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Decision on Financial Transaction Tax and debate on growth at first ECOFIN Council of Irish Presidency

The Financial Transaction Tax will proceed to next stage following a decision at the ECOFIN Council on enhanced co-operation. President of ECOFIN, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan outlined Ireland’s ambitious Presidency Programme and during constructive discussion of the Annual Growth Survey he signalled his intention to prioritise this debate, and in particular the debate on the role of non-bank lending, at the informal ECOFIN in April.

The Irish Presidency of the ECOFIN council commenced on 22 January and Irish Finance Minister and ECOFIN Council President Mr. Michael Noonan TD presented Ireland’s ambitious Presidency Programme. Throughout the course of the 6 month Presidency Ireland will focus on promoting Stability, Jobs and Growth across Europe, and the ECOFIN has a central role in driving this agenda.

A key decision was taken at yesterday’s Council to move forward on an enhanced cooperation basis for the Financial Transaction Tax. Ireland as a member state will not be one of the participating countries and we are committed, in our role as President, to act as an honest and impartial broker in the discussions.

Yesterday’s meeting included a discussion on key parts of the growth agenda, in particular a discussion on the Annual Growth Survey, which signals the start of the European Semester.

The Council noted the intention of the Presidency to prioritise discussions on the Annual Growth Survey at the informal ECOFIN in April and in particular a discussion of non-bank financing of long term investment.

Promoting sustainable and long term growth in Europe is a key priority of the Irish Presidency of the ECOFIN council. The Informal ECOFIN in April will discuss non-bank-financing of long term investment.

The meeting also included:

  • an update from the Presidency on financial services dossiers (CRD IV and banking supervision mechanism) and economic surveillance measures (“two pack”)
  • an update on the follow-up to the European Council meeting of 13-14 December 2012 on the future of the EMU in ECOFIN
  • a presentation from the Commission on an action plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion.

Read Minister Noonan's ECOFIN Opening Address.

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