Economic and Financial Affairs Council: extracts from the doorsteps (Denmark, Lithuania, Ireland, Sweden, France, EC, The Netherlands, Spain) and arrivals (Austria, Cyprus, Luxembourg, EC)
Lieu: Luxembourg (town), Luxembourg - Council
End production: 21/06/2013 First transmission: 21/06/2013
The European Ministers for Finance gathered today in Luxembourg in a try to achieve agreement on new pan-EU rules for dealing with failing banks which are an important part of delivering on Banking Union. Discussions were expected to be tough.
The meeting will focus on achieving political agreement on the Banking Recovery and Resolution (BRR) Directive. It will also seek agreement on country-specific recommendations to the European Council on the European Semester process as well as formally agreeing to extend the time for number of countries to correct their excessive deficit.
The discussions on bank recovery and resolution will focus on agreeing new rules for dealing with failing banks. These rules are important for strengthening our banking system and moving towards banking union. It will formally approve the agreements among member states on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II and MiFIR) and the VAT anti-fraud measures.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Margrethe Vestager, Danish Minister for Finance - SOUNDBITE (English) on the proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for the recovery and resolution of banks and investment firms in the EU: Some flexibility is needed, but at the same time it is very important with transparency and that you know what is actually going to happen if a bank gets into trouble. From our point of view, there should be a minimum of bail-in bonds, because otherwise then the principle of bail-ins would disappear within a couple of years. (3 shots)
||Arrival of Andreas Schieder, Austrian State Secretary for Finance
||Arrival of Harris Georgiades, Cypriot Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Rimantas Šadzius, Lithuanian Minister for Finance - SOUNDBITE (English) on the same issue: I think we have approached very closely to a compromise and it is crucially important to strike the balance in this compromise between the positions of all the 27 countries. I think it is possible, I will urge my colleagues to do this just today. (4 shots)
||Arrival of Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance - SOUNDBITE (English) on what is making an agreement on banking recovery and resolution difficult: Flexibility. Certain countries want more national flexibility and other want a more centralized system, this is probably the main point of disagreement at the present. (4 shots)
||Arrival of Anders Borg, Swedish Minister for Finance - SOUNDBITE (English) on the same issue: We are in for a very tough negotiation. We think the current banking resolution directive is not satisfactory. We need to have much more flexibility for the non-euro countries. We are not able to get money from the ESM and obviously we are not under the umbrella from the ECB. So there has to be a lot more flexibility in the system. Maybe we can solve these negotiations today, but we can also solve them at some later meeting. This will be a very very long negotiation. (2 shots)
||Arrival of Luc Frieden, Luxembourg Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance - SOUNDBITE (French) on the same issue, saying that France is in favour of some flexibility, but understands there are certain limits. Saying that he understands that some countries want more control. He had yesterday a long bilateral discussion with Wolfgang Schäuble. France and Germany are close on this issue. It is always important to have a common French-German position, common or close to. (4 shots)
||Arrival of Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro - SOUNDBITE (English) on the same issue: We have a fair chance of concluding the work and it would be very important to maintain the momentum on the banking union as we did yesterday in the Eurogroup concerning principles and rules for direct recapitalization of euro area banks. This is the longest day of the year, so we have plenty of time to find an agreement tonight. (3 shots)
||Arrival of Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister for Finance and President of the Eurogroup - SOUNDBITE (English) on the same issue: I expect today hard work and good results, hopefully a very good BRRD (Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive) which will help us to get our banks into shape again. (will there be a deal today?) I certainly hope so.
||Arrival of Luis De Guindos, Spanish Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness - SOUNDBITE (Spanish) on Greece, saying that the country is in a complicated situation. There are some positive signs but the Greek government still needs to do some efforts in relation to structural reforms. We discussed this yesterday with the Greek Minister. (2 shots)
||Arrival of Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud