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Thursday, 12 May 2011 - StrasbourgOJ edition
ANNEX (Written answers) - QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL(The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)

Question no 8 by Gay Mitchell (H-000171/11 )  
 Subject: Timeline for the resolution of the banking and debt crisis

Will the Council put forward a timeline for the resolution of the banking and debt crisis currently under way in Europe?


The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the May 2011 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

(EN) As a follow-up to the comprehensive roadmap endorsed by the Council on 20 October 2009, on which work has been largely completed, the Council, at its meeting of 7 December 2010 endorsed a Roadmap on an EU-wide framework for crisis prevention, management and resolution that covers short and medium term objectives up to 2012. In this Roadmap, the Council foresees relevant timeframes for a continuous policy debate on the crisis prevention and resolution framework, which feeds into the preparatory work on legislative proposals, currently undertaken by the Commission.

The June 2010 European Council stated that the necessary reforms to restore the soundness and stability of the European financial system must be completed urgently and confirmed the urgent nature of the measures outlined in the Commission's Communication "Regulating Financial Services for Sustainable Growth" of 2 June 2010.

On 7 December 2010, the Council also stressed the importance of making progress in respect of the work strands set out in the Commission Communication on an EU Framework for Crisis Management in the Financial Sector.

The Council is therefore looking forward to the discussions on legislative proposals relating to framework for crisis management and resolution in the banking sector which the Commission is expected to table this summer. The Council also continues working on the legislative proposals already tabled by the Commission, and expect an early conclusion of the current and future negotiations with the European Parliament.

The new economic governance package, on which the Council is seeking agreement with the European Parliament by June 2011, should enable a more effective surveillance and coordination of budgetary and macroeconomic policies of all Member States. In particular, it aims to introduce a stronger focus on the debt criterion including a numerical benchmark according to which Member States should reduce their debt levels. Countries not complying with the debt criterion would be placed within the Excessive Deficit Procedure which could, for euro area Member States, eventually lead to sanctions.

Under the existing legal framework 24 Member States are currently subject to the Excessive Deficit Procedure. According to the deadlines set by the Council, while a number of Member States will have to correct their excessive deficit by 2011, for most countries the deadline has been set at 2013 at the latest. Only Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom have received later deadlines. Correcting the excessive deficits in time will contribute to putting debt levels on a permanently declining path.

Moreover, the Euro Plus Pact, endorsed by all euro area and six non euro area Member States at the highest level in the frame of the March 2011 European Council, should encourage individual Member States to make ambitious national commitments in the areas of fostering competitiveness, fostering employment, the sustainability of public finances and reinforcing financial stability. These elements should all help safeguard stability in the euro area as a whole and therefore be conducive to tackling the debt crisis.

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