What’s in store for the coming year?

The European Commission adopted its work programme for 2013 (CWP) back in October, with the over-reaching aim to deliver financial stability, economic growth and jobs. In terms of new proposals, the CWP announced around 50 new initiatives to be tabled during 2013 and the first part of 2014. According to the EC President, José Manuel Durão Barroso: “The next step must be to deepen economic and monetary union with a fully-functioning banking and fiscal union …” requiring “… a comprehensive approach to tackle the vicious circle of excessive private sector indebtedness, unsustainable sovereign debt and banking sector weakness”. In 2013 the EC plans to “propose additional legislation to further enhance stability, transparency and consumer protection in the financial sector (for example, on the systemic risks related to nonbanks and shadow banking)”.

Working alongside the Commission, ESMA’s work program for 2013 is no lighter, with objectives and priorities based on three key elements: new and revised legislation; ESMA’s supervisory role, providing technical advice to the EC, direct supervision of Credit Rating Agencies and Trade Repositories, and with influence over registration and governance of CCPs; and co-ordination, monitoring and analysis of financial markets. ESMA’s on-going task of building the single EU rule book, encompassing the review of MiFID and of the Market Abuse Directive (as well as other legislation), will continue through 2013 and beyond.

For MiFID II/MiFIR, Council agreement is now not expected until Q2 which, by my calculation, pushes any final version of the Level 1 text out to much later in the year. That said, the ambitious timescales achieved in 2012 when producing the EMIR technical standards may have set a precedent and we could see the pace quickening, especially as ESMA actively grows their resource pool to match their increasingly powerful remit.

2013 promises to bring the EU one step closer to harmonised regulation and integrated EU supervision with a robust legal framework for financial markets. Beats my spend less, exercise more, cut down on carbs! Though, for the ordinary EU citizen, I suspect that breaking the odd new year resolution is part of the cycle.

Whatever happens, a very happy new year to you all.

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