Issue 20 | February 2013

Tougher credit rating rules confirmed by European Parliament's vote

New rules on when and how credit rating agencies may rate state debts and private firms’ financial health were approved on 16 January by the European Parliament. They will allow agencies to issue unsolicited sovereign debt ratings only on set dates, and enable private investors to sue them for negligence.

"This agreement will considerably improve the quality of ratings. Credit rating agencies will have to be more transparent when rating sovereign states and will have to follow stricter rules which will make them more accountable for mistakes in case of negligence or intent."

Latest news »« TOP
Commission adopts a European Retail Action Plan and consults on unfair trading practices

Retailers play an important role in bringing the Single Market to EU consumers. However, barriers to the creation of an efficient and competitive single market in retail remain. The European Commission has adopted an Action plan setting out a strategy to improve the competitiveness of this sector. It has also adopted a Green paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain.

  More information
Mediation on private copying and reprography levies: Antonió Vitorino presents his Recommendations

The mediation process on private copying and reprography levies has concluded with the presentation of the Mediator’s Recommendations to Commissioner Barnier.

  More information

Bringing online music within the reach of all Europeans

"Whether consumers, investors or entrepreneurs, it is incomprehensible that Europeans are finding on the Internet obstacles they have been removing in the physical world for over 50 years". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference ’Music for everyone’ at MIDEM (International market for record and music publishing).

  Read the Speech
Water services: Directive on concessions will not lead to forced privatisation

In the context of discussions on the European Commission’s proposal on the award of concession contracts, the Commission stands accused in some media of wanting to privatise the distribution of water. The Commission denies all allegations of such an intention which is a deliberately erroneous reading of the legislative proposal.

  More information

Basel Committee’s agreement on the revised liquidity standards for banks: Statement by Commissioner Barnier

Commissioner Barnier has welcomed the unanimous agreement on the revised liquidity standards for banks reached by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. "I now call upon the Parliament and the Council to successfully conclude the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) IV trialogue negotiations in the coming weeks", said the Commissioner.

  Read the Statement
Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Davos – 23–26 January 2013

The Commissioner attended the World Economic Forum in Davos from 23 to 26 January 2013. At various panels, he noted that the economic and financial crisis was not behind us and that further regulatory efforts should continue – in particular with the U.S. - Europe should stimulate competitiveness and growth. The Commissioner also referred to European advances with regard to social entrepreneurship with M. Yunus (Yunus Grameen Bank), H. Schwab (Schwab Foundation), P. Marois (Premier of Quebec) and G. Brown (United Nations Special Envoy for Education).

Consultations »« TOP
  31.01.2013  -  30.04.2013Retail servicesGreen Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe

  14.01.2013  -  16.04.2013Company LawPublic consultation on the cross-border transfers of registered offices of companies

  11.12.2012  -  08.03.2013Intellectual Property Public consultation on the protection of business and research know-how

  30.11.2012  -  30.03.2013Intellectual property rightsCivil enforcement of intellectual property rights: public consultation on the efficiency of proceedings and accessibility of measures

  29.11.2012  -  22.02.2013Electronic commerceAn integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (January 14 – 17 2013)
Joint debate on Credit Rating Agencies

In his speech, Commissioner Barnier emphasised the critical role that rating agencies had in the during financial crisis and presented the proposed Regulation as an ambitious solution, providing a package of complementary measures that together would lead to greater stability of financial markets. Commissioner Barnier returned to six main themes of the text:

  1. The sovereign debt calendar
  2. Reducing overreliance on external credit ratings
  3. Protection of investors and issuers: the regime of liability
  4. Limitations on ownership 5. The opening of the rating market
  5. The European Rating Platform

He recalled that the legislative framework, subject to the approval of the European Parliament, meets a commitment in the framework of G20. The Parliament overwhelmingly approved the compromise text on 16 January 2013.

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

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  15 March 2013
Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing: new framework, future challenges

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Nº64 (2012 – II)

20 Years of the European Single Market

Your Europe, Your Rights

Single Market Act I & II – Implementation

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