On 16 February 2016, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) announced its work programme1 for 2016.

Each year, EIOPA publishes a work programme setting out its priorities for the year ahead. The programme focusses on the areas in where there is the greatest need for its work and is devised based on EIOPA’s strategic objectives.

The priorities that EIOPA has identified for 2016 are as follows:

Solvency II implementation

We have previously reported2 on EIOPA’s intention to monitor the implementation of Solvency II, and the 2016 work programme confirms that this is top of its agenda. EIOPA has identified that it will look at how the measures which implement Solvency II work in practice, and whether these measures achieve the underlying principles of Solvency II. As previously stated, we await with interest the extent to which EIOPA will look at “gold-plating” and whether it will take against member states who have “gold-plated” Solvency II.

Take a pro-active approach to international developments.

EIOPA has identified that it needs to continue to be involved in the development of international capital standards and to continue to engage with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). Although this area of work is not explicitly focussed on Solvency II, it is clear that the practical impact of Solvency II will be relevant when EIOPA and the IAIS consider further developments in capital standards.

Whole product life cycle-focused consumer protection with greater emphasis on preventive, risk-based regulation and supervision.

EIOPA intends to look at the entire life-cycle of a product, from its design phase to the role of insurance guarantee schemes (which will meet claims in the event that insurers are unable to do so). EIOPA has stated that it wants to strengthen the focus on preventing risks. Its work will include consideration of an EU-wide common language, together with measures that will help to identify potential problems for consumers as early as possible.

Constant quality cycle for regulation: remain clear on the underlying principles.

In order to ensure that regulation is sound and risk-based, EIOPA will consider how the underlying principles of regulation are achieved in practice. It will look at how national regulators supervise during challenging times, but will also focus on how “regular and usual” supervisory topics are handled.

We will monitor EIOPA’s work during the course of the year and report on substantive developments.