EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE SPECIAL – The European Monetary Affairs Committee (EMAC) has voted to place the forthcoming occupational pensions directive under the rules for adoption of financial services proposals, in a decision that effectively prevents a minority of Member States from blocking its passage.

Financial services directives can be voted by qualified majority in the Ecofin Council of Ministers.
The vote against European Socialist Party amendments arguing for a social security directive, means that the directive is now not subject to a unanimous decision by Ecofin, which is the case for such social legislation.

Finnish MEP and member of the European Peoples Party (EPP), Piaa-Noora Kauppi, comments:
“ Of course that would have meant that the French and the Belgians would have had the possibility to block the whole thing.”

The Karas report on the European pensions directive will now be heard and voted on at the Plenary session of the European Parliament from July 2-5.
Othmar Karas, Austrian MEP and rapporteur for the parliament on the directive, comments: “We will discuss my report on July 3 in the morning with the draft agenda and I hope we can decide it on the 4th.
“ I am happy that the Parliament has a decision. I think it is a good basis for the next discussion. It was hard work, but it is a good base between more liberalisation for investment to have the basis for cross-border activities of companies, but also with a fundamental compromise for social security.”