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Finance and Monetary Affairs in the EU

Latest news on economic and monetary affairs in the European Union.

Innovation is the engine of our economy
Innovation is the engine of our economy and crucial for the competitiveness of Europe's economy. However, SMEs and start-ups have problems to finance innovative projects, seen as too risky by banks.

"We are not naïve": EU agrees screening of foreign investment
"We are not naïve free traders" said EC president Jean-Claude Juncker as he welcomed Wednesday's agreement by EU institutions on screening incoming foreign direct investment to ensure security.

Italy's draft budget plans rejected again by Brussels
The EU Commission confirmed its rejection of Italy's budget Wednesday, as it set out the EU's economic and social priorities for 2019, and presented Opinions on EU states' draft budgetary plans.

EBF statement on the Brexit withdrawal agreement
Following the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union reached late Wednesday between EU negotiators and the UK government, and following the publication of the proposed outline for the future EU-UK relationship, Wim Mijs, Chief Executive Officer of the European Banking Federation, said:

Eurozone growth eases on rising global uncertainty
Economic growth in the eurozone is easing gradually, as an increasingly uncertain international environment takes its toll on the pace of economic activity, according to the EU's Autumn Economic Forecast.

EC requests Maltese anti-money laundering watchdog to step up supervision of banks
The EU Commission requested the Maltese anti-money laundering supervisor Thursday to take additional measures to fully comply with its obligations under the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

EU financial auditors poke holes in farming plan's green credentials
The European Court of Auditors, the EU' financial watchdog, has poked holes in the European Commission's claims that it is developing a more environmentally friendly farming policy, in a report released today.

Differences remain on EU digital service tax
EU finance ministers meeting Tuesday have some way to go before they can agree on the digital service tax directive, aimed at addressing the most urgent gaps and loopholes in the taxation of digital activities.

All financial institutions must disclose sustainability risks and impacts, say MEPs
WWF applauds the high level of ambition demonstrated by the European Parliament in yesterday’s Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs’ vote on disclosure relating to sustainability investments and sustainability risks.

Political tensions are becoming a challenge for growth in Europe
At the Macroeconomic dialogue, heads of the European Commission, Presidency of the Council of the EU, and European Central Bank, discussed the economic situation in Europe and its challenges with the European Social Partners.

EU states ease rules for dealing with bad loans
EU Member States agreed a softer position Wednesday on capital requirements applying to banks with non-performing loans (NPLs) on their balance sheets, in preparation for talks with the EU Parliament.

Non-performing loans (NPLs)
EU and national authorities are joining forces to address the risks related to high stocks of NPLs in Europe. Non-performing loans, or “NPLs”, are bank loans that are subject to late repayment or are unlikely to be repaid by the borrower.

EU cohesion fund plans after 2020 'need safeguards'
New plans for how EU cohesion funds are spent are simpler and more flexible, but additional safeguards are needed to make sure spending has a real impact and complies with the rules, say the EU's auditors.

Data reporting: European banks underline need for an integrated and standardized EU framework
The European Banking Federation is calling on financial sector authorities in the European Union to create an integrated and standardized framework for data reporting in order to improve the quality of data while reducing the reporting burden.

European banks offer fees transparency from 31 Oct
New EU rules for banks and financial services providers, in force from 31 October, require them to be more transparent and open about the fees they charge related to opening and maintaining bank accounts.

Access to bank accounts
EU rules allow consumers to open and change bank accounts anywhere in the EU. The directive on payment accounts gives people in the EU the right to a basic payment account regardless of a person's place of residence or financial situation. The directive also improves the transparency of bank account fees and makes it easier to switch banks.

Auditors highlight failure of EU carbon capture projects
EU action to support carbon capture and storage and innovative renewables has not succeeded, according to a report published Tuesday by the European Court of Auditors.

E-commerce in the EU: How you can make the most out of it as a consumer
The Internet has transformed the way we shop. However, persistent online barriers prevent us from enjoying the full access to the goods and services being offered by businesses in the EU. Since the launch of the Digital Single Market Strategy in May 2015, the European Union has been working to break down these barriers. This factsheet summarises what the EU has been doing to boost e-commerce and to create new opportunities for consumers, turning the Digital Single Market into a reality.

EU rejects Italy's draft budget for 2019
The EU Commission asked Italy Tuesday to present a revised draft budgetary plan for 2019, saying the current plan is not in line with commitments presented in Italy's Stability Programme of April 2018.

European Commission Opinion on the 2019 draft budgetary plan of Italy
The European Commission identified on 23 October in the draft budgetary plan submitted by Italy for 2019 a particularly serious non-compliance with the fiscal recommendation addressed to Italy by the Council on 13 July 2018.

ECB bonds purchase valid, says EU Court adviser
The decision of the European Central Bank to establish a programme for the purchase of government bonds on secondary markets is valid, in the Opinion of the top EU Court's Advocate-General.

EU finance ministers agree lower VAT for e-publications
Ministers agreed to allow EU states to apply reduced, 'super-reduced' or zero VAT rates to electronic publications Tuesday, thereby allowing alignment of VAT rules for electronic and physical publications.

Ministers make progress on VAT reform and fight against fraud
EU finance ministers agreed Tuesday on new rules to exchange more information and boost cooperation on criminal VAT fraud, as well as measures to cut VAT compliance burdens for companies.

EBRD bans new oil, but fails to align its gas criteria with Paris Agreement
On 25 September, the EBRD released the draft of its upcoming Energy Sector Strategy. The strategy will guide the Bank's operations in the sector for the next five years, and had not been updated since 2013, prior to the fundamental change in the energy and climate policy context brought on by the Paris Agreement.

Brussels takes action against UK over Chinese shoe fraud
The EU Commission sent a 'reasoned opinion' to the United Kingdom Monday on account of its failure to act against customs fraud relating to Chinese shoe imports and resulting losses to the EU Budget.