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The financial and economic crisis - a chronological overview - March 2011

The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the EU's national governments, the European Central Bank and the Commission. All have been working closely together to support growth and employment, ensure financial stability, and put in place a better governance system for the future.

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24 - 25 March 2011
European Council

>> Speech 11/216. Statement by President Barroso at the press conference following the European Council Choose translations of the previous link 

23 March 2011
President Barrosso speech Briefing pre-European Council meeting- European Parliament (EP)

In his speech at the pre-European Council briefing meeting, President Barroso reiterated that what would be put in place at the European Council on 24-25 March will be a real game-changer in terms of economic governance. Following the Council agreement of 15 March on its general approach to the Commission's legislative package on the reinforced economic governance, negotiations would start with the European Parliament. President Barrosos expressed his confidence in strong support from the EP to get a final agreement by June.

Speech. 11/207. Briefing pre-European Council meeting of 24-25 March 2011 Choose translations of the previous link 

18 March 2011
Invitation to take part in an online Survey: "Anti-Crisis Policies in Regions & Cities Two Years On: public authorities working in partnership" - deadline 18 April 2011

The aim of this online survey (launched during the 6th Territorial Dialogue, 22 February 2011) is to review the socio-economic situation in the EU regions and cities during the crisis and to further assess with local and regional authorities the anti-crisis measures adopted with the assistance of the European Union.

The results of this survey will be used as a basis for contributions to the debate on the need for anti-crisis measures, better spending of financial resources, and on the effectiveness of Europe 2020 as an exit strategy. They will give a snapshot of the current situation in regions and cities on the eve of the discussion on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.

This survey is a follow-up to the first survey on this topic: "The European Economic Recovery Plan in Regions and Cities: One Year On". It was conducted at the end of 2009 and provided relevant information about local and regional measures amidst the crisis. A total of 74 regions and cities contributed to the survey and its results were presented during the 5th Territorial Dialogue, January 2010.

Responses to the survey can be given only online. For your convenience, you will find a printable WORD document with the questionnaire in all languages.
>> Survey. Anti-Crisis Policies in Regions & Cities Two Years On: public authorities working in partnership

18 March 2011
European Commission and IMF welcome the continued support by the parent banks of the largest foreign-owned banks for Romania

In a meeting of the European Bank Coordination Initiative held on 16 March 2011 in Brussels, the parent banks of the nine largest foreign-owned credit institutions operating in Romania affirmed their long-term commitment to the country.

>> ECFIN article - European Commission and IMF welcome the continued support by the parent banks of the largest foreign-owned banks for Romania

European Banking Authority (EBA) publishes details of upcoming EU-wide banking stress test

Dcuments published by EBA explain the scenarios and methodology for its 2011 EU-wide stress test on a sample of European banks covering over 60% of total EU banking assets. It assesses what might happen to banks if external circumstances deteriorate markedly, and helps to identify vulnerabilities and relevant remedial action, including strengthening capital levels. The tests will be carried out between March and June. After a series of national checks, all results will be submitted centrally to the EBA, where they will undergo an extensive quality control and peer review process. The final set of results will be reviewed by the EBA’s Board of Supervisors in early June before final publication later that month.

>> European Banking Authority (EBA). 18/3/2011. The EBA publishes details of its stress test scenarios and methodology

European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) holds first regular meeting

In its first regular meeting, the ESRB General Board explored the role the ESRB could play – together with EBA – in implementing countercyclical capital buffers once the Basel agreements are transposed into EU law. It also discussed the interaction between the ESRB and the EU institutions and how the ESRB will be involved in the stress tests carried out by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).

The board assessed agreements on the exchange of information between the ESRB and the ESAs to support the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) in detecting and mitigating macro and micro-prudential risks. The General Board also selected the 15 members of the Advisory Scientific Committee (ASC), which is to provide consultative and scientific support, and it elected Mr Martin Hellwig as Chair, and Mr Jean-Charles Rochet and Mr André Sapir as Vice-Chairs of the ASC.

>> European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 18/3/2011. European Systemic Risk Board Meeting

17 March 2011
€4.6 billion bond issued to assist Ireland and Romania

The European Commission today placed a €4.6 billion bond issue on behalf of the European Union (EU). The proceeds will be on-lent to Ireland and Romania. Ireland will receive €3.4 billion under the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) and Romania €1.2 billion under the Balance of Payments (BoP) facility.

>> Memo. 11/180. €4.6 billion bond issued to assist Ireland and Romania Choose translations of the previous link 

14 - 15 March 2011
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings

Finance ministers reached agreement on the European Commission legislative proposals on economic governance of 29 September 2010. This agreement enables the Hungarian Presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of reaching an overall agreement in June.

>> ECOFIN. 15/3/2011. Council conclusions
>> ECOFIN. 15/3/2011. Council reaches agreement on measures to strengthen economic governance

11 March 2011
Informal meeting of Heads of State or Government of the euro area

European leaders of euro area countries endorsed the “Pact for the Euro” and agreed on important elements of the European Commission legislative proposals on economic governance of 29 September 2010. The pact for the euro establishes stronger economic policy coordination for competitiveness and convergence, and represents a strong political commitment by European heads of government.

It will be consistent with and build on existing instruments such as Europe 2020, the European Semester, the Stability and Growth Pact and the new macroeconomic surveillance framework. Non-euro area Member States have been invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Leaders also welcomed progress made by Greece and Ireland in the implementation of the on-going IMF/EU programmes, and praised Portugal’s economic reform package. They agreed that work on the European Stabilisation Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) should be completed in time for the European Council in March.

>> ECOFIN. Conclusions of the Heads of State or Government of the euro area of 11 March 2011pdf

8 March 2011
President Barrosso speech - European Parliament (EP)

On the occasion of the EP debate on the preparation of the informal euro area summit of 11 March, President Barroso outlined the principles for reinforced economic governance. President Barroso recalled that as an additional measure to help strengthen the European economy, a Convergence and Competitiveness Pact would have to respect the EU’s Treaty provisions, its system of economic governance and the Community approach. Among other principles, he also underlined that such a pact must respect the single market and be open to EU Member States that are not part of the euro area, as well as those inside it.

>> Speech. 11/156. Plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, 8 March 2011 Choose translations of the previous link 

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