91

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Updating the Crypto Assets Regulation and establishing a pilot regime for distributed ledger technology

03-03-2021

The markets in crypto assets (MiCA) proposal intends to adapt to the latest technological trends in the FinTech sector. The briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the MiCA and DLT proposals. The IA is quite technical and difficult to read for a non-expert. The policy options were compared against the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and coherence, but not against proportionality, which is required by the better regulation guidelines. The preferred ...

The markets in crypto assets (MiCA) proposal intends to adapt to the latest technological trends in the FinTech sector. The briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the MiCA and DLT proposals. The IA is quite technical and difficult to read for a non-expert. The policy options were compared against the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and coherence, but not against proportionality, which is required by the better regulation guidelines. The preferred option is a mix of various options, and one of the preferred options is transferred into another, new legislative proposal, i.e., on the DLT. The IA foresees cost reduction for business due to the use of DLT, which saves costs compared to the traditional trading activities, with new entrants facing one-off costs similar to multilateral trading facilities (MTFs).

What are the wider supervisory implications of the Wirecard case?

05-11-2020

The paper discusses the policy implications of the Wirecard scandal. The study finds that all lines of defense against corporate fraud, including internal control systems, external audits, the oversight bodies for financial reporting and auditing and the market supervisor, contributed to the scandal and are in need of reform. To ensure market integrity and investor protection in the future, the authors make eight suggestions for the market and institutional oversight architecture in Germany and in ...

The paper discusses the policy implications of the Wirecard scandal. The study finds that all lines of defense against corporate fraud, including internal control systems, external audits, the oversight bodies for financial reporting and auditing and the market supervisor, contributed to the scandal and are in need of reform. To ensure market integrity and investor protection in the future, the authors make eight suggestions for the market and institutional oversight architecture in Germany and in Europe.

External author

Katja LANGENBUCHER, Christian LEUZ, Jan Pieter KRAHNEN, Loriana PELIZZON

What are the wider supervisory implications of the Wirecard case?

29-10-2020

While multiple causes underpin accounting scandals such as Wirecard, they often point at deficiencies in the audit profession and its oversight. Currently, the system of national public audit oversight boards (POBSAs) is fragmented and overly complex, characterized by limited responsiveness to red flags, and apparent lack of communication among the POBSAs, and with other supervisors. This suggests supervisory coordination and clear action triggers are imperative. Importantly, pervasively low transparency ...

While multiple causes underpin accounting scandals such as Wirecard, they often point at deficiencies in the audit profession and its oversight. Currently, the system of national public audit oversight boards (POBSAs) is fragmented and overly complex, characterized by limited responsiveness to red flags, and apparent lack of communication among the POBSAs, and with other supervisors. This suggests supervisory coordination and clear action triggers are imperative. Importantly, pervasively low transparency limits the usefulness of this briefing and hinders evidence-based policy making.

External author

Beatriz GARCÍA OSMA, Ana GISBERT, Begoña NAVALLAS

What are the wider supervisory implications of the Wirecard case?

28-10-2020

Beginning with a discussion of the Wirecard case, this study highlights several lessons for the regulation and supervision of Fintech companies. Innovation in the financial industry brings both efficiency gains and new risks. To balance these two elements, regulators need a deep understanding of Fintech’s technologies and business models. Because Fintechs can be very complex companies, there is a need for an approach combining the oversight of both entities and activities. The global scope of Fintech ...

Beginning with a discussion of the Wirecard case, this study highlights several lessons for the regulation and supervision of Fintech companies. Innovation in the financial industry brings both efficiency gains and new risks. To balance these two elements, regulators need a deep understanding of Fintech’s technologies and business models. Because Fintechs can be very complex companies, there is a need for an approach combining the oversight of both entities and activities. The global scope of Fintech’s activities also calls for convergence and coordination of rules and supervisory practices at the European level and beyond.

External author

Giorgio BARBA NAVARETTI, Giacomo CALZOLARI, Alberto Franco POZZOLO

Regulating crowdfunding

02-10-2020

As a step towards Capital Markets Union, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on crowdfunding service providers in March 2018, to facilitate the cross-border offer of such financial services across the EU. It was accompanied by a proposal for a directive, to exempt those providers from the scope of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The co-legislators reached a political agreement in December 2019, significantly modifying the Commission proposals. ...

As a step towards Capital Markets Union, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on crowdfunding service providers in March 2018, to facilitate the cross-border offer of such financial services across the EU. It was accompanied by a proposal for a directive, to exempt those providers from the scope of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The co-legislators reached a political agreement in December 2019, significantly modifying the Commission proposals. Parliament is expected to vote on the Council's positions at second reading during its October I plenary session.

Further development of capital markets union

30-09-2020

Actions taken to create a capital markets union (CMU) should have as their objective improving the range of financing options offered to companies and citizens. The European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has adopted an own-initiative report on further development of the CMU, expected to be voted during the October I plenary session. It calls for specific measures to help finance businesses, promote long-term and cross-border investment, strengthen market architecture and ...

Actions taken to create a capital markets union (CMU) should have as their objective improving the range of financing options offered to companies and citizens. The European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has adopted an own-initiative report on further development of the CMU, expected to be voted during the October I plenary session. It calls for specific measures to help finance businesses, promote long-term and cross-border investment, strengthen market architecture and support retail investors, as well as the adoption of a framework for digital finance.

International Agreements in Progress - EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China

11-09-2020

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties ...

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties (BITs) China and EU Member States concluded prior to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 when the EU gained competence for most investment issues. The CAI is intended to go far beyond traditional investment protection to also cover market access, investment-related sustainable development, and level playing field issues, such as transparency of subsidies, and rules on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and forced technology transfer. Although leaders at the 2019 EU-China Summit jointly committed to concluding the CAI talks in 2020, lack of engagement at the highest political level on the Chinese side has raised doubts as to whether a breakthrough can be reached in time, with China more focused on navigating the uncertainties of its relations with the United States from January 2021. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Singapore trade and investment deals pass major milestone

29-04-2019

Following the signature of the EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements on 19 October 2018, the European Parliament gave its consent on 13 February 2019 to conclude both agreements. These deals were created by dividing the initial free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore in 2014, but not ratified, into two separate instruments: a trade agreement and an investment protection agreement. The trade agreement will enter into force with the finalisation of Singapore's internal administrative ...

Following the signature of the EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements on 19 October 2018, the European Parliament gave its consent on 13 February 2019 to conclude both agreements. These deals were created by dividing the initial free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore in 2014, but not ratified, into two separate instruments: a trade agreement and an investment protection agreement. The trade agreement will enter into force with the finalisation of Singapore's internal administrative procedures and the conclusion of the final formalities by the EU and Singapore. In contrast, the investment protection agreement, which falls under the shared competence of the EU and its Member States, needs to be ratified by the EU Member States also, following their national procedures. Singapore will be the first member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to conclude bilateral trade and investment agreements with the EU. The EU views bilateral agreements with ASEAN members as steps towards achieving the final objective of a region-to-region trade and investment agreement with ASEAN. Therefore, the EU Singapore agreements are considered a reference as regards the EU's ambition to conclude trade and investment agreements with other ASEAN members.

Enabling SMEs' access to capital markets

09-04-2019

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed ...

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed adopting a regulation to address the administrative burden placed on SMEs when listing or issuing equity and bonds, with the aim to increase liquidity on SME growth markets. The latter are a new category of multilateral trading facilities, which was established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. To this end, the proposal provides for targeted amendments to two key pieces of financial services legislation, namely the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation. Following interinstitutional negotiations the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 6 March 2019, and this is due to be voted in Parliament during the April II plenary session.

EU investment protection after the ECJ Opinion on Singapore: Questions of competence and coherence

25-03-2019

Investment protection continues to be a controversial issue, as shown in particular during the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). To address stakeholder concerns, the EU has moved from traditional investor-state dispute settlement arrangements towards introducing bilateral investment court systems in new agreements and pursuing the goal of establishing a permanent multilateral investment ...

Investment protection continues to be a controversial issue, as shown in particular during the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). To address stakeholder concerns, the EU has moved from traditional investor-state dispute settlement arrangements towards introducing bilateral investment court systems in new agreements and pursuing the goal of establishing a permanent multilateral investment court. At the same time, the European Court of Justice defined the limits of the Union’s exclusive competence in its opinion of 16 May 2017 with regard to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has led to the splitting of new FTAs into two parts, treating investment protection separately. Adding to the complex picture, a plethora of EU Member States’ bilateral investment treaties also remain in place. The workshop held by the Committee on International Trade took stock of existing EU investment protection provisions and analysed the options for a coherent and predictable dispute settlement system in line with the EU Treaties.

External author

Prof. Dr. Steffen HINDELANG, LL.M., Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark, and Dr. Jurgita BAUR, Germany; and Prof. Dr. Stephan SCHILL, LL.M., Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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