Economic and Financial Affairs Council: extracts from the arrivals
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 09/12/2013 First transmission: 09/12/2013
The Council debates a draft regulation aimed at establishing a single resolution mechanism for failing banks, with a view to agreeing a general approach. It is called on to reach a political agreement on a revision of the directive on savings taxation, as the European Council has asked for agreement before the end of the year.
The Council is called on to endorse conclusions accompanying a report from a group on implementation of the code of conduct aimed at eliminating harmful tax competition in the member states.
It hears a presentation of the annual report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012.
Following a presentation by the Commission, the Council exchanges views on the
Commission's alert mechanism report published on 13 November 2013 in the context of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure.
The Council discusses economic policy priorities following the annual growth survey for 2014 published by the Commission on 13 November.
It is expected to adopt opinions on the economic partnership programmes of Spain, France, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovenia, describing the policy measures and structural reforms that are needed to ensure an effective and lasting correction of the excessive deficit.
The Council is due to discuss the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact, taking note of the Commission's conclusion that no additional action vis-à-vis Belgium, Spain, France, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovenia is currently necessary under the excessive deficit procedure.
It is also be invited to take a decision on the existence of an excessive deficit in Croatia and to make recommendations with a view to bringing an end to that situation.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Fabrizio Saccomanni, Italian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance
||Arrival of Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg
||Arrival and SOUNBITE (in ENGLISH) by Jeroen Dijsselbloem Dutch Minister for Finance and President of the Eurogroup: This is one of the main issues of the banking union, financial stability in opur banks and make sure that the tax payers doesn’t have to put more money any time that the bank is in trouble. The best way is to have a very clear higher key of bailing which means that the owners and investors of banks will pay their loses and if a bank is in a big trouble, we have the single resolution mechanism which means that we will have resolution funds to deal with the problems and not taxpayers money. So, there are two lines to defend and we are working on that today. Hopefully we'll have a very solid banking union
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Anders Borg, Minister for Finance of Sweden: It might be possible to find a political agreement on the broader principles today, it might be a long night but there are some good steps that have been taken. We will probably have to get back with the legal work before Christmas, but I believe there could be a basis for compromise today.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Rimantas Šadžius, Minister of Finance of LithuaniaThe most important part of today's discussions will be the banking union, the Single Resolution Mechanism, BRD and DGS. I hope that we are able today to get a deal on these issues, I look forward to intense and constructive work of all the delegations, but of course the discussions will be quite hard.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Jörg Asmussen, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank: On the Single Resolution Mechanism we made some progress in the number of bilateral talks over the past days, I would expect that on the SRM we will manage to narrow down the difference today, it will be very likely a long evening but I do not expect that we reach a final agreement already today at the ECOFIN, I have already painted in another ECOFIN before the European Summit. It is the ECB view that the SRM is to complement to the Single Supervisory Mechanism and it's our first best that we have a single regime, a single fund and a single authority and I have the impression that we will manage to get there that at the end after a transition period we will have a single fund, we are very likely to have a single authority right from the beginning, so this is good. It is keen from our side that especially the transition period when the fund has not enough money there is a credible backstop provided to the single resolution fund.
||SOUNDBITE (in SPANISH) Luis De Guindos, Minister of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness of Spain: Spain is seeking consensus. There may be a period of transition, but I think there is a clear aim and I think there will be agreement. However, a further meeting might be needed for the fine-tuning of this decision.
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Margrethe Vestager, Minister for Economics and the Interior of Denmark: From the Danish point of view we haven't made any strong stand on one solution towards the other. What is important for us is that there is a trust on the functioning of the mechanism that you can solve it if you get there and you need to do something extraordinary
||Arrival of Jürgen Ligi, Estonian Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in FRENCH) by Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services: We are at the last stage before establishing the banking union following the first stage that was concluded with the supervision. It is a banking union for European banks that finance 75% of the economy and the enterprise landscape, the condition for stability and credibility of the markets and above all the protection of taxpayers, banks have to pay for banks in difficulty. I hope we can make progress today and achieve a political agreements among ministers, I do not forget the parliament that plays its role and the Commission remains on the same line, namely a crisis prevention, supervision and guarantee system and for that we want a European solution with a system that will be integrated, shared and efficient.
||SOUNDBITE (in FRENCH) Pierre Moscovici, Ministre français de l'Economie et des Finances: We move forward, we have been working without interruption and I think today we will work towards constructing the elements of a political agreement. We may have to return to finalize the legislative part, there is a lot of work to do and there is a lot of room for negotiations today. I believe we have to create a real resolution mechanism with a genuinely unique fund with increased capacities, also with solid backstops that would complement the whole procedure. At the end we will see that European will have decided to put an end to financial fragmentation
||Arrival of Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance
||Cutaway of journalists
||Arrival of George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer