The MiFID II monster is set to devour many summer holidays. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) consultation paper – with all the questions – on the latest Markets in Financial Instruments Directive runs to nearly 1,000 pages and the deadline for responses is 1 August.
Recalling the need for an emergency extension of the enforcement deadline for MiFID I, the European Commission has wisely set the implementation period 30 months hence. But there is much detailed work to be done, so the ESMA has been asked to provide its technical advice within six months. Its staff can expect to be deluged with comments. Part of the reason for the sheer scale of the project is the desire to develop a "capital market union" as a complement to the Banking Union. The over-arching objective is a truly single EU financial market and that requires an EU-wide "single rule book". This means that all the detail that has been created in national rules now has to be converted into EU-wide rules, with the narrowest possible wiggle-room for national regulators to bend regulations in favour of their domestic players.
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