Sajid Javid – 2020 Statement on ECOFIN

Below is the text of the statement made by Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the House of Commons on 21 January 2020.

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council will be held in Brussels on 21 January 2020. The Council will discuss the following:

Early morning session

The Eurogroup president will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 20 January meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU. Following this, Ministers will take stock of the process of nominating a European candidate for the European Bank for Reconstruction and

Development (EBRD) presidency.​

Current financial services legislative proposals

The Croatian presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency work programme

The Croatian presidency will present its work programme for January to June 2020.

European Green Deal

The European Commission will present the economic and financial aspects of the European Green Deal.

European semester 2020

To launch the new European semester exercise, the European Commission will present the annual sustainable growth strategy, the alert mechanism report, and the Euro area recommendation.

Tax challenges arising from digitalisation

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the state of play of negotiations in the OECD on tax challenges arising from digitalisation.

I would also like to inform the House about the ECOFIN meetings that took place on 5 December 2019 and 8 November 2019.

ECOFIN: 5 December 2019

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council was held in Brussels on 5 December 2019. The UK was represented by Matthew Taylor, Director Europe, HM Treasury.

The Council discussed the following:

Early morning session

The Eurogroup president briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 4 December meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Banking Union

The Council noted a report on progress on the banking union.

AOB: Directive as regards disclosure of income tax information

Ministers held an exchange of views on the legal basis for country-by-country reporting of incometax information, as requested by Sweden.

Current financial services legislative proposals

The Commission provided an update on current legislative files in the field of financial services.

Energy taxation

The Council adopted conclusions in regards to energy taxation.

European financial architecture for development

The Council adopted conclusions on the European financial architecture for development.

Climate action work plan

In response to discussions at September informal ECOFIN meeting, the Council approved the proposed work plan on climate action.

“Stable-coins”

The Council and Commission adopted a joint statement on “stable-coins”.​

Capital Markets Union

The Commission gave an update on the capital markets union, welcoming work on sustainable finance and FinTech.

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing

The Council adopted the conclusions on proposed changes to the future EU framework for anti-money laundering and the financing of counter-terrorism.

Sustainable finance

The Council held an exchange of views the sustainable finance.

Non-performing loans

The Commission updated on the action plan for non-performing loans in Europe.

Stability and growth pact

The Council issued decisions confirming no effective action has been taken by Hungary and Romania in response to Council recommendations of June 2019.

AOB: EU list of non-co-operative tax jurisdictions

As an AOB, the Danish delegation requested Ministers to strengthen ambitions on the EU list of non-co-operative tax jurisdictions.

ECOFIN: 8 November 2019

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 8 November 2019. The UK was represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council discussed the following:

Excise duties

The Council discussed the directive on general arrangements for excise duty (recast); the regulation on administrative co-operation of the content of electronic registers; and amendments to the directive on the structures of excise duty on alcohol.

VAT data from payment service providers

The Council agreed a general approach on amendments to: the directive on the common system of VAT with regards to requirements for payment service providers; and the regulation on administrative co-operation in the field of VAT concerning measures to combat VAT fraud.

VAT treatment for small enterprises

The Council agreed amendments to the directive on the common system of VAT in regards to the special scheme for small enterprises.

Current financial services legislative proposals

The Finnish presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Central Bank – Executive Board member

The Council adopted a recommendation to the European Council on the appointment of a new member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.

Digital taxation

The Council was updated on the current state of play of digital taxation and discussed the way forward.

European Fiscal Board report

The Council were presented with the 2019 annual report of the European Fiscal Board.​
EU statistical package

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the EU statistical package and to review progress achieved.

Climate finance

The Council adopted Council conclusions on climate finance for the COP25 climate summit.

Follow-up to international meetings

The presidency and Commission informed the Council of the main outcomes of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and central bank governors and the IMF and World Bank annual meetings held in October 2019.

Stable coins

As an AOB, the presidency informed the Council about a joint statement on stable-coins ahead of December ECOFIN.