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eu summit and banking union October 19, 2012

Posted by Bradley in : eu, financial regulation , trackback

The final Presidency conclusions differed a bit from the draft. For example, the roadmap the European Council wants in December is now to include “concrete proposals” to achieve the following:

The process towards deeper economic and monetary union should build on the EU’s institutional and legal framework and be characterised by openness and transparency towards Member States which do not use the single currency and by respect for the integrity of the Single Market.

The draft had the objective but not the concrete proposals idea. There’s also some redrafting of the timetable- the SSM legislative framework is to be agreed by the new year and operational implementation will follow. The language about the accountability of the ECB changed. Now:

There is a need to ensure a clear separation between ECB monetary policy and supervision functions, and the equitable treatment and representation of both euro and non-euro area Member States participating in the SSM. Accountability takes place at the level at which decisions are taken and implemented. The SSM will be based on the highest standards for bank supervision and the ECB will be able, in a differentiated way, to carry out direct supervision. It will also be in a position to use the effective powers conferred on it by the legislation as soon as it comes into force. In addition, it is of paramount importance to establish a single rulebook underpinning the centralised supervision.

This is still not a model of clarity. And they kick the can down the road on voting in the EBA:

It is important to ensure a level playing field between those Member States which take part in the SSM and those which do not, in full respect of the integrity of the single market in financial services. An acceptable and balanced solution is needed regarding changes to voting modalities and decisions under the European Banking Authority (EBA) Regulation, taking account of possible evolutions in the participation in the SSM, that ensures nondiscriminatory and effective decision-making within the Single Market. On this basis, the EBA should retain its existing powers and responsibilities.

The conclusions state that within the euro area “Strong mechanisms for democratic legitimacy and accountability are necessary”. But whereas the draft conclusions suggested that the EU should explore the idea of enhancing the role of the social partners, this language does not appear in the final conclusions.

Update: Although there’s not much sign of agreement on critical details, some groups have reacted positively to the summit. For example, the EESC:

The EESC is pleased to learn that, even though belated, a European banking union will come to life. It is crucial that the Member State governments have the breadth of vision to create more Europe, handing over some powers and ensuring that they can be applied, in order to achieve effective European governance that is socially useful and economically efficient. New and stricter rules will offer security to people and markets.

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