European Parliament Elects New President

The European Parliament elected Antonio Tajani (European People’s Party, Italy) with 351 votes as the new President on January 17 for a two year and a half term.

Furthermore, the European Parliament elected 14 Vice-Presidents, responsible for chairing debates when the President is absent as well as 5 Quaestors to deal with administrative and financial matters related to the members.

TTIP Progress Report

The European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the United States Trade Representative Michael Froman published on January 17 a U.S.- EU Joint Report on TTIP progress. The assessment report aims to outline the state of play and progress regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

More specifically, the report indicates the progress made in ensuring better access to markets for EU and US firms as well as simplifying technical regulatory obstacles within the scope of global trade rules. In terms of remaining issues to be resolved, the report specifies the following items: (i) improving access to public procurement markets, (ii) ensuring strong investment protection, and (iii) aligning views on trademarks and geographical indications.

Capital Markets Union Mid-Term Review

One of the EU’s top priorities in the financial services sector is to establish a free movement of capital by 2019. To achieve that the European Commission issued the Capital Markets Union Action Plan in 2015 which determined the measures required to establish a free movement of capital.

On January 20, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the Capital Markets Union mid-term review 2017. Stakeholders have the opportunity to provide targeted input to complement and advance actions put forward in the Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

It is worth noting that some of the upcoming initiatives of the Capital Markets Union project will be related to personal pension, Fintech and sustainable finance.