EU-Flash: 2017 EU legislative priorities, ECB Banking Supervision priorities & outcome of the EU 27 Heads of State or Government meeting


On 13 December 2016, the European Council approved the EU's legislative priorities for 2017. A few days later, the European Central Bank Banking Supervision published its supervisory priorities for the upcoming year. The same day, the Council presented the outcome of the EU 27 Heads of State or Government’s informal meeting.

Below you can find a brief summary of these topics.

Council approves EU's legislative priorities for 2017

On 13 December 2016, the Council approved the EU's legislative priorities for 2017 as agreed beforehand with the European Parliament and the Commission. This will help the three EU institutions to pool their efforts and to ensure substantial progress in fields where they are most needed.

In 2017, the EU will give priority treatment to legislative initiatives in the following policy areas:

  • giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment through strengthening the European fund for strategic investment, modernising trade defence instruments, improving waste management in a circular economy, making progress on the banking union and on the capital markets union;
  • addressing the social dimension of the EU, in particular through enhancing the youth employment initiative, improving social security coordination and creating a European solidarity corps;
  • better protecting EU citizens' security, in particular through better protecting external borders, stronger rules on buying and possessing firearms, fighting terrorism, money laundering and terrorist financing and information exchange on third country nationals;
  • reforming the EU's migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity;
  • delivering on a digital single market, in particular through reforming the EU telecoms and copyright rules, preventing unjustified geo-blocking, revising the audiovisual media services directive and modernising the common data protection rules;
  • building an energy union and a forward looking climate change policy, notably through the implementation of the 2030 climate and energy framework, the follow-up to the Paris agreement and the clean energy for all Europeans package.

The Council, Parliament and Commission agreed that progress is also needed in pursuing their commitment to common European values, in the fight against tax fraud, in the preservation of the principle of free movement and in the reinforcement of Europe's contribution to stability, security and peace.

For more information, click here.

ECB Banking Supervision supervisory priorities for 2017

On 15 December, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its 2017 priorities for supervising significant banks in the euro area. The main focus is on the key risks currently faced by banks, such as the need to adapt to financial conditions such as lacklustre economic growth in the euro area and geopolitical uncertainties, while at the same time addressing legacy assets.

As a result, ECB Banking Supervision will focus on business model and profitability risks as well as credit risk - with a focus on non-performing loans - and risk management. These were also priorities in 2016 but supervisors will now focus on new areas within each risk.

To enable banks to address these key risks effectively, European banking supervision has streamlined its supervisory priorities. For 2017 three priority areas will guide banking supervision:

  • business models and profitability drivers;
  • credit risk, with a focus on NPLs and concentrations;
  • risk management.

For more information, click here.

To read the full document of supervisory priorities, click here.

Result of the European Council informal meeting of the EU 27 heads of state or government

A number of different topics were on the agenda of the European Council, more in particular a discussion took place on Syria; migration; Ukraine; and the Brexit.

With regard to the Brexit issue, the EU 27 had a short informal meeting where they finalized procedural arrangements and reconfirmed their principles, meaning the indivisibility of the four freedoms, the balance of rights and obligations and the rule "no negotiations without notification". They also adopted the organisational structure with the European Council maintaining political control over the process, and the Commission as the Union's negotiator. And Michel Barnier as the Commission's Chief Negotiator.

The Council is ready to start negotiations with the UK as soon as the UK has notified under article 50.

For more information, click here.

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