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European lawmakers endorse industry levy to fund EIOPA

European lawmakers have backed an industry levy to fund the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), calling for the system’s design to be agreed by 2017.

In a report prepared by the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), MEP Markus Ferber said EIOPA’s current mixed financing model was “inflexible, burdensome and a potential threat to its independence”.

Ferber, named ECON deputy chairman last year, called for the European Commission to design one of two systems to replace the current funding model, which sees national supervisors split the cost of EIOPA’s budget with funding from the Commission budget.

He suggested EIOPA either be funded solely through an industry levy or through both an industry levy and an independent budget line within the EC budget.

The report, which Ferber saw endorsed by the majority of ECON last month, was discussed by the Budgetary Control committee (CONT) on Monday.

The committee’s MEPs also backed the report 24 to 3, building further pressure on the Commission to bring forward reform proposals.

Ferber’s report comes after the European Commission said it would like to overhaul both the governance structures and funding models of all three European Supervisory Authorities, a reform that could see the standalone occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG) merged with its insurance equivalent.

Jonathan Hill, commissioner for financial stability, recently told IPE he thought private funding of EIOPA was possible to achieve, but added that it was too early to speculate about “any concrete proposal” at the current time.

EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino has also championed the idea of an industry levy.

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