Issue 22 | April 2013

Creation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and stronger prudential requirements for banks within the eurozone

The European Parliament and the Council have reached agreement on a major legislative package entrusting the European Central Bank with responsibility for the supervision of banks in the framework of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and adapting the operating rules of the European Banking Authority (EBA) to this new framework. The establishment of the SSM is a first step towards a banking union and one of the pre-conditions for direct recapitalisation by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The European Parliament and the Council also reached agreement on stronger prudential requirements for banks. The new rules will require banks to hold more and better quality capital which will make them more resistant to economic shocks and financial crises. If rules similar to these had been in place six years ago we would not have had the Lehman Brothers case or, at least, we would not have experienced such devastating consequences. It is also the first time we have a European legal text providing a ceiling on bonuses. The aim, beyond the moral dimension, is to limit bonuses that are paid out in an unjustifiable and unjustified way, so that they do not encourage excessive risk-taking. New obligations have also been introduced on transparency, something the European Parliament has insisted on for legitimate reasons. Banks will be obliged to publish information on the profits they make and the taxes they pay.

"Banking union is now underway. And we have all the elements to make it happen. We have a Single Rulebook for banks in the single market since many of the rules will be directly applicable in Member States without any possibility of regulatory arbitrage, while offering the necessary degree of flexibility to allow national supervisors to tackle the specific risks affecting their banks and markets. And the Single Supervisory Mechanism will use this essential tool, once it will be fully operational."

Latest news »« TOP
European Commission launches Green Paper on the long-term financing of the European economy

The European Commission has adopted a Green Paper that launches a three-month public consultation on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe. The financial crisis has affected the ability of the financial sector in Europe to channel savings to long-term investment. Responses to the consultation will help the Commission determine what can be done to overcome the barriers to long-term financing.

  More information
OTC derivatives transactions: Commission adopts a report on the International Treatment of Central Banks and Debt Management Offices

This report is the first step towards exempting certain third countries’ central banks and public debt management offices from the scope of Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR).

  Press Release

Commission publishes a study on Geographical indication protection for non-agricultural products

This study is a contribution to the European Commission’s evaluation of the feasibility of the protection of Geographical indications for non-agricultural products in the internal market. A public hearing on this subject is going to take place on 22 April 2013 in Brussels.

  More information
Commissioner Barnier appoints Philippe Maystadt as Special Adviser to enhance EU’s role in promoting high quality accounting standards

Commissioner Barnier has appointed Philippe Maystadt, former President of the European Investment Bank, as Special Adviser. Capitalising on his expertise in the financial sector, Mr Maystadt’s role as Special Adviser will be to reinforce the EU’s contribution to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and to improve the governance of the institutions developing these standards.

  Press Release

Commissioner Barnier welcomes Parliament vote on venture capital and social entrepreneurship funds

"These new EU initiatives will increase opportunities for innovative start-ups or social businesses to find capital” said Commissioner Barnier.

  Read the Statement
Croatia: welcome to the single market!

"On July 1st, Croatia will join the EU and the single market. (...) Joining the single market will open up new opportunities for Croatian people and businesses. It will boost the Croatian economy – as it has boosted the economy of acceding countries in the past". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference "How can Croatia benefit from the single market".

  Read the Speech
Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Croatia – 1 March 2013

On the eve of Croatia's accession to the European Union, Commissioner Barnier expressed his gratitude to the Croatian authorities for their efforts to integrate the "acquis communautaire" and to welcome the future member state to the single market. Calling on elected officials and citizens of Croatia to enter the European debate and the new opportunities offered by the single market, the Commissioner met with members of the Government, Parliament, the Central Bank and the business community.

Commissioner Barnier, Berlin – 7 March 2013

The visit of Commissioner Barnier on March 7 to Berlin was an opportunity to clarify misunderstandings raised by the Directive on concessions. Committed to the principle that public access to water is a fundamental right, the Commissioner assured stakeholders that the Directive does not and will not result in the forced privatisation of water services, while stressing that transparency in the awarding of contracts facilitates SMEs' access to concessions and would result in a better quality and price ratio for consumers.

Commissioner Barnier, Moscow – 21-22 March 2013

On 21 and 22 March, the Commissioner, along with other members of the Collège, visited this great country that presides over the G20 this year. The Commissioner had an intense programme including economic cooperation and the agenda of financial regulation. Of course the current situation in Cyprus - of which Russia is one of the major stakeholders - was discussed. The purpose of this trip was to prepare for the summit in St. Petersburg in September. On this occasion, it must be shown that commitments made during the last four years have been kept and that we are collectively willing to go further with financial regulation and protection of our citizens.

Consultations »« TOP
  25.03.2013  -  25.06.2013Financial ServicesConsultation on the Green paper on the long-term financing of the European economy

  31.01.2013  -  30.04.2013RetailGreen 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

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week

No updates available this month.

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

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  22 April 2013
Public hearing on Geographical indication protection for non-agricultural products in the Internal market

  25 April 2013
Conference on the impact of on-going regulatory reforms on financial integration and stability

  24 May 2013
Public Hearing on Financial Supervision in the EU

Single Market News
Nº65 (2013 – I)

A new financial system for Europe – Financial reform at the service of growth

20 Years of the European Single Market

Your Europe, Your Rights

Single Market Act I & II – Implementation

Do you think that the EU is doing enough to reform the financial sector?


Results from the last month:
Do you think the European Commission is doing enough to combat financial crime?
YES - 33.3%
NO - 66.7%

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