The European Union’s Economy and Finance Ministers achieved significant progress regarding the two-pack as they met in Brussels today, December 4. During the ECOFIN Council, ministers held a very constructive discussion on the way forward regarding the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the Revised Capital Requirements Directive. Ministers also discussed the Annual Growth Survey for 2013, which was presented by the European Commission.
Today’s meeting was chaired by Cyprus’ Minister of Finance, Mr. Vassos Shiarly. The ministers decided to hold an extraordinary ECOFIN Council dedicated solely to discussions on the Single Supervisory Mechanism, that will take place before the European Council meeting of December 13-14.
Two–pack: Close to a final agreement
The Presidency informed ministers that it is very close to reaching a political agreement with the European Parliament on the content of the two-pack, within the strict timetable set by the European Council in October.
The "two-pack" of proposals includes:
- a regulation for enhanced monitoring and assessment of draft budgetary plans of euro area Member States, especially those subject to an excessive deficit procedure;
- a regulation on enhanced surveillance of euro area Member States that are experiencing severe financial disturbance or request financial assistance.
The aim of the “two-pack” is to complement what has already been agreed under the “six-pack” of economic governance measures, mainly through enhancing macroeconomic surveillance for countries under excessive deficit procedure or countries under a macroeconomic programme. There are also provisions for submitting draft budget plans to the European Commission. The “two pack” is currently discussed in the context of trilogues with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Minister Shiarly noted that “this dossier was one of our main priorities and I am glad to say that we managed to deliver concrete results”.
Progress on the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)
Finance Ministers had a lively discussion on the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and there seems to be a convergence of views, although a limited number of issues still remain open.
Ministers agreed that there should be an ECOFIN Council that will focus exclusively on the SSM scheduled to take place before the European Council meeting of December 13-14.On September 12 2012, the Commission proposed the establishment of a Single Supervisory Mechanism for banks led by the European Central Bank. This proposal is a first step towards a fully integrated financial framework, which includes further components such as a single rulebook, common deposit protection and a single bank resolution mechanism.
A temporary Ad-Hoc Working Party on the Banking Supervision Mechanism has been set up, in order to examine the relevant European Commission proposals. This Working Party has now met six times and has made considerable progress.
Revised Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV)
The Cyprus Presidency presented a progress report to the Council on a number of outstanding political issues related to the Revised Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV). The ECOFIN Council exchanged views on the outstanding issues on the CRD IV, with the Presidency taking note of them. The objective is to conclude the agreement with the European Parliament before the end of the year.
The ‘CRD IV’ legislative package, consisting of two proposals (Directive (CRD) and Regulation (CRR)) by the European Commission, aims, inter alia, to transpose into EU law the agreements on capital requirements reached by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the Basel III requirements), as endorsed by the G20 leaders, and confirmed by the European Council.
The so-called "Basel III" agreement, concluded by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, strengthens bank capital requirements and foresees a framework for new regulatory requirements on liquidity and leverage.
“Despite the number of open issues we are putting maximum effort on this dossier in order to conclude it before the end of the year,” Mr. Shiarly said.
Annual Growth Survey 2013
During the Council meeting, the European Commission presented the Annual Growth Survey for 2013.
The Annual Growth Survey sets out what the Commission believes must be the EU’s priorities for the coming 12 months in terms of economic and budgetary policies and reforms to boost growth and employment. Its presentation marks the opening of the European Semester of economic governance.
Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Ministry of Finance
Telephone: +357 22601268
Ministry of Finance
Telephone: +357 22601266
Watch the press conference here
Find more related photos here