Following discussions with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni in Berlin, Schulz expressed his optimism about the expected solution, stressing that in reforming the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), public debt is taken into account without imposing austerity programs on any member state. Italy, which has the second-largest debt burden in the European Union, wants to ease strict restrictions on public debt and budget, while Germany is pressing for fiscal discipline, according to the International Monetary Fund. EURACTIV From his summary.
Meloni acknowledged the progress made in the talks, but warned that working out the details of the agreement would not be an easy task. The talks, largely shaped by Germany, which favors tougher rules, have sparked optimism among EU finance ministers, who believe they are close to reaching a consensus.
Schulz and Meloni also signed a comprehensive German-Italian “action plan” aimed at closer cooperation in the areas of technology, competition, social cohesion, climate change, global partnerships and European and cultural relations.
Cover photo: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hold a press conference before their meeting at the Chancellor’s office in Berlin on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. Image credit: Lisa Johansen-Kubitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images.