European architecture of financial supervision
The Council confirmed its general approach on proposals to review the functioning of the current European system of financial supervision. The agreement covers all issues except for anti-money laundering supervision for which a partial negotiating mandate was achieved already in December 2018. It invited the presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as possible.
The European supervisory authorities play a crucial role in helping shape the banking union and the capital markets union. Through this very important agreement, we are improving the efficiency of the existing system of financial supervision. We are also making sure that our common rules are implemented coherently throughout the EU and that national supervisors cooperate as efficiently as possible.”
In September 2017, the Commission put forward a package of proposals to review the tasks, powers, governance and funding of the ESAs and the ESRB, so as to adapt the authorities to the changed context in which they operate. In addition, the Commission put forward in October 2018 an amended proposal containing provisions reinforcing the role of the EBA as regards risks posed to the financial sector by money laundering activities.
Decision-making on taxation matters
The Commission presented its communication “Towards a more efficient and democratic decision making in EU tax policy” published on 15 January 2019. The aim of the communication is for the Commission to start a debate on a progressive and targeted transition from unanimity voting to qualified majority voting (QMV) and use of the “ordinary legislative procedure” (OLP) in certain areas of shared EU taxation policy.
Ministers held an exchange of views. A considerable number called for keeping the current balance of voting rules in taxation, while others showed openness towards examining whether there is room for improvement. In addition, ministers stressed the impressive track record achieved in the area of EU tax legislation, as well as inter-governmental work (Code of Conduct Group), under the current rules of the Treaties. The Council’s discussion does not pre-empt any steps that the European Council might take on these matters.
Nomination of a new ECB executive board member
The Council recommended that the European Council nominate Philip Lane as a new member of the ECB executive board.
On the basis of this recommendation, the European Council will request opinions from both the European Parliament and the Governing Council of the ECB. It is then expected to adopt a final decision at its meeting of 22-23 March.
The new member of the executive board will replace Peter Praet and will serve a non-renewable 8-year term, as of 1 June 2019.
Financial sustainability report 2018
The Council adopted conclusions on the Commission’s latest fiscal sustainability report, published on 18 January 2019.
The Council welcomed the Commission’s report and reaffirmed the importance of the fiscal sustainability analysis, in particular in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact and of the European Semester.
The Council adopted guidelines for the 2020 EU budget.
The Council considers that the next budget should ensure prudent budgeting and leave sufficient margins under the ceilings to deal with unforeseen circumstances. At the same time sufficient resources should be allocated to programmes and actions that contribute most towards achieving Union policies. In addition, the budget should allow commitments already made under the current MFF to be paid in due time, in order to avoid any unpaid claims, in particular in cohesion policy.
Ministers also recommended that the European Parliament grant discharge to the Commission for implementation of the 2017 EU budget.