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    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Manipulation of market benchmarks - Council confirms agreement with European Parliament on tougher rules

    On 9 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on new rules aimed at ensuring greater accuracy and integrity of benchmarks in financial instruments. "The adoption of this regulation will help restore trust in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, thereby strengthening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals," said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. The agreement with the Parliament was reached during a trilogue meeting in Strasbourg on 24 November 2015.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU-San Marino taxation agreement signed in joint effort to improve tax compliance

    On 8 December 2015, the European Union and San Marino signed an agreement aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The agreement will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and San Marino to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents. "The sharing of information between national tax authorities remains one of the fundamental elements of an effective fight against tax fraud and tax evasion", said Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. "The EU is undoubtedly a leader in this field."

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 8 December 2015, the Council approved the conclusion of agreements with Liechtenstein and Switzerland aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The two agreements will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and the two countries to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Cross-border tax rulings - Transparency rules adopted

    On 8 December 2015, the Council adopted a directive aimed at improving transparency on tax rulings given by member states to companies in specific cases about how taxation will be dealt with. The directive is one of a number of initiatives aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. The new rules will be applied from 1 January 2017. In the meantime, existing obligations for member states to exchange information will stay in place.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    In a statement adopted on 8 December 2015, ECOFIN Ministers reaffirm the importance of deepening the Banking Union in the context of a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union. Following the successful establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), they welcome the forthcoming entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement on the transfer and mutualisation of contributions to the SRF (IGA), which will allow the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) to be fully operational on 1 January 2016.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Council reaches agreement on Securitisation package, first building block of the Capital Markets Union

    On 2 December 2015, after two months of intensive and constructive negotiations under Luxembourg Presidency, Member States agreed on the Securitisation package at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. “These proposals aim to relaunch the securitisation market, by promoting simple, transparent and standardised securitisations. The objective is to contribute to the financing of the economy and hence to the creation of jobs and growth”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the ECOFIN Council.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Coal-fired power plants - EU endorses new OECD rules on export credits

    New rules on export credits to coal-fired power plants, developed within an OECD framework, have been endorsed by the EU. This is an important EU contribution for the COP21 negotiations on climate change, which start in Paris on 30 November 2015. It marks a further step in work ongoing since 2012 in aligning export credit policies with climate change objectives. The participants to an arrangement on officially supported export credits agreed a sector understanding on coal-fired electricity generation projects on 17 November 2015. The Council endorsed the EU's position on 26 November 2015, thus allowing the EU formally to join the consensus on the new rules.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg Presidency reaches agreement with the European Parliament on the Benchmarks Regulation

    On 25 November 2015, after intensive negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, a deal has been struck on the proposal for a Benchmarks Regulation, subject to agreement by Member States. “The adoption of the Benchmarks Regulation will help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, hence strenghtening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Ecofin Council.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU 2016 budget approved by the Council

    On 24 November 2015, the Council by unanimity approved the 2016 EU budget deal agreed by the Conciliation Committee on 14 November. If the agreement is also confirmed by the European Parliament on 25 November the EU budget for 2016 is adopted. The 2016 EU budget provides for €155.00 billion in total commitments. This leaves a margin of €2.3 billion under the expenditure ceiling of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs. The level of total payments is set at €143.89 billion. This is a 1.8% increase compared to the 2015 EU budget, taking into account the eight amending budgets.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Deal reached on 2016 EU budget

    On 14 November 2015, the Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the EU budget for 2016. Meeting in the Conciliation Committee they agreed to set the total level of commitments at €155.00 billion and of payments at €143.89 billion. "The budget agreed today is a concrete expression of solidarity both within the EU and with third countries", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council. "It provides the EU with the financial means to boost growth, create jobs and tackle the migration crisis. And it keeps sufficient financial leeway to allow the EU to react to unforeseen needs and events."

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016: Council calls on European Parliament to respect its commitments as conciliation talks start

    On 9 November 2015, the Conciliation Committee held its first meeting on the 2016 EU budget. The Committee mandated the Commission to prepare a draft joint text with the aim of reaching an agreement at the Committee's second meeting on 13 November. This first meeting of the Conciliation Committee also allowed the Council and the European Parliament to exchange views on their respective positions.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU and Liechtenstein sign deal on automatic exchange of tax data

    On 28 October 2015, the European Union and Liechtenstein signed an agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information aimed at improving international tax compliance. "I am glad that this agreement could be reached between the European Union and Liechtenstein, as it constitutes an important step towards a level playing field and greater tax transparency in Europe and beyond," said Pierre Gramegna.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016 - Council calls for realism

    On 19 October 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council signalled a note of caution and realism ahead of the conciliation talks with the European Parliament on the EU budget for 2016. "We all agree that we are facing major political challenges which require us to take exceptional measures and to mobilise extraordinary financial support. But we cannot continue simply to increase the EU budget without any limits. We have to address the current situation whilst fully respecting the constraints on our finances, and in the light of clearly justified priorities", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council at a trilogue-meeting with representatives of the European Parliament and the Commission.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Pierre Gramegna attends G20 meetings in Lima

    In his capacity as President of the European Union's Ecofin Council, Pierre Gramegna took part in meetings held by G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on 8 and 9 October 2015. Pierre Gramegna, in his capacity as President of the European Union's Ecofin Council, welcomed the adoption of the BEPS rules by the G20 Finance Ministers and insisted on the importance of now ensuring its global, coherent implementation within the spirit of ensuring a 'level playing field'.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 6 October 2015, the Council reached a political agreement on a directive aimed at improving transparency in the assurances given by member states to companies about how their taxes are calculated.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Greece: Council shows solidarity through faster mobilisation of EU funds

    On 16 September 2015, the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee backed a Commission proposal to help Greece maximise its use of EU funds and improve liquidity for boosting growth and creating jobs. The proposal's main objective is to address the lack of public funds available for much needed investments in Greece, and to ensure that the concerned European structural and investment funds deliver their benefits as rapidly as possible on the ground. The position agreed by the Council serves as a mandate for the Luxembourg presidency to hold discussions with representatives of the European Parliament.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Pierre Gramegna at the European Parliament for the presentation of the draft EU budget on 8 September 2015

    On 8 September 2015, Pierre Gramegna, Minster for Finance, will present the Council's position on the draft EU budget for 2016 before the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The main objective of the EU budget for 2016 will be to support economic recovery through investments which target growth and boost employment, whilst stimulating finance for migration policies and external EU action.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg's Minister of Finances, Pierre Gramegna, represented the European Union at the G20 meeting held in Ankara on 4 and 5 September 2015

    Pierre Gramegna attended the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors held in Ankara on 4 and 5 September 2015. He represented the European Union alongside Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016 - Council ready to negotiate with European Parliament

    On 4 September 2015, the Council adopted by unanimity its position on the draft 2016 EU budget. This confirms a political agreement reached by the Permanent Representatives Committee in July. "I am pleased that today the Council formally adopted its position on the draft EU budget for 2016. The unanimous support provides the Presidency with a particularly strong mandate for the negotiations with the European Parliament in the autumn which we wish to hold in a spirit of loyalty and good inter-institutional cooperation", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016 - Council agrees its position

    On 9 July 2015, the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee agreed its position on the draft 2016 EU budget, on the basis of a compromise text of the Luxembourg Presidency. "I believe that the Council’s political agreement strikes the right balance between fiscal consolidation and strategic investments that Europe needs to mitigate the negative effects of the current economic and social situation", said Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s minister for Finance and President of the Council.

  • Updated 15-07-2015