An informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Bratislava on 9-10 September 2016. The Government are committed to leaving the European Union; in the interim, they continue to participate fully in ECOFIN meetings. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following items:
Future economic policies in the EU
Ministers discussed the EU’s current economic policy framework and whether further systemic reforms are needed. Presentations were provided by former Italian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mario Monti and former Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg.
Deepening Economic Monetary Union (EMU)—fiscal pillar
An orientation discussion was held on proposals for a euro area fiscal capacity, assisted by Guntram Wolff of Bruegel, Vitor Gasper of the IMF, and Danial Gros of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
Taxation—current issues: improving tax certainty and fighting BEPS, tax crime and terrorism
Ministers exchanged views on measures to address tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax crime and counter-terrorist financing. Presentations were given by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and State Secretary of the Slovak Finance Ministry Dana Meager.
Investment plan for Europe
The Council discussed the progress of the first two pillars of the investment plan for Europe; the European fund for strategic investment (EFSI) and European investment and advisory Hub. EIB President Werner Hoyer and EFSI managing director Wilhelm Molterer reported on the first year’s functioning of EFSI and the Hub.