On September 17, 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority  (“ESMA”) published its final technical advice to the European Commission on the appropriateness of developing a European creditworthiness assessment for sovereign debt. The Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council by the end of 2014 on the issue. ESMA’s advice highlights the following essential criteria for the European Commission’s consideration: (i) the rating process should be independent; (ii) the review function should be independent of the credit rating activities; (iii) confidentiality of pre-rating information is critical; and (iv) sufficient resources are required to conduct rigorous ratings and ongoing monitoring.

ESMA’s report is available at:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/content/Technical-Advice-accordance-Article-39b-2-CRA-Regulation.