EU finance ministers will hold their first Council session under the Italian Presidency on 15 July.
Topping the ministers' agenda will be Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti's proposal to give impetus to Europe's slowing economies. Under the initiative drafted by the Italian Presidency, the ministers will assess the Commission's pertinent proposals aimed at encouraging a relaunch of the Member States' economies.
The Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland and Sweden are reportedly sceptical about the Italian initiative, and Germany also wants to see first the details of the initiative's cost and financing scheme.
On 14 July, during the Euro group meeting, the ministers will launch proceedings to appoint Bank of France Governor Jean-Claude Trichet to the post of President of the European Central Bank. The Council is expected to adopt a recommendation on Mr Trichet's appointment for an eight-year term starting on 1 November 2003.
The Council's agenda also includes:
- the adoption of a recommendation on the updated stability programme for the Netherlands,
- adoption of a mandate inviting the Financial Services Committee to draft a report on financial integration in the EU,
- issues associated with two key international accounting standards on financial instruments.