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Finance and Monetary Affairs in the EU

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

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.

VAT fraud costs the EU EUR 50 billion a year
EU countries lost almost EUR 150 billion in VAT revenues in 2016, of which EUR 50 bn went to the benefit of criminals, according to a new study published Friday by the European Commission.

VAT Gap
EU countries lost almost €150 billion in Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenues in 2016, according to a new study published today by the European Commission.

Banking in Europe: EBF publishes 2018 Facts & Figures
The European Banking Federation today has published Banking in Europe; the 2018 Facts & Figures, its annual update on the banking sector in Europe.

Court upholds EU sanctions against Russian banks
The General Court of the EU upheld Thursday restrictive measures taken by the EU Council against a number of Russian banks and oil and gas companies in connection with the crisis in Ukraine.

Juncker Commission must not forget real economy in its final spurt
In a first reaction to President Jean-Claude Juncker’s “State of the European Union” speech, UEAPME welcomes the fact that Juncker wants to focus on delivery for the last year of his Commission.

State of the Union 2018: stronger anti-money laundering supervision
In the 2018 'State of the Union' address to the European Parliament, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker proposed stronger anti-money laundering supervision for a 'stable banking and financial sector'.

Air pollution causes 400,000 premature deaths in EU: report
Air pollution causes about 400,000 premature deaths in the EU and hundreds of billions of euros in health-related external costs, says a new report on the impact of EU action to protect human health from its effects.

Greece begins new chapter as EU bailout ends
Greece regained its place 'at the heart of Europe' Monday as the EU brought to an end its three-year bailout programme with praise for the efforts of the Greek people and the country's commitment to reform.

European firms get EU protection from Trump Iran sanctions
As the first batch of re-imposed US sanctions on Iran take effect, the EU's updated 'Blocking Statute' entered into force early on 7 August to mitigate their impact on EU companies doing business in Iran.