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The financial and economic crisis - chronological overview - February 2009

The current crisis calls for concerted action at both the European and the international level. The EU has taken a series of bold measures to restore confidence, stability and sustainability  in the financial markets. 

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25 February 2009
Commission Communication on the treatment of impaired assets in the EU banking sector

The common EU approach on Member States relief measures for impaired assets, on which banks are likely to incur losses (such as US sub-prime mortgage backed securities), ensures that foreseeable losses are disclosed and properly handled so that banks can use their capital to resume their normal function of lending to the economy.
The Commission outlines various methods, including asset purchase or asset insurance schemes. It explains budgetary and regulatory implications of asset relief measures and details out applicable State aid rules.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "We have already taken important steps towards financial stability through bank rescues and recapitalisation. Now, we need transparency, disclosure and correct valuation of impaired assets in order to clean the balance sheets of banks and address the root cause of lack of confidence."
>> Competition. Sector specific legislation
>> Press release IP/09/322. Commission provides guidance for the treatment of impaired assets in the EU banking sector
>> Frequently asked questions on the treatment of impaired assets in the Community banking sector
>> Press conference of Ms Kroes, Mr Almunia (Economic and Monetary Affairs) and Mr McCreevy ( Internal Market and services)

Presentation of initial recommendations by the de Larosière Group on cross-border financial supervision

The report first analyses the main causes of the financial crisis, its complexity and interconnectedness of several factors that
amplified the crisis. In its second chapter on policy and regulatory repair, the Group singles out priority areas that need regulatory change. The third chapter sets some ambitious reforms the EU should adopt in the supervisory sphere. The last chapter on global repair considers some necessary changes at international level to avoid such major crises in the future.
Proposals include the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) to be put in charge of converging international financial regulation at the highest level, linked closely to the IMF. The Group supports the establishment of global colleges of supervisors as soon as possible, with the FSF to determine best practice.
>> Press conference. José Manuel Barroso, EC President and Jacques de Larosière, President of the High Level Expert Group on EU Financial Supervision
>> Report of the High level group on financial supervision in the EUpdf(648 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 
>> Summary of the de Larosière reportpdf Choose translations of the previous link 
>> José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission. Opening remarks on the de Larosière report

EU support to fight the crisis in the car industry

Responding to the crisis in the European car industry (COM(2009)104 final) defends a proactive stance to support industry in their efforts to withstand the crisis, soften negative effects and ensure long-term competitiveness. Building on the European Economic Recovery Plan of 26 November 2008, the Commission sets various measures to improve access to credit, clarify the rules for granting state aid in the particular circumstances, boost the demand for new vehicles through coordinated national action. It also aims to minimise social costs, retain the skilled workforce and to defend fair competition in open markets.
The Commission suggests a new partnership with industry, trade unions and Member States in the context of the CARS 21 process to accompany the common crisis response.
>> Press release IP/09/318 EU support to fight the crisis in the automotive sector Choose translations of the previous link 

Commission assessments of another four stability and convergence programmes

Based on its assessment, the Commission adopted recommendations for Council opinions on the programmes which, together with last week's recommendations for a first round of 17 EU countries, will be discussed at the forthcoming ECOFIN meeting of 10 March.
>> Assessment of four stability and convergence programmes

18 February 2009
Commission assessments of 17 stability and convergence programmes

Based on its assessment, the Commission adopted recommendations for Council opinions on the programmes which will be discussed at the forthcoming ECOFIN meeting of 10 March.
>> Assessment of 17 stability and convergence programmes

13 - 14 February 2009
G7 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Rome

G-7 ministers expressed their commitment to act jointly to support growth and employment and strengthen the financial sector, while avoiding protectionist measures.
>> Communiqué of 14 February 2009

9 /10 February 2009
Meetings of finance ministers - Eurogroup and ECOFIN

The Council reviewed the implementation of the European economic recovery plan approved by the European Council in December in response to the global financial crisis and economic slowdown. At its spring meeting, on 19 and 20 March 2009, the European Council will assess how well the recovery plan has been implemented.
Meetings of finance ministers - Eurogroup and ECOFIN

3 February 2009
EU provides €3.1 billion Community financial assistance to Latvia

The first instalment of €1 billion should be released in March 2009. he EU financial assistance is part of package of international financial assistance to Latvia totalling up to €7.5 billion in the period to the first quarter of 2011. Assistance is being provided to meet liquidity constraints in the short term and support an orderly external adjustment in the medium term.
>> Memorandum of Understanding


Article by Commissioner Almunia
>>
Wall Stree Journal. Solve the toxic asset problempdf

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