Issue 32 | April 2014

Single Resolution Mechanism backed by EP and Council: a major step towards completing the banking union

On 20 March, the European Parliament and the Council backed the Commission’’s proposal for a Single Resolution Mechanism. It represents a major step towards aligning both banking supervision and banking resolution for the euro area, whilst involving all relevant national players. Backed by an appropriate resolution funding arrangement and an acceptable decision-making process, this second pillar of the banking union will allow bank crises to be managed more effectively. In case of cross-border failures, it will be much more efficient than a network of national resolution authorities and will help to avoid risks of contagion. The Single Resolution Mechanism might not be a perfect construction but it will allow for the timely and effective resolution of a cross border bank in the euro area thus meeting its principal objective.

"Today’s compromise allows us to complete the architecture of the banking union for the eurozone. This would not have been possible without the assiduous work and spirit of compromise demonstrated by both co-legislators."

Latest news »« TOP
Commission roadmap to meet the long-term financing needs of the European economy

On 27 March, the European Commission put forward a series of ideas to stimulate new and different ways of unlocking long-term financing and support Europe’s return to sustainable economic growth. Significant long-term investment is needed in infrastructure, new technologies and innovation, R&D and human capital. Investment needs for transport, energy and telecom infrastructure networks of EU importance alone are estimated at €1 trillion for the period up to 2020. The package suggests that financing will have to come from a variety of sources in addition to bank finance including private funding, public financing and the capital markets. In this context, the Commission also proposed a revision to the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive, with a view to better protecting pension scheme members, making it easier for occupational pension funds to operate across borders and creating modern investment rules for pension funds.

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European Parliament and Council back Commission proposal on right of citizens to a basic bank account

On 20 March, the European Parliament and the Council reached political agreement on the Commission’s proposal to make bank accounts accessible to all, transparent and easier to switch. The formal adoption is expected in the coming weeks.
The Directive is a major step towards a real single market for retail financial services and brings numerous benefits to EU citizens. By providing for a right to a basic payment account irrespective of a citizen’s place of residence or financial situation, the obstacles faced by many in accessing basic banking services cross-border will be removed. The Directive also substantially improves the transparency of bank account fees and makes it easier to switch a bank account from one bank to another, within a Member State or from one EU country to another.

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"Omnibus II" Directive adopted

On 11 March, the European Parliament adopted in plenary the “Omnibus II” Directive that completes the “Solvency II” Directive and finalises the new framework for insurance regulation and supervision in the EU.

Quote from Commissioner Barnier: "The European Parliament has just taken a very important step towards the introduction of a modern and risk-based solvency regime for the insurance industry in Europe as of 1 January 2016, making it both safer and more competitive. This long-awaited and vital reform will finally become a reality.

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Unified Patent Court: first agreement on the creation of a regional division for Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

On 4 March, Commissioner Barnier made the following statement: "I welcome today’s agreement by Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on the creation of a regional division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). I am very pleased to see those countries taking the lead on this important aspect of the future UPC."

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European Parliament back the modernisation of e-invoicing rules for public procurement

On 11 March, the European Parliament backed with a substantial majority the European Commission’s proposal to modernise Europe’s rules on e-invoicing in public procurement. Electronic invoicing – e-Invoicing – is electronic transfer of invoicing information (billing and payment) between business partners (suppliers and buyers). It is an essential part of an efficient financial supply chain and it links companies’ internal processes to the payment systems. The ongoing creation of Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) offers an ideal launching pad for a successful European e-invoicing initiative, with the savings for businesses estimated at around EUR 64.5 billion per year.

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New rules on public procurement and concession contracts published

On 28 March, new EU rules on public procurement and concessions were published in the Official Journal of the EU. The legislation will enter into force on 17 April 2014. Member States will then have 24 months to implement the provisions into national law (except for electronic procurement, where they will have an additional 30 months). The directives modernise the existing tools and instruments by making them simpler, more flexible and easier for companies, particularly SMEs, to bid for public procurement.

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Technical standards adopted for the identification of material risk takers (CRD IV)

On 4 March, the Commission adopted technical standards to identify material risk takers subject to the rules on remuneration in the Capital Requirement Directive (CRD IV). These standards set out how to identify risk takers in banks and investment firms. This matters because the risk takers are the people who have to comply with EU rules on variable remuneration (including bonuses). These standards supplement the requirements of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) which entered into force on 17 July 2013 and which strengthened the rules regarding the relationship between the variable (or bonus) component of total remuneration and the fixed component (or salary).

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The Commission adopts nine Regulatory Technical Standards to implement the single rule book in banking

On 13 March, the Commission adopted a package of Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) needed to implement important provisions of the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive (CRR/CRD). The nine RTS define the ways in which competent authorities and market participants must handle disclosures linked to securitisation instruments; measure potential losses from derivative positions and counterparty failure; and specify the types of instruments that can be used for paying bonuses.

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Launch of survey on third country protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

The EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, on behalf of the EU Commission (DG Trade), is launching a survey of EU entities with an interest in the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries. The purpose of the survey is to gather information from those involved and interested, in order to build up a picture of how IPR is protected and enforced in various non-EU countries. This information will be collated by the Observatory and transmitted to DG Trade. The survey is one of the tools to be used to help improve IPR enforcement in non-EU countries. It is thus important for all EU entities with an interest in this subject.
You are encouraged to complete this online survey for each country in which you have an interest and/or knowledge.
The survey is available from 10 March to 10 June at: https://www.tmdn.org/uss/index.php?sid=64891&lang=en

The survey is easy to complete but in case of difficulty help is available from a dedicated email address within the Observatory: ObservatorySurvey@oami.europa.eu

Readership survey

Unless you have already done so following the last edition of Single Market Monthly, please take 5 minutes to fill in our readership survey on the Single Market News (our quarterly magazine) and/or the Single Market Monthly (our monthly electronic newsletter). Thank you for your participation.

  Readership survey
Speeches »« TOP
Introductory remarks by Commissioner Barnier on the Single Resolution Mechanism

At the ECOFIN Council of 11 March, Commissioner Barnier made the following remarks concerning the Single Resolution Mechanism.

  Read the speechfr
Speech by Director-General Jonathan Faull at The Economist summit on the Future of Banking

On 13 March, Jonathan Faull, Director-General for Internal Market and Services gave a speech at The Economist summit in Paris, on the future of EU and US banking. Jonathan Faull: "The EU and the US have a joint responsibility to create a safe and sound transatlantic regulatory framework for financial services. We have made great progress in recent years. But now we need to grasp the nettle and make cooperation in financial regulation an intrinsic part of the relationship between the EU and US being shaped by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)."

  Read the speech
Consultations »« TOP
  07.04.2014  -  02.06.2014Free movement of professionalsConsultation on introducing the European Professional Card (EPC) for nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, engineers, mountain guides and real estate agents

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (10-13 March 2014)


  • OMNIBUS II - Debate on European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and European Securities and Markets Authority
  • Joint debate on money laundering
  • Debate on freedom of movement for workers
  • Vote on the directive on electronic invoicing in public procurement
  • 2014 EP Elections

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

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  20 June 2014
3rd Annual Conference on Public Procurement – Smart Public Procurement: Efficient Management through e-Procurement

Single Market News
Nº68 (2014 – I)

A new professional qualifications regime for Europe

Intellectual Property Rights - Europe’s asset, Europe’s priority

Do you agree with the Commission’s view that the Single Resolution Mechanism will further contribute to a return to financial stability?


Results from the last month:
Disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies – is there a need to increase transparency?
YES - 23.1%
NO - 76.9%

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