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Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr Gordon Brown) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

At its meeting on 11 July 2006, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council took note of a presentation from the Finnish presidency on its work programme for the Council during the second half of 2006. Priorities include addressing the challenges of globalisation, efficient functioning of the internal market and further economic and structural reforms.

ECOFIN adopted a 104(12) Decision abrogating Cyprus’s Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) and Council Conclusions on Portugal’s progress in addressing its EDP.

Council adopted a Decision allowing Slovenia to adopt the euro as its currency from 1 January 2007.

ECOFIN adopted a set of Conclusions regarding the first year of the revised Stability and Growth Pact.

Council discussed the renewal of the EIB’s external lending mandates, which will set the amounts and strategic priorities of the EIB’s operations outside the EU. The council requested the Economic and Financial Committee to oversee further work on the proposal and will discuss this again at its meeting on 10 October.

ECOFIN was briefed by the Commission on economic dialogues with third countries and held an exchange of views. The UK welcomed the economic content of the EU-US Vienna Declaration as well as further ECOFIN discussion on the key issues for these dialogues.

ECOFIN adopted Council Conclusions on a Commission proposal for the funding of the International Accounting Standards Board.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mr John Healey MP, represented the UK.