§ Mr. Brooke
The ECOFIN Council met in Brussels on 13 March. I represented the United Kingdom. The Council discussed the Commission's first quarterly examination of the economic situation in the Community.
The Council heard a presentation from the Commission on the 10th anniversary of the European monetary system. Ministers discussed preparations for the spring meetings of the IMF and IBRD to be held in April in Washington. Ministers took note of the latest United States suggestions for strengthening the debt strategy and reaffirmed that the key to the resolution of debt problems is the implementation of economic policy reform in the debtor countries.
The Council discussed the European Court of Auditors report for 1987; I emphasised the importance of the court's work in helping to get better value for money and in combating fraud. The Council approved the recommendation to the European Parliament on discharge of the 1987 accounts.
The Council endorsed a declaration on fraud which foreshadowed new or revised proposals in a number of areas, notably export refunds and intervention storage; and which promised an annual report by the Commission on fraud and an early discussion of key issues chaired by the head of the Commission's anti-fraud unit. The Council will return to the subject of fraud in the near future.