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 Full text 
Monday, 15 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

European Supervisory Authorities and financial markets - European Union macro-prudential oversight of the financial system and establishing a European Systemic Risk Board - Markets in financial instruments and taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II) (debate)

  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, the review of the European system of financial supervision is an important building block for achieving a genuine capital markets union. Therefore I am pleased that the co-legislators managed to find a political agreement on this very difficult package within just a few weeks during the trilogues in February and March. This allows this House to vote on this important legislative package still before the recess and brings much needed certainty for financial supervision in general and for the European supervisory authorities in particular.

However, I must share the diagnosis that the level of ambition of the political agreement on a number of elements is indeed lower than initially proposed by the Commission.

Nevertheless, this result would not have been possible without the very constructive attitude from Parliament during the negotiations. Parliament has shown in those negotiations that it’s fully aware of the key role of the European supervisory authorities in achieving real market integration. So I would like to say thank you and congratulate the co-rapporteurs, Ms Berès and Mr Karas, for this work and for this achievement. And of course I hope for a positive vote in plenary.

In my view this political agreement is a significant step towards complementing the Single Rulebook by more convergence of supervisory practices across the EU. Moreover, as a political agreement it is an important step forward to improve the EU’s anti-money laundering framework, broadly matching the ambition of the amended Commission proposal of September 2018. The new rules will confer new powers on the European Banking Authority in anti-money laundering supervision of the financial sector.

The three European supervisory authorities (the ESAs) have a key role in achieving convergence of supervisory outcomes and to ensure a level playing field for financial institutions and investors in the EU. Supervisory convergence is a precondition for a fully-fledged capital markets union. Truly integrated capital markets can only work properly to the benefit of the economy and consumers if rules are applied in a similar way in all Member States.

I welcome that the agreement will equip the three ESAs with new and improved instruments to foster convergence in how the European financial sector is supervised. In particular, I hope that the peer reviews of supervisors will be more effective after this review. Moreover, newly established coordination groups will bring differences in supervisory approaches to light and will allow supervisors to cooperate in order to tackle prudential and level-playing-field concerns.

Finally consistent supervisory outcomes are also facilitated by some additional powers for ESMA, for direct supervision of certain benchmarks and reporting services.

I also welcome the strength and focus of the three authorities on consumer protection, on environmental, social and corporate governance considerations in finance, and on financial technology.

Regarding governance, the agreement will contribute to more effective decision-making within the ESAs and I’m confident that the reinforcement of the chairperson’s role and powers will help to improve their governance.

Finally, the legislators will equip the three ESAs with the necessary resources for the agreed tasks, even if industry funding originally proposed by the Commission was not agreed.

I also welcome the political agreement reached on 21 March on the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) Regulation. The ESRB plays an important role within the European system of financial supervision in ensuring the stability of the financial system in the EU. This agreement will secure the further improved effectiveness of the ESRB.

The compromise found in political trilogues takes on board the majority of the amendments put forward by Parliament, as well as the Council. In particular, it requires the ESRB to carry out public consultations on a more systemic basis and strengthens its accountability. Furthermore, the compromise raises the visibility of the ESRB by giving a stronger role to the vice-chairs and the head of secretariat in the external representation of the ESRB. And as requested by Parliament, the new regulation also strengthens protection for whistle-blowers.

For the anti-money laundering (AML) part of the reform, I would like to hand over to my colleague Vĕra Jourová.

Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice