With all eyes on the Brexit count down, another count down is creating a frenzy of activity in Brussels : the end of the European Parliament legislature and the upcoming start of the campaign for the EU elections taking place from 23 to 26 May 2019. I had already mentioned this particular time in EU politics which takes place every five years in an article back in January. Now is a good time to take stock of the situation, indeed in order for files to be voted at the last European Parliament plenary from 15 to 18 April 2019 political agreements need to be reached now.
Dossiers where a provisional political agreement has been reached and which will be agreed in Council COREPER and voted in the European Parliament in the next few weeks are:
- Cross-border distribution of funds: I would highlight that on this Commission proposal the European Parliament and the Council have added in the PRIIPs regulation the extension of the UCITS KID exemption for another two years (until December 2021 instead of 2019) as well as some extra-time for the European Commission to present its PRIIPs review.
- EMIR refit
Intense discussions are being held in trilogues in order to reach agreements on the following files, some of those might actually see a political agreement in the very near future:
- Sustainable finance – Transparency proposal
- Sustainable finance – Benchmark proposal
- Covered bonds
- Investment firms review
- Non Performing Loan (NPL)
- EMIR 2.2 (Supervision)
One particular file moved significantly faster then the presidency and most insiders had initially expected. Indeed the presidency was only hoping to reach a general approach on the ESA review file, but through collective action of a few big players a general approach was reached early February and trilogues started swiftly afterwards.
Brussels is a busy town these days for EU civil servants, MEPs (and staff), Member States representatives as well as lobbyists. Some of the MEPs and politicians are seizing their last opportunity to leave their final mark on EU legislation before they head for new horizons. Trilogue negotiations are a fertile ground for such endeavors.
By Aurélie CASSOU, ABBL & ALFI Senior Adviser, European Affairs