The next stage in the legislative process for Omnibus II, the vote in the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (“ECON”), was due to take place on 23-24 January 2012 but has now been postponed to 21 March 2012. It is believed that this vote has been delayed to allow ECON more time to discuss key issues relating to Omnibus II and Solvency II.
Although the anticipated date for the first plenary sitting currently remains unchanged from 17 April 2012, a leading German manager close to Brussels proceedings has recently announced that implementation of Solvency II may well be delayed for two years. The delay in the ECON vote apparently means that there is not enough time for the Parliament, the Commission and the Council to complete its Trilogue process before the summer recess, meaning that implementing measures may not be agreed before 2013. As European insurers have been promised a period of at least 18 months to manage the change, this means 2015 may be the first possible date for initial implementation. If the current plan to have a year between implementation and activation for firms is retained, this would mean full activation would not occur before 2016.
However, a spokesperson for the Commission has said that such a delay is “pure speculation” and that it remains committed to the deadline of full implementation by 1 January 2014. This deadline is described as “still achievable”, despite the Commission’s admission that it would be put under pressure by the delay of the ECON vote.