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Volume 563: debated on Monday 3 June 2013

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Brussels on 14 May 2013. Ministers discussed the following items:

Banking Recovery and Resolution

There was a state of play discussion on the banking recovery and resolution directive proposal, focusing in particular on the design of the bail-in tool.

Current legislative proposals

The presidency updated Ministers on the revised rules for markets in financial instruments directive/regulation (MiFID/MiFIR); the market abuse directive; the transparency directive; the mortgage credit directive; banking supervision; the capital requirements directive IV; and the anti-money laundering directive.

Draft Amending Budget No 2 to the General Budget 2013

ECOFIN reached a political agreement on the draft amending budget No 2 to the general budget 2013, on the basis of a proposal from the Irish presidency. ECOFIN agreed in principle to a first stage budget amendment and to consider a second stage amendment later in the year. ECOFIN declared to formally adopt its position on the draft amending budget at a later stage in parallel with the conclusion of talks on the EU’s multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-20. The UK, along with Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, opposed the amendment and statement, expressing dissatisfaction at the Commission’s unjustified request for substantial additional resources.

Savings taxation and mandate for negotiations of amendments to the Savings Taxation agreements with third countries

ECOFIN adopted a mandate for the Commission to negotiate amendments to the savings taxation agreements with third countries. ECOFIN also discussed a proposal for a Council directive amending the EU savings directive which will be further discussed at the May European Council.

Council Conclusions on tax evasion and fraud

ECOFIN adopted a set of Council conclusions on the Commission’s action plan to tackle tax fraud and evasion and accompanying two recommendations on good governance in tax matters in third countries and on aggressive tax planning. The conclusions support efforts at national, EU, G8, G20, OECD and global levels on automatic exchange of information and on improving the implementation and enforcement of standards of beneficial ownership information.

G5 Pilot Facility on automatic exchange of information in the area of taxation

The UK, on behalf of the other members of the G5 (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) presented to Council on the G5 pilot multilateral automatic exchange of information facility. The UK, along with 16 other member states submitted a joint minute statement, strongly supporting the initiative for a pilot of multilateral automatic information exchange based on agreements with the US, and requesting the Commission to support and promote the work of the OECD, G8, and G20 in developing a single global standard for automatic exchange of information, with a view to its quick implementation also at EU level.

Macro-economic Imbalances Procedure: In-Depth Reviews

ECOFIN adopted Council conclusions on the results of the UK and 12 other member states’ macro-economic imbalances procedure: in-depth reviews. The UK does not have an excessive imbalance and does not need to take further action under the macro-economic imbalances procedure. The UK supports the macro-economic imbalances procedure as a means of strengthening European economic governance, particularly in the euro area.

Towards a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Commission communications

The Commission presented the two communications on a deep and genuine economic and monetary union which were published on 20 March. These cover the introduction of a convergence and competitiveness instrument and ex ante co-ordination of plans for major economic policy reforms.

Follow-up to the G20 Finance Ministers and Governors (18-19 April) and IMF/World Bank (19-21 April) 2013 Spring meetings in Washington. USA

The presidency and the Commission debriefed Ministers on the main outcomes of the G20 Finance Ministers and Governors and IMF/World Bank spring meetings.