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Guides on the EU policy on Finance.
European Semester 2015: country-specific updates
On 25 February, the European Commission sent a strong signal to EU Member States to carry out structural reforms and to continue consolidating their public finances. This followed the approach that the new College of Commissioners outlined in November and is at the heart of the Annual Growth Survey 2015: a fresh focus on investment, structural reforms, and fiscal responsibility.
Green light for SME financing under Europe investment plan
Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) across Europe should be able to benefit from the first funds from the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) before the summer, following a decision by the Board of Governors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) on 17 February.
EC Capital Markets Union to build a single market for capital
The European Commission launched on 18 February a landmark project to unlock funding for Europe’s businesses and to boost growth in the EU’s 28 Member States with the creation of a true single market for capital.
Fees capped for card-based payments
The European Parliament has agreed a compromise deal with the Council on a regulation capping interchange fees for card-based payments. It is hoped the regulation will also help users make more informed choices about payment instruments.
Pension fund exemption from central clearing requirements
A European Commission report, published on 3 February, recommends granting pension funds a two-year exemption from central clearing requirements for their over-the-counter (OTC) derivative transactions.
Proposals to improve transparency in Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement
The European Commission proposed on 29 January to allow UN rules on transparency for Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to apply also to existing investment treaties that the EU and Member States have in place.
Quantitative easing, deflation explained
The European Central Bank unveiled Thursday an eagerly-awaited programme of sovereign bond purchases, known as quantitative easing or QE, to ward off deflation in the eurozone.
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
50 days after announcing its ambitious Investment Plan for Europe to boost jobs and growth, the European Commission has adopted the legislative proposal for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which will be established in close partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Fund is at the very heart of President Juncker's Investment Offensive, which will mobilise at least €315 billion in private and public investment across the European Union. This will especially support strategic investments, such as in broadband and energy networks, as well as smaller companies with fewer than 3000 employees. The proposal also sets up a European Investment Advisory Hub to help with project identification, preparation and development across the Union. Finally, a European Investment Project Pipeline will improve investors' knowledge of existing and future projects.
Investment Offensive for Europe - 2,000 potential projects worth EUR 1.3 trillion
The EU Task Force on Investment published a report on 9 December showing that there is significant potential for investment in Europe. It identifies around 2,000 projects across Europe worth some EUR 1.3 trillion of potential investments, out of which over EUR 500 billion worth of projects could potentially be implemented over the next three years. Many of these projects are currently not being realised due to financial, regulatory or other barriers.
EU Annual Growth Survey 2015
The 2015 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) published by the European Commission today focuses on putting Europe firmly back on a path of sustainable job creation and economic growth.
Guide to the EU's economic governance
Reforms to the EU's economic governance rules have strengthened surveillance systems for budgetary and economic policies, and a new budgetary timeline for the euro area has been introduced. The rules (introduced through the so-called "Six Pack", the "Two Pack" laws and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance) are grounded in the European Semester, the EU's economic policy coordination calendar. This integrated system ensures that there are clearer rules, better coordination of national policies throughout the year, regular follow-ups and the possibility of swifter sanctions for non-compliance. This helps EU Member States deliver on their budgetary and reform commitments, while making the Economic and Monetary Union more robust.
Investment Offensive to boost jobs and growth
The European Commission announced on 26 November a EUR 315 billion Investment Plan to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work.
EU budget "own resources" and Commission's proposed changes
The EU's Member States invited the Commission on 7 November 2014 to come forward with a proposal for a targeted and limited amendment of the part of the "own resources" legislation implementing the rules of the annual adjustments of Member States' share in the EU budget. This fact sheet aims to provide a comprehensive yet accessible summary of the proposal.
Credit rating agencies: Regulatory Technical Standards to implement stricter new rules
The European Commission adopted on 30 September three Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) needed to implement key provisions of the Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies.
Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information
The EU Council adopted on 29 September the Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies and groups.
EUR 165m package for perishable fruit & vegetable market support
The European Commission adopted on 30 September a new programme for emergency market measures for perishable fruit & vegetables in the wake of the Russian ban on imports of certain EU agricultural products.
Annual Report on the Protection of the EU's Financial Interests
EU Member States must step up their work to prevent, detect and report fraud affecting EU funds, according to the European Commission's annual report on the protection of financial interests (PIF report). The report sets out detailed recommendations on areas that national authorities should particularly focus on in this respect. The report finds that detected fraud in EU spending accounts for less than 0.2% of all funds. Nevertheless, the Commission believes that greater efforts at national level both on combatting and detecting fraud should be deployed. The annual PIF report therefore recommends, amongst other things, that Member States review their controls to ensure they are risk-based and well-targeted. On the positive side, the report notes that good progress is being made at national level to implement new rules and policies which will strengthen the fight against fraud in the years ahead. Moreover, at EU level, the past 5 years have seen major advances in shaping a stronger anti-fraud landscape. These initiatives can have a marked impact on fraud levels, once they are fully implemented.
European Trust Fund for the Central African Republic
The European Commission, Germany, France and the Netherlands are to set up the first European Union Trust Fund, the aim of which is to promote the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic (CAR). The Fund has been christened Bêkou, which means 'hope' in Sango, the language of the Central African Republic. The scale of the political and security crisis in the CAR, the difficulties pertaining to infrastructure, the provision of basic services and the functioning of the administration call for international aid that is structured and tailored to situations of fragility and can be organised quickly and efficiently.
Revised guidelines for supporting firms in difficulty
The European Commission has revised its rules for assessing Member States' support measures to rescue and restructure companies in difficulty. The new guidelines aim to ensure that public funding is channelled where it is needed most and that investors in failing firms carry their fair share of the costs of restructuring, rather than leaving the burden to taxpayers. The rules adopted apply only to non-financial firms in difficulty; a separate set of rules is in place for banks and other financial institutions. The new guidelines will enter into force on 1 August 2014.
Connecting EU insolvency registers
The European Commission launched on 7 July an EU-wide interconnection of national insolvency registers by linking up databases from seven Member States: the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Slovenia - with more countries expected to join at a later stage.