On 13 May 2014, the Council of the EU published a press release announcing that it had adopted the proposed MiFID II Directive and the proposed Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).

It is expected that MiFID II and MIFIR will be published in the OJ in the second quarter of 2014, and both the Directive and Regulation will, for the most part, become applicable 30 months later.

On 24 April 2014, the European Commission requested ESMA to furnish technical advice on delegated acts and implementing acts relating to MiFID II and MiFIR. The request for advice lists the topics on which ESMA is to provide technical advice, including the definition of derivatives contracts, organisational requirements, conduct of business rules, best execution, client order handling rules, and position management powers. The request for advice contains a timeline that indicates that MiFID II and MiFIR are expected to enter into force during June 2014. ESMA is requested to provide its technical advice 6 months after entry into force of the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR (ie, December 2014). The delegated acts referred to in MiFID II and MiFIR should then be transposed by EU member states within 24 months of MiFID II entering into force, and should apply 30 months after MiFID II enters into force. Accordingly, ESMA launched a consultation process for the implementation of MiFID II and MiFIR with a:

  1. Consultation Paper on MiFID/MiFIR Technical Advice. ESMA has been requested to deliver this advice to the European Commission by December 2014; and
  2. Discussion Paper on MiFID/MiFIR (draft RTS/ITS). This will provide the basis for a further consultation paper on the draft RTS/ITS which is expected to be issued in late 2014 / early 2015.

Both consultations are open until 1 August 2014, and open hearings will take place on 7 and 8 July.