Insights | EU Insight 24 September, 2021

27/09/2021

EU Insight 24 September, 2021

Brussels, 24 September 2021

 

SOLVENCY II PACKAGE PROPOSES REVIEW TO EU INSURANCE RULES

The Commission published its review to the current Solvency II (SII) framework, the prudential regime for insurance and reinsurance undertakings. The package contains several changes to proportionality, reporting, cross-border supervision and new macroprudential tools, including new supervisory powers to suspend or restrict dividends distributions to shareholders. It also contains a new proposal which aims to harmonise the procedures for the recovery and resolution of insurers in a position of severe financial distress. The overarching – and declared – objective of the Commission is for the proposed changes to allow the insurance industry to scale up long-term investments and make the sector more resilient. The legislative package will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council.

 

COMMISSION URGES 19 MEMBER STATES TO IMPLEMENT EU DIGITAL AND MEDIA LAWS

The Commission took legal action against 19 Member States failing to deliver on EU digital legislation in the area of audio-visual media and telecommunications. These Member States are required to transpose into their national laws two new sets of rules: the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive and the European Electronic Communications Code, and inform the Commission about this transposition. Both Directives have been commonly agreed by Member States and had to be transposed by end-2020. The Member States concerned have two months to remedy the situation and adopt national transposing measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer their cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

 

HARMONISATION OF COMMON CHARGERS ACROSS EU SOON TO BE A REALITY

The Commission is proposing – through a revision of the Radio Equipment Directive – the Union’s adoption of USB-C as the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles. In addition, the Commission’s proposal also includes provisions for the harmonisation of fast-charging technology and for the unbundling of the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices. The rationale of the proposal is to improve consumers’ convenience and reduce the environmental footprint associated with the production and disposal of chargers, in line with the plans for the green and digital transitions.

 

EU AND US LAUNCH COVID-19 MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY CHAIN TASKFORCE

The joint COVID-19 Manufacturing and Supply Chain Taskforce announced at the EU-US Summit in June, met this week in Washington, D.C. to finalize its Mission Statement. The Statement focuses on the following three priority work strands: to monitor global supply chains for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics through assessment of global demand and supply of these items, to address critical supply chain bottlenecks and other disruptive factors for global COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics production, and to coordinate initiatives to boost global production of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and their production and ancillary supplies. The task force is part of the United States and EU’s five-pronged plan to respond to COVID-19 and prepare for future global health threats.

 

COMMISSION TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES

The Commission adopted a legislative proposal for the new Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) for the period 2024-2034. The GSP Regulation is a unilateral trade tool that removes or reduces import duties from products coming into the EU from vulnerable low-income countries. The Commission proposes to improve some of the key features of the scheme to better respond to the evolving needs and challenges of GSP countries as well as to reinforce the scheme’s social, labour environmental and climate dimension. The European Parliament and the Council will now discuss the proposal. The current GSP Regulation expires on 31 December 2023. Once adopted, the new GSP Regulation will apply from 1 January 2024.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 27 September: Competitiveness Council (Research). On the agenda: Approval of conclusions on the global approach to research and innovation, governance and implementation of the European Research Area, Institutionalized European Partnerships, Update on association of third countries to Horizon Europe.
  • 29 September: Competitiveness Council (Internal Market and industry). On the agenda: Implementation of the updated new industrial strategy for Europe, future-proof policy making for the competitiveness of the EU, Annual report of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET), Joint ministerial declaration on innovation procurement in the EU, Unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

____________________________________________________________________

Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

 

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