Solvency II News: Wiedner outlines strategy for Omnibus II trilogue

Klaus Wiender, Head of the Insurance and Pensions Unit of the European Commission, told Solvency II Wire in an exclusive interview, that the Commission will not seek to introduce new measures to the Long-Term Guarantees package.

“We should not fall into the trap and go back and say we are now looking at different instruments. We need to try to find solutions that will satisfy a maximum number of Member States, but on the basis of the EIOPA report,” Mr Wiedner said. The Commission has already adopted the technical findings of the EIOPA report, but this may be the clearest indication yet of its approach to the negotiations between the co-legislators. However, Mr Wiedner accepts that the measures will need to be calibrated. “From a technical point of view we need to try to find a number of parameters which are important and which could be negotiated,” he said. In his first formal interview since taking up the role in March, Mr Wiedner also addressed the Commission’s general strategy for working with the trilogue parties and the Lithuanian Presidency. “The first contact that we had with the Lithuanian Presidency was very encouraging because the financial attaché has been working on financial services and on Solvency II before, so she knows exactly what the whole thing is about. We get some sense of commitment to get this done so I think we are happy with the Presidency and looking forward to cooperation with them.” EIOPA published its Technical Findings on the Long-Term Guarantees Assessment on 14 June 2013. The report was commissioned by co-legislators in an attempt to unblock the impasse in the Omnibus II trilogue negotiations last September. Discussions stalled after a consensus could not be reached on competing demands from Member States to include measures in the Long-Term Guarantee Package (LTGA). The LTGA measures are intended to ease the pressure on the balance sheets of insurers writing long-term guarantee business when short-term economic stress and volatility impact on the valuation of long-term liabilities. An initial trilogue was held on Wednesday 10 July. Subsequent trilogues are planned after the Parliament summer recess. In the interview Mr Wiedner also discusses taking on the Solvency II file at such an advanced and troubled stage. He reflects on the advantages of being a non-technical expert and his experience of successfully negotiating trilogues in the past.]]>