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Early Warning System

Early Warning System – a procedure for monitoring countries that have current ESM financial assistance programmes or have exited form them. The aim is to ensure that these countries are capable of repaying their obligations towards the ESM.

Emergency voting procedure

A voting procedure to be used when the European Commission and the ECB both conclude that a failure to urgently adopt a decision to grant or implement financial assistance, as defined in Articles 13 to 18 of the ESM Treaty, would threaten the economic and financial sustainability of the euro area. The adoption of a decision by mutual agreement by the Board of Governors to grant stability support under that emergency procedure requires a qualified majority of 85% of the votes cast.

Enhanced Conditions Credit Line (ECCL)

A credit line open to all euro area countries  whose general economic and financial situation remains sound but who do not comply with some of the eligibility criteria for accessing a Precautionary Conditioned Credit Line (PCCL). The country will be obliged to adopt corrective measures aimed at addressing such weaknesses and avoiding any future difficulties in respect of access to market financing.

ESM Administrative Tribunal (ESMAT)

An independent body that hears and passes judgment on ESM staff employment matters within its competence as defined by its ESMAT Statute (PDF, 258 KB) as adopted by the Board of Directors of the ESM on 29 October 2013. The Tribunal is composed of five members, including a President and a Vice-President.

ESM Treaty

An intergovernmental treaty signed in Brussels on 2 February 2012 by the 17 EU Member States who had at that stage adopted the euro, establishing the European Stability Mechanism.  It entered into force on 27 September 2012, and was later signed by countries which subsequently adopted the euro: Latvia (in 2014) and Lithuania (in 2015).

ESM/EFSF Market Group

A group of international banks from among which the lead managers for an ESM or EFSF bond issue are chosen.

Euro Summit
A meeting of the heads of state or government of the euro area countries, along with the Euro Summit President and the President of the European Commission. The Euro Summit provides policy guidance to ensure the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union, which helps to coordinate all the relevant policy areas between the euro area member states. According to the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) in the Economic and Monetary Union, Euro Summit meetings should take place at least twice a year.

The informal gathering of the finance ministers of the euro area countries. Meetings of the Eurogroup are aimed at enhancing economic policy coordination within the euro area. The Eurogroup is also attended by the EU Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, the President of the European Central Bank, and the Chairman of the Eurogroup Working Group presenting the preparatory work done in that Group. The Managing Director of the ESM is regularly invited to Eurogroup meetings. The Eurogroup is chaired by a President, appointed for two and a half years (currently Mário Centeno from Portugal).

Eurogroup Working Group (EWG)

A preparatory body composed of representatives of the euro area Member States, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. It provides assistance to both the Eurogroup and its President in preparing Eurogroup discussions. The EWG usually meets once a month ahead of Eurogroup meetings. 

European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM)

A financial assistance mechanism in which the European Commission raises funds in financial markets (by issuing bonds) on behalf of the European Union under an implicit EU budget guarantee. The funds are then loaned to EU Member States in need of financial assistance. The EFSM participated in the financial assistance programmes for Ireland and Portugal, and also provided short-term assistance to Greece in 2015 (see EFSM page on European Commission website).

European Semester

A six-month period each year when EU Member States' budgetary, macro-economic and structural policies are coordinated so as to allow these countries to translate EU considerations into their national budgetary processes and into other aspects of their economic policymaking. For more information please refer to the website of the European Commission.

European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)

Three EU authorities – the European Banking Authority (EBA), European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) - responsible for developing guidelines and recommendations for national supervisory authorities,  and drafting technical standards (formally adopted by the European Commission as EU law) contributing to the harmonisation of rules applicable to financial institutions. 

The Eurosystem is the central banking system of the euro area. It consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the euro area national central banks. The Eurosystem conducts the monetary policy of the euro area with the primary objective of maintaining price stability, i.e. to safeguard the value of the euro.