EU finance ministers have agreed on a review of the so-called Lamfalussy process, which governs EU procedures for legislation applicable to banks and insurance companies, but rejected plans for a supranational financial market supervisor at European level.
EU finance ministers meeting on Tuesday (4 December) agreed to improve the overall functioning of the Lamfalussy process for financial services legislation in the EU, which they viewed as “positive” so far.
Discussions focused on level III of the procedure, which deals with the role of national supervisors in order to intensify convergence and cooperation. Ministers agreed to limit so-called “goldplating”, whereby additional provisions other than those necessary for the transposition of EU directives are added to the legislation at national level.
The Council also mandated a number of further examinations. The Commission is for example asked to clarify the role and strengthen the working of these committees by April next year.
However, a plan to introduce a single EU regulator for financial markets was rejected. An Italian proposal to establish a European financial supervisor was rejected by the UK and Germany, which host Europe’s largest banks.
Ministers also discussed the proposed Solvency II Directive, which is to revise the current solvency regime for the insurance industry, but no agreement was found there. However, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück said that important steps had been made at the meeting. He underlined that Solvency II was “the most important project for the EU in the area of financial services”.