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European Commission - Economic and Financial AffairsEuropean Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs
Bank building © iStockphoto.com Stress-test results announced – banking system is “resilient”
- Estonia making progress on practical preparations for the euro
- New Eurobarometer on attitudes to the euro in new Member States
- Commission adopts proposal to facilitate cross-border transport of euro cash
- Greece task force on quarterly mission to Athens
- EU Balance-of-Payments assistance to Latvia: further disbursement in sight
- LABDEV – the labour market and wage developments database
Top News
Bank building © iStockphoto.com Stress-test results announced – banking system is “resilient”

The EU banking system emerged with a robust bill of health as the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) published on 23 July the results of the latest round of EU-wide banking stress tests, coordinated by CEBS and involving 91 banks and 20 EU supervisory authorities. The exercise was designed to assess the resilience of the banking system to possible adverse economic developments and to possible credit and market risks, including sovereign risks. It was found that, in an adverse scenario after a sovereign shock, only seven banks would see their Tier 1 capital ratios fall below 6%, the benchmark used for the purpose of the test. CEBS advises the European Commission on policy and regulatory issues related to banking supervision.

The results of the test confirm the overall resilience of the EU banking system to negative macroeconomic and financial shocks, and are an important step forward in restoring market confidence.

Committee of European Banking Supervisors/European Central Bank/European Commission joint statement
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Practical preparations for the euro © Liane M - Fotolia.com
Estonia making progress on practical preparations for the euro

Estonia's logistical preparations for joining the euro are on the right path but some further efforts are necessary. That was the message from the European Commission's tenth regular 'Report on the practical preparations for the enlargement of the euro area', which focused particularly on Estonia, due to adopt the euro on 1 January 2011. The necessary legislation is in place and the financial and banking sectors are well prepared. The Estonian euro coins will be produced by the Mint of Finland. Citizens will be able to start exchanging their cash from December, and fair pricing and price monitoring initiatives are under preparation to ensure prices are not affected by the changeover. At the same time, the report urges Estonia to move ahead rapidly with its information campaign on the euro and make sure the changeover is well prepared even in rural areas.
Eurobarometer © European Commission

New Eurobarometer on attitudes to the euro in new Member States

The Commission has published the latest (May 2010) Flash Eurobarometer survey on attitudes to the euro in the 8 new Member States that are not yet part of the euro area. A majority expect to join the euro area by 2015 as they believe that it would have positive consequences for their country and themselves. In Estonia, the number who felt well informed about the euro had risen since 2009, and an overwhelming majority agreed that the euro would have practical value for travel and exchange purposes. On the other hand, concerns were expressed about possible abuses and cheating on prices during the changeover. But past experience shows that government measures such as price monitoring and fair pricing agreements can be very effective at keeping prices in check.

Armoured Car © iStockphoto.com
Commission adopts proposal to facilitate cross-border transport of euro cash

The Commission adopted a proposal on 14 July for the professional transportation of euro cash by road between euro-area Member States. The new Regulation will facilitate the circulation of euro cash within the euro area by establishing a set of common EU rules for cross-border transports, and it will increase the efficiency of the cash cycle and lower costs for cash-in-transit (CIT) companies and their customers. A separate proposal will extend the scope of the rules to the territory of Member States that have not yet adopted the euro but whose membership in the euro area has been approved. The proposal must now be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in order to enter into force.
Restoring Parthenon in Athens © iStockphoto.com
Greece task force on quarterly mission to Athens

A joint European Commission/ECB/IMF mission arrived in Athens on 24 July and will be there until 6 August to conduct the first quarterly review of the conditions attached to the economic adjustment programme for Greece. The second tranche of financial assistance, scheduled for release on 13 September 2010 if approved by the Eurogroup and IMF board, will depend on compliance with fiscal consolidation measures, structural funds reform and increased financial sector regulation and supervision. Implementation of structural reforms will also be assessed.
Riga historical skyline © iStockphoto.com.jpg
EU Balance-of-Payments assistance to Latvia: further disbursement in sight

Latvia is set to receive a further tranche of EU financial support after Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn signed a new Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and Latvia concerning the EU programme of financial assistance to the Baltic country. Following a positive assessment of Latvia’s implementation of the programme conditions, this latest step paves the way for the next EU disbursement of up to €200 million expected in September 2010. The EU has so far disbursed €2.7bn of €3.1bn in balance-of-payments support to Latvia under a multilateral financial assistance package worth €7.5bn.
Job Search © iStockphoto.com
LABDEV – the labour market and wage developments database

Newly published in July 2010, the LABDEV database provides data on key labour-market and wage-developments indicators for all EU Member States, including employment, participation and unemployment and wages and labour costs. The dataset is mainly used for DG ECFIN's annual report on labour market and wages developments and is updated once a year with the release of this report. The original main data sources are Eurostat and the European Central Bank.

Projecting future healthcare expenditure at European level: drivers, methodology and main results, Economic Paper 417
It is essential to devise a reliable method for estimating future healthcare expenditure to be able to assess the demography-related risks facing public finances in the EU over the next couple of decades and establish adequate policy responses to demographic, social and economic developments. With this in mind, the European Commission and the Economic Policy Committee have projected future public healthcare expenditure in all EU Member States for the period 2007-2060. A unique internationally comparable database has been established and a model built to make it possible to project healthcare spending in a common, coherent framework of macroeconomic variables.

EU fiscal consolidation after the financial crisis. Lessons from past experiences, Economic Paper 418
Discretionary measures and tax revenues in the run-up to the financial crisis, Economic Paper 419
The production function methodology for calculating potential growth rates and output gaps, Economic Paper 420
Management of China's foreign exchange reserves: a case study on the state administration of foreign exchange (SAFE), Economic Paper 421
FDI and structural reforms in the Baltic States, Country Focus
Agenda Calls
18 August
Narva, Estonia
Euro exhibition
13 September
Interim economic forecast
20 September
Tallinn, Estonia
Euro changeover conference
1 October
ECFIN workshop: Capital flows to converging European economies - from boom to drought and beyond
22-23 November
DG ECFIN 7th Annual Research Conference 2010
Call for tender ECFIN/A3/2010/004 An EU-wide monthly business survey in the financial service sector (deadline: August 26, 2010, 16:00)
Call for proposals No RELEX/C1/2010/T Getting to Know Europe: Local and Regional Communities and the European Union (Application Deadline: September 13, 2010)
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Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs