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.
31 July 2009
German asset relief scheme
The Commission approves the German asset relief scheme to further stabilise the financial markets by tackling the problem of impaired assets. This is in addition to the German rescue package authorised by the Commission in October 2008.
>> Press release IP/09/1216. State aid: Commission approves German asset relief scheme
Credit default swaps
As of 31 July 2009, credit default swaps (CDS) relating to European entities, and indices based on these entities, will start clearing through central counterparties regulated in the EU, following the agreement signed by ten major bank dealers on 17 February 2009. Until now, CDS trades – like most over-the-counter financial derivatives – were predominantly cleared bilaterally between two contracting parties. From its central position, the central counterparties will ensure a better risk management of that market and improve financial stability.
>> Press release IP/09/1215. Major step towards financial stability: European market for credit default swaps becomes safer
>> Commissioner McCreevy's speech of 17 October 2008. Time for regulators to get a better view of derivatives. Statement on reviewing derivatives markets before the end of the year .
The Commission approves a €100 million package for Serbia to tackle budget deficit, and a €85 million package for the acceding countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The latter is part of a foreseen total package of €150 million for the Western Balkans.
>> Press release IP/09/1213. EU approves €100 million in budget support for Serbia and a €85 million financial crisis package for the Western Balkans and Turkey
Globalisation Adjustment Fund
The Commission approves €5.5 million under the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help more than 1300 workers made redundant by Nokia in Germany back into employment. The proposal is now before the European Parliament and the Council for final decision. In 2008, the EU's globalisation fund fund about 10 000 workers of which 69% found a new job.
>> Press release IP/09/1212. 1300 German mobile phone workers (NOKIA) to receive help from EU Globalisation Fund
>> Employment and social affairs. European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. Second annual report
>> COM(2009) 394 final. Report on the activities of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in 2008
27 July 2009
Balance of payments (BoP) assistance for Latvia and Romania
The Commission paid to Romania the first instalment of € 1.5 billion and to Latvia the second instalment of € 1.2 billion.
>> Economic and Financial Affairs. Commission pays first instalment of € 1.5 billion in balance-of-payments support to Romania
>> Economic and Financial Affairs. EU disbursed second instalment of € 1.2 billion Community financial assistance to Latvia
>> Financial operations and instruments
24 July 2009
Special Eurobarometer 316: European employment and social policy
The new survey shows that 61% of Europeans think further impacts of the economic crisis on jobs are to be expected.
A third of those in work are 'very concerned' that they may lose their jobs in the crisis, however 72% feel the EU has a positive impact in creating new job opportunities and fighting unemployment, and a third are aware of the European Social Fund – the EU's main tool for investing in workers and keeping them in work.
>> Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Unemployment: people positive about EU role
>> Eurobarometer Special Surveys. 316. European Employment and Social Policy
23 July 2009
Commission guidelines on restructuring aid to banks
The European Commission has agreed a Communication explaining its approach to assessing restructuring aid given by Member States to banks. The approach is based on three fundamental principles: i) aided banks must be made viable in the long term without further state support, ii) aided banks and their owners must carry a fair burden of the restructuring costs and iii) measures must be taken to limit distortions of competition in the Single Market. The guidelines, which are in force until 31 December 2010, explain in particular how the Commission intends to apply these principles in the context of the current systemic financial crisis, with a view to contributing to the return to viability of the European banking sector.
>> Press release 09/1180. State aid: Commission presents guidelines on restructuring aid to banks
>> Memo 09/350. State aid: Commission presents guidelines on restructuring aid to banks
>> Communication. Official Journal C195, 19.8.2009, p.9 . The return to viability and the assessment of restructuring measures in the financial sector in the current crisis under the State aid rules
22 July 2009
Commission proposal for simplified management of European funds to assist regions in tackling the crisis
The aim of the measures adopted today is to simplify cohesion policy management rules to boost the European economy. They will improve conditions for launching projects in the regions. The Commission may reimburse 100% of the costs declared by the Member States for projects financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) in 2009 and 2010.
>> Press release IP/09/1175. Simplifying the management of the European Funds to assist regions in tackling the crisis
>> Regional policy. Cohesion Policy in the Recovery Plan
20 July 2009
Balance of payments (BoP) assistance for Latvia
After the disbursement of €1.0 billion in February 2009, the second instalment of €1.2 billion for balance of payments (BoP) assistance is expected to be released end-July 2009.
>> Economic and Financial Afairs. EU to release second instalment of Community financial assistance to Latvia
>> Financial operations and instruments
13 July 2009
Commission proposes further revision of banking regulation to strengthen rules on bank capital and on remuneration in the banking sector
The Commission has adopted a proposal to further amend the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD). The proposed amendments address capital requirements for the trading book and re-securitisations, disclosure of securitisation exposures, and remuneration policies. They form part of the Commission's response to the financial crisis by strengthening the regulatory framework in those areas, which were relevant to the causes of the crisis.
>> COM(2009) 362 final. Proposal for a Directive amending Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC as regards capital requirements for the trading book and for re-securitisations, and the supervisory review of remuneration policies
>> Press release IP09/1120. Commission proposes further revision of banking regulation to strengthen rules on bank capital and on remuneration in the banking sector
>> Internal market. Regulatory capital
8/10 July 2009
G8 Summit in L'Aquila
G8 Leaders discussed the state of the world economy and the measures taken so far. While noting signs of stabilisation and improved confidence, they reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the decisions made at the G20 Summit in Washington of 15 November 2008 and the G20 Summit in London of 2 April 2009.
>> Chair's summit
>> G8 Summit, L' Aquila
6/7 July 2009
>> Meetings of finance ministers - Eurogroup and ECOFIN
6 July 2009
Balance of payments (BoP) assistance for Hungary
The Commission disbursed the third instalment (€ 1.5 billion) of the Community loan to Hungary.
>> EU releases third instalment of Community financial assistance to Hungary
>> Financial operations and instruments
3 July 2009
Communication on derivatives and financial crisis
The Commission adopts a Communication on the role played by derivatives in the financial crisis and how risks of derivative markets can be reduced. The Commission launches at the same time a public consultation which, together with the public hearing to be held on 25 September 2009, will provide the basis for legislative initiatives by the end of the year.
>> Press release IP/09/1083: Commission outlines ways to strengthen the safety of derivatives markets
>> COM(2009) 332 final: Ensuring efficient, safe and sound derivatives markets
>> SEC(2009) 905 final: Staff working paper
>> Public consultation: Enhancing the resilience of over-the-counter derivatives markets
2 July 2009
Excessive deficit procedure (EDP)
The European Commission concludes that Latvia is running an excessive deficit and propose to correct this by 2012..
>> Commission recommends 2012 for correction of Latvia's excessive deficit