Banking union: single supervisory mechanism
The Chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), Danièle Nouy, reported on the SSM's activities over the past six months, including the recent comprehensive assessment of nine banks and the implementation of the SSM's legal and methodological framework.
She informed the Eurogroup about the public consultation by the SSM on a draft ECB regulation and a draft ECB guide, which aim to further harmonise the supervision of significant banks in the euro area. The consultation will run until 16 December and is one of the main steps towards creating a level playing field in the euro area banking sector.
Greece: state of play
The institutions and the Greek Minister for Finance, Euclid Tsakalotos, briefed the Eurogroup on the way forward for implementing Greece's European Stability Mechanism (ESM) programme, which was agreed last August.
The Eurogroup expects the Greek authorities to swiftly implement the legislation agreed under the second set of milestones. This would unlock the disbursement of €1 billion by the ESM.
Ministers were informed that the recapitalisation of the Greek banking sector will not require more than the amount of up to €10 billion currently available under the programme for this purpose. This is significantly lower than the envelope of up to €25 billion earmarked for bank recapitalisation at the beginning of the Greece programme. The funds for recapitalisation would be disbursed by the ESM to the Hellenic Financial Stability Facility.
Ireland demonstrates that a determined implementation of an adjustment programme can turn the economy around to the benefit of citizens
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem
Ireland: post-programme surveillance
The Eurogroup welcomed the results of the fourth post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland, carried out in November by the European Commission, in liaison with the European Central Bank and in coordination with the International Monetary Fund.
The mission concluded that the country's ongoing adjustment efforts were continuing to yield positive results, as shown by strong GDP growth and the progress made in reducing the public debt and addressing the issue of non-performing loans in the financial sector. The next post-programme surveillance mission will take place in the spring of 2016.
Thematic discussions on growth and jobs: pensions
Ministers exchanged views and experiences on the domestic political challenges in implementing pension reforms. They also discussed the challenge of addressing the costs associated with an aging population in a fiscally sustainable manner.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
The Eurogroup took note of the progress made towards reaching an agreement in principle on the setting up of a constituency of the euro area member states participating in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The Eurogroup also adopted its work programme for the first half of 2016.