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Issue 13 | June 2012

New crisis management measures to avoid future bank bail-outs

The financial crisis has cost taxpayers a lot of money and highlighted the fact that public authorities are ill-equipped to deal with ailing banks operating in today's global markets. The proposals adopted on 6 June by the European Commission for EU-wide rules for bank recovery and resolution will change this. They ensure that in the future authorities will have the means to intervene decisively both before problems occur and early on in the process if they do.

"The financial crisis has cost taxpayers a lot of money. Our proposal on bank recovery and resolution is the final measure in fulfilling our G20 commitments for better financial regulation. We must equip public authorities so that they can deal adequately with future bank crises. Otherwise citizens will once again be left to pay the bill."

Latest news »« TOP
What does the single market mean to you? Join the ‘Generation 1992’ competition!

As part of the events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the single market, the European Commission has launched a competition for 20-year olds entitled ‘Generation 1992’. Entrants can submit essays, videos, photographs, cartoons or smartphone applications. The aim of the contest is to encourage reflection and discussion on the role of the single market in young people’s daily lives, and draw out lessons for future policy.

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Revised rules on capital requirements (CRD IV): ECOFIN Council reaches agreement

Banks have been at the centre of the financial crisis the global economy has been facing since 2008. This financial crisis revealed vulnerabilities in the regulation and supervision of the European banking system and lessons have been drawn. At the ECOFIN Council meeting on May 15, EU Finance Ministers came to an agreement on revised draft legislation on how to implement the Basel III accords on banking capital and liquidity. The plan will force banks to hold more capital as a buffer against the unexpected, a step considered a major milestone for handling the financial crisis.

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Banks' structural reforms: where do we go from here?

"Along with stronger capital requirements, the regulation of shadow banking and a framework for managing and preventing bank crises, we need to continue the debate on possible structural reforms to the banking sector". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at a Parliamentary debate.

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A digital pact for Europe: Striking a balance between the expectations of users, artists and content providers

"Our initiatives have one thing in common: they all aim for a clearer application of copyright rules by striking a good balance between providing the widest selection of works online and ensuring fair compensation for artists." Speech by Commissioner Barnier to "LetsGoConnected".

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Towards a real single market for card, internet and mobile payments

"Our goal should not be to have a homogenous European payments market. National specificities are often based on the habits and preferences of consumers which we must respect. That said, consumers will only reap the benefits of electronic and mobile commerce if their purchases – and therefore their payments – abroad are made as easily as in their own country." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference on card, internet and mobile payments.

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Asset management, the key to intelligent financial regulation

"Asset managers are in the vanguard to make Europeans' savings work for businesses. And to help savers better manage the risks they face in the course of their lives." Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the European Fund and Asset Management Association.

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Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner's visit to Firenze, Italy, May 9 2012

On the occasion of Europe Day on May 9, Commissioner Barnier attended a conference on the "State of the Union" organised by the European University Institute in Florence. Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy was also present. It was an opportunity for him to speak on European economic governance and the challenges facing the euro area and more widely the EU.

Commissioner's visit to Tours, France, May 12 2012

As part of Europe Week, on May 12 Commissioner Barnier took part in a conference held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Indre and Loire on the theme "Europe in the face of the crisis." The Commissioner returned to the challenges facing European economies before recalling the many Commission initiatives to enhance the solidity of the financial sector in accordance with G20 commitments, and resume growth in Europe, especially based on the Single Market Act (SMA).

Commissioner's visit to Aachen, Germany, May 17 2012

Commissioner Barnier went to Aachen on May 17, to attend the ceremony awarding the Charlemagne Prize to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. On this occasion, the Commissioner gave a speech on the need to develop a genuine European strategy to restore competitiveness and return to growth.

Commissioner's participation in a conference on the restructuring of the European banking sector at the European Parliament, May 25 2012

Commissioner Barnier participated in a debate on banking reform also attended by Paul Volcker, adviser to President Barack Obama and former director of the Federal Reserve of the United States, and John Vickers, economist and Chairman of the Independent Commission on Banking. This conference was in the context of the reform of the banking sector at European level. Commissioner Michel Barnier has created an expert group, chaired by Erkki Liikanen, with the task of formulating proposals on the subject.

Deputy Director-General Nadia Calviño's visits to Basel, May 2012

In May, Nadia Calviño, Deputy Director General in DG MARKT, attended the the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Steering Committee and Plenary meetings of as part of the preparations for the discussions on financial issues at the G-20 Leaders' summit in Los Cabos in June. The discussions focused largely on the FSB's ongoing work to develop policy recommendations on shadow banking, where the Commission itself has already recently published a Green Paper. The meetings also covered the issues related to globally-systemic insurers; domestically-systemic banks; progress in improving international coordination of policy linked to OTC derivatives, as well as in developing a global framework for a legal entity identifier; the FSB's joint study with the IMF and World Bank on potential unintended consequences of agreed financial reforms in emerging market and developing economies; and, reform of the FSB itself to strengthen its governance and capacity.

Consultations »« TOP
04.06.2012  -  05.09.2012e-CommerceA clean and open internet: public consultation on procedures for notifying and acting on illegal content hosted by online intermediaries

27.03.2012  -  19.06.2012BankingConsultation on access to a bank account by Erasmus and exchange students

19.03.2012  -  15.06.2012Financial ServicesGreen paper shadow banking

20.03.2012  -  12.06.2012Retail financial servicesConsultation on bank accounts

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (May 21 - 24 2012)
  • Preparation of the informal European summit - Investment, growth and jobs (Council and Commission statements)
    The need to pursue both fiscal discipline and growth was stressed, especially by mobilising EU policies as well as EIB funds to continue investing while reducing the level of debt.
  • Internal market scoreboard
    The resolution was adopted, after a debate concerning an amendment called for by Mr. Busuttil, head of the Maltese Delegation of European People's Party, which "calls on the Commission (...) to study the creation, within the Commission, an independent body to prosecute cases of violations of market rules and to respond to infringement proceedings after obtaining the approval of the College of Commissioners ". The Commissioner expressed reservations about an amendment, because of the role already assigned to the Commission as guardian of the treaties, but he also called on Parliament to alert the Commission if it considers that it does not sufficiently fill the role.
  • EU and China: unbalanced trade?
    The European Parliament is of the opinion that the EU should coordinate its fight against unfair competition from China and re-establish a balance of trade with its partner. MEPs suggested the creation of a body to monitor the investments of the Asian giant in Europe, in European businesses and in the purchase of public debt.
  • Joint debate - SMEs' access to structural funds and SME definition
    MEPs debated with the Council and Commission on the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and on the relevance of revising this definition.
  • Common system for taxing financial transactions
    The European Parliament called in plenary for a financial transitions tax (FTT) across the EU or at a lower level, as part of enhanced cooperation. With a large majority (487 votes for, 152 against and 46 abstentions), it was adopting the report by European Parliament vice-president Anni Podimata, a Greek Social-Democrat MEP), as amended at the committee on economic and financial affairs cooperation.

See also:
Website: IMCO (Internal Market Committee)
Website ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
26 June 2012
Conference on Electronic Procurement – Challenges and Opportunities

28 June 2012
Conference on Financial Conglomerates

29 June 2012
Conference on trade secrets

Single Market News
Issue 63 (2012-I)

Making the Single Market deliver: Annual governance check-up 2011

Single Market Act - Together for new growth

Restoring the health and stability of the EU financial sector

Do you agree with the new stricter rules on capital, liquidity and governance proposed for banks and investment firms?


Results from the last month:
Does the single market play a significant part in your daily life?
YES - 76.7%
NO - 23.3%

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