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Vienna, 22 October 2012 Spindelegger, Fekter: "We support the idea of a banking union" Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger and Finance Minister Maria Fekter meet with EU Commissioner Michel Barnier

Over a working dinner in Vienna on Sunday evening, Finance Minister Maria Fekter, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, discussed the current negotiations over introduction of a European banking union. The future of Economic and Monetary Union was also a key topic of the meeting.

"We support the planned banking union. During the course of the negotiations, Austria will in particular argue in favour of fair voting arrangements for those States which have not yet introduced the euro but nevertheless wish to participate in the joint regulatory mechanism," stressed Fekter.

Foreign Minister Spindelegger added: "The main cornerstones have already been supported by the European Council and we too pledge ourselves to the stability of European Monetary Union. What is more, the planned banking union constitutes a key step in driving forward the European integration process as well as restoring people's trust in the banking sector."

The plan is in future to have central regulation for the banks of the euro countries as well as those Member States who voluntarily join the banking union. Precisely the supranational aspect of such authority is a crunch point in the current negotiations, something that has also been taken up by the Austrian Finance Minister. "I will advocate a meaningful division of work between the national regulatory authorities and the European National Bank," explained Fekter.

Internal Market Commissioner Barnier declared in conclusion that a new proposal will shortly be presented for joint banking regulation.

Link to Photos of all three