The first session of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) informal meeting was held on 7 April in Valletta under the Maltese Presidency represented by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna.
During the first day of the meeting, the ECOFIN council discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), on the basis of the progress made with respect to the Five Presidents’ Report, and the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe. Ministers were invited to provide their views and political direction ahead of the reflection paper on the deepening of the EMU which is expected to be published by the Commission at the end of May.
For the second session, Central Bank Governors joined the Ministers of Finance to exchange views on the current situation of non-performing loans (NPLs) in European banks. The high levels of nonperforming loans in a number of Member States underlines the importance of policy responses. The link between non-performing loans and insolvency regimes was also highlighted.
Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said, “We believe that today we managed to discuss two of the most talked-about issues at present; the problem of NPLs and the future of the EMU. The discussion between the EU Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors, together with a number of leading institutions has helped us to clarify the various issues and their respective interlinkages.”