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Volume 570: debated on Friday 22 November 2013

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Brussels on 15 November 2013. Ministers discussed the following items:

Savings taxation

Council discussed a proposal on taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments. The UK and the majority of member states supported an agreement of the amending proposal to the EU savings directive and an adoption of the mandate as soon as possible. Austria and Luxembourg could not support the proposal and the presidency concluded that it will need to return to a future ECOFIN.

Standard VAT return

Council heard a presentation by the Commission on the recently published proposal for an EU-wide standard VAT return. The presidency noted the Council’s working group is expected to start examining the proposal in December.

EU Statistics

Council adopted conclusions on EU statistics as part of an annual review of statistical governance. The package sets out the need for and nature of future developments with regard to the European statistics system.

Report from Special Adviser Philippe Maystadt on the EU’s contribution to international accounting standards

Mr Maystadt, Special Adviser to the Commission, presented his report on the EU’s contribution to international accounting standards. Council held an exchange of views on the report and asked the Commission to look into these and report back at a future ECOFIN.

Banking Union

Council agreed a statement on backstop arrangements in anticipation of a comprehensive assessment of banking institutions to be launched by the European Central Bank.

Anti-money laundering

There was a state of play discussion on a proposal for a directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Single Resolution Mechanism

Council held an exchange of views on the single resolution mechanism proposal. The presidency mandated the working group to continue examination of this matter, which will return to ECOFIN in December. The Government will seek to ensure the proposal is fit for purpose and that there is equal treatment of member states inside and outside the banking union.

Any Other Business: Current legislative proposals

The presidency provided an update on the following financial services dossiers: deposit guarantee scheme directive (DGSD); omnibus II; markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID); central securities depositories regulation (CSDR); and bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD).