Significant progress was made on Banking Union, a key to stability in Europe and on promoting funding for investment in SME's and Corporates at the Informal meeting of EU Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) in Dublin. The decision to extend the maturities on the EFSF and EFSM loan represents a very positive development and will enhance the prospects of Portugal and Ireland of making a full and sustainable return to the market.
The informal ECOFIN, the key finance and economic event of the Irish Presidency of the European Union took place in Dublin Castle and significant progress was made on advancing key issues.
Agreement was reached to extend Portugal's and Ireland's EFSF and EFSM loan by an average of seven years. The return of Programme Countries to the financial markets is a win for Europe as it shows that Europe can resolve the difficulties that we are currently facing.
Minister Noonan - “The agreement reached to adjust the maturities on Ireland's and Portugal's loans by a maximum average of seven years is a significant step on Ireland's and Portugal's journey to a full and sustainable return to the markets.”
Banking union was another important topic discussed at the two day meeting. The issue has been prioritised by the Irish Presidency and much energy has been put into advancing files in this area. In particular significant progress has been made on the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).
Minister Noonan - “Today was an opportunity to take stock of the progress to date and to reaffirm our commitment to progress the next elements of the Banking Union.”
Saturday's meeting focused primarily on financing options for economic growth. Minister Noonan said that "securing an appropriate level of finance for long-term investment is critical in terms of driving economic growth and generating employment. ” Overall, the two day Informal meeting has made significant progress in achieving greater stability in the EU and the Eurozone.
Minister Noonan - “This two day meeting of EU Finance Ministers has made significant progress towards Ireland's Presidency objectives of stability, jobs and growth. I would like to thank all my fellow finance ministers for the positive contributions they have made during our informal meeting.”