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Brussels, 3 June 2002

Insurance: Commission welcomes common position reached by Council on proposed Directive relating to recasting of life insurance legislation.

The European Commission has welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Council of a common position on a proposal for a Directive that will simplify European legislation on life insurance by recasting into a single text all the existing directives in this area. The common position also incorporates the provisions of Directive 2002/12/EC of 14 February 2002 (see IP/02/252) amending Directive 79/267/EEC as regards solvency margin requirements. The proposal will now return to the European Parliament for a second reading.

Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said, "I welcome the Council's adoption of the common position. The directive will make it easier to understand and apply the life insurance directives by recasting them in a clear, coherent and comprehensive legal text."

The new text is part of the drive to simplify and clarify Community legislation in order to make it more accessible to the general public and thus give people the opportunity to make fuller use of the specific rights granted to them. The Commission will be submitting to the Seville European Council an action plan aimed at simplifying and improving the regulatory environment.

The Commission had presented the proposal in June 2000. The European Parliament had given a favourable opinion at the first reading without proposing any amendments. The Council, however, had decided to await the adoption of Directive 2002/12/EC on solvency margin requirements before adopting its common position so that it could incorporate the instrument and ensure that the single text was completely up to date.

The Commission has embarked on a similar exercise aimed at recasting the various instruments concerning non-life insurance into a single text.

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