Trying to reanimate the EU Stability Pact
The Council found that Portugal and Spain had not taken effective action in response to its recommendations on measures to correct their excessive deficits. It confirmed that the two countries have not reduced their deficits below 3% of GDP, the EU's reference value for government deficits, by the recommended deadline. The Council's decisions will now trigger sanctions under the excessive deficit procedure. They are based on article 126(8) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The EU Commission has 20 days to recommend further Council decisions imposing fines.