European Union (EU) finance ministers concluded their informal meeting (ECOFIN) here Saturday after producing four pillar measures to tackle economic slowdown and turmoil in financial markets.
After two-day discussions of the economic situation in Europe, the ministers agreed to support four major measures put forward by the French EU presidency.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde proposed "four pillars" to boost economic activity and weather financial crisis, a communique released at the end of a two-day informal meeting said.
The measures include, first of all, steps taken in budgetary matters, structural reforms and financial supervision.
In the budgetary sector, EU member states will let automatic stabilizers support the activity without trying to contain expenditure so that the 3 percent deficit ceiling can be respected under the Stability and Growth Pact.
In addition, structural reforms must be pursued because they can help restore economic power by increasing competition.
The ministers also ask the European Investment Bank to support the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing lending capabilities in the period of 2008-2009.
Finally, in the financial sector, measures to restore confidence through transparency and accountability of banks and other sectors will be implemented without delay.
The finance ministers and presidents of banks have verified compliance with the recommendations of transparency that banks publish their reports on a half year basis.
The four pillars, as Lagarde put it, were produced to tackle "the shock of inflation, shock of change and shock of international financial crisis," ministers of the 27-nation bloc said after analyzing the current economic situation in Europe on Friday and Saturday.
The ministers earlier opposed a U.
-style stimulus package to reactivate the economy.
The EU and euro zone have seen economic contraction in the second quarter of this year, but EU officials refused to say that Europe is on the brink of recession.