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Introduction to the European Semester: Coordinating and monitoring economic and fiscal policies in the EU

11-12-2019

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission ...

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Paolo Gentiloni - Economy

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Single-limb collective action clauses: A short introduction

05-07-2019

Sovereign bonds, the most common form of sovereign debt, have specific characteristics. They are issued by national debt management offices on the primary market and subsequently traded on secondary markets. Loan agreements signed at the issuance of sovereign bonds on the primary market may include collective action clauses (CACs) aimed at making restructuring more orderly and predictable. CACs have been included in loan agreements and bond contracts since the 1990s. These clauses enable a 'supermajority ...

Sovereign bonds, the most common form of sovereign debt, have specific characteristics. They are issued by national debt management offices on the primary market and subsequently traded on secondary markets. Loan agreements signed at the issuance of sovereign bonds on the primary market may include collective action clauses (CACs) aimed at making restructuring more orderly and predictable. CACs have been included in loan agreements and bond contracts since the 1990s. These clauses enable a 'supermajority' of creditors to modify essential payment terms of the contract, thus overcoming the problem posed by holdout creditors. Indeed, while debt restructuring involves benefits for both debtor countries and their creditors, there are also incentives for both parties to delay the process. Certain creditors, for instance, are tempted to hold out, and are therefore referred to as holdout creditors. Their incentive for holding out is the chance that they might recover their investment either in full or in a higher amount than the debtor country has offered in the restructuring agreement. While a holdout can bring creditors great gains, it has significant negative consequences for debtor countries and, in the worst case, can jeopardise the restructuring process. CACs can have one or two 'limbs'. While the EU Member States that are in the euro area decided in 2011 to include two-limb CACs in sovereign debt issued after 2013, the Greek restructuring experience and recent New York court decisions relative to sovereign debt have shown that such CACs can protect sovereign debtors only up to a certain point. Therefore, in the context of the euro-area governance reform, the Eurogroup has proposed that euro-area leaders should work for the introduction of single-limb CACs by 2022, and included this commitment in the draft revised text of the European Stability Mechanism Treaty.

Regulation of OTC derivatives: Amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)

28-06-2019

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance ...

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme, to address disproportionate compliance costs, transparency issues and insufficient access to clearing for certain counterparties. A provisional agreement was reached in trilogue on 5 February 2019. Parliament voted to approve that agreement on 18 April 2019 in plenary session and the Council subsequently adopted it on 14 May. The new regulation comes into force on 17 June 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Economic policy

28-06-2019

In the European Union (EU), although economic policy falls within the remit of each Member State, there is, nevertheless, multilateral coordination of economic policies between individual countries. The global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis put this framework severely to the test. Partly as a result, recovery in the EU was slower than recovery in the United States, and was not achieved equally by all Member States. Furthermore, it has to a large extent been based on accommodative ...

In the European Union (EU), although economic policy falls within the remit of each Member State, there is, nevertheless, multilateral coordination of economic policies between individual countries. The global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis put this framework severely to the test. Partly as a result, recovery in the EU was slower than recovery in the United States, and was not achieved equally by all Member States. Furthermore, it has to a large extent been based on accommodative fiscal and monetary policies that only partly hide underlying signs of fiscal or financial fragility in some countries. To remedy this, the European institutions began a twofold process in 2011: initiatives were taken to strengthen the current framework for economic governance and banking supervision in the euro area while, in parallel, discussions began on possible ways to reduce the economic divergences between Member States, provide incentives for risk reduction and risk-sharing, render the governance process more transparent and ensure democratic accountability. In this latter area, several initiatives – that did not require changes to the EU Treaties – were taken between 2015 and 2017. In summer 2017, discussions on deepening the policy framework for economic and monetary union (EMU) intensified. This process, which was advocated in the Five Presidents' Report (the presidents of the main EU institutions) and should be completed by 2025, is now being considered at Member State level. The current state of play points towards two main policy preferences, dividing Member States into two groups: those that prioritise risk-sharing measures (such as France), and those that argue instead for further risk-reduction initiatives (for example, Germany). This lack of consensus has so far meant that the European Council has not been able to reach a breakthrough. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Cross-border distribution of investment funds

11-04-2019

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission has adopted two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning ...

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission has adopted two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning national requirements for marketing funds and regulatory fees and harmonising the process and requirements for the verification of marketing material by national competent authorities, and the other for a directive harmonising the conditions under which investment funds may exit a national market and allowing European asset managers to engage in pre-marketing activities. Following trilogue negotiations, provisional agreements were reached on 5 February 2019. Parliament is expected to vote on those during the April II 2019 plenary session.

Obbligazioni garantite: emissione, vigilanza ed esposizioni

10-04-2019

La Commissione ha proposto una direttiva e un regolamento per creare un quadro unificato per le obbligazioni garantite. Il voto del Parlamento sui testi concordati in sede di negoziati interistituzionali è previsto nel mese di aprile.

La Commissione ha proposto una direttiva e un regolamento per creare un quadro unificato per le obbligazioni garantite. Il voto del Parlamento sui testi concordati in sede di negoziati interistituzionali è previsto nel mese di aprile.

The InvestEU programme: Continuing EFSI in the next MFF

09-04-2019

Since its launch in November 2014, the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) has had considerable success in mobilising private investment across Europe. Despite its success, investment levels in Europe remain below pre-crisis levels. There is therefore a need to provide for an extended EU investment programme under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), which caters for multiple objectives in terms of simplification, flexibility, synergies and coherence across relevant EU policies. The InvestEU ...

Since its launch in November 2014, the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) has had considerable success in mobilising private investment across Europe. Despite its success, investment levels in Europe remain below pre-crisis levels. There is therefore a need to provide for an extended EU investment programme under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), which caters for multiple objectives in terms of simplification, flexibility, synergies and coherence across relevant EU policies. The InvestEU programme, expected to run from 2021 onwards, has been designed to address this challenge. It will bring diverse EU financial instruments within a single structure, making EU funding for investment projects in Europe simpler and more efficient and flexible. It will build on the success achieved by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. Negotiators for Parliament and Council have reached a partial agreement on the text of the proposal, excluding budgetary figures and other elements which will not be finalised until overall agreement on the new MFF. Parliament is due to vote on that agreement in April 2019.

Risanamento e risoluzione della controparte centrale

20-03-2019

Il ruolo importante svolto dalle controparti centrali nei mercati finanziari e la loro rilevanza sistemica sono diventati più significativi dopo la crisi finanziaria. Di conseguenza, tuttavia, gli organismi di regolamentazione si sono resi conto dell'assenza di norme armonizzate per quelle situazioni in cui le stesse controparti potrebbero essere fonti di rischio sistemico, a causa di difficoltà operative o di dissesto totale. Per far fronte alla questione, la Commissione ha proposto un regolamento ...

Il ruolo importante svolto dalle controparti centrali nei mercati finanziari e la loro rilevanza sistemica sono diventati più significativi dopo la crisi finanziaria. Di conseguenza, tuttavia, gli organismi di regolamentazione si sono resi conto dell'assenza di norme armonizzate per quelle situazioni in cui le stesse controparti potrebbero essere fonti di rischio sistemico, a causa di difficoltà operative o di dissesto totale. Per far fronte alla questione, la Commissione ha proposto un regolamento che il Parlamento voterà durante la tornata di marzo II, al fine di concludere la sua prima lettura prima del termine della legislatura.

Covered bonds – Issue and supervision, exposures

25-02-2019

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly ...

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly, despite benefiting from preferential treatment under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR), they share no common definition, which can lead to different securities benefiting from this treatment. To remedy this, the Commission has adopted proposals for, on the one hand, a directive, which would lay down investor protection rules and provide common definitions, and on the other, a regulation, which would amend the CRR with regard to covered bond exposures. In November 2018, Parliament and Council both adopted their respective negotiating positions. The file is currently the subject of trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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