Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has assumed the rotating chairmanship of the European Investment Bank.

His term lasts for one year. He took over from Hungarian minister Mihály Varga.

Prof Scicluna attended a meeting of the EIB Board in Brussels in the past few days. He also attended a meeting of Ecofin, which groups the finance ministers of the euro area.

The main item on the agenda of both meetings was the second stage of the Banking Union which includes establishing a framework for bank recovery and resolution.

“This is the most sensitive aspect of the Banking Union where, in case of need, one has to decide where the line has to be drawn between a bail-in which has to be borne by the bank’s shareholders and other creditors and,­ the bail-out which is carried by the taxpayer,” Prof. Scicluna said following the meetings.

During yesterday’s Ecofin meeting, finance ministers also reached a political agreement to increase the 2013 EU budget by €7.3 billion which will be focused on reinforcing funds that enhance Europe's growth across all regions through policies such as Cohesion Policy, investment, education, promoting research and innovation and tackling the problem of unemployment.

Prof. Scicluna also held a consultative meeting with the European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia. They discussed developments across several economic sectors including the financial sector.

Prof Scicluna was accompanied by Malta's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Alfred Camilleri.

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