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Guides on the EU policy on Finance.
Review of EU Prospectus Directive - briefing
In line with the "Better Regulation" principles, the European Commission has today put forward a proposal for the review of the Prospectus Directive. The proposal is part of simplification exercise within the Action Program of the European Commission for the Reduction of Administrative Burdens in the European Union. The proposal increases legal clarity and efficiency in the prospectus regime and reduces administrative burdens for issuers and intermediaries. It also bears in mind the importance of enhancing the level of investor protection and ensuring that the information provided is sufficient and adequate to cover the needs of retail investors. It reflects consultation with all major stakeholders. The proposal now passes to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers for consideration.
European Union food aid for deprived persons - European Court of Auditors report
Information note of the European Court of Auditors concerning Special Report No 6/2009 - European Union food aid for deprived persons: an assessment of the objectives, the means and the methods employed.
EU Communication Stepping up international climate finance - briefing
The European Commission today put forward a blueprint for scaling up international finance to help developing countries combat climate change. This initiative aims to maximise the chances of concluding an ambitious global climate change agreement at the December U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. By 2020 developing countries are likely to face annual costs of around €100 billion to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Much of the finance needed will have to come from domestic sources and an expanded international carbon market, but international public financing of some €22-50 billion a year is also likely to be necessary. The Commission proposes that industrialised nations and economically more advanced developing countries should provide this public financing in line with their responsibility for emissions and ability to pay. This could mean an EU contribution of some €2-15 billion a year by 2020, assuming an ambitious agreement is reached in Copenhagen.
GDP and Beyond - Measuring progress in a changing world
Measuring progress in a changing world is the focus of a European Commission Communication launched at a high-level workshop on 9 September. The actions proposed in this Communication aim to improve the measurement of a nation's progress by complementing the current and best known measure of economic activity, Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As a part of efforts to make the shift towards a low carbon, resource-efficient economy the Commission will present a pilot version of a comprehensive environmental index in 2010. The European Statistical System will implement Environmental Accounting as a standard in Macro-economic statistics.
Borrowing Environment in the EU
Most businesses in Europe rely on bank loans for their external financing. However, borrowing can be difficult for SMEs - particularly if they lack collateral or do not have a long enough track record or credit history. For this reason, governments and other public authorities often facilitate small businesses' access to lending via various loan and guarantee schemes.
Commission approves EUR 251 million aid for Gdansk shipyard in Poland - briefing
Following an in-depth investigation opened in June 2005, the European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules various support measures worth EUR 251 million, spread over several years and extending into the future, in favour of the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland. Privatised in 2007, the yard recently presented a restructuring plan that will to a large extent be financed from private resources raised by the yard and its owner. The Commission concluded that the plan will ensure the viability of the yard and that the distortions of competition, caused by years of subsidised operations, will be adequately reduced by production capacity closures.
Investment Funds in the EU
UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) are investment funds that have been established in accordance with UCITS Directive (adopted in 1985). Once registered in one EU country, a UCITS fund can be freely marketed across the EU.
Union for the Mediterranean - background
The Union for the Mediterranean (UpM), created at the Paris Summit of Euro-Mediterranean Heads of State and Government on 13 July 2008, is the framework of multilateral relations between the EU and the Mediterranean non-EU countries. It complements bilateral relations, which will continue to develop under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the pre-accession framework.
Union for the Mediterranean: Commission increases contribution to priority projects - briefing
On the eve of the first anniversary of the launching of the Union for the Mediterranean (Paris, 13 July 2008), the European Commission has announced an additional contribution of EUR 72 million, for 2009-2010, to the areas identified as priorities by the Euro-Mediterranean Heads of State and Government in Paris. Work will focus on the de-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, maritime and land highways, alternative energies, with a focus on the Mediterranean Solar Plant, higher education and research and supporting investment in businesses. Part of the funds will be dedicated to support the running of the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat. With this contribution, the total community budget dedicated since July 2008 to the priorities identified by the Union for the Mediterranean amounts EUR 90 million.
Useful information
Useful links and practical information on banking and credit institutions in the EU
Regulatory capital in the EU
The objective of the capital requirements in the EU is to have in place a comprehensive and risk-sensitive framework and to foster enhanced risk management amongst financial institutions. This is aimed at maximising the effectiveness of the capital rules to ensure continuing financial stability, maintain confidence in financial institutions and protect consumers.
Banking: Key EU directives
Key banking legislation in force in the European Union
Banking policy in the EU
Achieving an integrated market for banks and financial conglomerates is a core component of European policy in financial services sector.
Financial services - General Policy
Completing the single market in financial services is a crucial part of the European Commission's overriding objective of achieving more and better jobs in a more dynamic, innovative and attractive Europe.
Commission recommends 2012 for correction of Latvia's excessive deficit - briefing
The European Commission on 2 July concluded that Latvia is running an excessive deficit under Article 104.7 of the EU Treaty and has proposed a deadline for its correction.
Commission fine for Electrabel for implementing acquisition of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône without prior Commission approval - briefing
The European Commission has decided to impose a fine of EUR 20 million on Electrabel, an electricity producer and retailer belonging to the Suez Group (now GDF Suez) for acquiring control of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), another electricity producer, without having received prior approval under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission concluded that the infringement lasted for a significant period and that Electrabel should have been aware of its obligation to receive Commission approval before proceeding with the acquisition. The EU Merger Regulation requires concentrations of a European dimension to be notified to the Commission before their implementation so that the Commission can examine whether a concentration would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. This is known as the 'standstill obligation'.
Shared Commitment for Employment - briefing
The EU will make available EUR 19 billion of planned European Social Fund expenditure to support people hit by the economic crisis. Together with the European Investment Bank Group and other partners, a new EU loans facility will be set up to provide micro-credits for those who would usually have difficulty accessing the necessary funds to set up a business or a micro-enterprise.
Financial Supervision - briefing
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on Financial Supervision in Europe. The Communication proposes a set of ambitious reforms to the current architecture of financial services committees, with the creation of a new European Systemic Risk Council (ESRC) and European System of Financial Supervisors (ESFS), composed of new European Supervisory Authorities. Legislation to embody these proposals will follow in the autumn. The Commission also invites all interested parties to submit their reactions on the Communication before 15 July.
Communication on packaged retail investment products (PRIPs) - briefing
The European Commission has committed to delivering important improvements to investor protection measures for the main investment products bought by retail investors. Inconsistencies in existing standards can be detrimental to investors and can lead to competitive distortions in the retail investment market. The Commission's conclusions, set out in the Communication on Packaged Retail Investment Products, are that product information requirements and rules on product sales need to be improved and made more coherent. The Communication outlines proposals for a new, horizontal legislative approach, drawing on the best of existing requirements and applying these to all relevant products. The Commission will now begin work on the detailed legislative proposals required for this new approach, and will provide an orientation on the work by the end of 2009.
Recommendation on directors' remuneration - briefing
The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the regime for the remuneration of directors of listed companies, complementing previous Recommendations 2004/913/EC and 2005/162/EC. The Commission says that an appropriate remuneration policy should ensure pay for performance and stimulate directors to ensure the medium and long term sustainability of the company. The existing Directors' remuneration Recommendation is based on the idea of pay for performance through disclosure of the remuneration policy. The new Recommendation will give further guidance on achieving this by setting out best practices for the design of an appropriate remuneration policy. To this end, it focuses on certain aspects of the structure of directors' remuneration and the process of determining directors' remuneration, including shareholder supervision. The Commission has also adopted a Recommendation on remuneration policy in the financial services sector.