The Economic and Financial Affairs Council is commonly known as the Ecofin Council and is composed of the Member States’ Economics and Finance ministers. When issues relating to the EU budget are discussed, the Ecofin Council also brings together the ministers responsible for budget matters in the Member States. It meets once a month. One of its most important tasks is to prepare and adopt, together with the European Parliament, the annual budget of the European Union.
The Ecofin Council covers a number of areas, namely economic policy coordination, economic surveillance, monitoring of Member States' budgetary policy and public finances, the euro, financial markets and capital movements and economic relations with third countries.
A meeting of the Eurogroup Ministers takes place the day before each Ecofin Council meeting. The Eurogroup was created to meet the need for enhanced economic policy coordination amongst Member States sharing the single currency, the euro.
The Ecofin Council also coordinates EU positions for international meetings, such as the G20, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is also responsible for the financial aspects of international negotiations on measures to tackle climate change.
It mainly decides by qualified majority, in consultation or codecision with the European Parliament, with the exception of fiscal matters which are decided by unanimity.