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FMF (Vienna), 03.09.2018 Informal meeting of EU finance ministers in Vienna In addition to the informal ECOFIN on 7 and 8 September, there will also be meetings of the Eurogroup and the governors of the central banks

“The informal ECOFIN is an ideal opportunity for promoting our EU Council presidency topics and for resolving blockades in various areas, for example relating to the taxation of the digital economy. On this subject, in many cases the positions of the Member States could not be more at odds. It is by no means an easy task to bring these differing perspectives down to a common denominator, but I am convinced that by addressing this topic we can make an important contribution to moving forward,” says Finance Minister Hartwig Löger in the run-up to the informal ECOFIN, speaking of the priorities of the Austrian EU Council presidency in the area of the taxation of the digital economy.

Agenda for day 1: EIB, base rate and cryptocurrency investments

The informal ECOFIN starts on Friday afternoon after the Eurogroup meeting. The subject of the first working meeting will be the future of the European Investment Bank (EIB), which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its formation.

On Friday afternoon the finance ministers will focus on the possible repercussions of an increase in the European Central Bank (ECB) base rate on the financial sector. Both the resilience of the sector and its weak points are to be discussed.

The end of the first day will be devoted to the subject of cryptocurrencies. Points of discussion will include the opportunities and the risks involved, and also a possible regulation of this global phenomenon.

Agenda for day 2: EU stability and fair taxation of the digital economy

Part one of the working meeting on Saturday will be dominated by the further expansion of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). First of all the proposal for the InvestEU programme will be discussed. This programme envisages the merging of 14 different financial instruments in order to achieve investment funds of up to 650 billion Euros. This is followed on the agenda by a proposal of the European Commission envisaging the provision of funds from the EU Budget for structural reforms in Member States.

The informal ECOFIN in Vienna will conclude with a discussion of the taxation of the digital economy, based on the proposal of the European Commission of March 2018. The short-term solution of a temporary tax on digital turnover and a long-term solution involving the introduction of new rules for corporation tax will be discussed.