Today the European Commission (EC) announced its adoption of several proposals intended to enhance and strengthen the present framework for EU supervisory committees in the following industries: securities, banking and insurance. The proposals would establish a more defined framework “for the activities of the Committees” and envision that “[e]nhanced supervisory convergence and cooperation will contribute to the stability of financial markets.” The proposals must still be approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

The EC also proposes to provide “financial support from the EU budget” to state supervisory committees and three pan-European bodies that are involved in the standard-setting process for financial reporting and auditing: the International Accounting Standards Committee, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group and the Public Interest Oversight Body. The Commission has estimated that the total financial commitment from the EU will amount to approximately €36.2 million to be disbursed over a three-year period beginning in January 2010.

Mr. Charlie McCreevy, Internal Market and Services Commissioner, stated that “[t]he financial crisis has demonstrated the need to further strengthen EU supervisor arrangements and has reminded us of the importance of transparency and independence, especially when setting financial reporting and auditing standards.” Further, he noted that “[a]n essential move in this direction is to reinforce the role of key bodies in these fields, at both European and international level[s], and to provide them with financial support.”