Yesterday, the EU’s ECOFIN Council issued a press release summarizing the points discussed during its meeting earlier that day. A principal point of discussion was the upcoming Group of 20 summit on the financial crisis to be held in Washington DC on November 15. The release summarizes the Council's position that any reforms must ensure, by way of improved regulation and surveillance of market operations, that the mistakes which led to the current economic crisis are not reproduced. Also, the summary points out that the global effects of the crisis should be discussed, with equal emphasis being placed on emerging economies and developing nations, in addition to developed countries.

The release reiterates a statement made by the EU Council on October 15 and 16 that offers some insight on the position that it will take at the upcoming Washington summit. The statement asserts that the EU must work with its international partners on a real and complete reform of the international financial system that is founded on principles of transparency, soundness of banks, responsibility, integrity and global governance. The statement further asserts the Council's goal to swiftly implement measures that will enhance transparency, global regulatory norms, cross-border supervision, and prevention of conflicts of interest, and also include advance warning mechanisms. The Council then indicates its belief that these measures will help restore confidence amongst market participants and investors.

The release also indicates that the Council's discussion has laid the groundwork for an informal meeting that will take place in Brussels on November 7 between the European heads of State, in anticipation of the summit in Washington.

Last week, the Council provided more detailed analysis of its position on the necessary steps to combat the current economic crisis.