Changeover in the European Institutions paves way for a more politicised sense of continuity

The European Parliament elections in May this year delivered a result that is set to fundamentally influence the way financial services legislation will be discussed in the European Parliament. Contrastingly, the incoming European Commission leadership – which is set to assume office on 1 November – represents a strong sense of continuity as far as EU financial services regulation is concerned, with Latvian former Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis nominated to remain in charge of the financial services portfolio.

The coming legislative cycle is likely going to be marked by this dichotomy of a more fractured and more politicised European Parliament on the one hand and a node of relative continuity and stability on the other hand in the European Commission. May’s parliamentary elections resulted in a distribution of seats that for the first time saw the big centre-right (EPP) and centre-left (S&D) political families no longer commanding a majority between each other. In the new Parliament, both groups saw their numbers diminished, chiefly to the benefit of the liberal (ALDE/Renew Europe) and Green groups. This in turn means that during the coming mandate, political trade-offs with both groups will become a much bigger staple of financial services policy-making than has historically been the case.

When it comes to some of the bigger items that are set to be on the agenda for the next legislative cycle – e.g. the next round of revisions of bank capital requirements to implement the Basel IV accord, a wide-spectrum of sustainable finance initiatives including on green bonds, eco-labelling for financial products, a sustainability taxonomy and integration of sustainability considerations in non-financial corporate disclosure rules, as well as renewed scrutiny over anti-money laundering standards – trade-offs that may need to be made in the interest of finding majorities in the European Parliament could result in a wider set of political views and priorities from across the spectrum coming through in financial services legislation.

With this said, the next legislative cycle will also see a bigger shift away from post-crisis regulation of financial services to regulation impacting corporate treasury being tied to bigger and overarching policy priorities that are being advanced at European level. Competition with China and the United States in the data and digital space as well as being at the forefront of climate change mitigation and adaption are only two of those priorities that are likely to significantly shape financial regulation in the coming five years. EU political leadership wanting to promote a more assertive global role for the EU vis-à-vis its international competitors will also see a strong focus on fair taxation and promoting European financial infrastructure and markets (and being more protective of non-EU influence), including autonomous European payments infrastructure with the ultimate objective of growing the role of the Euro as an international reserve currency.

For the time being, the legislative machinery has not yet gathered steam, but subject to a successful vetting process of nominees for posts as European Commissioners in the European Parliament, European policymakers will turn their attention to concrete initiatives of the next five years from November onwards.

Articles


Photo from Treasurer's Energy

Treasurer's Energy

More than 150 treasurers from major Polish and international companies, along with numerous PCTA Partners from banks and financial companies, participated in a two-day treasury conference with the motto: "the treasurer's energy."

Read
Photo from DEBRA, Next Big Tax Reform in Europe?

DEBRA, Next Big Tax Reform in Europe?

It is a new proposal from the EU that could have significant impacts to consider, although its objectives are laudable and logical. However, DEBRA could cause nightmares for tax managers and corporate treasurers.

Read
Photo from Impacts of the Armed Conflict in Ukraine on the Management of Energy Hedges on Organized Markets

Impacts of the Armed Conflict in Ukraine on the Management of Energy Hedges on Organized Markets

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to persist, global commodity markets and energy prices continue to fluctuate based on a significant volatility, imposing a very high pressure on the cash exposures of the treasurers.

Read
Photo from Mercury Rising: Taking the Temperature of European Corporate Treasurers

Mercury Rising: Taking the Temperature of European Corporate Treasurers

According to this year’s responses to the EACT’s annual pan-European survey, the pandemic has not changed the top priorities of corporate treasurers. Instead, it has crystallised the need for increased digitisation.

Read
Photo from Is the Dollar Still King or is it a Race Towards a Post-USD World?

Is the Dollar Still King or is it a Race Towards a Post-USD World?

As we emerge from a major and unprecedented health crisis and enter a phase of war in Europe, we must take stock. A post-dollar race may be underway.

Read