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IP/07/1731

Brussels, 20 November 2007

Financial Markets: Commission presents a review of the Lamfalussy process

The European Commission has published a Communication on the Review of the Lamfalussy Process, a four-level regulatory approach for the adoption, implementation and enforcement of legislation and implementing measures across the securities, banking and insurance sectors. Although the process has broadly met its overall objectives, there is a growing consensus that some important changes are required in order to make it more efficient. In particular, the functioning of the Level 3 Committees must be improved to enhance supervisory convergence and cooperation.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "An effective supervisory and regulatory framework is key for the integration of European financial markets and their global competitiveness. The Lamfalussy process provides the right framework. It has proven its worth. But some improvements are necessary to encourage deeper cooperation and convergence between national supervisory authorities. The evolutionary approach is the only one which will work; random, ad-hoc institutional renaissance or radical revolution will not."

The Communication presents practical, achievable proposals with regard to all levels of the Lamfalussy structure. It nevertheless focuses more particularly on the work of the Committees of supervisors, the so-called Level 3 Committees (CEBS[1], CEIOPS[2] and CESR[3]). Their work is a critical factor in ensuring further supervisory convergence and cooperation. In the Commission's view, the Level 3 Committees’ political accountability in relation to the EU institutions should be strengthened, as should compliance with Level 3 measures, even though they are not legally binding. The current legal basis of the Committees provided by Commission Decisions might need to be reviewed in order to better reflect the Level 3 Committees' tasks and functions. Also, their internal decision-making procedures should be improved and should, subject to possible safeguards, allow for qualified-majority voting on all decisions.

The Communication is published in the context of a general assessment of the Lamfalussy process, which will be discussed by the ECOFIN Council on 4 December 2007.
More information on the Lamfalussy review is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/committees/index_en.htm


[1] Committee of European Banking Supervisors

[2] Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors

[3] Committee of European Securities Regulators


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