EUROPE – The European Commission has set up a database allowing public access to all European Union member states’ financial services legislation - including the directive on occupational pension funds. The development allows users to see each country’s relevant documents relating to, for example, Directive 2003/41/EC on institutions for occupational retirement provision. The data is organized by country and then subdivided by each of the 20 financial services directives. The web address is: "This is a big step towards improving implementation of EU financial services laws at national level,” said Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. “For the first time every business, consumer and citizen can see openly how member states are enabling better and more integrated financial services and markets. Now national rules are no longer a 'black box', and any gold-plating will be visible to all." “The database of weblinks should aid the overall process of implementation and curb regulatory additions to legislation, known as "gold-plating". It will also reduce costs and barriers for business and consumers as they will be armed with the information they need to utilise EU legislation more effectively in the various Member States. “The current use of the national legislation 'state of play' chart, which has already proved successful in achieving more efficient implementation, will be enhanced to provide a single resource where all information on national implementation can be easily accessed and compared.” Elsewhere, the Commission said in a report that the EU insurance and pension fund sector “has been and is still growing in importance as a provider of services”. But there were “noticeable differences between the member states and limited intra-EU cross-border provision of services.