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16 July 2020

This week in "Brussels"

Welcome to our Gold Friends weekly e-mail.

My highlights of the week: EUCO may not enjoy their first physical meeting at the end of this week as EUCO President Michel said “a deal is essential” so it may be a long night. Nonetheless, the euro’s attractions continue to draw new applicants: Bulgaria and Croatia entered the two-year waiting room of ERMII though Bulgaria is being wracked with renewed corruption allegations. The Commission launched a guide to `best practices’ towards clients Covid difficulties – supported by banks and insurers. AFME reported the highest ever issuance of bonds – with a surge in ESG bonds – though supported by ECB purchases. The Commission suffered a severe blow from the ECJ in overturning the “Apple decision” but still found grounds to push its tax proposals forward.Wirecard: German regulators to be investigated.

 We are now breaking for the summer holidays and will resume this service on 10th September. We wish all our clients a happy summer holiday – wherever you may be spending it!

Graham Bishop


Articles from 10 July to 16 July, 2020

General Financial Policy


Michel:"A deal is essential. Now is the time" - Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council : Remarkably short letter to fellow members of EUCO - ahead of meeting in Brussels on 17/18 July. View Article
Dombrovskis at the ECOFIN press conference : We must quickly reach a solid, political agreement on the next multiannual financial framework and on our recovery package, Next Generation EU...we want to move forward on the Banking and Capital Markets Unions, and on strengthening the international role of the euro" View Article
POLITICO: The coronavirus recovery plan that von der Leyen built : COVID-19 rescue effort puts her legacy on the line. Her first public announcement of a massive response to the coronavirus crisis was made in a reflexive panic, on a Saturday night in late March, as she came under a barrage of criticism from Italy. View Article 
EURACTIV: Donohoe wins Eurogroup presidency : Ireland’s minister of Finance, Pascal Donohoe, will be the next Eurogroup chief, outgoing president Mario Centeno announced. Donohoe obtained a simple majority among the 19 finance ministers of the euro area, in a vote that took place on Thursday (9 July) afternoon. View Article
Coronavirus Response: Commission welcomes ‘Best Practices' to provide relief for consumers and businesses : The European Commission has welcomed a list of ‘best practices' agreed by the financial sector, and consumer and business organisations, to help further mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  View Article

EBF STATEMENT ON EC INITIATIVE ON COVID-19 RELIEF MEASURES : Banking sector continues to stand with businesses and households View Article

AFME: Impact of COVID-19 on European Capital Markets: Market Update : The paper revealed the recovery is being led by record issuance levels of investment grade securities and ESG bonds. The report analysed the impact of COVID-19 on European capital markets during the four months since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. View Article

Federal Trust: The German Presidency is a time of hope for the EU : Even today, faced with the worst pandemic in a century and the gravest economic crisis in 90 years, the word on the Place Luxembourg is: The EU will emerge stronger forged in crisis. Or, as a variant, “we’ll muddle through as always and come out stronger at the other end.” So, how far is this true? View Article
ECA: REACT-EU recovery funding: tension between swift support and value for money : The European Commission’s REACT-EU proposal to top up cohesion funding for EU countries by €58 billion in the crucial first few years of the Covid-19 recovery aims to mobilise investment and frontload financial support.  View Article


Capital Markets Union

ESMA’s third EU-wide CCP stress test finds system resilient to shocks : ESMA has published the results of its third stress test exercise regarding Central Counterparties (CCPs) in the European Union (EU) which confirm the overall resilience of EU CCPs to common shocks and multiple defaults for credit, liquidity and concentration stress risks. View
FT: Brussels moves to preserve access to London clearing houses : EU financial policy commissioner says decision will address risks to financial stability posed by Brexit View Article
Insurance Europe: Statement on EC COVID-19 best practices : Insurance Europe contributed to the development of the best practices for insurers. Insurance Europe’s director general, Michaela Koller, said: View Article
ICMA submits response to ESMA Survey on Topics for the CSDR Review : ICMA’s members feel that the MBI regime would be extremely damaging for European capital market liquidity, efficiency, and stability, creating undue risks for market participants, in particular investors, and undermining the objectives of capital markets union View Article
IPE: EC ‘not playing by the rules’ with ESG product adds in MiFID II proposal : Asset managers and their trade bodies, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and other organisations have criticised, on multiple grounds, the European Commission’s proposed definition of “sustainability preferences” in draft amendments of MiFID II rules. View Article
ICSA, EFAMA & MFA Call for Global Principles to Address Escalating Market Data Costs : They call for the implementation of internationally recognized principles to address excessively high market data fees and unfair licensing provisions.  View Article


Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)

ESMA to assess German financial reporting system following Wirecard collapse : The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is to launch an assessment of the supervisory response in the financial reporting area by BaFin and the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP) to the events leading to the collapse of Wirecard AG. It will be completed by 30 October 2020. View Article
WBCSD: COVID-19 Business Recovery: A guidance framework for a sustainable & inclusive "new normal" : Through this “reopening”, companies need to consider different scenarios that illustrate the potential trajectory of their recoveries. There is also an opportunity for businesses to enhance their resilience to our new COVID reality, future pandemics and other potential shocks. View Article
GRI: Promoting clarity and compatibility in the sustainability landscape : GRI and SASB understand that the sustainability disclosure landscape can appear complicated so they will collaborate to demonstrate how some companies have used both sets of standards together.  View Article
UNEP FI urges the EU to embed sustainability impact into its Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy : UNEP FI welcomes the Commission’s consultation and urges the EU to embed sustainability impact into its Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy. Elodie Feller, UNEP FI Investment Lead, explains why. View Article
IPE: EU green pensions regulation is moving too fast, says Leppäla : Matti Leppäla, chief executive officer of PensionsEurope, said he was worried that EU regulation around responsible investment for pension funds was moving too fast without first allowing time to see how rules works in practice. View Article
EFAMA responses to European Commission consultations on MiFID, UCITS and AIFMD Delegated Acts: The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), published their response to the European Commission's consultations on delegated acts that seek to integrate sustainability risks and sustainability factors into UCITS , AIFMD and MiFID .  View Article
AFME: Banks call for more clarity over roadmap to 2050 decarbonisation targets : Responding to the European Commission consultation, AFME has called on the Commission to provide more clarity to corporates, banks and investors over the roadmap to the Paris decarbonisation targets, AFME highlighted that only a holistic approach... will achieve the deep structural change required.  View Article


Economic Policies Impacting EU Finance

Dombrovskis on fair and simple taxation: a new package of measures to contribute to Europe's recovery and growth : "we need the support of a fair, efficient and sustainable tax system." View Article
European tax professionals call for better tax governance : Ahead of the European Commission Anti-fraud tax package, Accountancy Europe and CFE Tax Advisers Europe, leading European associations for tax professionals, highlight three areas for policymakers in which the current tax system could be improved whilst longer term reforms are being developed.  View Article
POLITICO: European Commission ready to wait until after 2020 to roll out digital tax : The European Commission is ready to wait until the OECD agrees on a global digital tax deal before rolling out its own plans, and accepts that a global deal might not happen in 2020, a senior Commission official said today. View Article
POLITICO: Commission’s tax push emboldened by Apple ruling : Brussels proposes to overhaul tax revenue from sales on digital platforms and other initiatives to tighten the fiscal net.  View Article
FT: Apple wins landmark court battle with EU over €14.3bn of tax payments : Judges annul ruling by European Commission in blow to competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager View Article
ECB: Euro area bank lending survey : The euro area bank lending survey (BLS) provides information on bank lending conditions in the euro area. It supplements existing statistics with information on the supply of and demand for loans to enterprises and households. View Article


Broadening the International Role of the Euro

ECB' Panetta: Pursuing a successful path towards euro area accession : Speech to ECON - update on accession of Bulgaria and Croatia to ERM II View Article
Commission welcomes Bulgaria and Croatia's entry into the Exchange Rate Mechanism II : The Commission welcomes the decision to include the Bulgarian lev and the Croatian kuna in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II). It also welcomes the ECB Governing Council's decision on close cooperation with both countries, marking their entry into the Banking Union. View Article

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© Copyright 2020 Graham Bishop

© Graham Bishop

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