Representatives from the European Parliament and EU Governments reached a provisional deal Thursday on a scheme to shield taxpayers from bank bailouts.

The mechanism to wind down troubled eurozone banks is to become the second element of a crisis-thwarting banking union, considered key to restoring trust in the currency bloc.

Details of the deal, which was reached after 16 hours of talks, were not immediately available. It still requires the support of the heads of the respective political groups in parliament, who were to meet later Thursday.

Negotiators have been under pressure to find an agreement before European elections in May, or else risk delaying a deal until 2015.

The deal was hard-fought, with contention over several areas ranging from decision-making processes to the set-up of a new fund to assist troubled banks.

The last opportunity for the Parliament to approve any agreement is at its April 14-17 session. But its translators need time before then to get the text ready in the EU’s 24 official languages.

(This article was published on March 20, 2014)
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