What is in it for financial services in the new Commission’s Work Programme?

ABBL Published 31.01.2020

The College of Commissioners adopted the Work Programme for 2020, setting out the concrete actions that the Commission will undertake this year to implement the political priorities to which President von der Leyen committed when she was elected. The Programme can be structured in three main parts: 1) new policy objectives, 2) the revision, evaluation and conduction of fitness checks of existing legislation (REFIT), as well as 3) its commitment to adopt a number of pending proposals that have been inherited from the previous Commission.

Regarding new initiatives, the Commission is very keen on deepening the Capital Markets Union: in the third quarter of 2020, it will launch an Action Plan on CMU and will review MiFID II and MiFIR and the Benchmark Regulation as well. Then, for the completion of the Banking Union, the Commission announced an Action Plan on anti-money laundering and the transposition of the latest batch of Basel rules via a review of the Capital Requirements legislation by the first half of the year. For the same period, we will expect an Action Plan to fight tax evasion and simplifying taxation. Then, as far as digital finance is concerned, an Action Plan on FinTech and proposals on crypto-assets respectively on cyber resilience will be launched in the second half of the year. Not to forget the European Green Deal, the Commission has a renewed sustainable finance strategy in store, as well as a review of the non-financial reporting directive.

The European Commission’s regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT) aims at ensuring that EU legislation delivers the promised results in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.  Among the REFIT initiatives, the Commission will propose a review of the consumer credit directive and of the distant marketing in financial services directive.

An additional heavy baggage stems from pending proposals: the Commission will have to enhance the legislative process of a long list of initiatives that the legislators have not been able to conclude in the previous mandate. Among these figure in a prominent place the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), the recovery and resolution of central counterparties, the directive on public country-by-country reporting, the regulation on sovereign bond-backed securities, the credit servicers directive, the directive on a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) and the financial transaction tax directive.

In general, it is worth saying that President von der Leyen and her Commissioners will have a busy year considering the ambitious Work Programme they put forward. Then, if we look at the specific initiatives concerning financial services and banking regulation, the challenge ahead lies in truly deepening the CMU, completing the Banking Union and delivering on future oriented projects like sustainable finance and the digitalization of the financial sector.

By Silvia De Iacovo, ABBL & ALFI European Affairs

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