The EU's Council of Economic and Finance (ECOFIN) Ministers will take place in Brussels on 28 January at 10.00. The European Commission will be represented by Olli Rehn, Vice President and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro and Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. A press conference is expected to take place after the meeting.
At the start of the Greek Presidency of the Council, the Economic and Finance Ministers will discuss the priorities of the Council in the field of economic and financial affairs for the first half of 2014. The Presidency programme aims at supporting growth and employment and restoring confidence in the financial sector.
The Commission welcomes the Greek Presidency's determination to make progress on key tax files. These include agreement on widening automatic exchange of information within the EU (Administrative Cooperation Directive IP/13/530), progressing the Financial Transaction Tax under enhanced cooperation, and pushing forward the political debate on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base. The Greek Presidency will also seek progress on other important tax files, including the Standard VAT Return and VAT Vouchers.
The European Commission has proposed a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for the Banking Union on 10 July 2013, which includes a single resolution board and a single resolution fund so we can tackle future bank crisis efficiently with minimal costs to taxpayers and the economy. The SRM will basically apply the substantive rules of the draft Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive in a coherent and centralised way ensuring consistent decisions for the resolution of banks. During the upcoming ECOFIN Council meeting, the Greek Presidency will update the Economic and Finance Ministers on the on-going trilogues on the SRM proposal and on discussions on the intergovernmental agreement regulating the functioning of the Single Resolution Fund. Commissioner Barnier welcomes the efforts and commitment of the Greek Presidency to achieve rapid agreement on the SRM proposal. He welcomes Member States' overall support for an effective single resolution mechanism. Flexibility on both sides will be essential to find a final compromise text. The timetable is critical to allow finalising the legislative work underpinning the banking union before the end of this legislature.