To ask Her Majesty's Government under what Articles of the European Union treaties the new European Union rules restricting bankers' bonuses are being implemented; and whether there are any plans to introduce such restrictions in other industries or in the public sector.For once the answer was clear and informative:
The Capital Requirements Directive IV proposals on remuneration are based on Article 53(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. There are currently no specific legislative proposals for the introduction of similar measures in other industries or the public sector.Especially, not the public sector, I'd say. What deprive those poor innocent little regulators of their bonueses? Fie, I say, fie.
Looking the relevant Article up in the CONSOLIDATED VERSION OF THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, I found the following apparently irrelevant text:
1. In order to make it easier for persons to take up and pursue activities as self-employed persons, the European Parliament and the Council shall, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, issue directives for the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications and for the coordination of the provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the taking-up and pursuit of activities as self-employed persons.How on earth does this apply to bankers, who are not self-employed, let alone their bonuses? Nothing for it, I sighed, let us have a look at the relevant Directive proposal. As ever, it gives a great deal of information, including relevant aspects of the Basel agreement, which is rarely mentioned in the various discussions, and says this in Section 3.3:
3.3. The EU's right to act and justificationWhile I remain unconvinced about the relevance of Article 53, it is clear that Article 114 gives the European legislature a carte blanche in its anxiety "to improve the conditions for the establishment and proper functioning of the Internal Market". I notice this was omitted from the answer given to Lord Stoddart of Swindon.
The legal bases for EU level action in this specific field are: Article 53 TFEU (former Article 47 CE) which provide the EU legislature with the possibility of adopting directives for the coordination of the provisions concerning the taking-up and pursuit of activities as self-employed persons and the provision of services in the Internal Market, and Article 114 TFEU according to which the European legislator can adopt "measures for the approximation of the provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States which have as their object the establishment and the functioning of the Internal Market." The European legislature has discretion as to the method of approximation which is the most appropriate in order to improve the conditions for the establishment and proper functioning of the Internal Market. This may include the approximation of national laws concerning the type and level of administrative sanctions to be imposed.
May one enquire how our Prime Minister or what passes for one intends to renegotiate that?