Correspondent's Choice

This story about the pace of economic reform was published by EurActiv on 17th August 2010.

Talks to reform the way the EU can reduce its debt problems and supervise financial institutions have been moved forward to catch up with a faster reform process in the US, say sources.

Officials reveal that a delegation of policymakers rewriting how the bloc manages its debt problems will be working to a tighter schedule than previously imagined. Their comments come in the wake of criticism that the EU has been beaten by a quicker reform process in the US.

In informal discussions last month, the EU’s permanent president, Herman van Rompuy, allegedly asked policymakers to step up their efforts to get the bloc’s nascent financial and economic reforms passed by member states as early as October.

Originally, Van Rompuy had set the end of this year as an informal deadline, but officials say the EU president has been feeling the heat from reform taking place across the Atlantic.

The president chairs a delegation of policymakers dedicated to shaping economic reform, namely the Taskforce on Economic Governance.

According to the new schedule, officials’ talks to smooth out disagreements on the supervision of banks will commence on 30 August and continue on 2 September.

A vote on the creation of new bodies to supervise banks will be taken by members of the European Parliament in the last week of September at their plenary session.

In addition, EU finance ministers will meet on 6-7 September to discuss new ways to monitor and shape economic policy, with national leaders due to discuss the final touches on 16 September.

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed to give national supervisors greater oversight of financial conglomerates and holding companies to make sure that they cannot use regulatory loopholes to evade the same supervision rules of smaller national entities.

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