Gentiloni discusses EU economy and sanctions with Dutch PM

Gentiloni travelled to the Netherlands on Tuesday (26 April) to meet with Rutte and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag in The Hague. He also met with State Secretary for Tax Affairs and the Tax Administration, Marnix Van Rij, and State Secretary for Benefits and Customs, Aukje De Vries, in Rotterdam. [EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND]

EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni discussed the economic impact of the invasion of Ukraine, EU sanctions, and modernising the EU’s fiscal rules with  Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and paid a visit to the port of Rotterdam on Tuesday.

Gentiloni travelled to the Netherlands on Tuesday (26 April) to meet with Rutte and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag in The Hague. He also met with State Secretary for Tax Affairs and the Tax Administration, Marnix Van Rij, and State Secretary for Benefits and Customs, Aukje De Vries, in Rotterdam.

A spokesperson for the finance ministry, Ruud Mikkers, told EURACTIV the main topics on the agenda for Gentiloni included the invasion of Ukraine, the economic consequences that follow, and the future of the Stability and Growth Pact.

The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) limits public debt and deficit levels across the EU and requires states to coordinate their fiscal policies.

According to the Dutch Government, the meeting between Rutte and Gentiloni focused on “the state of affairs in the financial and economic field within the European Union, including the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

After the meeting, Rutte tweeted: “Good talk with EU Commissioner @PaoloGentiloni about EU’s Ukraine recovery plan and modernising EU’s fiscal rules. NL is working on sound macroeconomic policy and is partnering with other countries, like Spain, with which @Minister_FIN Kaag recently presented our joint ambitions.”

Gentiloni tweeted that he and the prime minister discussed their “outlook for the European economy in these challenging times.”

According to de Vries, she and Gentiloni spoke about the significant role that customs play, as 30% of all goods for Europe enter through the Rotterdam port, “ensuring both efficient transit and enforcement of sanctions.”

Later, Gentiloni also tweeted his admiration of the Dutch customs facilities and how hard they are working to “enforce the sanctions against Russia.”

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