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Brussels, 1 September 2009

Preparation of Eurogroup and Informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels, 2 September 2009

The meetings have been convened by the respective EU and Eurogroup presidents to prepare the G-20 finance ministers meeting taking place on 4-5 September, itself a preparation of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September.

Eurogroup ministers will meet at 10:00 hrs to be followed by an informal EU finance ministers meeting over lunch. Joaquín Almunia, Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and Internal Market and Financial Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy will attend, as will European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet. A single press conference is expected to take place, around 15:00hrs.

The main purpose of the Pittsburgh meeting will be to assess progress in meeting commitments made at the London summit of 2 April 2009, including notably on the reform of financial market regulation, and to discuss the macroeconomic situation and future global growth model in the light of the origins and consequences of the economic and financial crisis.

While countries around the world continue their effort to promote economic recovery, there is a clear understanding that international coordination is necessary both to consolidate public finances from the moment the recovery takes hold and to pave the way towards a more sustainable global growth model, including through an intensified surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances.

The G20 ambition is to define a broad agenda on which it will work together to support a durable global economic recovery and improve convergence. This is in line with longstanding EU policies. The agenda also includes the reform of the International Monetary Fund, its resources, governance and increasing the quota and voice of emerging markets.

Regarding financial market reform, the key topics of Pittsburgh are expected to include prudential rules, remuneration policy and accounting standards.

From the outset, the EU has been a key driving force behind the G-20 summit meetings on restoring global financial stability and world growth. For the EU it is crucial that the agreements of the London summit (see Summit Communiqué on ) are implemented swiftly and in full.

The EU is doing its share of the work. Among other things, the Commission has adopted proposals on hedge funds and private equity, to reign on excessive speculation and leverage, and made Recommendations on directors' and financial market remuneration. It brought forward more binding measures to ensure that financial institutions hold enough capital to cover their risks and an initiative on derivatives. T he European Council in June endorsed Commission proposals for a new system of financial supervision. Legislative proposals for the creation of a European Systemic Risk Council, to prevent risks to the financial system as a whole, and new EU level supervisory authorities to coordinate supervision of individual cross-border institutions are now expected shortly.

The G20 was established in 1999 to provide a forum for leading developed and emerging countries . The United Kingdom currently chairs the grouping. The European Union is represented by the rotating Council Presidency, the Commission and the European Central Bank.

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