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Photo Album | Debate | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test?

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Thank you for attending our debate ‘The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test?’

PubAffairs Bruxelles was delighted to host on the 26th of April the debate ‘The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test?’ between our distinguished speakers Ms Danuta Maria Hubner MEP (EPP/PL) and Mr Michael Theurer MEP (ALDE/DE).

We would like to thank our distinguished guests and our moderator, Graham Bishop, leading expert in EU and UK Economic, Financial and Government Affairs.

We hope that all the contributors, attendees, as well as our present and future members will join us for our next debate.

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Will London Survive Brexit? by H.Davies | Project Syndicate

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Brexit has set a hungry cat among the financial pigeons of the City of London. No one yet knows what kind of access to the European Union’s single financial market UK-based firms will have, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a general election to be held on June 8 has further clouded the picture, at least in the short term. But there is a nagging assumption that things cannot remain the same, and that there will be a price to be paid for leaving the EU. So UK-based financial services firms, especially those that have chosen London as their European headquarters precisely in order to secure access to the whole EU market from one location, are reviewing their options. Indeed, regulators are obliging them to do so, by asking how they will maintain continuity of service to their clients in the event of a “hard” Brexit. (May’s government prefers to talk of a “clean” Brexit, but that is semantics). Rival European centers have spotted an opportunity to claw some of this business back to the continent (or to Ireland). Other governments have long resented London’s dominance. It was galling to have to acknowledge that the principal center for trading in euro-denominated instruments lay outside the eurozone.

Read the full Article here

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SAVE THE DATE | Debate | Payments security: do the EBA RTS on strong customer authentication create an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe? (May 31)

We are delighted to invite you to the debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Wednesday the 31st of May at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The event will consist of a debate about the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) regulatory technical standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication and the creation of an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe.

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Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are announcing this event now to make sure you save the date.

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This event is kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published on the 23rd of February its final draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication. These RTS, which were mandated under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and developed in close cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB), are meant to lay the first stone for an open and secure market in retail payments in Europe. 

The final draft RTS are – in the EBA own words – “the result of difficult trade-offs between the various, at times competing, objectives of the PSD2, such as enhancing security, facilitating customer convenience, ensuring technology and business-model neutrality, contributing to the integration of the European payment markets, protecting consumers, facilitating innovation, and enhancing competition through new payment initiation and account information services”.

The EBA received hundreds of replies to the two consultations organized on the very matter; these may have influenced the introduction of some changes in the final RTS draft. Firstly, there is a new exemption from strong customer authentication based on the level of risk of a payment, and this for payments up to 500 euro. However, this exemption can only be used if the payer’s payment service provider (PSP) has an overall fraud rate lower than the reference fraud rate specified in the RTS. This change is likely to be welcomed by the e-commerce industry, where strong customer authentication might generate user friction and therefore cancellations of purchases. An important question is however whether one-size-fits-all fraud rates will be usable across different industries, such as e-banking and e-commerce and whether the same thresholds are appropriate in a BtoB context. Furthermore, the EBA has deleted in the final draft RTS its initial requirement to use different channels, devices or mobile applications to initiate and authenticate payments; this seems to make it possible to use a single device, and even a single mobile app, to initiate and authenticate a payment. Also, unattended payment terminals have been exempted from strong customer authentication as well as remote payments up to 30 euros.

The EBA has now submitted the final draft RTS to the European Commission for adoption, after which they will be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council. Overall, transactional risk analysis technology has gained importance in the final draft RTS. However, for this to work, PSPs will need to keep their fraud levels under control in order to meet the reference levels. At the same time, the RTS also provide more flexibility to use mobile apps to authenticate payments. However PSPs will need to protect these mobile apps against various threats.

Payments security: do the EBA RTS on strong customer authentication create an open and secure market for retail payments in Europe?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 31st of May at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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INVITATION | DEBATE | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test? (April 26)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations as a unity test for the EU with our distinguished speakers Ms Danuta Maria Hubner MEP (EPP/PL), Mr Jo Leinen MEP (S&D/DE), Mr Michael Theurer MEP (ALDE/DE).

The debate will be moderated by Graham Bishop, leading expert in EU and UK Economic, Financial and Government Affairs.

About the debate

While the UK was grappling with internal disagreements on both the timing of the triggering of Article 50 and the establishment of the extent to which the British Parliament should have controlled the Brexit process, the leaders of the EU’s four largest economies organised a meeting in Paris in order to prepare the 25th of March EU summit in Rome and (re) launch the so-called ‘two-speed Europe’ proposal, namely a newly reinvigorated method to forge ahead with integration, while leaving those not on board free to join when they deem it appropriate. These political developments can also have been interpreted as a first reaction to the so-called ‘White Paper’ in which President Juncker outlined the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade and presented five scenarios according to which the European Union could evolve by 2025, depending on how it will respond.

In fact, as massive attention has focused on the possible economic impacts of the Brexit referendum on both the UK and the EU, how the EU bloc itself might change will probably prove to be the most important outcome of this particular political and institutional momentum that the old continent is undergoing. Not without controversy, the Rome summit declaration acknowledged, both in tone and content, the need to ‘act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction’, whereas particular emphasis was given to the question of unity by stating that the European Union is ‘undivided and indivisible’. Indeed, the issue stemming from this last question will be of crucial importance for the achievement of a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable Europe, which should play a major role at a global level in the years to come.

If the so–called ‘populist movements’ have shaken up the political narrative as well as the public debates both at EU and national level, they do not seem for the time in a position to gain sufficient power to lead to a radical change of Europe’s political and institutional landscape. However, it is not possible to exclude such a scenario becoming reality in the future, if change does not occur fairly soon. Within this context, the possible implementation of the ‘two-speed Europe’ process, the Brexit negotiations, as well as the European Union capacity to adapt to the current circumstances remain elements of capital importance for the years to come. Will the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations constitute a combined unity test?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 26th of April at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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EVENT HIGHLIGHTS | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy?

On the 21st of March, PubAffairs Bruxelles hosted a debate on the link between the European emission trading system (ETS) and renewables with Mr Florent Le Strat, Researcher and Expert, Climate policy R&D, EDF, Mr Peter Zapfel, Head of Unit, ETS Policy Development and Auctioning, European Commission, Mr Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, Renewables and CCS Policy Unit, European Commission, Mr Michel Matheu, Head of EU strategy, EDF and Mr Daniel Fraile, Senior Analyst, Wind Europe. The event was moderated by Hughes Belin, freelance journalist.

EDF ETS RENEWABLES

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EVENT HIGHLIGHTS | Debate | What could be the features of the Pan-European Personal Pensions initiative (PEPP)?

On the 8th of March, PubAffairs Bruxelles hosted a debate on what could be the features of the Pan-European Personal Pensions (PEPPs) initiative with Ms Sultana Sandrell, Trade, Economic and Financial Affairs Unit, Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, Mr Philippe Setbon, Member of the AFG Strategic Committee, Ms Nathalie Berger, Head of Unit, Insurance and Pension, European Commission, Mr Heinz K. Becker, MEP (EPP/AU), Mr Bernard Delbecque, Senior Director, Economics & Research, EFAMA and Mr Guillaume Prache, Managing Director, Better Finance. The event was moderated by Mr Pierre Bollon, Chief executive of AFG.

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EVENT HIGHLIGHTS | Debate | Will the year 2017 be a defining moment for the EU?

On the 28th of February, PubAffairs Bruxelles hosted the debate ‘Will the year 2017 be a defining moment for the EU’ with Mr Reinhard Butikofer, MEP (Greens/DE), Mr Pawel Swieboda, Deputy Head of the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), Mr Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies. The event was moderated by Chris Burns, longtime journalist and moderator.

Future of the EU

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Statement by European Commission President Juncker on the London attacks

My thoughts are with London tonight, with the families of the victims, with the commuters travelling home, with the people across the country and the world trying to get in touch with their loved ones, with the emergency services working courageously tonight, as every other night.

Today marks one year since the people of Brussels and Belgium suffered a similar pain and felt the support of your sympathy and solidarity. At this emotional time, we at the European Commission can only send that sympathy back twofold.

The United Kingdom will always remain a partner and a friend and one we will continue to work hand in hand with in the fight against terror. Together, Europeans will never cease to prove that love will always triumph over hate and that tolerance will always triumph over fear.

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Photo Album | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

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