The Informal Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) took place in Porto on 14 and 15 September 2007. The Informal Council discussed the modernisation of public administrations and its impact on competitiveness, the current economic and financial situation, and issues related to the IMF.
The main discussion focused on the impact of an efficient public administration on overall competitiveness. This is a stated Portuguese presidency priority; the quality of public finances is a common theme to the German, Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies.
The Informal Council also discussed the current economic situation and the volatility in global financial markets. I set out that as a global issue, this demanded a global response and made proposals to EU finance ministers that we must remain fully engaged, acting with the wider international community, in strengthening arrangements for ensuring financial stability. I will also be making proposals at the meetings of the G7 and International Monetary Fund in October. Ministers continued the long-running discussion of how to take forward EU arrangements for financial stability, and considered ongoing initiatives to improve cross-border post-trading arrangements in Europe. The Informal Council also discussed the reform of quotas and voice in the IMF.
The UK was represented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.