Brussels, 14/02/2014 (Agence Europe) – It was not clear on Friday 14 February whether the vote at the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee on the draft regulation to improve governance for the formation of financial benchmarks would be postponed until Monday 17 February.

The problem is that several political groups want to postpone the vote so that the EP's legal department can express its views and also to enable an impact assessment to be made. The S&D says that the main disagreement is over reducing the scope of application of the regulation, as suggested by the EP rapporteur, Sharon Bowles (ALDE, United Kingdom). The Socialists fear that the rapporteur's desire to water down the initial draft would make the rules unsound legally and claim that the Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL and EPP also back the idea of postponing the vote.

The European Commission also agrees. People close to Commissioner Michel Barnier say the Commission has always publicly opposed any reduction in the scope as suggested by Bowles and others during the debates at the EP committee, adding that reducing the scope not mesh well with the scope of rules of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and could create loopholes. Bowles tweeted bluntly that the Socialists and Commission were killing the benchmark question for this Parliamentary term. The Commission hopes final agreement will be reached in trialogue later this year. (EL/transl.fl)

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