Speaking at the European Business Summit on 30 June, Van Rompuy stressed that the task force was trying to define a system of "smart sanctions".
He explained that his team was aiming to strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact, not only at the stage where a country exceeds the 3% threshold for public deficits, but also in a preventive phase.
The task force is not looking for "a nuclear bomb" with one big sanction, he assured his audience, but is instead looking at imposing "more automatic" sanctions in a gradual way, "without too much interference from political bodies".
He explained that the philosophy was "totally new," as the measures were not based on budgetary surveys but on surveillance at macroeconomic level, especially in the field of competitiveness.
At their June summit, EU leaders gave "orientations" for developing a scoreboard to better monitor competitiveness developments and allow for early detection of unsustainable or dangerous trends.
"We need indicators, we need a monitoring system, we even need a system of warnings and recommendations with possible sanctions if countries don't comply with what is needed for keeping their competitiveness," Van Rompuy told the audience.
Competitiveness is about reforms in the labour market, in product markets and in service markets, he said, adding that countries had already engaged in debates on pension and labour market reforms, which was a positive sign.
Focusing not only on budgets but also on competitiveness would make it possible for the EU to have more convergence of economic policies inside the euro zone, Van Rompuy argued.
"In the euro zone - we saw it in the last months - the problems of one country are the problems of all. So each country has responsibility for the general European instrument. We need surveillance mechanisms for budgets, and also for competitiveness," he said.
The Council president said he hoped the task force would be able to report in October or even September.
Asked how the markets would react to measures to be introduced to strengthen confidence, Van Rompuy stressed that the importance lay not in publishing decisions but in making sure that when there are problems for all to see, the Union acts immediately by taking the appropriate measures.
"We recover confidence not by speeches, but by acts […] We will always have doubts about what the markets will do. I've never met them, the markets," he said, amid laughter.