On April 19 the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) published a draft report (dated April 13) concerning a proposal for an amendment of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank (ECB) (the Statute), enhancing the ECB’s powers over central counterparties (CCPs).

In the 2015 case of UK v ECB, the European General Court ruled that the current provision of the Statute was not to be construed as granting the ECB regulatory powers over CCPs. In particular, the provision did not permit the ECB to force CCPs clearing euro-denominated products to locate in the Eurozone (for further detail of this decision, see the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of March 6, 2015, and subsequent commentary from the EU Commissioner, in the edition of July 22, 2016). The proposal amends the same provision to grant the ECB the power that the General Court concluded the ECB did not have.

The draft report’s rapporteurs, Gabriel Mato and Danuta Maria Hübner MEPs, welcome the proposal, subject to the following:

  • given other EU institutions have legislative power in relation to CCPs—including the co-legislators—any acts adopted by the ECB under the proposal, once implemented, must respect the legal framework imposed by these other institutions; and
  • the recitals of the amending act should include an non-exhaustive and open-ended (so as to allow subsequent changes based on experience) list of the regulatory powers exercisable by the ECB over CCPs under the relevant provision of the statute, including all requirements allowing monetary policy concerns to be addressed.

The ECON-AFCO draft report on the proposal is available here.