spellmanThe European Union’s long-delayed overhaul of megabank regulation now proposes curtailing or banning the riskiest financial activities in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the 2007-2009 global financial system meltdown. 

Until now, the post-crisis EU banking reforms had not acted to rein in “too big to fail” banks, focusing instead on establishing a new regulator, the European Banking Authority; stepping up capital provisions to help banks weather economic shocks; launching a mechanism to bail out problem banks; imposing limits on bankers’ compensation as an antidote to the “more pay more problems” phenomenon; and, starting a common deposit guarantee. EU-based banks must also adhere to new global standards, notably Basel III capital requirements [1] These include a “leverage ratio” designed to curb banks’ reliance on debt by setting a minimum standard for how much capital a bank must hold as a percentage of its assets.

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On October 25, 2012, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Belgium and the Embassy of Switzerland held a special seminar on transatlantic cooperation in stemming the spread of falsified medications.  Mark Witzal, Deputy Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations presented the keynote address.  Panelists in the first session: Bernard Frahi, Vice President for Corporate Economic Security at Sanofi; Ambassador Richard Kauzlarich, Deputy Director at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime & Corruption Center and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy; and Jeffrey Gren, Director of the Office of Health and Consumer Goods at the U.S. Department of Commerce discussed the security, economic and public health risks of falsified medications.  The panel was moderated by Susan Reardon, Director of International Policy, Worldwide Government Affairs and Policy at Johnson & Johnson.  Panelists in the second session: John Roth, Director of the Office of Criminal Investigations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Patrick Byrne, Europol Senior Representative and Head of Europol Delegation at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States; Chief Commissioner Patrick Stevens, Counselor and Belgian Police Liaison Officer at the Embassy of Belgium; Kelley Friedgen, Senior Corporate Counsel at Genentech and Legal Advisor to the Genentech Counterfeit Prevention and Response Task Force; and Jeannie Salo, Director for Global Anti-Counterfeiting, Office of International Government Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company examined public and private sector solutions to the fast-growing falsified medications problem.  This panel was moderated by Frédéric Badey, Senior Director, International Public Affairs Coordination, Sanofi.

By Zachary Laven --- European Affairs editorial assistant

The European Commission’s proposal for a sweeping overhaul of rules protecting individuals’ privacy in on-line data was unveiled Wednesday as a modernizing step that could reassure users and streamline procedures for companies in this complex new legal and technical environment.

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While the EU and the new U.S. Administration are trying to harmonize their views, trade in food and regulations regarding biotechnology remain among the most delicate areas in transatlantic trade negotiations, in part because of the different backgrounds on which public opinions are based. Dan Rotenberg, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at the Delegation of the European Commission addressed  the status of the Doha Trade Talks in this sector. His colleague at the Delegation, Dr. Wolf-Martin Maier, Counselor for Food Safety, Health and Consumer Affairs addressed questions regarding food safety and consumer protection regulations.

Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor, addressed the transatlantic debate over data privacy, focusing on the EU’s existing data protection system and the risks posed by constant technological innovation as well as increased demands by law enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic for deeper and more immediate data exchanges. Paul Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security, offered the U.S. perspective on building an effective law enforcement framework for the sharing of personal data. Yael Weinman, Counsel for International Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission gave the consumer protection aspect. The meeting was moderated by James Halpert, Partner, DLA Piper.

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