Briefing – Replacement benchmarks for financial benchmarks in cessation – 01-07-2021

The pricing of many financial instruments and contracts depends on the accuracy and integrity of (financial) benchmarks, i.e. indices, by reference to which the amounts payable under such financial instruments or contracts, or the value of certain financial instruments, are determined. The anticipated discontinuation of such a benchmark (LIBOR) after the end of 2021 has created fears that it could lead to disruption in the internal market, given that the Benchmarks Regulation ((EU) 2016/1011) does not provide for mechanisms to organise the orderly discontinuation of systemically important benchmarks in the EU. That is why the Commission has proposed to amend the said regulation. The co-legislators significantly amended the Commission’s proposal. Their amendments deal, among other things, with the replacement of a benchmark by EU, or by national law, set additional obligations for supervised entities using a benchmark, regulate the Commission’s powers to adopt delegated acts and establish additional obligations for the Commission with regards to its proposed consultation. The European Parliament adopted the compromise agreement in plenary on 19 January 2021. On 2 February 2021, the Council adopted the act. The final act was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 12 February 2021. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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Briefing – Understanding delegated and implementing acts – 07-07-2021

Law-making by the executive is a phenomenon that exists not only in the European Union (EU) but also in its Member States, as well as in other Western liberal democracies. Many national legal systems differentiate between delegated legislation − adopted by the executive and having the same legal force as parliamentary legislation − and purely executive acts −aimed at implementing parliamentary legislation, but that may neither supplement nor modify it. In the EU, the distinction between delegated acts and implementing acts was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. The distinction, laid down in Articles 290 and 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), seems clear only at first sight. Delegated acts are defined as non-legislative acts of general application, adopted by the European Commission on the basis of a delegation contained in a legislative act. They may supplement or amend the basic act, but only as to non-essential aspects of the policy area. In contrast, implementing acts are not defined as to their legal nature, but to their purpose − where uniform conditions for implementing legally binding Union acts are needed. Under no circumstances may an implementing act modify anything in the basic act. Delegated acts differ from implementing acts in particular with regard to the procedural aspects of their adoption − the former after consulting Member States’ experts, but their view is not binding; the latter in the comitology procedure, where experts designated by the Member States, sitting on specialised committees, can object to a draft implementing act. In the case of delegated acts, however, the Parliament and Council can introduce, in the delegation itself, a right to object to a draft act or even to revoke the delegation altogether. Both delegated and implementing acts are subject to judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU which controls their conformity with the basic act.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Rail passengers’ rights and obligations in the EU – 12-07-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. The new rules were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 17 May 2021. They will apply in principle to all international and domestic rail journeys and services in the EU from 7 June 2023. However, Member States may exempt domestic rail services for a limited time. Seventh edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Amending securitisation requirements for the impact of coronavirus – 01-07-2021

Preserving the ability of banks to continue lending to companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is key when it comes to softening the economic impact of the pandemic and easing recovery. The Commission believes that securitisation can contribute to this. It also considers that in order to increase the potential of securitisation the EU regulatory framework (Regulations (EU) 2017/2402 and (EU) 575/2013) must be updated, to cater for (i) on-balance-sheet synthetic securitisation and (ii) the securitisation of non-performing exposures (NPEs). The co-legislators amended the Commission proposal, with amendments concerning, among other things, the requirements concerning the credit protection agreement, the third party verification agent and the synthetic excess spread, the macroprudential oversight of the securitisation market, the obligations of the EBA, the reporting on prudential requirements and financial information, grandfathering for securitisation positions and NPE securitisations. The final act was signed on 31 March 2021. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Single European Sky 2+ package: Amended Commission proposal – 12-07-2021

The Single European Sky (SES) initiative aims to make EU airspace less fragmented and to improve air traffic management in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment. Its current regulatory framework is based on two legislative packages: SES I (adopted in 2004), which set the principal legal framework, and SES II (adopted in 2009), which aimed to tackle substantial air traffic growth, increase safety, and reduce costs and delays and the impact of air traffic on the environment. Nonetheless, European airspace remains fragmented, costly and inefficient. The European Commission presented a revision of the SES in 2013 (the SES 2+ package). While the Parliament adopted its first-reading position in March 2014, in December 2014 the Council agreed only a partial general approach, owing to disagreement between the UK and Spain over the application of the text to Gibraltar airport. With Brexit having removed this blockage, the Commission has amended its initial proposal. The Council and the Parliament have both adopted their positions on the revised proposal, and can thus start trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027: Financing key EU infrastructure networks – 01-07-2021

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. It set up the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as a dedicated financing instrument for the 2014-2020 period, to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, the European Commission proposed to renew the programme under the long term EU budget for the 2021-2027 period. In the 2014-2019 term, the Council and the European Parliament provisionally agreed on the content, leaving aside the budget and the questions relating to third countries. Negotiations resumed in the present term, reflecting the Commission’s revised MFF proposal of May 2020 and the European Council conclusions of July 2020. Final details were agreed on 11 March 2021. The agreement has already been confirmed by the responsible parliamentary committees TRAN and ITRE, and the Council subsequently adopted its first-reading position on 14 June 2021. The Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the July plenary session. Once adopted, the new CEF regulation will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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