Issue 26 | August 2013

The Commission adopts new rules on Payment Services for the benefit of consumers and retailers

In order to adapt the EU payments market to the opportunities of the single market and to support the growth of the EU economy, on the 24 July the European Commission adopted a package including a new payment Services Directive (“PSD2”) and a proposal for regulation of interchange fees for card-based payment transactions.

"Today, the payment market in the EU is fragmented and expensive with a cost of more than 1% of EU GDP or €130 billion a year. These are costs our economy cannot afford. Our proposal will promote the digital single market by making internet payments cheaper and safer, both for retailers and consumers. And the proposed changes to interchange fees will remove an important barrier between national payment markets and finally put an end to the unjustified high level of these fees."

Latest news »« TOP
Towards a more competitive and efficient European defence security – The Commission issues a communication

The successive waves of cuts in defence budgets and the persisting fragmentation of defence markets in Europe threaten Europe’s capacity to sustain effective defence capabilities and a competitive defence industry. This also jeopardises Europe’s capacity to meet the new security challenges in an autonomous and effective way. This is why the European Commission has presented a Communication which contains an Action Plan to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Europe’s defence and security sector.

  More information
Time for a new Transatlantic Partnership

"The TTIP (Transatlantic Free Trade Area) is a starting point. It is an opportunity to prove that we are able to trust each other. To make mutual concessions for economic growth and jobs. And to define global standards." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Transatlantic Partnership Network in Washington.

  Read the Speech

Agreement on swaps (derivatives): Europe and the US share the same commitment and the same goals

"We still face difficult discussions on banking, investment firms and in other areas. Our agreement on swaps proves that we can trust each other. We have passed that test case. Now we must demonstrate joint leadership and raise the bar in tomorrow’s world of financial regulation." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Brookings Institute in Washington.

  Read the Speech
The single market in financial services: we need the UK on board

"There is always much talk about great divides between the Commission and the UK on financial services. However, many of those differences are exaggerated. As the Commissioner for financial services, I have consistently worked closely and constructively with the UK. Taking account of British specificities, as far as possible. This has not been by accident, but by design."

  Read the Speech

The European Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission reach a Common Path Forward on Derivatives

On 11 July Commissioner Barnier and United States CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Chairman Gary Gensler announced a Path Forward regarding their joint understandings on a package of measures for how to approach cross-border derivatives. “Our discussions have been long and sometimes difficult, but they have always been close, continuous and collaborative talks between partners and friends” said Commissioner Barnier.

  More information
Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Washington – 14-16 July 2013

The Commissioner travelled to Washington to review progress in implementing the G20 agenda on both sides of the Atlantic. To this end, he met Jack Lew, the Secretary of State of the U.S. Treasury and Mary Jo White, the new President of the Securities and Exchange Commission. During these meetings, he stressed the importance of a parallel implementation of Basel III rules and emphasised the importance of the agreement reached last week between the Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the rules for derivatives. The visit was also an opportunity to advocate the inclusion of financial services in the negotiations on the Transatlantic Partnership, which have just opened. He focused on this message to all of the stakeholders, including the Secretary of Commerce, Michael Froman, arguing the relationship between opening markets and regulatory convergence in this field. Finally, the Commissioner participated in several public events and met with members of Congress which enabled him to recall the recent progress in the euro zone in establishing a banking union.

Commissioner Barnier, London – 12 July 2013

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the entry of the UK into the European Economic Community, the Commissioner participated in a conference on the role of the United Kingdom in the European Union. He discussed with Mr Xavier Rolet, CEO of the "London Stock Exchange" the ongoing negotiations on the MiFID II regulation, the "Benchmarks" regulation and SME financing. Alongside these issues mainly concerning the financial markets, he met with Mr Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, to take stock of the G20 international agenda, the directive on bank resolution and the recent Commission proposal on the single resolution mechanism without forgetting to mention the effects of the Liikanen Report.

Commissioner Barnier, Rome – 8 July 2013

Commissioner Barnier made a trip to the Italian capital where he held talks with leading officials of the country, especially the Prime Minister Enrico Letta, the Ministers of the Interior and Defence and Minister of European Affairs Enzo Moavero. Paying tribute to the efforts made in the recent past by Italy in particular to address its fiscal situation and undertake structural reforms, the Commissioner stressed the importance of continuing along this path in Italy as in other European countries. He also thanked the Italian authorities for their continued support in the development of the banking union. Italy is not participating in the European unitary patent scheme and the Commissioner reiterated his wish to see the country join this major step forward for the completion of an internal market for intellectual property in a world where intangible assets are a source of growing importance of innovation, growth and jobs. Finally, he participated in a conference with Mario Monti on the future of the European Union and the Euro, where he made a series of concrete proposals for the revival of the European project.

Consultations »« TOP
  27.05.2013  -  16.08.2013ServicesInsurance cover for the provision of services in another Member State

  06.06.2013  -  15.09.2013Company LawSingle-member limited liability companies

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (01-04 July 2013)
  • Reactions to the conclusions of the European Council meeting (27-28 June 2013) and review of the Irish Presidency, including the MFF agreement
  • Debate: Programme of activities of the Lithuanian Presidency
  • Debate: UCITS – Laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (Report: Sven Giegold)
  • Debate: Reforming the structure of the EU banking sector (Report: Arlene McCarthy)
  • Debate: Completing the digital single market
  • Debate: US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and impact on EU citizens' privacy

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

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  18 September 2013
Conference on e-procurement and e-invoicing in the EU

Single Market News
Nº66 (2013 – II)

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

Do you agree that the revised Payment Services Directive will improve the EU payments market?


Results from the last month:
Do you agree that more transparency by the extractive industry will help promote the development of resource-rich countries?
YES - 18.2%
NO - 81.8%

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