The EESC considers it vital to preserve the "biodiversity" of the financial system, without this meaning the arbitrary application of rules. In this context the Committee applauds the consideration the European Commission has given to the introduction of calibrated financial regulation frameworks to consider the specificities of cooperative and savings banks that avoid the undesirable effects of uniform application of prudential rules and possibly an overload of administrative burdens.
The EESC welcomes the fact that the package of regulations on the future multiannual financial framework includes the InvestEU proposal to strengthen investment activity in the EU, including long-term investment projects that are of high public interest, while also respecting the sustainable development criteria. In order to guarantee that this programme operates successfully, the Committee underlines the importance of the involvement of civil society organisations and social and economic partners. The EESC appreciates the European Commission's efforts to create an umbrella financial instrument by the InvestEU programme that will result in unified management, enhanced transparency and potential for synergies. The EESC appreciates the fact that, in addition to promoting sustainable infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and research and innovation, the InvestEU programme also focuses on social investment and skills.
The financial crisis and irresponsible lending have caused an increase in defaults and foreclosures as borrowers have found their loans increasingly unaffordable.The focus of this proposal is to ensure that all consumers purchasing a property or taking out a loan secured by their home are adequately protected against the risks. The opinion is of particular interest for financial professions involved in mortgage credit activities as well as citizens facing such kind of operation.
The Committee supports the Commission proposal to improve the regulation of rating agencies in order to further eradicate major shortcomings in transparency, independence, conflict of interest, and the quality of procedures used in making ratings. The dependence on these ratings should also be reduced, according to the Committee. Insider trading and market abuse damage confidence in the integrity of the markets, which is an essential prerequisite for a functional capital market. The EESC welcomes the fact that the Commission, with a new proposal, is responding to changing market conditions and is seeking to update the framework created by the market abuse directive.
The euro area needs to step up its external representation. This will strengthen its relative weight in international financial institutions and give it a more prominent position in international financial markets. The EESC endorses the rationale behind the two Commission documents and agrees with the main elements of the three-phase scenario to gain a single euro area chair at the IMF by 2025. At the same time, however, the EESC proposes that the Commission also draft scenarios for making stronger and more effective the links with other relevant international bodies, taking particular account of their remits. The EESC also recommends clearly and explicitly defining the roles of euro area external representation and their dovetailing with those of the EU as a whole, with a view to preserving the integrity of the single market.