The European Council has given a mandate to the Commission to negotiate an agreement with the United States on reinsurance.

The mandate “consists of a decision authorising the opening of talks and directives for the negotiation of the agreement. The Commission will negotiate on behalf of the EU … The agreement will be concluded by the Council with the consent of the European Parliament” (emphasis supplied).

The Council’s Press Release doesn’t mention Solvency II or third-country equivalence, although there is (perhaps) an implicit reference to each of these things: “An agreement with the US will … enable us … to recognise each others [sic] prudential rules and help supervisors exchange information“, said Janis Reirs, minister for finance of Latvia and president of the Council.

The “directives for the negotiation of the agreement” are likely to be negotiating instructions, rather than European Directives, as such.

The decision to grant the mandate was adopted without discussion. It’s not immediately clear what kind of message that sends to the US negotiating team.

Our related blogs about these negotiations are here (something else may be afoot), here (something else is afoot) and here (it would be funny, if it wasn’t so serious).