On 29 January 2020, the European Commission published its 2020 Work Programme . In the introductory note, the Commission acknowledges “unprecedented challenges” that lay ahead for this year and beyond, including negotiation of a new partnership agreement with the UK – “a country that will remain a partner, ally and friend outside our Union”. As the Commission further notes that “the first year of this mandate will set the vision, direction and pace for the next five years”, the 2020 Work Programme is organised around six “headline ambitions”, including – (1) A European Green Deal, (2) A Europe fit for the digital age, (3) An economy that works for people, (4) A stronger Europe in the world, (5) Promoting our European way of life and (6) A new push for European democracy.

In the area of financial services, the 2020 Work Programme lists a number of initiatives, grouped under several separate policy objectives. These include:

  1. Digital Finance
    • Action Plan on FinTech including a Strategy on an Integrated EU Payments Market (non-legislative, Q3 2020)
    • Proposal on Crypto Assets (legislative, Q3 2020)
    • Cross-sectoral financial services act on operational and cyber resilience (legislative, Q3 2020)
  2. Deepening the Capital Markets Union
    • Action Plan on the Capital Markets Union (non-legislative, Q3 2020)
    • Review of MiFID II and MiFIR, including the establishment of an EU consolidated tape (legislative, Q3 2020)
    • Review of the Benchmarks Regulation (legislative, Q3 2020)
  3. Completing the Banking Union
    • Action Plan on Anti-Money Laundering (non-legislative, Q1 2020)
    • Review of the Capital Requirements legislation (Q2 2020)
  4. Financing the sustainable transition
    • Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy (non-legislative, Q3 2020)

As we have previously reported, some of the above-listed initiatives are already under way, with public consultations closed (Benchmarks Regulation, final Basel III implementation, certain MiFID II/MiFIR topics) or currently ongoing (markets in crypto-assets, cross-sectoral financial services act on operational and cyber resilience).