Industry sources have suggested the Council of the European Union’s reading of MiFID II will face delays, despite assurances to the contrary from the Irish presidency.
Following a summit of Council representatives to discuss MiFID II last week, no further meetings have been scheduled and it is believed that a new text is unlikely to be circulated among member states in the near future.
A meeting of ECOFIN – a group comprising the economic and finance ministers of member states – will still take place on 5 March, but will not lead to a finalisation of the Council’s MiFID II position, as originally intended.
“The ECOFIN meeting for the 5 March is going ahead, as scheduled. We are working towards a general approach among member states on MiFID II,” read a statement from the Irish presidency. “This is a very complex, technical file. We have had intensive discussions with member states and are working on ideas to try and reach agreement soon.”
At the 5 March ECOFIN meeting, the sources said discussions on MiFID were listed under ‘any other business’, meaning it would not be high on the agenda or discussed in detail.
While the Irish presidency could reschedule the final Council vote on MiFID II at a second ECOFIN meeting in May, some industry observers believe it is likely that discussions on the directive may not be completed until Lithuania takes the presidency in July.
Given the potential for the summer holidays and Christmas period to slow progress in the second half of the year, the trialogue phase – during which the Council, European Parliament and European Commission are required to thrash out a final legislative text – may not begin until late 2013.