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Le commissaire Barnier salue l’accord du Conseil et du Parlement sur la directive «Omnibus II»

European Commission - MEMO/13/992   14/11/2013

Other available languages: EN

Commission européenne

MEMO

Bruxelles, 14 novembre 2013

Le commissaire Barnier salue l’accord du Conseil et du Parlement sur la directive «Omnibus II»

«Cet accord marque une étape très importante pour le secteur de l’assurance en Europe puisqu'il prévoit la création d’un régime prudentiel de solvabilité moderne basé sur les risques réels à partir du 1er janvier 2016. Cet accord rendra le secteur à la fois plus sûr et plus compétitif. En pratique, il rend possible la mise en œuvre de Solvabilité 2.

Omnibus II contient notamment des dispositions importantes pour que le secteur de l’assurance puisse continuer à offrir des produits sûrs comportant des garanties à long terme. C'est essentiel pour les très nombreux citoyens qui y ont recours pour préparer leur retraite. Cela suppose que les compagnies d’assurance et en particulier celles qui se spécialisent dans l’assurance vie alignent, comme le prévoit le texte, leurs passifs à long terme avec des investissements dans des actifs de long terme, tels que les projets d’infrastructure.

L’accord prend également en compte la situation spécifique des petites et moyennes entreprises d’assurance avec des obligations d'informations allégées.

Enfin, l'accord confirme les pouvoirs de l’EIOPA qui sera désormais en mesure d’assurer la cohérence des pratiques prudentielles nationales et de contribuer à la mise en place de règles uniformes en matière de supervision des compagnies d’assurances.

Je tiens à féliciter chaleureusement toutes les personnes qui ont contribué à trouver un accord sur ce dossier très complexe, en particulier au Parlement européen — le Rapporteur Burkhard Balz et Sharon Bowles, Présidente de la Commission ECON — ainsi que la présidence lituanienne» a déclaré Michel Barnier, commissaire européen chargé du marché intérieur et des services.

Background

The so-called Omnibus II Directive will complement the Solvency II Directive, creating a modern risk-based regulatory and supervisory framework for the insurance sector (Directive 2009/138/EC) and the Regulation creating a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Regulation EU N° 1094/2010, see MEMO/10/434).

The draft Directive is called Omnibus II because an earlier Directive, known as "Omnibus I" enacted technical amendments to 11 Directives clarifying the powers of the European Supervisory Authorities (IP/09/1582). However, for technical reasons, those amendments did not cover the "Solvency II" Directive for the insurance sector (Directive 2009/138/EC), for which the competent European Supervisory Authority is the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) nor the Prospectus Directive (Directive 2003/71/EC), for which the competent supervisory authority is the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The draft Omnibus II Directive (IP/11/49) therefore contains a set of amendments to the Solvency II Directive and to the Prospectus Directive. These amendments include the provision of specific tasks for EIOPA and for ESMA. In particular, it clarifies the role of EIOPA in ensuring harmonised technical approaches on the calculation of technical provisions and capital requirements. In addition it:

  • defines the appropriate areas in which EIOPA (for Solvency II) and ESMA (for the Prospectus Directive) will be able to propose technical standards as an additional tool for supervisory convergence and with a view to developing a single rule book to ensure strengthened stability, equal treatment, lower compliance costs and to prevent regulatory arbitrage;

  • details how EIOPA and ESMA will settle disagreements between national supervisors in a balanced way, in those areas where common decision-making processes or cooperation between national supervisors already exist in sectoral legislation.

Furthermore, the draft Omnibus II Directive contains a package of measures to provide clarity on the treatment of insurance products with long-term guarantees in order to mitigate effects of artificial volatility. These measures include: a matching adjustment, a volatility adjustment, extrapolation of the risk-free interest rate, two specific transitional measures, and extension of the recovery period. In this way the draft Directive ensures that the insurance industry can continue offering long term guaranteed products. This package of measures is based, with some modifications, on proposals in a report by EIOPA in June 2013 (see EIOPA press release of 14 June 2013).

The draft Omnibus II Directive also contains transitional measures in certain areas including on transitional third-country equivalence if deemed necessary to avoid market disruption and to allow a smooth transition to the new regime under Solvency II.

The European Parliament and the Council agreed that new rules of the Solvency II Directive (including the amendments introduced by Omnibus II) should apply as of 1 January 2016, in line with the Commission proposal of 2 October 2013 postponing the application date of Solvency II.


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