Juncker mulls new financial services tsar role
Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming European Commission president, is considering creating an EU financial services directorate charged with regulating the London financial scene and ensuring stability in the region, the Financial Times reported today (31 July).
The plans would give a single commissioner a united financial services portfolio, the FT said. Some London-based banks fear this will tilt wider EU financial policy towards the eurozone, it added.
The FT said, without citing sources, that potential candidates for the role included former Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and former Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.
EU financial regulation is currently overseen by Internal Market Commissioner and former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier. While financial services has dominated his term, he was also responsible for developing the 28-nation common market.
Citing senior officials, the FT said the new directorate would likely move banking and markets units from Barnier's division, combining them with the financial stability unit stripped from the department for Economic and Financial Affairs.
The exact form of the new department is unclear and a final decision has yet to be taken, the report added.
Representatives at the European Commission could not be reached for comment outside of regular office hours.
The President of the Commission is elected by the Parliament by a majority of its members, on a proposal of the European Council acting by qualified majority. The choice of the candidate for the Presidency of the Commission should take account of the results of the elections in the European Parliament.
In consultation with the President-elect, the Council then adopts the list of the other Members of the Commission. These people are chosen on the basis of suggestions made by the Governments. The Commission is subject, as a body, to a vote of approval of the European Parliament. The College of Commissioners is then formally appointed by the European Council acting by qualified majority.