On February 18 2003 EU finance ministers adopted a decision on the establishment of the Financial Services Committee (FSC), which will replace the Financial Services Policy Group.

The FSC will not form part of the legislative process. It will advise the European Council and the European Commission on financial market issues, and report to the Economic and Finance Committee when advice to the European Council is requested.

The scope of the FSC will be broader than that of the Financial Services Policy Group. The latter, which was originally set up to coordinate national ministries and to review progress on the implementation of the Financial Service Action Plan, only provided advice at level three of the so-called 'Lamfalussy procedure'. The Lamfalussy method consists of three key implementing levels. At the first level, the broad framework of legislation is adopted by the European Council and the European Parliament in accordance with standard EU legislative procedures. At level two, detailed implementing measures are put forward by advisory groups. Level three concentrates on how these measures are implemented in each of the member states. The FSC will provide advice at both level two and level three of the Lamfalussy process.

The European Council and the commission will each nominate one senior representative and an alternate to the FSC.

For further information on this topic please contact Philip Woolfson at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly by telephone (+32 2 626 0500) or by fax (+32 2 626 0510) or by email ([email protected]).