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Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, April II 2019

18-04-2019

Highlights of the April II plenary session (the last of the current legislature) included debates on the conclusions of the April 2019 European Council meeting on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, and the final debate in the series on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Kisjanis Karins. Important debates also took place on the rule of law in Romania; failure to adopt an EU digital services tax; protecting the European elections against international cybersecurity ...

Highlights of the April II plenary session (the last of the current legislature) included debates on the conclusions of the April 2019 European Council meeting on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, and the final debate in the series on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Kisjanis Karins. Important debates also took place on the rule of law in Romania; failure to adopt an EU digital services tax; protecting the European elections against international cybersecurity threats; and on the possible extradition of Julian Assange. Members debated a number of external relations situations: in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe after cyclone Idai; in Libya; in Sudan; and US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. The legislative proposals adopted included those on collective investment funds, banking reform, prudential requirements, covered bonds, CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, and promoting clean, energy-efficient vehicles. Members voted on a number of legislative proposals (see below), including a partial agreement on the Horizon Europe programme.

Amending capital requirements: The 'CRD-V package'

15-04-2019

In December 2018, the European Parliament and the Council (the co-legislators) reached a political agreement on the legislative proposals amending the current Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (the 'CRD-IV package'), which establish the prudential framework for financial institutions operating in the EU. The amendments to the package implement the most recent regulatory standards for banks, set at international level ('Basel III framework'). They also address some regulatory shortcomings ...

In December 2018, the European Parliament and the Council (the co-legislators) reached a political agreement on the legislative proposals amending the current Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (the 'CRD-IV package'), which establish the prudential framework for financial institutions operating in the EU. The amendments to the package implement the most recent regulatory standards for banks, set at international level ('Basel III framework'). They also address some regulatory shortcomings and aim to contribute to sustainable bank financing of the economy. Parliament is due to vote on adopting the proposals during the April II plenary session.

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.

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.

Sustainable finance and disclosures: Bringing clarity to investors

13-03-2019

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into ...

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into the decision-making process of investors and asset managers. It also aims to increase the transparency duties of financial intermediaries towards end-investors, with regard to sustainability risks and sustainable investment targets. This should reduce investors' search costs for sustainable investments and enable easier comparison between sustainable financial products in the EU. In the Parliament, the ECON committee adopted its report on the proposed regulation in November 2018. On 7 March 2019, the Romanian EU Council Presidency and the Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the proposal in trilogue discussions, and that agreement now needs to be confirmed by Parliament, with the plenary vote expected in April. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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.

Recent measures for Banca Carige from a BRRD and State Aid perspective

15-02-2019

On 8 January 2019, Banca Carige’s temporary administrators issued a press statement setting out some initiatives they have taken to secure the future of the bank. This briefing contains background information on the case of Banca Carige and links the initiatives taken to respective legal requirements stemming from the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the rules for State Aid (SA).

On 8 January 2019, Banca Carige’s temporary administrators issued a press statement setting out some initiatives they have taken to secure the future of the bank. This briefing contains background information on the case of Banca Carige and links the initiatives taken to respective legal requirements stemming from the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the rules for State Aid (SA).

Exchange of views with Mrs Elke König, Chair of the Single Resolution Board

05-12-2018

This briefing presents selected issues regarding the work of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) in advance of the exchange of views with Mrs Elke König, Chair of the SRB, in ECON on 6 December 2018. The briefing thematically covers the following: (i) Pending response to the EP 2017 Banking Union report, (ii) Updated information in the resolution case of Banco Popular, including the Valuation 3 report, (iii) SRB’s 2018 MREL policy; (iv) The backstop to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF); (v) Liquidity ...

This briefing presents selected issues regarding the work of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) in advance of the exchange of views with Mrs Elke König, Chair of the SRB, in ECON on 6 December 2018. The briefing thematically covers the following: (i) Pending response to the EP 2017 Banking Union report, (ii) Updated information in the resolution case of Banco Popular, including the Valuation 3 report, (iii) SRB’s 2018 MREL policy; (iv) The backstop to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF); (v) Liquidity in resolution, including the summary of external briefings commissioned by the ECON Committee; (vi) Brexit-related issues, (vii) Bank liquidation regime, (viii) Other publications including the SRB’s 2019 work programme and the 2018 contributions to the SRF.

Prudential requirements and supervision of investment firms

23-11-2018

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission has proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework ...

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission has proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework for investment firms, making it more effective and more closely calibrated to the size and nature of the various investment firms and their risks. Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) agreed its report and negotiating mandate on 24 September 2018. Work in Council is ongoing.

Framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP)

21-11-2018

Europe’s population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission’s 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) aims to encourage the ...

Europe’s population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission’s 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) aims to encourage the development of personal pensions (that is, voluntary, individually funded pensions) in Europe, to support retirement saving and strengthen the single market for capital by making more funds available for investment. Generally the proposal is considered a welcome extra option to support retirement savings and investment. However differing national pension systems and tax treatments are noted as challenges, although the Commission has also issued a tax recommendation. Council agreed a general approach on 19 June 2018 and the ECON committee voted its report and negotiating mandate on 3 September, hence trilogues have started. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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