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European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery]

Completing EMU: press remarks by VP Dombrovskis after informal ECOFIN

Luxembourg, 12 September 2015

First of all, I would like to thank the Luxembourg Presidency for the constructive discussion they have steered today on further deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. I would also like to thank the Minister personally for the very warm welcome in his country.

In today's discussions we concentrated on the stage one of the Five Presidents’ Report. Essentially, it's about using the existing instruments and making them work better – within the existing Treaties - something what we call "deepening by doing". 

Some of the directions of the work we've outlined are, first, on improved and strengthened macroeconomic and fiscal governance, including revamping the European Semester, better focussing it on the key social-economic challenges that our Member States are facing. Second, a proposal for setting up a national network of competitiveness authorities in Member States, with a mandate to follow both wage and non-cost competitiveness developments in Member States. And a proposal to set up an Advisory Fiscal Board that would coordinate the work of National Fiscal Councils and also, as the Minister has outlined, the more effective use of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure.

The second direction of our work is on Banking Union, where we need to concentrate on the effective implementation of the existing rules, including full transposition in all Member States of the BRRD.

We also discussed today the issue of bridge financing for the Single Resolution Fund, as it's due to begin its work as of next year and it needs to be credible in terms of available financing. While it's for the banking sector itself to gradually fill up the Single Resolution Fund, there is a need to provide interim financing, until a decision on the backstop is taken.

Also, we discussed the issue of European Deposit Insurance Scheme. We of course need to take into account that not all Member States have fully functioning national deposit guarantee schemes. From the Commission's point of view, we propose to move in a two-stage approach: with the first stage using the re-insurance of the national deposit guarantee insurance schemes, then moving towards a fully fledged European Deposit Insurance Scheme in the second stage.

Also, as the Minister outlined, we discussed the issues regarding the social dimension of the EMU and also strengthening of the democratic accountability. From the feedback of Member States, I would say that what would really be key to the successful deepening of the EMU is the right balance between responsibility and solidarity. It's our joint task to find that right balance while discussing different elements of the Five Presidents' Report.

The point that has been emphasized very much by the non-Euro area countries is that, while deepening the EMU, we should be open and transparent to non-Euro area countries. This is something we are clearly committed to do. I think the very fact that we discussed the deepening of the EMU not in Eurogroup but in ECOFIN format and had a very in-depth and substantial discussion is a good indication of the intention to be open and transparent towards all EU countries. Certainly, there were also important contributions from the Central Banks, from the Governors, but I think Benoît Cœuré will be better positioned to outline the issues regarding the central banking. Thank you.


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