Sharon Bowles MEP
has survived a mid-term vote on her position as chair of the European
Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), reducing the scope
for further delays to key derivatives legislation.
re-election is also a positive sign for the UK, which was considered in danger
of losing its political influence in Europe following the decision in Q4 2011 by
prime minister David Cameron to veto a new EU-wide treaty designed to restore
confidence in the euro.
Bowles, who is
responsible for chairing the trialogue process on the European market
infrastructure regulation (EMIR), faced a routine vote among MEPs having
reached the halfway point in her five-year tenure as ECON chair. Any decision
to replace Bowles – whose Liberal Democrat party is in coalition with Cameron’s
ruling Conservatives – would have been immediate.
EMIR is the
European response to the Group of 20’s demands to standardise OTC derivatives
where possible so that they can be traded on exchange and centrally cleared. The
trialogue process attempts to reconcile differences between the texts drafted
by European Parliament and Council of the European Union.
A lack of
agreement on certain issues, including the role that securities watchdog the
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) would play in authorising and
supervising central counterparties, has slowed progress. A trialogue meeting
scheduled for today, largely believed to be the last before ESMA can start
writing the level two technical standards for the new rules, has been postponed
to an as-yet unspecified date.
of the EMIR delays were highlighted by a number of industry bodies in a letter
sent to European authorities last week.
– which included the Alternative Investment
Management Association, the European Banking Federation, the Futures and
Options Association, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, the
European Association of CCP Clearing Houses, the International Capital Market
Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association – were concerned that continued hold-ups to
the finalisation of the level one text would leave insufficient time to draft
the accompanying technical standards.
ESMA is required to finalise technical standards by 30 June
2012, but industry participants have warned that even an extension to 30
September would not leave sufficient time for this to be completed.