EU Flash: results ECOFIN meeting, money market funds, Capital Markets Union & shareholders Rights Directive


Vorige week aanvaardde de Europese Commissie een overeenkomst om de toegang tot kapitaalmarkten voor bedrijven te vereenvoudigen. Op 6 december publiceerde de Europese Raad de resultaten van haar ECOFIN meeting. Een dag later heeft het Comité van Permanente Vertegenwoordigers een overeenkomst goedgekeurd met het Europees Parlement over geldmarktfondsen. Het Parlement en de Raad sloten ook een informele overeenkomst om de aandeelhouders van bedrijven meer inspraak gunnen over directeursverloningen.

Hieronder vindt u een Engelstalige samenvatting van deze topics terug.

December ECOFIN: Main Results

On 6 December 2016, the Council published the main results of its ECOFIN meeting. Several topics were discussed, such as corporate tax avoidance, the investment plan for Europe and information on beneficial ownership concerning taxation.

Corporate tax avoidance: Hybrid mismatches

The Council made further progress on preventing corporate tax avoidance, achieving a broad consensus on a draft directive aimed at closing down 'hybrid mismatches' with the tax systems of third countries.

After intensive discussions, the Council agreed to a stable text for most provisions, leaving just two issues to resolve in the coming weeks: rules that would allow member states to apply limited exemptions and the date of implementation.

Investment plan for Europe

The Council agreed its stance on a proposal to extend the lifespan of the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI), the EU's flagship initiative under its investment plan for Europe.

It agreed to extend the fund in terms of both duration and financial capacity, with a half-trillion euro investment target for 2020. The proposal also introduces a number of operational improvements to take account of lessons learned from the first year of implementation.

Talks will start with the European Parliament once the Parliament has agreed its negotiating stance.

Taxation: Information on beneficial ownership

The Council adopted a directive granting access for tax authorities to information held by authorities responsible for the prevention of money laundering.

The directive will enable tax authorities to access information on the beneficial ownership of companies in monitoring the proper application of taxation rules.

More information can be found here and here.  

Money market funds - Council confirms deal with EP

On 7 December 2016, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, an agreement with the European Parliament on money market funds (MMFs).

The draft regulation is aimed at making these funds more robust, ensuring the smooth operation of the short-term funding market. It follows efforts by the G20 and the Financial Stability Board to strengthen the oversight and regulation of the 'shadow banking' system.

The regulation is expected to be approved by the Parliament at first reading. It will then be submitted to the Council for adoption.

More information can be found here.

Capital Markets Union - Political agreement on the Prospectus rules

The EU has agreed on a new set of rules that support companies raising money on capital markets to invest and grow. It will also help investors to make better and more informed decisions.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on a revamped prospectus regulation. The reform was proposed by the Commission on 30 November 2015 as part of its Capital Markets Union Action Plan in order to improve access to finance for companies and simplify information for investors.
The agreed text now goes to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for a final vote.

More information can be found here.

Political Agreement on the Shareholders Rights Directive

New rules empowering shareholders to vote on directors' pay, so as to tie it more closely to their performance, were informally agreed between the European Parliament and the Council. These rules also aim to foster shareholder commitment to companies' long-run success.

The Legal Affairs Committee will formally approve the deal with a vote in January and the final plenary vote is planned for the second March session.

More information can be found here

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