategies in the EU.
European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes said that in the future, the Ecofin would concentrate more on the implementation report of the BEPGs