The Malta Independent 10 December 2019, Tuesday

Scicluna calls on EU to change culture towards risk taking and innovation

Friday, 8 November 2019, 18:31 Last update: about 2 months ago

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has called on the EU to change its culture towards risk taking and innovation.

"For many years after the financial crisis, EU investment and in particular investment in innovation, suffered the fate of government expenditure. As a result, R&D as a percentage of GDP in Europe is significantly lower than in the US. The EU needs to change its culture towards risk taking and innovation," he said

Scicluna was speaking during the Eurogroup thematic debate on investment in innovation and research as a means to boost productivity and competitiveness in the Eurozone.

The Eurogroup, followed by the ECOFIN Council meeting, took place in Brussels on 7 and 8 November respectively.

At the Inclusive Eurogroup Meeting on the same day, ministers also took stock of the progress made with respect to the discussions on a roadmap for political negotiations for establishing the European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) and especially the development announced by the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Scicluna welcomed this development since the completion of the Banking Union would mark significant progress in the EU's roadmap in the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. Minister Scicluna emphasised that the financial stability of member states should remain the main priority behind the completion of the Banking Union.

Malta, he said, cannot accept changes in the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures if they come at the cost of financial stability. Furthermore, while there are other pre-requisites such as the reduction of non-performing loans and the need for common insolvency and resolution frameworks for banks, Malta can neither accept tax harmonisation as another pre-condition.

In fact, Malta is of the opinion that, given its divisive nature within Council, the taxation debate would significantly lengthen the process towards the completion of the Banking Union. 


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