On 15 October, ministers met their counterparts from the EFTA countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – to discuss cooperation in the field of financial services and economic dynamics in Europe. Ministers assessed the economic situation. They discussed backstop arrangements for banks in the context of the forthcoming asset quality review and stress test exercises and proposed single resolution mechanism. They also discussed how to accommodate
public investment in the preventive arm of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact.
The Council was notably prepare the October meeting of the European Council, in particular as concerns access to finance for SMEs.
The follow-up to October international finance meetings in Washington DC and the financing aspects
of climate policy were amongst other issues on the agenda.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Margrethe Vestager, Minister for Economics and the Interior of Denmark
||SOUNDBITE (in German) by Jörg Assmusen, Member of the ECB executive board: It is a very important day, finance ministers will set the legislative basis for the single supervisory mechanism, then we will be able to begin real work, hire people and buildings, so that we start functioning in one year.
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in English) by Rimantas Šadžius, Lithuanian Minister of Finance: I am very glad to tell you that we are set to approve the single supervisory mechanism today. It will be published shortly in the official journal and will come into force in twelve months. We are stepping forward quite efficiently concerning the banking union, we will discuss today backstop arrangements in bank resolution, it is a very important topic not only for the single resolution mechanism, but also for stress tests that will be performed next year Europe-wide by the European banking authority.
||Arrival of Luis De Guindos Jurado, Spanish Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness
||SOUNDBITE (in Spanish) by Luis De Guindos: Today we'll iscuss several issues, specially the financing for the SME, banking union, funds to support the banks and other subjects.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Anders Borg, Minister for Finance of Sweden: First and foremost you must clarify the backstops before you have the results from the asset quality review. The asset quality review has to be credible but also transparent so that you can clearly see that there has been a process that is credible. Sweden has a national stability fund that is well funded and we will have much tougher capital requirements on our banks, there probably has to be some kind of backstop for other non-euro countries, but we are not going to perceive ourselves to be dependent on such a solution.
||Arrival of Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank
||Arrival of Andris Vilks, Latvian Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Jan Vincent-Rostowski, Polish Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Charis Georgiades, Cypriot Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Ioannis Stournaras, Greek Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Jutta Urpilainen, Finnish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in German) by Luc Frieden, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg: The banking union is a comlex issue, this is why we are going to deal with it for some more time. For us the banking union has many sides, we have the European supevisory mechanism, I think we can move to a definitive completion on this matter. Then there is also the European resolution mechanism which is equally important. We need to have more discussions on this matter and it will not be concluded today.
||Arrival of Jürgen Ligi, Estonian Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Klaus Regling, ESM Managing Director
||SOUNDBITE (in German) by Wolfgang Schäuble, German Minister for Finance: The resolution directive is subject to a trilogue and we hope we will come to a positive result within this legislative term. We push for continuing the deposit guarantee trilogue and we will see today if we can agree on a viable base for a resolution mechanism. We have seen during the informal council in Vilnius that the Commission's proposal was not supported by the majority of states. We must stay within the legal bases of European treaties, they are narrow and this is why we call for a small treaty amendment, but as long as there is not one we must find solutions in the framework of existing treaties. I hope that everybody will contribute to finding a solution the soonest possible.
||Arrival of Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance
||Arrival of Fabrizio Saccomanni, Italian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance
||SOUNDBITE (in Italian) by Fabrizio Saccomanni: I think there is a European problem and I think we are facing it these days. All that is being said about the lack of transparency around the whole European banking system is clearly exaggerated. There is a commitment from ECB, from the Commission and all member states to clarify the situation. There is nothing to hide.