EUROPE – The European Commission says the European pensions, banking and securities regulatory committees will deliver “common decision-making and enforcement” within five years.

CEIOPS, the Committee of European Insurance and Pensions Supervisors, and its sister committees will by 2010 “deliver common decision-making and enforcement practices”, the Commission said.

This would involve “joint inspections, peer reviews, staff exchanges, joint training, exchange of information/expertise”. The comments come in an annex to its latest White Paper on the future of EU financial services up to 2010.

The remarks follow the signing of a cooperation protocol last month between CEIOPS and the Committee of European Banking Supervisors and the Committee of European Securities Regulators.

The Commission noted that pensions are Europe’s “major structural economic challenge” – although the White Paper makes no direct proposals on the issue.

The Commission added that it would decide during 2006 whether to come forward with a formal proposal on clearing and settlement.

"European financial integration has really moved forward in the last five years,” said Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said.

“The challenge now is to consolidate progress and work together on applying the better regulatory disciplines. Our aim should be to create the best financial framework in the world.

It means creating real, tangible benefits for the citizens and businesses of Europe through lower capital costs, better pensions, and cheaper, safer retail financial products. Our new strategy is practical, economics driven and citizen focused. Only in a few, targeted areas are new initiatives foreseen."