EU Banking And Finance Regulatory Newsletter - November 2019

Author:Mr Michael Huertas

November, in addition to marking a month for observing key events in Europe's past that have contributed to the European project, is also a month when policymakers look to finalize next year's priorities. Despite the far from ideal delay to December 1 for the incoming EU Commission of President Ursula von der Leyen (VDL) and the now newly vetted Commissioners taking up their posts, some policy "commitments" have been made as part of the vetting process. These build off VDL's "priority" guidelines that were further refined in various "mission letters" sent to all Commission Vice-Presidents- and Commissioner-designates, effectively setting the 2019-2024 cycle's priorities but also committing the incoming policymakers to deliver on-going legislative procedures, including those linked to the EU's (agreed) budget and future legislative proposals and reviews of existing legislation.

For financial services, these commitments focus on confirming some of the points that VDL iterated in a moving speech, held on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In that policy speech she set out goals on how she plans to make her Commission work for East & West and South & North Europe. She specified how she might deliver on making the EU a global actor on climate change as well as strengthening the EU's economic and industrial policies to support transformation to a more green and digital EU, with a stronger international role for the euro. Those plans are also coupled with commitments, from Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, to continue to work on an expanded euro area and restart talks on EU accession with the Western Balkan candidate countries - possibly on the basis of the proposed French-backed plan of a seven-step phased accession path which has been gaining support from key Member States.

All of that makes sense and so does Dombrovskis' commitments on simplifying the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, which also underpins the functioning of the EU's Single Market inasmuch as more focused talk on an EU fiscal policy (along with a Eurozone budget) could help Capital Markets Union 2.0 to move forward. Those statements were also echoed by signs, from the German finance minister, that there may be more support for completing the Banking Union's third pillar - the European Deposit Insurance Scheme − which aims to reassure Europeans that deposits have equal protection regardless of where they are in the EU. Part of this may come about by some comments...

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