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ECOFIN

Volume 713: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council will be held in Luxembourg on 20 October 2009. The following items are on the agenda:

Preparation for the G20 Finance Ministers meeting

Ministers will discuss and agree terms of reference which will form the basis of the EU’s contribution to the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in St Andrews on 6 and 7 November.

Preparation of the October European Council

Exit strategy

Following progress made at the October informal ECOFIN, Ministers will adopt a set of council conclusions outlining the specifications for the possible design and timing of a co-ordinated fiscal exit strategy. The Government believe that while at this stage it is important to design such exit strategies, the priority is to ensure that the recovery is fully secured through full implementation of fiscal support measures.

Financing of climate change

Ministers will discuss and adopt conclusions on financing aspects of climate change in order to inform heads at the European Council. The UK is committed to making progress in advance of the negotiations at the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention in December.

Financial supervision: state of play

The presidency will give an oral report on the state of play of financial supervision in order to inform the European Council of progress made, in line with the request of the June European Council.

European Systemic Risk Board

Ministers will discuss the draft legislative proposals establishing the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). As part of the wider package to improve financial regulation and supervision, the Government firmly support the establishment of the ESRB, which should assist with the identification of possible risks in the European and global financial systems.

Strengthening EU financial stability arrangements

Building on discussions at the informal ECOFIN, the council will agree a set of conclusions on financial stability arrangements, including cross-border crisis management. The UK supports the conclusions as they stand, and welcomes efforts by the EU to ensure a co-ordinated approach to crisis prevention, management and resolution in order to promote financial stability.

Taxation: Anti-fraud agreements with third countries

Liechtenstein

Ministers will be invited to reach political agreement on a draft anti-fraud agreement now in its final stages of negotiation with Liechtenstein. The Government look forward to making further progress on anti-fraud agreements, as part of the wider good governance agenda, which links closely with work by the G20 on tax transparency and exchange of information.

Other third countries

The council will be invited to consider a possible mandate for the Commission to open negotiations on anti-fraud agreements with Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland. The Government welcome progress in this area, which should lead to significant improvements in tax co-operation with these countries.