17

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Deepening EMU and fiscal union: Risk sharing versus risk reduction

14-07-2017

The debate on how to deepen economic and monetary union (EMU) is in full swing, despite gradual recovery since 2015 from the 2007-2008 crisis. There is controversy surrounding whether delegation of monetary sovereignty to EMU necessarily entails some euro-area fiscal stabilisation competences and, if so, what kind. Proposals for such a mechanism range from (re)insurance solutions, investment strategies and funding instruments, to actual budgetary competence for the euro area. Current research supports ...

The debate on how to deepen economic and monetary union (EMU) is in full swing, despite gradual recovery since 2015 from the 2007-2008 crisis. There is controversy surrounding whether delegation of monetary sovereignty to EMU necessarily entails some euro-area fiscal stabilisation competences and, if so, what kind. Proposals for such a mechanism range from (re)insurance solutions, investment strategies and funding instruments, to actual budgetary competence for the euro area. Current research supports a stronger EMU fiscal union and the introduction of stabilising policy instruments. However, the capacity to absorb future shocks will also depend on the ability to off-set diverging trends between Member States, caused by different economic systems and labour market institutions. Despite recent signs of economic recovery, divergence may prove difficult to reverse. In June 2015, the Five Presidents' Report contributed to the debate about a euro-area 'fiscal union' by suggesting the development of a fiscal stabilisation function by 2025. Initially announced as a white paper, the European Commission's reflection paper on the 'deepening of the economic and monetary union', presented on 31 May 2017, does not formulate concrete steps, as envisaged in the 2015 report. Instead it offers four guiding principles on how to build the future EMU architecture. 'At the latest' by 2025, a 'central stabilisation function' could take the form of a European investment protection scheme or a European unemployment reinsurance scheme. This briefing is one in a series on the European Commission's reflection papers following up the March 2017 White Paper on the future of Europe.

Amending the bank resolution framework – BRRD and SRMR

06-06-2017

The completion and implementation of the significant overhaul of the financial regulatory framework in response to the financial crisis, including the revision of the resolution framework for banks, remains a major area of the European Commission's work. On 23 November 2016, the Commission proposed amending the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR) in order to incorporate international standards on loss-absorption and recapitalisation; ...

The completion and implementation of the significant overhaul of the financial regulatory framework in response to the financial crisis, including the revision of the resolution framework for banks, remains a major area of the European Commission's work. On 23 November 2016, the Commission proposed amending the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR) in order to incorporate international standards on loss-absorption and recapitalisation; the proposals incorporate the total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC) set by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international standard-setter.

European Semester: Assessing the 2017 priorities

07-02-2017

The European Semester is a key monitoring element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. As part of the annual evaluation cycle, three European Parliament Committees discuss the European Commission's priority areas for 2017: boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. The Committee reports assess the priorities from an ...

The European Semester is a key monitoring element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. As part of the annual evaluation cycle, three European Parliament Committees discuss the European Commission's priority areas for 2017: boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. The Committee reports assess the priorities from an economic, employment and single market point of view before the Commission presents dedicated country reports in late February. Plenary discussion on all three reports is planned for the February II part-session.

Economic and budgetary outlook for the European Union 2017

27-01-2017

This study presents the economic and budgetary outlook for the European Union (EU) in 2017 and beyond. Economic estimates point to moderate growth and creation of new employment against a backdrop of persistent external and internal challenges that may hinder recovery. An investment gap persist in almost all EU Member States and a number of EU measures contribute to addressing it. While fiscal policies remain mainly within EU Member States' remit, they are increasingly coordinated at EU level through ...

This study presents the economic and budgetary outlook for the European Union (EU) in 2017 and beyond. Economic estimates point to moderate growth and creation of new employment against a backdrop of persistent external and internal challenges that may hinder recovery. An investment gap persist in almost all EU Member States and a number of EU measures contribute to addressing it. While fiscal policies remain mainly within EU Member States' remit, they are increasingly coordinated at EU level through rules and processes such as the European Semester. However, a central tool of fiscal stabilisation is missing, as the EU budget was not designed to play this role. This is due to the size of the EU budget (only some 1 % of the area's gross national income) and its limited flexibility in the context of multiannual financial planning. While the structure of the 2017 EU budget is largely determined by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), EU institutions have used the flexibility provisions of the MFF to strengthen resources in areas considered of key concern – the economic and migration crises, and emerging security issues. The need to resort to such provisions appears to be a constant feature of the current MFF. The debate on the future of the EU budget is expected to gain momentum in 2017 in the run-up to the European Commission proposal for a post-2020 MFF. In a rapidly evolving world, the design of the EU budget has to ensure the right balance between predictability of investments and capacity to respond to new challenges and priorities.

A fiscal capacity for the euro area?

20-09-2016

The idea to create a 'fiscal capacity' for the euro area was launched in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis, with the recognition that weaknesses in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) had worsened the crisis. Although the debate has lost some momentum as euro-area countries have stepped back from the acute phase of the crisis, the EU institutions continue to work on designing a framework to bolster EMU, looking in particular at automatic stabilisers. The European Parliament's Committees on ...

The idea to create a 'fiscal capacity' for the euro area was launched in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis, with the recognition that weaknesses in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) had worsened the crisis. Although the debate has lost some momentum as euro-area countries have stepped back from the acute phase of the crisis, the EU institutions continue to work on designing a framework to bolster EMU, looking in particular at automatic stabilisers. The European Parliament's Committees on Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs are currently preparing a report on a budgetary capacity for the euro area.

The cost of banking - Recent trends in capital requirements

26-07-2016

Capital and liquidity requirements are provisions to make banking activities safer through measures to cover a firm’s unexpected losses as well as to fund its ongoing activities. The supervision of financial institutions is benchmarked against international standards (Basel III), set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). These non-binding provisions are transposed into EU norms through the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (CRD-IV/CRR – the ‘CRD-IV package’). Current data ...

Capital and liquidity requirements are provisions to make banking activities safer through measures to cover a firm’s unexpected losses as well as to fund its ongoing activities. The supervision of financial institutions is benchmarked against international standards (Basel III), set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). These non-binding provisions are transposed into EU norms through the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (CRD-IV/CRR – the ‘CRD-IV package’). Current data suggest a limited overall negative impact of increased capital requirements on bank lending. Considering the long-term benefits, an appropriate increase in capital requirements appears to be positive. Equally, at international level, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has developed resolution standards for globally systemically important banks (G-SIBs), requiring even higher buffers. Known as Total Loss Absorption Capacity (TLAC), this will enter into force after 2019. In parallel, the EU Banking Union's single resolution mechanism (SRM) is currently finalising its own loss-absorption rules: minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), which are required by the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD). The European Commission is currently making efforts to align these different provisions and to reduce the complexity for the banking sector. At the same time, with remaining high political risk within the euro area and unparalleled ultra-low interest rates, challenges remain. These include sovereign risk, the provision of state aid to banks and the upcoming revision of the CRD-IV package, including proposals to standardise models for risk-weighted assets.

Securitisation and capital requirements

13-07-2016

As part of its ambition to create a Capital Markets Union, the European Commission wants to revive the securitisation market in the EU, in order to offer new financing tools and ease credit provision, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Its 'securitisation initiative', set out in a proposed regulation on 30 September 2015, would establish a new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations. This new initiative also has implications for the overall prudential ...

As part of its ambition to create a Capital Markets Union, the European Commission wants to revive the securitisation market in the EU, in order to offer new financing tools and ease credit provision, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Its 'securitisation initiative', set out in a proposed regulation on 30 September 2015, would establish a new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations. This new initiative also has implications for the overall prudential framework for credit institutions and investment firms, therefore the Commission proposed to amend the Capital Requirements Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 accordingly. The proposed amendments would adjust risk retention profiles to reflect properly the specific features of STS securitisations. The most significant changes are: a new hierarchy of risk calculation methods and lower capital requirements for STS. The Council agreed on a general approach on both dossiers in early December 2015. The draft report was presented in Parliament’s ECON Committee on 6 June 2016. This briefing updates an earlier edition of February 2016: PE 573.935. See also our updated briefing on the related proposal: 2015/0226(COD).

The European Investment Bank: Annual Report 2014 and outlook

26-04-2016

The European Union has not yet fully recovered from the global financial and economic crisis. GDP growth rates have begun to increase only slowly, and in most EU Member States investment activity lags behind pre-crisis levels – indicating sizable investment gaps. In fact, gross fixed capital formation in the euro area has declined by 15% since 2007. In 2014, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU's public bank and largest multilateral lending institution, contributed financing of €80.3 billion ...

The European Union has not yet fully recovered from the global financial and economic crisis. GDP growth rates have begun to increase only slowly, and in most EU Member States investment activity lags behind pre-crisis levels – indicating sizable investment gaps. In fact, gross fixed capital formation in the euro area has declined by 15% since 2007. In 2014, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU's public bank and largest multilateral lending institution, contributed financing of €80.3 billion (including the EIF – the European Investment Fund). This was in the form of loans granted to projects in four strategic areas: Innovation and skills, smaller enterprises, strategic infrastructure, climate action, as well as to projects outside the EU. In mid-2015, the European Commission introduced the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). As a coordinated effort by the European Commission and the EIB, its goal is to provide additional risk-sharing through public funds. By mid-March 2016, €10.6 billion of public money had been allocated, with the expectation that this would generate a total investment effect of €76.1 billion. The European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) reports on the work of the EIB on an annual basis. It 'welcomes' overall financing activity in 2014, but urges enhanced ex-post assessment. It regrets the lack of information on the number of projects/financial instruments related to operations supporting cohesion. While the EIB usually focuses on small numbers of large, low-risk projects, the introduction of EFSI might eventually lead to assuming more and riskier projects in the future.

European Deposit Insurance Scheme: Completing the Banking Union

14-03-2016

As part of its ambition to complete the Banking Union, the European Commission proposes the introduction of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), in order to reduce the potential spill-over risk of local bank failures on the financial stability of the economic and monetary union as a whole. According to the proposal of 24 November 2015, the EDIS would be the third pillar of the Banking Union and be introduced gradually, in three separate phases between 2017 and 2024, complementing national ...

As part of its ambition to complete the Banking Union, the European Commission proposes the introduction of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), in order to reduce the potential spill-over risk of local bank failures on the financial stability of the economic and monetary union as a whole. According to the proposal of 24 November 2015, the EDIS would be the third pillar of the Banking Union and be introduced gradually, in three separate phases between 2017 and 2024, complementing national deposit guarantee schemes. It also has implications for the overall resolution framework for banks under the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) so the Commission proposes to amend the SRM Regulation (EU) No 806/2014, introducing a common deposit insurance system as of 2024. In parallel, the Commission published a communication proposing additional measures for risk sharing and risk reduction in the banking sector. These include ensuring adequate loss-absorbing resources for banks and measures to improve the comparability of risk-weighted assets.

Banking Union – 2015 annual report

01-03-2016

Banking Union (BU) is an EU-level banking supervision and resolution system. It is one of the key components of the EU's attempt to create a 'genuine Economic and Monetary Union' (EMU) and to restore confidence in the banking sector in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis. On 24 November 2015, the European Commission proposed to 'complete' the BU with a third pillar, a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS). In its first annual report, the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary ...

Banking Union (BU) is an EU-level banking supervision and resolution system. It is one of the key components of the EU's attempt to create a 'genuine Economic and Monetary Union' (EMU) and to restore confidence in the banking sector in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis. On 24 November 2015, the European Commission proposed to 'complete' the BU with a third pillar, a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS). In its first annual report, the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee assesses the state of play of the BU. In focus are effects of capital requirements, proportionality concerns and the third pillar.

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