The European Parliament publishes study of Lieve Lowet (ICODA) on the European Union’s role in the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
Press release – On 6 October 2015, the policy department of the European Parliament published “The European Union’s Role in International Economic Fora – Paper 8: The IAIS” , a study on the European Union’s role in the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). The study was requested in January 2015 as part of series of nine studies on the role of the European Union in international standard setting bodies, and in preparation for the Own Initiative Report, currently drafted by rapporteur Mrs. Sylvie Goulard (FR, ALDE) on the role of the Union in international financial, monetary and regulatory institutions and bodies. Mrs. Goulard is a member of the EP’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).
Lieve Lowet, partner of ICODA European Affairs and regulatory insurance expert, conducted this study. She presented the study to ECON in a workshop on 17 June 2015. The other bodies researched are the IMF, the FSB, the IASB, IOSCO, IAIS, IOPS, the G20, BCBS and the OECD.
The study provides factual background information about the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the Union’s role and representation in IAIS, IAIS’ accountability as well as its coordination and impact. A key conclusion is that the Union is well represented. As a result of both commitment and investment, the European issues are well captured. Key concepts of the EU-originated Solvency II framework found their way worldwide and into IAIS standards and guidelines. A similar outcome in the area of International Capital Standards (ICPs) for insurance undertakings must be cautiously crafted. IAIS – and its European Members – stand at a cross-road in this regard. Therefore, these developments should be carefully monitored.
Commenting on the study, Lieve Lowet says:
“ Unlike some other international bodies, the Union has a solid representation in IAIS, with a full membership of all Member States’ supervisors (except for Greece and Croatia) and EIOPA. The Commission has a non-voting membership. An extensive coordination mechanism is in place, under the guidance of EIOPA”.
“In terms of accountability, EIOPA has a general obligation to formally report to the Council and the European Parliament. The Commission is bound by its general obligation to report to the European Parliament. There is hardly any specific reporting on IAIS but both institutions declared to be available when requested.
In terms of enforcement, ICPs, standards and guidelines have no binding force, IAIS depends on Member’s jurisdictions and the powers of its members to transpose supervisory material; however, these standards enjoy a large moral authority, while the IAIS has developed a whole arsenal of indirect mechanisms to stimulate members into compliance.”