A week ago, we suggested that something was afoot: a meeting had been convened for 17 March 2015 “to examine the Commission Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on an agreement between the European Union and the United States of America”. We also suggested that the purpose of the negotiations might be to try to find a way of treating the US as Solvency II equivalent for reinsurance.  (We didn’t know: the purpose of the meeting, and the documents that would be discussed were “Classified EU Restricted”.)

The meeting took place yesterday.

Solvency II Wire is reporting this evening that: “A Council working party has agreed on a text of a decision authorising the Commission to start negotiating with the US on reinsurance equivalence, as well as draft negotiating directives, an EU official told Solvency II Wire … According to the official, the text will now be submitted to ambassadors on 16 April and to the Council for adoption on 20 April.”

Solvency II Wire has established itself as a highly reliable source in this area. There is, therefore, good reason to believe that this report is true. If it is, it is likely to be very welcome news for US reinsurers, and the European insurers that rely on them.  We have now to hope that the European and US negotiators can make speedy progress given how much is at stake, and how close we are to Solvency II implementation day.