Löger urges swift conversion of ESM into a European Monetary Fund In working discussions with the Managing Director of the ESM, Klaus Regling, Austrian Finance Minister Löger reiterates Austria's call for the ESM to be converted into an "EMF".

On Monday morning, Austrian Finance Minister Löger welcomed in Vienna the Managing Director of the ESM, Klaus Regling. In preparation for Austria's EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2018, Löger and Regling discussed topics which Austria intends to place on the agenda. These include the package proposed last year by the European Commission with the aim of a deepening Economic and Monetary Union. Part of this package provides for conversion of the ESM into an "EMF". "Further development of the ESM in the direction of an "EMF" is supported by Austria," declared Löger. Ultimately, the aim is to strengthen the ESM in its role as an institution tasked with the comprehensive combating of crises in the euro area and to equip the organisation with appropriate powers. Regling's response: "The ESM is willing to take on additional responsibility in order to make Monetary Union even more robust."

In addition, the proposal was also put forward that a so-called "common backstop" should be incorporated into the ESM for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF). In this connection, Löger and Regling also held broader discussions on the general further development of the ESM. These related above all to the role of the ESM within the framework of aid programmes, the instruments available to the ESM and governance of the ESM itself.

However, not only did an exchange of views take place, but concrete procedural steps to be taken during the Austrian Council Presidency were also raised at this early stage.