ECOFIN eyes agreement on Single Resolution Mechanism

10 December 2013, Last updated at, 16:07 EET
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author: Reuters/Scanpix

The Lithuanian Presidency, approaching its finish line, expects decisions on key elements of Banking Union at the ECOFIN Council meeting on December 10 in Brussels.

“We expect that Member States will come to the common view on what the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) should look like. The Lithuanian Presidency has offered five compromises to bridge the differences among the Member States. Now it is time for decisions; we must find the compromise acceptable to all and within the approaching deadline set by the European Council,” said Rimantas Šadžius, Lithuanian Finance Minister and Chair of the ECOFIN Council.

In the November ECOFIN meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on the scope and financing arrangements, decision making and voting mechanisms as well as other SRM-related elements. They mandated the Council’s ad hoc working group on SRM to explore and present alternative solutions. The ECOFIN Council is now expected to make specific choices.

The Ministers will also consider key open issues on Bank Recovery and Resolution as well as Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directives to provide Presidency with a final mandate to conclude the negotiations with the European Parliament. Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive is to establish a framework for the recovery and resolution of banks and investment companies while safeguarding the taxpayers’ money. The aim of the revised Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive is to ensure fast pay-outs to depositors and that each member state would have sufficient funds in the scheme.

The ECOFIN Ministers are also to address the proposal for a Council Regulation establishing a facility for providing financial assistance for Member States whose currency is not euro. The aim of the discussion is to solve any outstanding issues to pave the way for further steps towards the adoption of the proposal in the context of the consent procedure with the European Parliament.

Another very important topic to which the Ministers will return in the December 10 meeting is the Savings taxation directive aimed at enlarging the scope of savings income taxation and exchange of information among the taxation authorities. As in November, the political agreement on this important legislative proposal will be sought in line with the request of the European Council.

In addition, the Ministers will evaluate Poland’s efforts to bring down the fiscal deficit and are expected to set a new deadline for the correction of an excessive government deficit. They will also exchange views on the Alert Mechanism Report in the context of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure and Annual Growth Survey 2014. Council opinions on Economic partnership programmes, which detail the steps to correct excessive deficits, are also expected to be adopted for five euro area Member States; this is a new element in the EU’s economic governance framework introduced by the so-called “Two-pack” legislation.

The President of the Court of Auditors will present the Court’s annual report on the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012 as well.
 

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