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Issue 4 | July 2011
Brussels, 20 July

Commission Toughens Banking Standards

Many lessons have been learned from the financial crisis. The Commission has announced proposals to change the behaviour of the 8,200 banks that operate in Europe in order to prevent the mistakes of the past. These measures include requiring banks to hold more capital and more liquid means which will strengthen the resilience of the EU banking sector. Banks should also take more responsibility in overseeing bank operations. With this proposal, Europe is the first in the world to implement the G20 commitments and the Basel III agreement.

"We cannot allow that the actions of a few in the financial world jeopardize our prosperity ever again. That's why today we have brought forward proposals to make the more than 8,200 banks that are active in Europe stronger. It is a tremendously important step forward in learning the lessons from the crisis and adopting a new approach to risk."

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Brussels, 18 July
Commission recommends access to basic and affordable bank accounts for all citizens

Access to a bank account has become a pre-condition for participating fully in the economic and social life. Not having access to a basic bank account makes everyday life difficult and more expensive. Even so, around 30 million consumers over the age of 18 in the European Union do not have a bank account, of which 6 million have been denied access. The Commission has prepared a recommendation to address this: It will promote financial and social inclusion for consumers across Europe. The Commission invites Member States to ensure that a basic account becomes available at a reasonable charge to consumers, regardless of their country of residence in the EU or their financial situation.

More Information
Brussels, 15 July
European Banking Authority Publishes 2011 Bank Stress Test Results

Following last year's round of bank stress tests, this year's tests included 90 European banks across the single market. Stress tests check whether banks have enough capital to cope with difficult economic situations such as a recession. Eight banks failed the tests, which were the strictest conducted since the start of the global financial crisis. Another 16 banks only just passed and the EBA urged them to take action to protect against losses.

Joint statement by Commissioners Barnier and Rehn:
"These results highlight that the great majority of European banks are now much stronger and better able to resist shocks. In anticipation of the test, many banks have already taken actions to strengthen the resilience of their balance sheet through private sector measures and government financial aid."

Visits and Missions » « TOP
Warsaw, 8 July
European Commission Welcomes Incoming Polish Presidency of European Council

President Barroso and Members of the European Commission attended a meeting in Warsaw with the incoming Polish presidency of the European Council. Michel Barnier spoke about the need to increase the confidence of all European citizens, not just in financial markets but overall. He stressed that active engagement with the Polish presidency would be required to implement many of the measures he has spearheaded, including the regulation of credit ratings agencies, supervising derivatives trading, and instituting deposit guarantee schemes.

6 July
Commissioner Barnier Meets with MEPs

On Wednesday 6 July, Commissioner Michel Barnier met with Marielle Gallo, an MEP from France, to discuss recent developments in copyright law. He then met with British MEP Diana Wallis to present the different strands of the recently adopted strategy on intellectual property, which was unveiled on May 24.

Michel Barnier said:
"Protecting intellectual property rights in the single market is essential for Europe's economy. Progress, as you know, depends on new ideas and new knowledge, but there will be no investment in innovation if rights are not protected. On the other hand, consumers and users need to have access to cultural content for society to thrive."

Consultations » « TOP
05.04.2011 - 22.07.2011 Company Law The EU corporate governance framework

24.03.2011 - 31.07.2011 Gambling Green Paper on online gambling services in the Internal Market

08.06.2011 - 02.08.2011 Public Procurement Consultation on the access of third countries to the EU's public procurement market

15.06.2011 - 10.08.2011 Investment Funds Consultation on a new European regime for Venture Capital

22.06.2011 - 20.09.2011 Free movement of professionals Green Paper – Modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive
For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
October 02-04 2011, Krakow
Single Market Forum

Single Market News Issue 61

Published 20 July 2011

Towards more responsibility and competitiveness in the European financial sector

Revamping Intellectual PropertyRights in the European Union

Do you have confidence in the EU stress tests of the banks?


Results from the last poll:
Have you ever had problems getting your professional qualifications recognised when moving between European countries?
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