Tag Archives: finance

Mairead McGuinness new EU finance Commissioner

Brussels 12.10.2020 The EU Council today appointed, by common accord with the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Mairead McGuinness as new member of the European Commission.

The appointment follows the resignation of Phil Hogan and is for the remainder of the term of office of the Commission, which runs until 31 October 2024.

Ms McGuinness has been assigned by the President of the Commission the portfolio of financial services, financial stability and the Capital Markets Union.

In accordance with Article 246 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a vacancy caused by resignation of a member of the Commission is filled for the remainder of his or her term by a new member of the same nationality. The new member is appointed by the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission, after consulting the European Parliament.

#COVID19: Eurogroup rapid response

Today Eurogroup welcomed all the measures taken by Member States and by the European Commission, in particular those taken to ensure that health systems and civil protection systems are adequately provided for to contain and treat the disease, preserve the wellbeing of our citizens and help firms and workers that are particularly affected.

“Facing these exceptional circumstances, we agreed that an immediate, ambitious and co-ordinated policy response is needed. We have decided to act and will respond swiftly and flexibly to developments as they unfold. We will make use of all instruments necessary to limit the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have therefore put together a first set of national and European measures while setting a framework for further actions to respond to developments and to support the economic recovery. Preliminary estimates of the European Commission show that total fiscal support to the economy will be very sizeable. We have, so far, decided fiscal measures of about 1% of GDP, on average, for 2020 to support the economy, in addition to the impact of automatic stabilisers, which should work fully. We have, so far, committed to provide liquidity facilities of at least 10% of GDP, consisting of public guarantee schemes and deferred tax payments. These figures could be much larger going forward” reads the statement of the Eurogroup.

Coordinated efforts at the European level will supplement national measures:
We welcome the Commission’s proposal for a €37 billion “
Corona Response Investment Initiative” directed at health care systems, SMEs, labour markets and other vulnerable parts of our economies, and to make a further €28 billion of structural funds fully eligible for meeting these expenditures. We agreed on the need to implement the necessary legislative changes as quickly as possible” the Eurogroup underlined in the statement.

“We welcome the initiative of the Commission and the EIB Group to mobilise up to €8 billion of working capital lending for 100,000 European firms, backed by the EU budget, by enhancing programmes for guaranteeing bank credits to SMEs. We also support the ongoing efforts of the Commission and the EIB Group to increase this amount up to €20 billion, which would reach a further 150,000 firms. We also welcome the ongoing work to make further funds available as swiftly as possible and to enhance the flexibility of the financial instruments leveraged;
We welcome the initiative of the EIB Group to catalyse €10 billion in additional investments in SMEs and midcaps for their own account and to accelerate the deployment of another €10 billion backed by the EU budget;
We invite the EIB to further enhance and accelerate the impact of the available resources, including through enhanced collaboration with the National Development Banks;
We also welcomed the package of monetary policy measures taken by the ECB last week aimed at supporting liquidity and funding conditions for households, businesses and banks, help the smooth provision of credit to the real economy, and avoid fragmentation of euro area financial markets in order to preserve the smooth transmission of monetary policy”.

Image: Mario Centeno, president of Eurogroup video conference.

EU-Swiss agreement extended deadline

The European Commission agreed to grant  Switzerland six more months  to achieve progress in a dispute over a deal governing EU market access and  free movement of labor.

The agreement negotiated between the European Commission and Switzerland is meant to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation including agricultural trade and aviation.

The EU had expected to strike a deal by the end of December, but earlier this month Swiss said they need more time for consultations with businesses and citizens at home.

However at press-conference the EU Commissioner on Neighborhood policy Johannes Hahn underlined the has not interest in ‘special deals‘. “…Bern should understand that   appetite for special deals and exceptions have drastically diminished over the last years. Now up to CH (Confoederatio Helvetica-editor) to tell us results of consultations. Negotiations are over.’

The European Commission proposes to extend for six months its decision to recognise trading venues in Switzerland as eligible for compliance with the trading obligation for shares set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation.

Once adopted, the measure will ensure that businesses and markets can continue to operate smoothly and without any disruptions after 31 December 2018.

 In addition to the fact that the Commission has already threatened to refuse the renewal of equivalence for the stock market in case of rejection of the framework agreement, the Hahn has also been clear on the issue: without agreement, Switzerland will not be able to claim new access to the EU internal market or even the updating of existing agreements, which will pose significant challenges for some sectors, such as medical devices.

“A temporary extension of equivalence should provide time to Switzerland to finalise its internal consultation on the Institutional Framework Agreement. It will also ensure continuity for portfolio managers and brokers active in Swiss equities. We want that European firms can continue trading in Swiss equities both in the EU and on the Swiss exchanges. Open and competitive stock markets are vital for a healthy economy and to provide reliable income sources for investors in equities” Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for Euro said.

'New London' in Dublin refused

  • city-of-london

“There is not going to be any new London in the EU 27. History happened in a certain way. You can’t just lift institutions and drop then somewhere else,” Philip Lane, the head of the Irish  central bank  at an event in London.

“You may well have this fragmented but integrated financial system so location X has a cluster of derivatives trading, location Z has a cluster of insurance etc.”

Lane, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB)  Governing Council, underlined that Europe’s future financial centres may be more fragmented geographically, even if they were integrated as part of a Single market.

Cities around Europe are eager to host the potential new business, including financial centres in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland.