An informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Athens on 1-2 April. Ministers discussed the following:
Working lunch for ECOFIN members
Ministers received a debrief on the earlier Eurogroup meeting, where the focus was the announcement of the financial assistance package for Greece. There was also a presentation by the think-tank Bruegel of a paper on “Europe’s social problem and its implications for economic growth”, followed by an exchange of views.
ECOFIN working session I
Ministers discussed recent developments in the EU economy, with the Commission pointing to the gradual improvement of the economy and growth in the UK, Latvia and Lithuania.
The Commission and the high-level expert group on SME and infrastructure financing updated Ministers on the findings of the group, and possible ways forward on this initiative. The presidency confirmed it was important to monitor developments leading on from the recommendations of the group.
Ministers also endorsed the G20 EU terms of reference and the IMFC statement.
ECOFIN working session II
The Commission presented its proposal on banking structure reform, followed by a presentation from the chair of the high-level expert group, Erkki Liikanen. Ministers held an exchange of views, where the UK outlined how the Government are taking forward structural separation of banks in the UK.
Ministers were also updated on the state of play of the single resolution mechanism, focusing on implementation following the political agreement reached by the Greek presidency; and of the single supervisory mechanism.