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Stablecoins: Private-sector quest for cryptostability

22-11-2021

In just over a decade, the payment industry has seen the launch of cryptocurrencies and their explosive growth, driven by progress in digital technology applications. However, owing to a range of factors, not least their significant volatility, cryptocurrencies have not been adopted on a massive scale, but instead are used largely for speculative purposes. Both national authorities and the private sector have attempted to tackle volatility. The private sector's answer was stablecoins, that is, cryptocurrencies ...

In just over a decade, the payment industry has seen the launch of cryptocurrencies and their explosive growth, driven by progress in digital technology applications. However, owing to a range of factors, not least their significant volatility, cryptocurrencies have not been adopted on a massive scale, but instead are used largely for speculative purposes. Both national authorities and the private sector have attempted to tackle volatility. The private sector's answer was stablecoins, that is, cryptocurrencies that aim to keep a stable value relative to a specified asset, or a pool of assets. There are currently three means by which stablecoins achieve this: legal assets, crypto-assets and algorithms. The use of stablecoins may enhance financial inclusion, both in developed and developing markets, and might boost overseas payments in general and remittances in particular. Stablecoins may also have a positive impact on international trade, and may contribute to the development of global payment arrangements. There are potential economic risks, however, stemming either from stablecoins' legal characterisation or from governance matters or the coins' operational resilience. Further concerns are that stablecoins may be used for money laundering or terrorist financing activities, that consumers may not be adequately protected, and that stablecoins may impede monetary policy or propagate financial shocks and generate financial contagion. To tackle these issues, national authorities in major economies are taking two complementary approaches: having central banks establish central bank digital currencies ('public stablecoins') and regulating stablecoin use. In the EU, the centrepiece is the European Commission proposal for a regulation on markets in crypto-assets, adopted in September 2020 and currently under review by the co-legislators – the European Parliament and the Council.

Ubezpieczenie pojazdów mechanicznych

13-10-2021

W 2018 r. Komisja zaproponowała zmianę dyrektywy w sprawie ubezpieczeń komunikacyjnych, która jest ważnym narzędziem ustawodawczym ułatwiającym funkcjonowanie jednolitego rynku. Wniosek Komisji koncentrował się na czterech obszarach: niewypłacalność ubezpieczyciela, przebieg ubezpieczenia, ryzyko związane z nieubezpieczonymi kierowcami oraz minimalne kwoty ubezpieczenia. W następstwie porozumienia osiągniętego z Radą w rozmowach trójstronnych Parlament ma omówić tekst kompromisowy i poddać go pod ...

W 2018 r. Komisja zaproponowała zmianę dyrektywy w sprawie ubezpieczeń komunikacyjnych, która jest ważnym narzędziem ustawodawczym ułatwiającym funkcjonowanie jednolitego rynku. Wniosek Komisji koncentrował się na czterech obszarach: niewypłacalność ubezpieczyciela, przebieg ubezpieczenia, ryzyko związane z nieubezpieczonymi kierowcami oraz minimalne kwoty ubezpieczenia. W następstwie porozumienia osiągniętego z Radą w rozmowach trójstronnych Parlament ma omówić tekst kompromisowy i poddać go pod głosowanie na posiedzeniu plenarnym 21 października 2021 r.

Consumer Credit Directive

05-10-2021

Consumer credit is a type of loan allowing consumers to purchase consumer goods and services for which they do not have the funds. It is regulated at national and EU level. The Consumer Credit Directive (CCD), in force since 2008, is the relevant EU-level legislation. The CCD has undergone several revisions over the past decade, yet growing digitalisation, insufficient harmonisation and issues affecting consumer protection, among other things, have prompted the Commission to publish a proposal for ...

Consumer credit is a type of loan allowing consumers to purchase consumer goods and services for which they do not have the funds. It is regulated at national and EU level. The Consumer Credit Directive (CCD), in force since 2008, is the relevant EU-level legislation. The CCD has undergone several revisions over the past decade, yet growing digitalisation, insufficient harmonisation and issues affecting consumer protection, among other things, have prompted the Commission to publish a proposal for a new directive. This proposal brings crowdfunding into the scope of the CCD, expands and clarifies the definitions, and adds new articles relative to, among other things, new obligations for creditors, tying and bundling practices, ancillary services, advisory services, unsolicited credit sale, conduct of business obligations for creditors and requirements for their staff. The proposal is part of the Commission's New Consumer Agenda aimed at updating the overall strategic framework of EU consumer policy. The proposal is currently examined by the co-legislators. Within the European Parliament, the file has been assigned to the IMCO committee. At the moment, no date has been announced for the publication of a draft report. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

National budgets and the European Union budget since 2007

16-07-2021

National budgets are a competence of the national governments of the Member States. However, EU countries adopting the euro have to meet specific conditions designed to ensure economic convergence, known as the convergence criteria or Maastricht criteria (agreed by the Member States in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992). They include conditions on sound and sustainable public finances, along with the macroeconomic indicators - price stability, durability of convergence, and exchange rate stability.

National budgets are a competence of the national governments of the Member States. However, EU countries adopting the euro have to meet specific conditions designed to ensure economic convergence, known as the convergence criteria or Maastricht criteria (agreed by the Member States in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992). They include conditions on sound and sustainable public finances, along with the macroeconomic indicators - price stability, durability of convergence, and exchange rate stability.

Understanding initial coin offerings: A new means of raising funds based on blockchain

13-07-2021

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a relatively new method of raising capital for early-stage ventures. They allow businesses to raise capital for their projects, by issuing digital tokens in exchange for crypto assets or fiat currencies. They constitute an alternative to more traditional sources of start-up funding such as venture capital (VC) and angel finance. ICOs can potentially offer advantages in comparison with traditional ways of raising capital. At the same time, their opacity and the general ...

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a relatively new method of raising capital for early-stage ventures. They allow businesses to raise capital for their projects, by issuing digital tokens in exchange for crypto assets or fiat currencies. They constitute an alternative to more traditional sources of start-up funding such as venture capital (VC) and angel finance. ICOs can potentially offer advantages in comparison with traditional ways of raising capital. At the same time, their opacity and the general tendency for issuers to exploit regulatory loopholes can carry significant risk for investors, may make ICOs vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing, and could even create financial stability concerns. ICOs have been met with a wide range of initial regulatory responses: from an outright ban in the case of China and South Korea, to more supportive approaches in other jurisdictions, with Singapore in Asia and Switzerland in Europe leading the way. As for the European Union (EU) and the United States, the relevant regulatory agencies initially published warning notices, reinforced by statements that securities laws could apply and registration be necessary. The EU went a step further and is currently seeking to partially regulate ICOs, with a proposal for a regulation on markets in crypto-assets (MiCA regulation). Meanwhile, some Member States are currently implementing regulatory sandboxes, to provide an impetus for innovation without imposing the immediate burden of regulation.

Prospectuses for investors – Simplifying equity-raising during the pandemic

01-07-2021

A prospectus is a legally required document presenting information about a company and the securities that it offers to the public or seeks to admit to trading on a regulated market. The relevant EU legislation consists of a directive, adopted in 2003, amended in 2010, and finally replaced by a regulation in 2017. Drawing up a prospectus entails time and costs, which in the current economic context may deter issuers in distress from seeking to raise new funds, in particular equity. To remedy this ...

A prospectus is a legally required document presenting information about a company and the securities that it offers to the public or seeks to admit to trading on a regulated market. The relevant EU legislation consists of a directive, adopted in 2003, amended in 2010, and finally replaced by a regulation in 2017. Drawing up a prospectus entails time and costs, which in the current economic context may deter issuers in distress from seeking to raise new funds, in particular equity. To remedy this, the Commission proposed to amend Regulation (EU) 2017/1129. These amendments aim at creating a temporary (18 month) regime for a short-form prospectus and to simplify the procedure for issuers (so that they can rapidly raise capital), as well as to release pressure on financial intermediaries. The Commission proposal was reviewed by the co-legislators who, among other things, increased the range of those who can benefit from the regime, added elements that must appear in the recovery prospectus and increased the minimum information in the prospectus. They further amended Directive 2004/109/EC (the 'Transparency Directive'), thus providing Member States with the option to postpone, by one year, the requirement for listed companies.

Replacement benchmarks for financial benchmarks in cessation

01-07-2021

The pricing of many financial instruments and contracts depends on the accuracy and integrity of (financial) benchmarks, i.e. indices, by reference to which the amounts payable under such financial instruments or contracts, or the value of certain financial instruments, are determined. The anticipated discontinuation of such a benchmark (LIBOR) after the end of 2021 has created fears that it could lead to disruption in the internal market, given that the Benchmarks Regulation ((EU) 2016/1011) does ...

The pricing of many financial instruments and contracts depends on the accuracy and integrity of (financial) benchmarks, i.e. indices, by reference to which the amounts payable under such financial instruments or contracts, or the value of certain financial instruments, are determined. The anticipated discontinuation of such a benchmark (LIBOR) after the end of 2021 has created fears that it could lead to disruption in the internal market, given that the Benchmarks Regulation ((EU) 2016/1011) does not provide for mechanisms to organise the orderly discontinuation of systemically important benchmarks in the EU. That is why the Commission has proposed to amend the said regulation. The co-legislators significantly amended the Commission’s proposal. Their amendments deal, among other things, with the replacement of a benchmark by EU, or by national law, set additional obligations for supervised entities using a benchmark, regulate the Commission’s powers to adopt delegated acts and establish additional obligations for the Commission with regards to its proposed consultation. The European Parliament adopted the compromise agreement in plenary on 19 January 2021. On 2 February 2021, the Council adopted the act. The final act was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 12 February 2021. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Amending securitisation requirements for the impact of coronavirus

01-07-2021

Preserving the ability of banks to continue lending to companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is key when it comes to softening the economic impact of the pandemic and easing recovery. The Commission believes that securitisation can contribute to this. It also considers that in order to increase the potential of securitisation the EU regulatory framework (Regulations (EU) 2017/2402 and (EU) 575/2013) must be updated, to cater for (i) on-balance-sheet synthetic securitisation and ...

Preserving the ability of banks to continue lending to companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is key when it comes to softening the economic impact of the pandemic and easing recovery. The Commission believes that securitisation can contribute to this. It also considers that in order to increase the potential of securitisation the EU regulatory framework (Regulations (EU) 2017/2402 and (EU) 575/2013) must be updated, to cater for (i) on-balance-sheet synthetic securitisation and (ii) the securitisation of non-performing exposures (NPEs). The co-legislators amended the Commission proposal, with amendments concerning, among other things, the requirements concerning the credit protection agreement, the third party verification agent and the synthetic excess spread, the macroprudential oversight of the securitisation market, the obligations of the EBA, the reporting on prudential requirements and financial information, grandfathering for securitisation positions and NPE securitisations. The final act was signed on 31 March 2021. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Pakiet sekurytyzacyjny – zmiany wprowadzone w związku z pandemią COVID-19

22-03-2021

Aby złagodzić skutki gospodarcze pandemii wywołanej koronawirusem, Komisja Europejska podjęła szereg działań, w tym środków dotyczących rynków finansowych. Jednym z nich jest aktualizacja ram regulacyjnych UE dotyczących bilansowej sekurytyzacji syntetycznej oraz sekurytyzacji ekspozycji zagrożonych w celu zwiększenia zdolności sekurytyzacyjnych, co ma przyczynić się do ożywienia gospodarczego w UE. Podczas drugiej marcowej sesji plenarnej Parlament Europejski ma głosować nad wstępnymi porozumieniami ...

Aby złagodzić skutki gospodarcze pandemii wywołanej koronawirusem, Komisja Europejska podjęła szereg działań, w tym środków dotyczących rynków finansowych. Jednym z nich jest aktualizacja ram regulacyjnych UE dotyczących bilansowej sekurytyzacji syntetycznej oraz sekurytyzacji ekspozycji zagrożonych w celu zwiększenia zdolności sekurytyzacyjnych, co ma przyczynić się do ożywienia gospodarczego w UE. Podczas drugiej marcowej sesji plenarnej Parlament Europejski ma głosować nad wstępnymi porozumieniami wynikającymi z negocjacji międzyinstytucjonalnych w sprawie dwóch wniosków Komisji składających się na ten pakiet.

Introduction to the fiscal framework of the EU: The Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, and the Stability and Growth Pact

08-02-2021

Almost 30 years ago, the Maastricht Treaty laid the basis for economic and monetary union (EMU). Its fiscal provisions have been further developed by subsequent primary and secondary legislation – in particular, the Stability and Growth Pact with its preventive and corrective arms, and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in EMU. These instruments together constitute the fiscal framework of the European Union. In early 2020, the European Commission launched a review of the EU's economic ...

Almost 30 years ago, the Maastricht Treaty laid the basis for economic and monetary union (EMU). Its fiscal provisions have been further developed by subsequent primary and secondary legislation – in particular, the Stability and Growth Pact with its preventive and corrective arms, and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in EMU. These instruments together constitute the fiscal framework of the European Union. In early 2020, the European Commission launched a review of the EU's economic governance, seeking in particular to establish how effective the surveillance provisions have been in achieving their objectives. This paper aims to provide an introduction to the Union's economic governance, starting from a brief overview of the economic literature, and concluding with a look at possible developments that might follow from the review, not least examining the various calls for its amendment that have been put on the table. While the Commission's review has been put to one side while the immediate issues of the coronavirus pandemic are addressed, the economic consequences of the pandemic are themselves changing the context for the review.

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