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Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (SECG)

#parleu2017EE

The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (SECG) provides a framework for discussion and cooperation for the national parliaments of member states and the European Parliament in the issues relating to finance, budget and economy.

The Conference was established under Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (so-called Fiscal Stability Treaty), which entered into force in 2013. It replaced the prior format of meetings between the chairmen of finance and budget committees organised by the parliament of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The Fiscal Stability Treaty is an international treaty that is not yet a formal part of the EU law. Its main requirement is that the government sector budget has to be balanced to a higher degree than required by the EU. In Estonia, the so-called structural budget balance rule was established by the constitutional State Budget Act.  

At the Conference, the implementation of the provisions and the best practices of the Fiscal Stability Treaty will be discussed in order to strengthen the cooperation between the national parliaments and help ensure democratic accounting in the economic governance and budget policy of the EU member states.

The Conference takes place twice a year. In the first half of the year, it is held in Brussels and organised by the European Parliament in cooperation with the Presidency parliament, while in the second half of the year, it is held in the Presidency country. The Internal Rules of the Conference set English and French as its working languages.

In October 2017, the Conference will take place in Tallinn, and it is organised by the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, the Parliament of Estonia.

Watch video summary of the second day of the conference:

Watch video summary of the first day of the conference:

Agenda

16:00-20:00

Arrival of the delegations and conference registration at the hotels

12:15

Departure by bus from the hotels to the conference venue

Venue: Tallinn Creative Hub, Põhja pst 27a, Tallinn

Registration (for those not yet registered) at the conference venue and welcome coffee with refreshments

12:45-13:45

Meetings of the political groups

13:00

Departure by bus from the hotels to the conference venue

Venue: Tallinn Creative Hub, Põhja pst 27a, Tallinn

14:00-14:15

Opening session

  • Welcome address by Mr Eiki NESTOR, President of the Riigikogu
  • Introductory remarks by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu

14:15-15:45

Session I: The future of the EMU. The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance and the EU legal framework

  • Co-chaired by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, and Mr Jürgen LIGI, Member of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, former Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia
  • Keynote speaker: Mr Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
  • Keynote speaker: Mr Roberto GUALTIERI, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
  • Exchange of views among the participants

The European Commission has launched a broad debate on the future of the EU27 by presenting the White Paper on the Future of Europe, followed by the Reflection Paper on Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. Stimulating social and economic convergence together with tackling financial vulnerabilities and bolstering stabilisation capacity are the two major objectives outlined in the EMU reflection paper. Also, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union foresees a discussion on its substance within the legal framework of the EU.

Some points for discussion: What is your vision of the EMU’s future design and how to get there? How to reinforce democratic accountability, and what would be the role of national parliaments? What kind of political and legal framework is suitable for the EMU?

  • Concluding remarks

15:45-16:30

Family photo and coffee break

16:30-18:00

Session II: National reforms, financial assistance and investment programmes: objectives, performance, outcome and perspectives

  • Co-chaired by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, and Mr Roberto GUALTIERI, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
  • Keynote speaker: Mr Ardo HANSSON, Governor of Eesti Pank (the central bank of the Republic of Estonia, member of the European System of Central Banks)
  • Keynote speaker: Ms Mari KIVINIEMI, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD. See: speech (PDF, 779kB).
  • Exchange of views among the participants

The EU has implemented measures to boost growth by encouraging investments, restoring trust in the financial system and dealing with structural issues. This was done through a better coordination of economic policy and fiscal measures within the single market. Financial assistance, capital requirements and better supervision are employed, and the final goal of a banking union is set. Financial support to Member States has been conditional on macroeconomic policy measures: comprehensive fiscal, structural and supervisory reforms have been implemented in recipient countries. However, it would be possible to achieve a better result by improving the coherence between the different programmes and instruments and by simplifying their functioning.

Some points for discussion: What can be done to achieve convergence and coherence of EU financial assistance measures? What incentives could assure implementation of structural reforms in Member States? Should the link between the European Semester and EU financing be strengthened?

  • Concluding remarks

18:00

Return to the hotels by bus

19:30

Departure from the hotels by bus to the dinner venue

20:00

Dinner and cultural programme

Venue: Estonia Concert Hall, Estonia puiestee 4, Tallinn

Welcome address by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu

23:00

Return to the hotels by bus

08:15

Departure from the hotels by bus to the conference venue

Venue: Tallinn Creative Hub, Põhja pst 27a, Tallinn

09:00-10:30

Session III: Collecting taxes efficiently

  • Co-chaired by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, and Mr Philippe DALLIER, Vice-President of the French Senate and member of its Finance Committee
  • Keynote speaker: Mr Dmitri JEGOROV, Deputy Secretary General for Tax and Customs Policy, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia. See: speech (PDF, 803kB).
  • Keynote speaker: Ms Maria Teresa FÁBREGAS, Director for Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission
  • Exchange of views among the participants

This session sets out a series of examples of how national tax authorities are administrating taxes in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. National tax authorities collect taxes, which provides the governments with the revenue to fund public services; therefore, the goal for tax authorities is to collect the full amount of taxes as efficiently as possible. Moreover, the use of technologies and the rise of new economic systems are causing states to review the tax implications and the deployment of technologies in order to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of the work of tax authorities.

Some points for discussion: What are the best practices regarding efficient tax administration in your country? How to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of the work of revenue authorities? What are the major challenges in implementing effective tax administration?

  • Concluding remarks

10:30-11:00

Coffee break

11:00-12:30

Session IV: EU in change: challenges for the EU budget

  • Co-chaired by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, and Mr Märt KIVINE, Special Representative to the Government for European Union budget negotiations for 2018, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia
  • Keynote speaker: Mr Günther H. OETTINGER, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources
  • Keynote speaker: Ms Isabelle THOMAS, Member of the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament, Co-Rapporteur on the Reflection Paper on the future of EU finances and on the next MFF
  • Exchange of views among the participants

As part of launching the broad debate on the future of the EU27, the European Commission has presented the Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances on 28 June 2017. The EU budget helps to deliver on the things that matter to the Europeans, which is why its volume and aim change over time. New policy areas, different crises, withdrawal of one Member State – all these burden and challenge the EU budget. Since the current Multiannual Financial Framework ends in 2020, a new MFF has to be negotiated.

Some points for discussion: What should the future EU budget focus on? How should the EU budget be financed? How to cope with the challenges over a 10-year period and to ensure greater flexibility at the same time?

  • Concluding remarks

12:30-12:40

Closing remarks

Address by Mr Remo HOLSMER, Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu

12:40-14:00

Lunch

14:00

Return to the hotels by bus

Location

Tallinn Creative Hub, Põhja pst 27a, 10415

Tallinn

Speakers

Valdis Dombrovskis

Valdis Dombrovskis

Vice-President of the European Commission for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

Valdis Dombrovskis is Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union. Earlier, he served three consecutive terms as Prime Minister of Latvia, becoming the longest serving elected head of government in the country's history while taking it though the tumultuous years of the financial crisis and preparing it for euro entry.

Roberto Gualtieri

Roberto Gualtieri

Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Roberto Gualtieri has been Member of the European Parliament since 2009. As MEP, in 2011 he was part of the negotiating team for the establishment of the "Fiscal Compact", whereas in 2012 he was designated as sherpa negotiator in the working group set up by Van Rompuy on a Genuine EMU. In July 2014, Mr Gualtieri was elected Chairman of the ECON Committee, and he is currently one of the three Brexit sherpa negotiators for the European Parliament as well as a member of the Brexit Steering Group.

Jürgen Ligi

Jürgen Ligi

Member of the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu, former Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia

Jürgen Ligi is a member of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Estonian Reform Party Faction of the Riigikogu. He has also held the post of the Minister of Defence in 2005–2007, the Minister of Finance in 2009–2014, the Minister of Education and Research in 2015–2016 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2016. He has been elected to the Riigikogu 6 times since 1995, and he has served as a chairman of several committees, like the Finance Committee, the Environment Committee, the National Defence Committee and the State Budget Control Select Committee.

Ardo Hansson

Ardo Hansson

Governor of Eesti Pank (the central bank of the Republic of Estonia, member of the European System of Central Banks)

Ardo Hansson is the Governor of Eesti Pank and a Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. Before taking on his current position in June 2012, Mr Hans¬son worked for the World Bank, where he served as the Lead Economist of the World Bank’s Economics Unit in China from 2008. He joined the World Bank in 1998 and before going to China he worked on several countries in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Between 1991 and 1997, he held several senior positions in the Republic of Estonia, including Economic Adviser to the Estonian Prime Minister in 1992-1995 and in 1997, and adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1991-1992. Mr Hansson was also a member of the Monetary Reform Committee, and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia in 1993-1998. During the 1990s, he was engaged on short-term consulting assign¬ments for the governments of Mongolia, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine. Mr Hansson was born in Chicago, in 1958. He graduated with first class honours from the University of British Columbia in 1980 and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1987. Since completing his studies, he has held faculty and research positions at several well-known universities in Canada, Finland and Sweden and published numerous articles on economic policy.

Mari Kiviniemi

Mari Kiviniemi

Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD

Mari Kiviniemi is OECD Deputy Secretary-General since August 2014. Overlooking strategic oversight of the OECD’s work on Efficient and Effective Governance; Territorial Development; Trade and Agriculture, Statistics; for advancing the Better Life Initiative; as well as Entrepreneurship, SMEs’, Local development and Tourism. She was Finland’s Prime Minister from 2010 to 2011. Previously, she was Special Advisor on Economic Policy to the PM, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Minister for European Affairs and Minister of Public Administration and Local Government.

Dmitri Jegorov

Dmitri Jegorov

Deputy Secretary-General for Tax and Customs Policy, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia

Dmitri Jegorov works at the Ministry of Finance as Deputy Secretary-General for Tax and Customs Policy since 2014. He coordinates the work of the Department of Tax Policy and the Department of Customs and Excise Policy. He is also responsible for the tax and customs program of the EU Council Presidency. Prior to the Ministry, Dmitri worked in the Tax and Customs Board for almost 10 years. There he served on various positions from the Head of Direct Taxes Division to Deputy DG for Core Processes, dealing with matters ranging from services to criminal investigation in both tax and customs. Before joining the civil service, Dmitri worked as a corporate finance consultant for KPMG. Dmitri holds an MA in Economics from the University of Tartu. He has also undertaken doctoral studies at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, focusing on taxpayers' attitudes to earmarked taxes.

Maria Teresa Fábregas

Maria Teresa Fábregas

Director for Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission

Ms. Maria Teresa Fábregas is since March 2017 the Director for Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration in DG TAXUD. Before that she held positions in the Directorate-General for Enterprise working on the internal market for industrial goods and better regulation policies, in the Directorate-General for Trade dealing with technical barriers to trade in bilateral and multilateral negotiations (e.g. WTO, FTAs, mutual recognition), in the Directorate-General for the Internal Market where she worked on the internal market for services field and in the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union as a Head of Unit for "Securities Markets" and later for "Financial Markets Infrastructure". She holds a degree in Law, Economics and International Relations. Maria Teresa joined the European Commission in 1997.

Philippe Dallier

Philippe Dallier

Vice-President of the Senate (France)

Philippe Dallier is the Vice-President of the Senate and member of the Finance Committee. He is also a member of the Paris Metropolitan Council. Elected to the Senate in 2004, he notably participated in the Senate working group on the taxation of the digital economy. He is a member of the Republican Party and has served as the Mayor of the municipality of Pavillons-sous-Bois (department of Seine Saint-Denis) from 1995 to October 2017.

Günther H. Oettinger

Günther H. Oettinger

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources

Günther H. Oettinger is the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources since January 2017. From November 2014 to December 2016, he held the office of the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, after being European Commissioner for Energy from February 2010 to October 2014, and Vice-President of the European Commission in 2014. From 2005-2010, he was the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), and since 1984 he is a member of the Landtag, the regional parliament. He was the leader of the CDU political group in the Landtag from January 1991 to April 2005. A lawyer by training, Günther H. Oettinger has been actively involved in politics since his adolescence. He is a member of the Federal Executive Committee and the Steering Committee of the CDU in Germany.

Isabelle Thomas

Isabelle Thomas

Member of the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament, Co-Rapporteur on the Reflection paper on the future of EU finances and on the next MFF

Isabelle Thomas is Member of the European Parliament since 2012, representing the west of France. For this legislative term, the Socialists and Democrats elected her as the Vice-Chair of their group, in charge of budgetary issues, cohesion policy, agriculture and fisheries. As permanent rapporteur on the Multiannual Financial Framework in the Committee on Budgets, she takes part in the financial negotiations for the future of the Union and is committed to an ambitious budget. She is also a member of the Committee on Fisheries.

Märt Kivine

Märt Kivine

Special Representative to the Government for European Union budget negotiations for 2018, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia

In 1999, he started working in the Estonian Foreign Ministry, as an Advisor to the Foreign Minister, and member of the Estonian EU accession negotiations delegation. Since 2001-2003 he worked as the Head and Deputy Head of the EU Secretariat of the State Chancellery, advising the Prime Minister and the Government on the pre-accession adoption of EU aqcuis. After serving as a Head of Performance Auditing in the National Audit Office and for a short while also as the Head of News in the daily “Eesti Päevaleht”, Kivine moved on to the Ministry of Finance in 2006. His portfolio included representing Estonia in the Economic and Financial Committee of the EU Council and managing the relations with public and private partners, including the IMF and commercial banks during the financial crises. He was part of the Swedish-lead ad hoc working group on Latvia that advised on the modalities of Latvian structural reforms and stabilizing the fiscal policies and financial markets in Latvia. He was part of the team devising and managing Estonia’s accession to the euro-area in 2011. Since 2010, Kivine had been working at the World Bank, first as an Advisor to the Executive Director and later as a Program Officer in the Chief Economist front Office. Kivine was closely following the strategies and projects of IFC, the private sector hand of the World Bank. While working in the research part of the Bank, he managed the production and financing of the World Development Reports on digital economy, governance and education.

Photos and Videos

Links

Contacts

Andres Ando

Andres Ando

Responsible Organiser of the Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the EU (SECG) / Adviser to the Finance Committee of the Riigikogu

+372 631 6423 andres.ando@riigikogu.ee

Siiri Sillajõe

Siiri Sillajõe

Coordinator of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU

+372 631 6505 siiri.sillajoe@riigikogu.ee

Margit Muul

Margit Muul

Assistant to Coordinator of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU

+372 631 6502 margit.muul@riigikogu.ee

Last update 09/11/2017 16:27