Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, recently gave a speech at the Insurance Institute of London about the European Commission's policy priorities for the insurance sector. Solvency II is currently the key project and will remain so until its transposition, which is intended to take place in 2012. The following points discussed by the Commissioner are of particular interest:

- it is hoped that the option contained in the Reinsurance Directive for the European Commission to recognise a third country regulatory regime as equivalent to the EU will incentivise the United States to reform its own collateral rules. Controversially, the Commissioner stated that in his view the collateral requirements imposed in the US are not justified. Further, he argued that if these are not reformed soon there could be a negative impact on US insurers and reinsurers as they will not receive the full benefits of Solvency II unless they are subject to an equivalent solvency regime.

- whilst there are a number of outstanding issues, these should be agreed without altering the substance of the current Solvency II Proposal. The provisions on the group support regime and the streamlined group supervision regime need to be retained.

- the Fourth Quantitative Impact Study (QIS4) will run from April 2008 to July 2008, with the final report expected in November 2008.

The full speech can be found here.