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EU: Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 8 May 2007

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council will be held on 8 May in Brussels. The items on the agenda are as follows:

Preliminary draft of the 2008 general budget

The Commission will give a presentation on its Preliminary Draft 2008 EC Budget, marking the formal beginning of a process that will see the 2008 budget debated and amended by the council and European Parliament during the course of the year until the budget is finally adopted in December.

Financial markets

Hedge funds

Ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on hedge funds, as part of a consideration of their role in financial markets. The UK shares the consensus on the positive role that hedge funds play in fostering the efficiency of the financial system.

White Paper on asset management

Ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on the Commission's White Paper on enhancing the single market framework for investment funds. The UK supports efforts to create an efficient and competitive single market in investment funds which will deliver value for investors and help the EU in meeting the challenges of an ageing population.

Ageing and financial markets

Ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on a Financial Services Committee report on the implications of ageing populations for financial markets. The UK supports efforts to boost the efficiency of pan-European markets for long-term savings products and work to examine the policy issues related to ageing and financial markets.

Inter-institutional Monitoring Group (IIMG): Second interim report monitoring the Lamfalussy process

Ministers will hear reports updating them on the state of play of the Inter-institutional Monitoring Group's work from the IIMG and the Commission. The UK supports the work of the IIMG to improve practical arrangements for the supervision of the European financial services industry.