-The Council has formally adopted its Common Position on the proposal without discussion at the ECOFIN meeting on 7 December. It will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its second reading.
The Council made a limited number of additional modifications, notably:
extending the deadline for the equal charges principle to 1 July 2002 for electronic payments and 1 July 2003 for cross-border credit transfers, whereas Parliament had called for deadlines of 1 March 2002 and 1 March 2003 respectively;
limiting the equal charges principle to payments up to EUR 12,500 initially, with this being raised to EUR 50,000 in 2006, whereas Parliament had called for the EUR 50,000 threshold to apply in one step;
including the possibility of raising the statistics reporting threshold to EUR 50,000 on 1 January 2006 in the review clause, as well as the impact of the application of the Regulation on charges levied for payments within a Member State. The Commission review should also take account of changes in cross-border infrastructures and the advisability of improving consumer services by strengthening competition in the provision of cross-border payment services;
inserting in article 9 a clause allowing Member States which are not members of the monetary union to also apply the regulation to their currencies.
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