The EESC regrets that the Commission has not taken this opportunity to anticipate the changes connected to driverless motor vehicles, despite the comments included in the impact assessment accompanying the proposal. The EESC recommends that the Commission set, as regards harmonisation of minimum amounts of cover, a final deadline for completing the implementation of minimum compensation thresholds.
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The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States.
Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad.
Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market.
With this opinion the EESC takes the opportunity to comment on how the European market for retail financial services can be further opened up. The EESC welcomes that the Commission is on track and has an ambitious programme for implementing the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, also endorsing that consumers should be given the opportunity, whenever possible, to compare different products, so they can make an informed choice.
The rules of Solvency II, the 2009 EU regulatory framework for insurance firms, have proved their worth but need to be adapted to new circumstances. In an opinion adopted at its plenary session on 23 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the initiative of the European Commission (EC) to revamp Solvency II. The Committee stresses the considerable interest of civil society in ensuring the stability of the financial sector, and therefore calls for sound capital requirements and risk preparedness in the insurance sector.