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Dijsselbloem: EU Bank Resolution Agency May Need Treaty

The European Union may need to enact treaty changes to create a new institution to shut down failing banks, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

The EU can pursue most of its banking-union strategy under existing treaties, Dijsselbloem, who chairs the so-called Eurogroup of euro-area finance ministers, told reporters in Washington today.

“I know that we can push forward at least 80, 90 percent of the project, and the final decision on having a singular resolution authority may need to make a treaty change,” Dijsselbloem said.

The European Central Bank and Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, have called for a European Resolution Authority to intervene at crisis-hit banks, saying the step is essential to untangle the fates of lenders and sovereigns. Barnier said he will present draft legislation in June.

Dijsselbloem said there’s a difference of opinion on the single resolution authority, with Germany calling for treaty change and the European Commission saying they already have a legal basis to proceed.

‘‘I think the banking union at the moment is the most important project for Europe and the euro zone in particular,” Dijsselbloem said.

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