Main results – Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 20th of February 2018

Main results

Ministers discussed the recommendations of a high-level group of experts on sustainable finance. 

The EU’s sustainable finance strategy will contribute to implementing the UN’s 2015 climate change agreement. It is also part of the EU’s plan to develop a capital markets union by the end of 2019.

The Commission is due to present an action plan in March 2018.

“The Paris agreement marked a milestone for the global economy and the EU is leading the shift towards a low-carbon society”, said Vladislav Goranov, minister for finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency. “I believe that the views expressed today will provide food for thought to the Commission when finalising its action plan”, he said.

The Council adopted guidelines for the 2019 EU budget, stressing that a transparent and effective use of the budget will bolster the EU’s credibility with its citizens. 

The guidelines call for prudent budgeting, with adequate resources to support priorities whilst leaving sufficient margins to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The focus should be on programmes and actions with EU added value.

Ministers also recommended that the European Parliament grant discharge to the Commission for implementation of the 2016 EU budget.

The Council issued a recommendation confirming the nomination of Luis de Guindos as vice-president of the European Central Bank. 

The recommendation will be submitted to the European Council for a decision on 22-23 March 2018. The European Parliament and the ECB’s governing council will meanwhile be consulted.