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Financial crisis – moving ahead - 10/11/2008

José Manuel Barroso and Nicolas Sarkozy at the Council meeting © EC

EU wants G20 meeting to pave the way for reform of the international financial system.

At this week’s international summit on the financial crisis in Washington, the EU will seek more powers for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Meeting ahead of the 15 November summit, EU leaders agreed that the IMF - responsible for international monetary cooperation - should play a central role in fixing the global economy and preventing another meltdown.

The Washington summit will bring together leaders from 20 of the world’s top economies. The EU wants the meeting to pave the way for reform of the global financial system. Besides efforts to bolster the IMF, it will press for more regulation – or at least oversight - of the financial industry, more accountability and transparency and new approaches to evaluating risk.

The EU is already working to strengthen its own financial sector through greater supervision and tighter controls. But with more banks doing business across borders, those efforts may be futile if there is no action at global level.

“We are living through a historic moment where there is much more openness to changes in the global financial architecture and also the global economy,”said president Barroso at the meeting of European leaders on 7 November.

The Washington talks will come less than two weeks after Barack Obama won the US presidential election. Stressing the need to move quickly, the EU will urge leaders to set a 100-day deadline for action and schedule a second round of talks for soon after Obama takes office in January.

Ahead of the meeting, the Commission marked its 50th anniversary by dedicating a conference room at its headquarters to Jean Monnet, one of Europe’s founding fathers.

Meeting declaration

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