Solvency II News: New measure to keep Omnibus II on track despite Plenary delay

European Parliament website. The vote has been delayed for the second time this year (Solvency II Wire 12 January 2012 & 5 March 2012). A spokesperson for the Parliament said that the date was provisional and could move either forward or back depending on the results of the trialogue negotiations. One concern is that the current Directive text states that Solvency II will come into effect on 1 November 2012 and, crucially, that Solvency I runs out on the same date. However, new common guidelines in force since 1 March between the Council and the Parliament, will shorten the time scale between the vote in the Plenary and publication in the Official Journal. Sharon Bowles MEP, Chair, ECON Committee, said, “We will begin trialogues for Omnibus II straight after the Easter break, so all being well we will aim to finish negotiations by the end of June.” It is also understood that the Danish Presidency has made it a priority to finish negotiating Omnibus II during its term. Referring to the new arrangement Ms Bowles said, “Under these new common guidelines, we are changing the way in which the lawyer-linguist review is done, so that it is completed before the Plenary vote. This is a better procedure for verification and will mean a shorter time after the vote to publication in the Official Journal. Previously the lawyer linguists´work was done after the Plenary vote. Meanwhile Member States will continue to ensure that their respective insurance industries abide by existing legislation until Omnibus II is in place. “This has happened many times before, for example with MiFID I,” Ms Bowles said. Ms Bowles explained that there were measures that the Commission could take to avoid any confusion. “For example, the Commission could publish a two-line directive with the implementing dates for Solvency II.” “The key thing is that Solvency II comes into force as soon as is reasonably possible,” Ms Bowles added. Commenting on the change of date, Burkhard Balz MEP, the rapporteur for Omnibus II said, “The full application of the Solvency II Directive is foreseen for 1 January 2014 in both the ECON committee’s text and the Council’s text. The date of the Plenary is scheduled in function of the trialogues and should not have an effect on this timing.” A spokesperson for the Commission told Solvency II Wire, “The Commission is committed to working with the co-legislators – the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers – to conclude the trialogue discussions before the Summer. The move of the Plenary vote to September has already been anticipated in the planning and we understand that this is necessary for procedural reasons. All parties remain committed to adopting Solvency II as quickly as possible and to a date of application of 1 January 2014.” The first trialogue meeting has been provisionally set for 11 April 2012. The Council working group participating in the trialogues will review the text on 2 April 2012. The Omnibus II trialogue discussions are one of about fifteen financial services dossiers which the Council will be considering before the end of July 2012. The legislations, including CRD IV, CRA and MIFID, are at various stages of negotiations. A further five dossiers are expected to be added to the list from September.]]>

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