EUROPE - Supervisors in Europe will in future have the opportunity to take disputes over cross-border pension and insurance issues to the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS).

CEIOPS has put forward a proposal to offer both a facilitative procedure in which a mediator helps two parties to resolve a conflict and an evaluative procedure in which a panel of experts can help assess a situation and propose a solution.

"Whenever there is a cross-border activity, the competent authorities have to interpret some part of an EU directive and sometimes it happens that the authorities involved come up with different interpretations," Federica Cameli administrator at CEIOPS told IPE.

She pointed out any solutions or recommendations made in the course of this mediation will be non-binding.

The mediation mechanism will be open to CEIOPS and non-CEIOPS members, while the latter group can sign a joint agreement once the mechanism is put in place for those European supervisors that are CEIOPS members.

Non-members could also get involved in certain cases in which they might be entitled to intervene because of a particular agreement with the EU, if the "Gatekeeper", the CEIOPS vice chair, and the other parties involved agree.

Information on mediations will be passed on to the European Commission without mentioning the names of the participating parties.

CEIOPS will also provide a summary of the mediation activity in its annual report.

This proposal is currently in its consultation period so interested parties are invited to comment on the relevant paper by October 5 2007.