Ecofin adopted a key issues paper outlining the main policy objectives for 2009 and endorsed common messages for the meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers on 14 March that will prepare the G-20 summit on international financial governance on 2 April.
Ministers adopted the the Key Issues Paper on economic and financial affairs for 2009 which focuses on financial markets and support for the real economy. Ecofin gives top priority to restoring credit flows, improving the EU regulatory and supervisory framework to prevent future crises, and promoting the EU’s active role in the reform of the global financial architecture.
Ministers also welcomed the de Larosière report as an important contribution to the debate on the reform of the EU supervisory framework. The recommendations contained in this report will be discussed in more detail at the informal Ecofin meeting in early April in Prague.
Ministers also agreed on EU common messages for the meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers in London on 14 March. Ministers set the EU priorities in the area of international coordination of macroeconomic policies, global financial market regulation based on transparency and accountability, better cooperation between financial authorities at international level and the strengthening of the International Monetary Fund.
The common messages form the Ecofin Council’s contribution to the EU’s position for the G-20 summit of 2 April, to be established during the March meeting of Heads of State or Government in Brussels.
Credit Rating Agencies
The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) on 4 March reached agreement on a draft regulation on credit rating agencies, making it unnecessary for the Council to deal at this stage with a proposal which has come in response to calls from both the European Council and the G-20.
The draft regulation provides for a legally-binding registration and surveillance system for credit rating agencies issuing ratings that are intended for use for regulatory purposes.
It is also aimed at:
Ø ensuring that credit rating agencies avoid conflicts of interest in the rating process, or at least manage them adequately;
Ø improving the quality of methodologies used by credit rating agencies and the quality of their ratings;
Ø increasing transparency by setting disclosure obligations for credit rating agencies.
Czech Presidency Press Release
Commission press release
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Documents associated with this article
ECOFIN Council conclusions.pdf
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