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Summary

  1. Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem appeared before MEPs on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
  2. He is currently the President of the Eurogroup - the forum where Eurozone finance ministers meet to make decisions.
  3. The body is due to meet on Thursday to discuss its programme for the second half of the year, inflation and the sustainability of pensions.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Session finishes

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Brussels

And with that, that short appearance from Jereon Dijsselbloem at the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee comes to an end. 

Dutch minister calls for 'active' role from UK in the EU

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Brussels

French Liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard asks Jereon Dijsselbloem whether he would agree with comments made recently by German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble appearing to suggest that if the UK votes to leave the EU, it would also have to leave the single market as well. 

"Do I agree that in is in and out is out...in general terms, yes" says Mr Dijsselbloem in reply. 

He adds that voters in the UK may not be very interested in what he has to say, but he believes that there is a "strong argument for European co-operation" to be made. 

He says that if the UK does vote to remain, he "would like to see them become an active member" of the EU, adding that the country has become "more and more passive" in its role in recent years. 

Jereon Dijsselbloem
BBC

Recent rulings 'raise questions' about SGP - Dijsselbloem

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Strasbourg

French Socialist Pervenche Beres also picks up on the recent comments about the application of the Stability and Growth Pact. 

She asks him whether he thinks the Commission has applied the terms of the pact correctly. 

In reply, Mr Dijsselbloem says that if not, then the Ecofin - the meeting of eurozone finance ministers "should not agree to it".

He adds that a recent decision not to impose potential fines on Spain and Portugal for missing targets agreed under the pact "raises a lot of questions" about how the rules are being applied. 

Pervenche Beres
BBC

MEP questions recent comment on Commission role

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Dutch Christian democrat Esther de Lange asks Mr Dijsselbloem what reaction he has had from the Commission to comments he made recently criticising the way in which the EU executive has overseen debt and deficit rules. 

In reply, he says that there are some concerns among the finance ministers that the Commission is "perhaps distinguishing between big member states and small member states" in how the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact are enforced. 

He adds that, as the official guardian of the EU's treaties, it is important that the Commission ensures "all of us comply" with the rules in a fair way. 

Esther de Lange
BBC

Dijsselbloem: 'More needs to be done' on banking union

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Brussels

Jereon Dijsselbloem kicks of the meeting by telling MEPs that the eurozone is continuing an economic recovery, albeit at a "modest pace". 

He says that "a lot has already been achieved" with moves to complete the eurozone's banking union, but that "more work needs to be done". 

In particular, he says work is underway on completing the so-called "third pillar" of the project - to set up a common eurozone-wide guarantee scheme to protect bank deposits. 

He also adds that he "believes strongly" in the idea of national competitiveness boards - part of a series of eurozone measures proposed by the Commission last autumn. 

Jereon Dijsselbloem
BBC

Jereon Dijsselbloem: A background

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

European Parliament

Brussels

Mr Dijsselbloem, a member of the Dutch Labour party, replaced current European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the Eurogroup in January 2013.

His appointment came two months after he became head of the Dutch Finance Ministry. He was re-elected for a second term as President of the group in July last year.

The Eurogroup President is responsible for chairing and setting the agenda for meetings between eurozone finance ministers, and representing them at international bodies such as the IMF. 

The Netherlands has also held the EU's rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers for the first half of this year - it is due to hand over to Slovakia at the end of this month. 

Jereon Dijsselbloem
EPA

Good morning

European Parliament

Brussels

Hello and welcome to coverage of this meeting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at the European Parliament in Brussels.

MEPs will shortly be joined by Dutch finance minister Jereon Dijsselbloem to discuss this week’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

Ministers are due to meet on Thursday to discuss recent developments with regards to inflation, the long-term sustainability of pension systems and their agenda for the second half of the year.

The Eurogroup also recently agreed a deal to unlock a further €10.3bn in loans from its international creditors, following a review as part of Greece's third eurozone bailout, secured in August last year.