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21 April 2015

EU-US agreement on reinsurance: Council agrees to negotiations

In a fresh bid to persuade the United States to free up the billions of euros in collateral it requires foreign re-insurers to set aside against policies, the Council issued a mandate to the Commission to negotiate an agreement with the United States on reinsurance.

The mandate consists of a decision authorising the opening of talks and directives for the negotiation of the agreement. The Commission will negotiate on behalf of the EU, in consultation with a Council committee. The agreement will be concluded by the Council with the consent of the European Parliament.  

Re-insurers say this puts them at a competitive disadvantage to American rivals by increasing capital costs and making premiums more expensive. "An agreement with the US will greatly facilitate trade in reinsurance and related activities", said Janis Reirs, minister for finance of Latvia and president of the Council. "It will enable us for instance to recognise each others prudential rules and help supervisors exchange information."  

The decision was adopted without discussion at a meeting of the General Affairs Council. 

Jesus Cisneros, policy adviser for international affairs and reinsurance at Insurance Europe, said a bilateral agreement should seek the total elimination of collateral requirements for non-American reinsurers. "Such an agreement would set an important global precedent for how cross-border reinsurance transactions should be regulated", Cisneros said.

Full press release

Further reporting © Reuters

© Council of the European Union

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