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The banking union is an EU-level banking supervision and resolution system which operates on the basis of EU-wide rules. It aims to ensure that the banking sector in the euro area and the wider EU is safe and reliable and that non-viable banks are resolved without recourse to taxpayers' money and with minimal impact on the real economy.
The Eurogroup, the main forum for the management of the single currency area, is an informal body that brings together the finance ministers of countries whose currency is the euro.
The "European Semester" is a cycle of economic and fiscal policy coordination within the EU. Its focus is on the six-month period from the beginning of each year, hence its name – the "semester". During the European Semester the member states align their budgetary and economic policies with the objectives and rules agreed at the EU level.
The Council on 2 December adopted the regulation laying down the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.
At the meeting on 17 November the Council and the European Parliament agreed that further discussions were needed for the two institutions to reach agreement on the EU budget for 2015 and on ways to address the outstanding payments in the 2014 budget.
At the Ecofin meeting on 7 November the Council discussed the introduction of a draft common anti-abuse clause in the EU's 2011 parent-subsidiary directive. The amendment aims to prevent tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning in the EU in specific situations.
09.12.2014 Rat (Wirtschaft und Finanzen)
20.11.2014 Securities financing transactions: Council agrees transparency rules
17.11.2014 EU budget talks to restart from a fresh Commission proposal
17.11.2014 Council agrees its position for the final round of budget conciliation talks
14.11.2014 Press release - 3345th Council meeting - ECONOMIC and FINANCIAL AFFAIRS (BUDGET) - Brussels, 14 November 2014 (provisional version)
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.
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