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The Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) is a European Union advisory body, defined by the article 134 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Its president is also the president of the Eurogroup Working Group, which prepares dossiers for approval by the Eurogroup, whose decisions are generally ratified by ECOFIN.
Prior the third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which began on 1 January 1999,the Economic and Financial Committee was preceded by the Monetary Committee, which was established by article 105 of the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
In May, as part of the European Semester 2016 Spring Package, the committee was tasked with making Article 126(3) reports on Belgium, Finland and Italy's government debt.
The EFC is an advisory body, set up to promote coordination of member states' policies necessary for the functioning of the internal market. The EFC:
The EFC is composed of senior officials from national administrations and EU central banks, the European Central Bank and the Commission. It meets in two different configurations: with or without national central banks.
The EFC also meets in a euro area configuration: the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), in which only the euro area countries, the Commission and the European Central Bank are represented. In this configuration, the Committee prepares the work of the Eurogroup.
The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council and informally known as Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as listed in the Treaty on European Union. It is one of two legislative bodies and together with the European Parliament serves to amend and approve the proposals of the European Commission.
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999, coming into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy within the Eurozone, which comprises 19 member states of the European Union and is one of the largest monetary areas in the world. Established by the Treaty of Amsterdam, the ECB is one of the world's most important central banks and serves as one of seven institutions of the European Union, being enshrined in the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The bank's capital stock is owned by all 27 central banks of each EU member state. The current President of the ECB is Christine Lagarde. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, the bank formerly occupied the Eurotower prior to the construction of its new seat.
The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 27 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender. The monetary authority of the eurozone is the Eurosystem. The other eight members of the European Union continue to use their own national currencies, although most of them are obliged to adopt the euro in the future.
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was a system introduced by the European Economic Community on 13 March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System (EMS), to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of a single currency, the euro, which took place on 1 January 1999.
The Euro came into existence on 1 January 1999, although it had been a goal of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors since the 1960s. After tough negotiations, particularly due to opposition from the United Kingdom, the Maastricht Treaty entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating an economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK and Denmark.
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) is one of the oldest configurations of the Council of the European Union and is composed of the economics and finance ministers of the 27 European Union member states, as well as Budget Ministers when budgetary issues are discussed.
European Union (EU) concepts, acronyms, and jargon are a terminology set that has developed as a form of shorthand, to quickly express a (formal) EU process, an (informal) institutional working practice, or an EU body, function or decision, and which is commonly understood among EU officials or external people who regularly deal with EU institutions.
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is one of two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU), the other being the Treaty on European Union.
The Eurogroup is the recognised collective term for informal meetings of the finance ministers of the eurozone—those member states of the European Union (EU) which have adopted the euro as their official currency. The group has 19 members. It exercises political control over the currency and related aspects of the EU's monetary union such as the Stability and Growth Pact. The current President of the Eurogroup is Mário Centeno, the Minister of Finance of Portugal.
The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of member states of the European Union at three stages. The policies cover the 19 eurozone states, as well as non-euro European Union states.
The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is a special purpose vehicle financed by members of the eurozone to address the European sovereign-debt crisis. It was agreed by the Council of the European Union on 9 May 2010, with the objective of preserving financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to eurozone states in economic difficulty. The Facility's headquarters are in Luxembourg City, as are those of the European Stability Mechanism. Treasury management services and administrative support are provided to the Facility by the European Investment Bank through a service level contract. Since the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, the activities of the EFSF are carried out by the ESM.
The European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) is an emergency funding programme reliant upon funds raised on the financial markets and guaranteed by the European Commission using the budget of the European Union as collateral. It runs under the supervision of the Commission and aims at preserving financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to member states of the European Union in economic difficulty.
The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is an intergovernmental organization located in Luxembourg City, which operates under public international law for all eurozone Member States having ratified a special ESM intergovernmental treaty. It was established on 27 September 2012 as a permanent firewall for the eurozone, to safeguard and provide instant access to financial assistance programmes for member states of the eurozone in financial difficulty, with a maximum lending capacity of €500 billion.
Vittorio Grilli is an Italian economist and academic. He was Italy's economy and finances minister as part of the Monti cabinet from 2012 to 2013.
The Banking Union in the European Union is the transfer of responsibility for banking policy from the national to the EU level in several countries of the European Union, initiated in 2012 as a response to the Eurozone crisis. The motivation for banking union was the fragility of numerous banks in the Eurozone, and the identification of vicious circle between credit conditions for these banks and the sovereign credit of their respective home countries. In several countries, private debts arising from a property bubble were transferred to sovereign debt as a result of banking system bailouts and government responses to slowing economies post-bubble. Conversely, weakness in sovereign credit resulted in deterioration of the balance sheet position of the banking sector, not least because of high domestic sovereign exposures of the banks.
Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) is an advisory body to the Eurogroup of the European Union. It is composed of representatives of the euro area member states of the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), the European Commission and the European Central Bank. The President of the Eurogroup Working Group is Tuomas Saarenheimo, who entered the job in April 2020 and is also the President of the EFC. Previously, the posts had been held by Hans Vijlbrief and Thomas Wieser.
Thomas Wieser is an American-Austrian economist working for the European Union. He was the president of Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) of the EU as well as the president of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), both advisory bodies of the Eurogroup, until February 2018.
Mário José Gomes de Freitas Centeno is a Portuguese economist, university professor, and politician. Since 2015, he has been Minister of Finance in the government of Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal. Since 2018, he has been president of the Eurogroup and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism. Previously, he was a board member economist of the Bank of Portugal.