The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

Last Saturday, 12 September, Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis made some remarks after the informal meeting of ECOFIN (the EU ministers of Finance Council) in Luxembourg. The main item on the agenda was about completing the European Monetary Union. EMU is the most important EU project after the introduction of the single euro currency. He […]

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Last Tuesday the EU Finance ministers gathered in Brussels to decide for the fate of Juncker’s Investments Plan. The news is quite promising for EU Investments since all ministers agreed to support this Plan by setting up the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Italy also announced its contribution by pledging to invest 8 billion […]

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

This week the new Greek government started faltering on all accounts. The young Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who got elected on 25 January under a populist banner to change everything in this crisis stricken nation, proposed Prokopis Pavlopoulos for President of the Republic, an old fox representing the corrupt and incompetent political system which governed […]

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Earier this week, on the 2nd of June, the European Commission (EC) decided to recommend to the EU Council of Finance Ministers to close the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) for six countries. The reason why Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands and Slovakia must exit EDP is because these countries managed to lower their […]

The completion of the European Banking Union attracts billions of new capital for Eurozone banks

The European Parliament adopted yesterday with large majorities three legal texts completing the European Banking Union, two years after the initial decision to create a common system, at least in the euro area, of regular bank supervision and resolution of failing lenders. In two separate votes and an approval at second reading without a new […]

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

Contradicting messages are emitted from a statement issued yesterday by the lead MEPs currently negotiating the details of the legislation on the Single Resolution Mechanism and Fund for Eurozone banks with the ECOFIN council. This legislation is set to complete the legal and structural background of the European Banking Union. The other pillar of the […]

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Today in Strasbourg the three EU decision making bodies, the Council as represented by its Greek Presidency, the Parliament and the Commission, in a procedure called ‘trilogue’ will try to bridge their differences and come up with a ground breaking agreement to complete the European Banking Union. This is the most important project enterprised by […]

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Yesterday’s Eurogroup and today’s ECOFIN councils are convened almost exclusively to discuss the details of the two remaining gaps in the legal and of course the operating framework of the European Banking Union, which are, the Single Resolution Mechanism and the Resolution Fund. The two legislative bodies of the European Union, the Parliament and the […]

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

This Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 March during the Eurogroup and the ECOFIN meetings respectively, the member states will show their willingness to compromise with the Parliament, in order to finalise the legal base of the European Banking Union. This would be the most important EU project after the common currency. The Banking Union […]

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Undeniably, the European Banking Union’s prime target is to definitely cut the umbilical cord between banks and sovereigns, through the creation of a uniform supervision and insolvency dealing environment for all Eurozone lenders. Yet, Germany and France insist that the final decision for the resolution of a failing bank must be taken by member state […]

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

The absolute necessity to conclude before May the trilateral negotiations on the functioning of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for failing banks and clarify the role of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) (in relation to the control and the use of the Single Resolution Fund), united yesterday all the representatives of three decision-making bodies of the […]

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

The importance of the Single Resolution Fund, which is supposed to bear the cost of Eurozone’s failing banks, was underlined yesterday evening by the fact that the President of Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch minister of Finance, baptized the group of people who will govern the function of the SRF as Eurogroup+. The Eurogroup is […]

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

Yesterday Mario Draghi, the President of European Central Bank, proposed that the time horizon for the full mutualisation of all bank resolution costs among the EU Banking Union member states, should be cut by half from ten to five years. Also yesterday, in a different occasion, Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the […]

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

During this past week the European Parliament had been working hard on its position over the bank resolution mechanism (the last building block to complete the Banking Union), in the context of the ongoing negotiations between the legislative and the Greek Presidency of the Council. In two consecutive plenaries the MEPs approved resolutions making a […]

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

Reading two accounts by two different people, about what happened in the Eurogroup meeting yesterday in Brussels, gives a clear indication of what will be decided in the ECOFIN Council today. Ollie Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission and member of the Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, […]

ECOFIN: Choosing between the re-unification of Eurozone and a stalemate

Tomorrow’s Economic and Finance Ministers Council (ECOFIN) set to be convened in Brussels, the first under the Greek Presidency, will have the crucial task to decide on the construction of the European Banking Union. In view of that, the European Parliament sent a letter to the Greek Presidency of the Council, rejecting both the legal […]

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

The European Parliament prepares for the fight which is about to begin with the Council, over the negotiations on the creation of the Single Resolution Mechanism and Fund to deal with failing banks. This will be the last step towards the completion of the European Banking Union, the major EU project after the introduction of […]

Eurozone close to agreeing on a Banking Union

In the small hours of yesterday night, the ECOFIN Council agreed on a general approach over the single resolution board (SRB) and a single fund for the resolution of banks in Eurozone. These are the main tools of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), which constitutes the second pillar of the grandiose European Banking Union project. […]

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

According to information released by global media, this week the European Union is about to conclude the discussions on its major new project, the Banking Union, with an arrangement providing that the cost of eventual bank resolutions and recoveries is to burden the country or countries where the bank in question is conducting its business. […]

Bank resolutions set to remain a national affair

Negotiations over the drafts of three key directives destined to mark the future of Eurozone, namely the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, the Bank Deposits Guarantees Schemes and the Single Resolution Mechanism remain so elusive, that every minister of Finance when leaving Brussels last Tuesday night set the focus on what his or hers home […]

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Yesterday’s Eurogroup was devoted rather to the…IMF than to the burning issues of Eurozone, like bank recovery and resolution and deposit guarantee schemes. Probably the reason for this change was that Reza Moghadam, the IMF’s European Department director, was present and his main criticism of Eurozone’s economy was that it suffers from “weak banks and over-indebted […]

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

Tomorrow’s Ecofin council, marking the last 2013 meeting of the 28 EU ministers of Finance, constitutes the final opportunity of the member states to strike an agreement in order to finalise the construction of the European Banking Union. What is still missing for the establishment of the EBU is of course the full Single Resolution […]

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Last week in Brussels, an unseen before procedure took place, during last Friday’s Eurogroup of the 17 euro area member states council of Finance ministers. The 17 politicians assessed the Commission‘s opinions on member states’ draft budgets, ahead of those draft budgetary exercises been discussed in national Parliaments. This is the EU’s ‘brave’ new economic […]

Eurozone guarantees all banks with…taxpayers’ money

Last Friday the ECOFIN council made up by the 28 EU ministers of finance, confirmed that a permanent arrangement for the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) and the single resolution fund (SRF) meant to deal with failing banks, will be agreed on before the end of the year covering the period after 1 January 2015. In […]

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

  The agenda of the Economic and Finance Ministers’ Council (ECOFIN) of 15 November in Brussels is very heavily loaded. The ‘Taxation of savings incomes’ and the ‘Revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive’ may be major issues, but the first reading of Commission’s proposal for the creation of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) will haunt […]

It’s a week dedicated to all EU budgets; seven days that can make or break the Union

All EU member states budgets including the EU’s proper one will be under scrutiny this week in Brussels. Let’s start from the Union’s own budget for 2014. Today Monday, a Conciliation Committee, made up by the 28 representatives of the member states and 28 European legislators, has to agree on EU’s budget for 2014. Earlier […]

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

The last fight in the ‘war’ over EU’s proper budget for 2014 is bound to take place this Monday 11 November, after the European Parliament got what it wanted for the 2013 budgetary exercise. For this year’s budget the unpaid bills of 2012 and 2013 totalling at €11.2 billion were at stake, having been now […]

The Council unblocks all EU budgets

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the European Union (COREPER) approved yesterday an increase of the 2013 EU budget by €3.9 billion in order to cover outstanding payment needs. This amount complements the €7.3bn of the draft amending budget no. 2 approved by the Council on 9 July. The Council’s position on this draft amending budget […]

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

In yesterday’s Eurogroup, Eurozone’s policy setting council, the 17 ministers of Finance had two important items on their agenda; IMF’s recommendations for the European economy under Article IV Consultation with the Euro Area, and the approval of the next loan trance to Greece. On both accounts the opinion of Germany weighed a lot. In this […]