Both Chancellor Merkel and François Hollande stress that Saturday's Eurogroup meeting will be the decisive moment in the negotiations and see no need for another eurozone leaders' summit.

The Eurogroup is a meeting of the Finance Ministers of the eurozone. It's current President is Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The President of the European Central Bank (Mario Draghi), the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs (Pierre Moscovici) and the President of the Eurogroup Working Group (Thomas Wieser) attend the meetings as observers.

Eurogroup Members

  1. Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Netherlands) : President (Labour Party, Party of European Socialists)
  2. Hans Jörg Schelling (Austria): Minister of Finance (People's Party, European People's Party)
  3. Johan Van Overtvelt (Belgium): Minister of Finance (New Flemish Alliance, European Free Alliance)
  4. Harris Georgiades (Cyprus): Minister of Finance (Democratic Rally, European People's Party)
  5. Sven Sester (Estonia): Minister of Finance (Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, European People's Party)
  6. Alexander Stubb (Finland): Minister of Finance (National Coalition Party, European People's Party)
  7. Michel Sapin (France): Minister of Finance (Socialist Party, Party of European Socialists)
  8. Wolfgang Schäuble (Germany): Minister of Finance (Christian Democratic Union, European People's Party)
  9. Yanis Varoufakis (Greece): Minister of Finnace (Coalition of the Radical Left, Party of the European Left)
  10. Michael Noonan (Ireland): Minister of Finance (Fine Gael, European People's Party)
  11. Pier Carlo Padoan (Italy): Minister of Finance (Proposed by Democratic Party (PES), Independent)
  12. Janis Reirs (Latvia): Minister of Finance (Unity, European People's Party)
  13. Rimantas Sadzius (Lithuania): Minister of Finance (Social Democratic Party, Party of European Socialists)
  14. Pierre Gramegna (Luxembourg): Minister of Finance (Proposed by Democratic Party (ALDE), Independent)
  15. Edward Scicluna (Malta): Minister of Finance (Labour Party, Party of European Socialists)
  16. Eric Wiebes (Netherlands): State Secretary of Finance (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party)
  17. Maria Luis Albuquerque (Portugal): Minister of Finance (Social Democratic Party, European People's Party)
  18. Peter Kazimir (Slovakia): Minister of Finance (Direction-Social Democracy, Party of European Socialists)
  19. Dusan Mramor (Slovenia): Minister of Finnace (Modern Centre Party, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party)
  20. Luis de Guindos (Spain): Minister of Finance (People's Party, European People's Party)

The latest manifestation of the Eurogroup’s power is the battle between Greece and its lenders over what reforms Athens has to carry out in order to get a much-needed pay-out of bailout money. The money will only be released once the Eurogroup gives the green light. Yet from a purely legal perspective, the role of the Eurogroup is a minor one. According to Protocol (No 14) of the Lisbon Treaty on the Eurogroup, the main task of the Eurogroup is merely “to discuss questions related to the specific responsibilities they [the ministers of Eurozone Member States] share with regard to the single currency”. The Eurogroup is an informal body. It is not a Union institution. It cannot adopt legally binding decisions. Decisions of the Eurogroup do not produce legal effects. The complete absence of the Eurogroup in the law making of the Union and its inability to adopt legally binding decisions explains why the Lisbon Treaty did not provide for a mechanism to hold the Eurogroup to account for its action. There is no legal obligation of the Eurogroup to inform the public or other institutions about its activities and there are no transparency rules for the Eurogroup. There are no minutes of Eurogroup meetings. Only brief summaries are sent to the participants of these meetings. The president of the Eurogroup is legally not obliged to appear in front of any Parliamentary body and he or she has not to be afraid of any consequences attached to a negative assessment of the performance of the Eurogroup. Such a lack of accountability can be tolerated, from a legal point of view, with regard to a purely informal gathering of ministers that exchange their views.

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