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Vice-President of the European Commission and member of the Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro
Speaking points by Vice-President Rehn at the Press Conference of the Informal ECOFIN Council
ECOFIN Press Conference in Dublin
12 April 2013
Thanks Michael. And thank you for hosting us here in Dublin today. It has been a very productive day here at Dublin Castle.
I would like to focus on two things. First, I want to welcome the agreement at this afternoon’s Ecofin on the extension of loan maturities for Ireland and Portugal, following a similar decision in the Eurogroup this morning. This is a very important step and will help to facilitate a sustained return to full market financing and a successful programme exit for Ireland and Portugal.
We also had a very extensive discussion on the subject of Banking Union. Michel Barnier will discuss this in greater depth, so let me, for my part, just reiterate the importance that the Commission as a whole attaches to this endeavour, and to stress that Banking Union also encompasses the possibility for direct recapitalisation of banks by the European Stability Mechanism. The European Council encouraged the Member States of the eurozone to agree on the rules for direct bank recapitalisation by June. It is essential that this timeline be respected, and the Commission will continue to support the technical discussions underway and help to facilitate a rapid agreement.
I am encouraged by today’s discussion in both the Eurogroup and ECOFIN as regards progress on direct bank recapitalisation, as well as overall progress concerning the construction of a Banking Union. I also warmly welcome the declaration of the Member States where they re-affirm their commitment to the urgent completion of all the agreed elements of a Banking Union as set out by the European Council, in particular in its conclusions of December 2012. This shows that the European Union keeps up the political drive towards a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union and towards a Banking Union as an essential element of EMU 2.0, or EMU Mark II.
Thank you very much.