The Spanish Minister for the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and the French Minister for the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, met today in Madrid to discuss matters of interest to their two countries, which are closely linked at the levels economic and commercial. Ministers agreed that for the European Union to be successful, a strong euro area is needed to ensure Europe's stability. They have also underlined the role of the European Union in responding to citizens' concerns about globalization.

The French and Spanish ministers have had an exchange of fruitful and convergent views on the euro area and have reiterated their commitment to work together to take concrete measures to complete it and increase their capacity to withstand shocks. France and Spain have a crucial role to play in this matter.

Bruno Le Maire underlined the "essential priority which is to convert our Monetary Union into a more integrated Economic Union and to give a new impetus to our common project with a fair balance between more responsibility and more solidarity".

Despite the significant reforms put in place since the crisis, the two ministers agree that the financial architecture of the euro zone still needs to be strengthened. The priority is to complete the Banking Union. The roadmap agreed in June 2016 defines the next steps: risk reduction measures in the banking sector, creation of a safety net for the Single Resolution Fund and establishment of a European deposit guarantee system. Capital markets union is also a crucial project.

Beyond that, the eurozone must be struck on a fair balance between reducing and sharing risks. Trust between member states is essential for progressing in other stages of integration: the implementation of structural reforms and enhanced cooperation on economic policies must allow for increased convergence, reduced formation of imbalances and pave the way for more ambitious initiatives.

The ministers have agreed to intensify their cooperation in order to develop a common approach for closer budgetary and political integration in the euro area. This common approach should focus on establishing stabilization budgeting capacity, good implementation of budgetary rules and appropriate governance.

Minister De Guindos added that «the political momentum and the economic recovery that is consolidating open a short-term window of opportunity to progress in strengthening the resilience of the Economic and Monetary Union. It is in our hands not to miss that opportunity.

The two ministers have expressed the intention to maintain their excellent cooperation on issues of common interest in order to preserve and strengthen strong ties between their economies. They wish to work with the other Member States to find a common approach to deepening the euro area.

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