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ECOFIN (12 July 2011)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 5 July 2011

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council will be held in Brussels on 12 July 2011. The following items are on the agenda:

Savings Taxation Directive

The savings directive forms part of the EU’s “good governance in taxation” agenda, which complements G20 efforts to improve international tax co-operation and reflects latest OECD standards on tax transparency. Depending on the progress of negotiations, the Council may hold a further discussion on amendments to the directive, which seek automatic exchange of tax information with the aim of combating cross-border tax fraud. The UK fully supports the aims of the amending directive, and hopes that the EU can move towards an agreement.

Presentation of the Polish Presidency work programme

The Polish presidency will present its ECOFIN work programme for the second half of 2011.

Follow up to the G20 Deputies meeting in Paris on 8-9 July 2011

Ministers will hold an exchange of views on the main outcomes of the G20 deputies’ meeting, which is scheduled to discuss the following issues of interest to ECOFIN: the global economy and framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, reform of the international monetary system, financial regulation and commodities.

Follow-up to the June European Council on 24 June 2011

Council will discuss the outcomes of the European Council, where leaders concluded the first European semester, and welcomed the near completion of the implementation of the comprehensive package of measures it agreed last March to stimulate growth and to strengthen economic governance. The Government achieved their priorities: assurances that the European financial stability mechanism (the EFSM) would not be used for Greece; language that actions taken as a result of the European Banking Authority’s stress tests would be consistent with international standards; and strong language on world trade, Doha, deregulation and the single market.

Bank stress tests

This discussion follows on from the June ECOFIN dinner, and Ministers will hold an exchange of views on the European Banking Authority stress tests, which are due to be published in the first half of July. The focus is likely to be on communicating the results, and how to link the results to the backstops measures put in place by member states to address potential vulnerabilities in their banking systems. The Government believe that it is important to increase confidence in the European banking system through the implementation of coherent and transparent measures to address any vulnerabilities. It is also important to demonstrate the EU’s commitment to medium-term reforms, as agreed internationally, by implementing Basel III in full.

11th Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) Ministerial meeting

FEMIP brings together the whole range of services provided by the European Investment Bank to assist the economic development and the integration of the Mediterranean partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Gaza/West Bank, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia). Ministers will discuss FEMIP’s three-year operational plan (2011-13) and approve its annual report 2010; trust fund activity report 2005-2010 and the way forward; conclusions and follow-up of the 2011 FEMIP conference on the potential of public/private partnerships; and topics for its conferences in 2012.