Economic and Financial Affairs Council:
extracts from the press conference
Première transmission: 22/06/2012
Luxembourg (town), Luxembourg - Council
Fin de production: 22/06/2012
The Council was called on to approve country-specific recommendations to the member states on their economic and fiscal policies. It was expected to close excessive deficit procedures for Germany and Bulgaria, and was called on to lift the suspension imposed in March of cohesion fund commitments for Hungary, in the light of actions taken by Hungary to correct its excessive deficit.
The Council debated proposals on energy taxation and for an EU-wide financial transaction tax, and the Commission has presented its proposal to establish a framework for bank resolution.
Ministers also discussed the EU's multiannual financial framework for the 2014-20 period.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Margrethe Vestager, Danish Minister for Economics and the Interior and President in office of the Council (In ENglish) saying that: It is very important since its country specific recommendations; It’s the end of the European Semester; we have now passed them to the European Summit. They will be finally adopted in the July ECOFIN meeting. All recommendations have been adopted, we had a long debate about them and I think all countries recognized the importance of actually doing what we said we are going to do and to make sure that the revised stability and growth pact is in order and being followed up in a consistent manner.
||SOUNDBITE by Margrethe Vestager (In English) saying that:
Bulgaria and Germany are now out of their recommendations; Germany a year and a half before expected I think since they have been on a very strong recovery note and last but also important and promising for those who were interested in whether our new procedures actually work that Hungary who were given a new recommendation and who had to look forward, if it's possible, to not having 495 million Euros by the 1st of January 2013. They were back on track, recognized by the Commission and now they are out of the suspension of freezing funds.
||SOUNDBITE by Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud (In English) saying that: Today we have clarity how to move ahead. There is a clear message that we cannot reach unanimity unfortunately but at the same time there is a positive message that there is a strong group of member states which want to introduce this tax and to work further and of course now it is for them to prepare the necessary input for launching enhanced cooperation procedure and I hope that this will happen as soon as possible.
||SOUNDBITE by Algirdas Šemeta (In English) saying that: On Energy Taxation directive, we had today good and open political debate. Of course I can regret that the ambition which is proposed by the Commission on how to tax energy products in order to achieve our broad objectives, our climate change objectives, our energy efficiency objectives didn't reach full support of our member states but I think it is also important that they are ready to work on a probably less ambitious but still productive way to move ahead.
||Speakers leaving the press room