Banking Union - euro area aspects
Single Supervisory Mechanism and Single Resolution Board
The Eurogroup heard presentations by Danièle Nouy, the Chair of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, and Elke König, the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB).
They briefed the Eurogroup on recent developments in the financial sector, on the two institutions' main activities in the past months, and on their key challenges and priorities for the future.
Danièle Nouy informed the Eurogroup about the ongoing work relating to the stress tests conducted in July 2016, the challenges related to addressing non-performing loans and the aim of reducing the number of supervisory options and national discretions in the euro area banking sector in order to ensure a more level playing field.
Elke König presented a progress report on the Single Resolution Board's activities, the collection of contributions to the Single Resolution Fund and the loan facility agreements with individual member states.
The Eurogroup commended the good work achieved to date by both institutions and looks forward to the next exchange of views, which is expected to take place in spring next year.
Thematic discussion on growth and jobs: national insolvency frameworks
The Eurogroup discussed how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of national insolvency frameworks. This discussion was a follow-up to its April 2016 meeting, where it agreed on a list of principles to be applied. These principles primarily covered the speed, predictability and cost-effectiveness of the insolvency frameworks.
Well-functioning insolvency frameworks are indispensable for addressing the debt overhang and improving banks' ability to provide credit to the economy. The issue is particularly relevant for the euro area, as its individual economies are prone to spill-over effects.
The Eurogroup will revert to this issue next year.
Greece: second review of the programme and report on EU technical assistance
Ministers were informed about the ongoing second review of the implementation of Greece's economic adjustment programme, following a review mission by the institutions to Athens at the end of October.
The Eurogroup called on the Greek authorities and the mission staff to continue their constructive cooperation and to finalise the review rapidly.
The second review includes a budget for 2017, the medium-term fiscal strategy and labour market reform.
The Eurogroup was updated on the technical assistance provided to the Greek authorities to date by the European Commission's structural reform support service (SRSS). The service was set up in July 2015 to assist member states in implementing growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms. The Eurogroup expects the service to focus on helping Greece implement reforms.
Post-programme surveillance: Cyprus and Spain
Ministers took note of the findings of the first post-programme surveillance mission to Cyprus, which took place at the end of September 2016, and on the findings of the 6th post-programme surveillance mission to Spain, which took place in mid-October 2016.
Euro area member states' draft budgetary plans for 2017
The European Commission briefed the Eurogroup about the ongoing assessment of the 2017 draft budgetary plans, including its exchange of letters with a number of member states.
Ministers will hold a dedicated discussion on these plans at its meeting on 5 December, based on the European Commission's opinions.