Tuesday 8 May 2018
ECOFIN: 27-28 April 2018
An informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Sofia on 27-28 April 2018. The Council discussed the following:
Working lunch—Deepening of the economic and monetary union
Based on a presidency issues note, the Council exchanged views on the ECOFIN Council roadmap of June 2016 on completing the banking union. This was followed by an update from the Eurogroup president on reform of the European stability mechanism.
Working Session I
The Council were then joined by Central Bank Governors for the first working session.
a) Convergence in the EU—Inside and outside the euro area
Following a presentation from the Centre for European Policy Studies, the Council discussed the possibilities to increase convergence in the EU among both euro area and non-euro area member states.
b) Further reducing fragmentation within the capital markets union
Following a presentation from Bruegel on deepening of the capital markets union, the Council discussed measures to further reduce capital markets fragmentation.
The Council were then debriefed on the outcomes of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting on 19-20 April.
Working Session II—Improving revenue collection and fighting tax fraud in the single market
The Council exchanged views on ways to improve administrative co-operation and the exchange of tax information between member states in order to improve revenue collection and fight tax fraud in the single market.
Working Session III—Corporate taxation and tax challenges of the digital economy
Following the recent publication of Commission proposals regarding fair taxation of the digital economy, the Council exchanged views on the. approach to corporate taxation in the single market and the tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Data Protection Bill (English Votes for English Laws)
I am today placing in the Library of the House the Department’s analysis on the application of Standing Order 83L in respect of the Government amendments tabled for Commons Report stage for the Data Protection Bill [HL].
Teaching Career Consultation
On Friday 4 May 2018, the Government published their response to the recent consultation on “Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status and Improving Career Progression for Teachers”.
This consultation closed on 8 March, and had over 2,000 written responses. The majority of responses agreed with the case to strengthen support that teachers receive in the early stages of their career. This is in addition to finding more effective ways of enabling teachers to access high quality continuing professional development throughout their careers.
The Government response sets out how we will take this work forward, including:
Increasing the length of the induction period for teachers from one year to two years;
Developing an early career framework of support and mentoring, which will create a better and more consistent induction experience for all new teachers;
Exploring the creation of new qualifications for experienced classroom teachers, alongside work to consider how we can make the existing continuing professional development market easier to navigate for schools and teachers; and,
Piloting a sabbatical fund for experienced teachers.
As this work is developed further, we will work with teachers, school leaders, and education experts. We will also ensure that improving continuing professional development for teachers aligns closely with wider work on the recruitment and retention of teachers.
The response is available on www.gov.uk and I will place a copy in the Libraries of both Houses.