Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Finance ministers to discuss development funding and money laundering

Valtiovarainministeriö 8.10.2019 11.07
Press release
Photo: EU

The EU economic and financial affairs ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Thursday 10 October. One of the main items on the agenda is establishment of a European bank for climate and development. The meeting will be chaired by Finland’s Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä.

In April this year, the Council set up a Wise Persons’ Group to assess the need to reform the European financial architecture for development. The group proposes establishment of a European bank for climate and development.

There are three possible ways to do this. The new bank could be set up

  1. under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  2. as a subsidiary of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
  3. as a completely new organisation taking over the financing operations of both the EBRD and EIB in non-EU countries.

The group also proposes that the EU take immediate steps to improve the functioning of the current system. One of the group’s recommendations is to strengthen and harmonise development policy guidance between the European Commission and the Council.

The ministers will discuss the proposals on the basis of a presentation by the chair of the Wise Persons’ Group. Finland hopes that agreement on the next steps can be reached before the end of its Presidency.

“There are many actors and instruments in development finance. We need to streamline the system to make the most of the money available. I hope we will be able to trace the way forward at this meeting,” Minister Lintilä says.

Anti-money laundering also on agenda

Discussions on the fight against money laundering will focus on supervision, harmonisation of legislation and intra-EU cooperation between the authorities. In addition, the ministers will exchange views on an updated methodology for the European Commission to identify high-risk third countries.

Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing is one of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency. During the autumn, Finland will strive to achieve agreement between the Member States on strategic guidelines serving as a basis for any new legislative proposals by the Commission.

Other items on the agenda of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council include the European Semester, the capital markets union and the annual report of the European Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2018.

On Wednesday 9 October, Minister Lintilä will attend a meeting of the Eurogroup, which consists of the finance ministers of the euro area. He will not chair this meeting, as the Eurogroup has a permanent president.

Presidency Issues Note on Anti-Money Laundering (Council webpage)

Ecofin Council agenda (Council webpage, to be updated after the meeting)

Eurogroup agenda (Council webpage, to be updated after the meeting)

Inquiries:

Martti Salmi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 400 510 304, martti.salmi(at)vm.fi
Niina Nurkkala, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, tel. +358 50 347 2661
Media service for the EU Presidency, tel. +358 2955 30269, press(at)vm.fi

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) is one of the configurations of the Council of the European Union. Ecofin makes decisions on EU legislative proposals in its remit, often in cooperation with the European Parliament. It is also responsible for coordinating the economic policies of EU member states. Ecofin is composed of the member states’ economic and financial affairs ministers.

The Eurogroup is an informal body tasked with coordinating economic policies among the euro area member states and promoting conditions for stronger economic growth. The Eurogroup consists of the economic and financial affairs ministers of the euro area member states. Although the Eurogroup has no legislative function, it does set out policy guidelines.

Mika Lintilä Rahoitusmarkkinat Talouspolitiikka