Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration (Ecofin)
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council is responsible for EU policy in three main areas: economic policy, taxation issues and the regulation of financial services.
How does Ecofin work?
The Ecofin Council is made up of the economics and finance ministers from all member states. Relevant European Commissioners also participate in meetings.
There are also specific Ecofin sessions, attended by national budget ministers and the European Commissioner for financial programming and budget, to prepare the EU's annual budget.
Ecofin meetings generally take place once a month.
About economic and financial affairs policy
Eurogroup - an informal body bringing together euro area ministers to discuss euro-related matters
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council, commonly known as the Ecofin Council, is responsible for economic policy, taxation matters, financial markets and capital movements, and economic relations with countries outside the EU.
It also prepares the EU's annual budget and takes care of the legal and practical aspects of the single currency, the euro.
The Ecofin Council coordinates member states' economic policies, furthers the convergence of their economic performance and monitors their budgetary policies.
It also coordinates EU positions for international meetings, such as the G20, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is also responsible for the financial aspects of international negotiations on measures to tackle climate change.
Priorities of the Estonian presidency
The Estonian Presidency will focus on modernising the VAT system. It will work to achieve political agreement on draft legislation on e-publications and the general reverse charge mechanism. Also, an agreement on the main elements of the VAT e-commerce proposal will be sought. The Presidency will also start discussions on the proposals regarding the definite VAT system and reduced rates.
The Estonian presidency intends to carry out the analysis on the mid-term review of the capital markets union action plan presented by the Commission, and prepare the conclusions of the Council.
While proceeding with the risk reduction package, the Estonian presidency also lay the ground for establishing the deposit insurance system. It aims to reach a political agreement with the European Parliament in more urgent issues of the risk reduction package. As regards the remaining parts of the package, its aim is to achieve a general approach in the Council. During its presidency, Estonia will continue working on the draft of the European deposit insurance system.
The Estonian presidency will also pay attention to the proposals resulting from the review of the regulation on over-the-counter derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories. It will proceed with the proposal on disclosing tax avoidance schemes to financial intermediaries, and it intends to the common EU list of non-cooperative third countries.
Regarding the 2018 EU budget, the Estonian presidency intends to achieve a comprehensive and timely agreement that takes into account the needs of the EU and ensures policy implementation.
In cooperation with the next presidency Bulgaria, the Estonian presidency will establish the economic policy calendar for the new European Semester cycle.