On 16 March 2021, the European Commission published the keynote address that Commissioner McGuiness provided at the FIA Boca International Futures Industry Conference.

Key points in the speech includes:

  • The Capital Markets Union is a top priority for the Commission.
  • An area where the Commission will be reflecting on in the coming months is supervision and the functioning of the EU single rulebook for financial services. Following the departure of the United Kingdom, Europe’s capital markets have a multi-centre architecture. Several financial hubs fulfill specialised or regional financing needs. If the EU wants to match the performance of other highly efficient centres, it needs to make sure that EU hubs cover the necessary product range, have enough liquidity, are well connected to each other and are integrated. Also, such EU financial centres need to operate and compete on an equal footing.
  • The Commission is also getting started with the comprehensive review of European trading infrastructure legislation, MiFID II/MiFIR. It will look at the operation of infrastructure for trading in shares, bonds and derivatives. A key plank of the review of trading infrastructure is the introduction of a consolidated tape. This debate is not new, but it remains an important component of efficient markets.
  • In the review of MIFID II/MiFIR, the Commission will also assess whether the current mandatory “open access” provisions for exchanged-traded derivatives, which were postponed on account of COVID-19, should be maintained, modified or abandoned altogether.
  • In terms of the memorandum of understanding regarding the future relationship with the UK, the Commission envisages a flexible non-binding framework similar to what it has with the United States.
  • There cannot be equivalence with wide regulatory divergence and the Commission will grant equivalence only when it’s in the EU’s interest.