European Union

EU Port-Au-Prince International Airport Haiti Damage Assessment

This briefing note covers Toussaint L´Ouverture, Port-au-Prince International Airport in Haiti and provides image analysis of the status, activity and facilities of the airfield with particular regard to any observed damage due to the recent earthquake. The note has been produced using a GeoEye multispectral image, dated 13 January 2010 which has been combined with open source collateral information. The information cut-off date of this briefing note is 22 January 2010.

Oversampling the wealthy: eye for an eye, euro for a euro

When a particular part of the population is especially important for a survey, oversampling that group can help the survey to provide better estimates. However, oversampling is not always easy or inexpensive. The ideal situation is one where information exists for the population that can help to discriminate the interesting sub-group and that information is available for sampling. Sometimes the information is weak for the intended purpose and sometimes there are restrictions on the use of information that make sampling difficult or impossible.

Target2-Securities Shareholders Visibility in Cross Border Environment

On 11 March 2009 the T2S Team organised a conference for EU issuers, primarily of equity securities. The aim of the event was for the Eurosystem to clarify the scope of T2S and discuss the project’s impact on issuers and their agents. The most important topic identified in that conference was the need for issuers to be able to identify their shareholders in a cross border environment. It is evident that T2S per se does not create the problem. This is an existing issue where- and whenever cross border transaction activity is present. However, the creation of a single settlement engine for Europe may intensify the issue due to the expected increase in cross border activity associated with T2S and may thus increase the desirability of a harmonised approach.

ISO 20022 Standards and SWIFT

The T2S User Requirements Document (URD) states that “The T2S Interface shall use ISO 20022 as its single standard for all communications, both inbound and outbound”. Therefore messages have to be either ISO20022 registered, or at least compliant with the methodology of ISO200221. SWIFT plays an important role in the registration process of ISO 20022standards and in the development of messages for T2S. Therefore, at its meeting of 9-10 October, the AG agreed that clarification was needed on the relationship between ISO 20022standards and SWIFT2.

Glossary of Terms Related to Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Systems

Clearing fund – A fund composed of assets contributed by participants in a CCP, or by providers of guarantee arrangements, that may be used to meet the obligations of a defaulting CCP participant and/or in certain circumstances to settle transactions and cover losses and liquidity pressures resulting from such defaults. A Clearing Fund serves as insurance against unusual price movements not covered by the margin calculation in case of a member default. Each Clearing Member typically has to contribute to the Clearing Fund. It may consists of Clearing Members’ directly- deposited capital, or securities or third-party bank guarantees. It is used for securing the counterparty risk not covered by margin deposits.

Technical Group 3 Analysis of Target2-Securities Dedicated Cash Accounts

During its 28/29 November 2007 meeting, the Advisory Group agreed to add possible functionality in the URD on the prioritisation of multiple T2S dedicated cash accounts. The AG also asked TG3 to analyse the issue in more depth and the 3CB+ to calculate the additional costs of this approach. The AG agreed to review the matter in view of the feedback from the public consultation and the cost and the consequences for the market. Following the AG decision, the prioritisation of multiple T2S dedicated cash accounts functionality was immediately added into the URD by the project team.

Target2-Securities Economic Impact Analysis Status Report

On 18 December 2007, the ECB published the TARGET2-Securities (T2S) User Requirements Document for public consultation. In parallel, the ECB published a note setting out the proposed methodology for the economic impact analysis (EIA) of T2S. This note proposed two indicators to evaluate the potential benefits of T2S for market participants and the European economy. The first indicator is the average cost per settlement instruction. The aim of this indicator is to focus on a direct comparison between the cost per settlement instruction with T2S and the current market structures without T2S.

Target2-Securities User-Focused Programme Plan Cover Note

This consolidated programme plan encompasses all Eurosystem activities and is based on the ECB’s internal detailed planning and an extract of the 4CB’s internal planning. As part of the consolidation exercise, the project office of the ECB and of the 4CB tried to minimise the impact of the 7 additional months needed for the validation of the General Functional Specifications, without impacting the scope of T2S, the expected quality of the final delivery, the price or the go-live date. This was achieved through an increased parallelism of activities, in particular in the production of the UDFS and the conduct of the Eurosystem and User Acceptance testing phases.

Communication on Clearing and Settlement – The Eurosystem’s Response

The Eurosystem strongly supports the Commission’s objective of creating a safe, efficient and integrated EU clearing and settlement infrastructure. In principle, the Communication identifies the key issues that need to be addressed in the field of clearing and settlement in order to enhance integration and reduce systemic risk. The present infrastructure for securities clearing and settlement transactions in the EU remains insufficiently harmonised, highly fragmented and inefficient for cross-border activities. Although some consolidation has been achieved, there remain a very large number of service providers with limited competition between each other.

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

The Single Euro Payments Area is an initiative of the European Central Bank which will unify all of the retail payment markets in the euro area to form a single market. The initiative has three phases: a design phase, followed by a period of integration, followed by total migration to the new system. SEPA is currently nearing completion of its migration phase, indicating that its instruments are generally in use at this time.

Draft of the European Union Strategic Framework for ES-BE-HU Trio Presidency

In this changing world today we need to act globally. The XXI century world which is emerging is already being shaped by global players. Our present well-being and common wealth for which our previous generation worked so hard are at stake. To confront the unprecedented challenges that we are facing today on our planet we need to pull our resources and our determination together more than ever before. Only by acting together within the framework of our European Union will we be able to play a leading role and exercise an influence on major issues.

European Union Operational Programme 2010-2011

The revision of the existing Lisbon Strategy will be a key priority for the three Presidencies. On the basis of the Commission’s Strategic Report on the evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission’s proposal for the post-2010 strategy, and taking into account in this work the report of the Reflection Group headed by Felipe González as well as the contribution of the European Parliament and the consultative bodies (EESC, CoR), the three Presidencies will establish a framework in order to deliver on the challenges that matter most to Europe’s citizens. In line with the Commission’s communication for the Spring European Council 2009 “Driving European recovery” and the European Council conclusions of 18-19 March 2009 and their implementation, the new Strategy will be prepared and launched during the 18 months of our three Presidencies. This focused policy framework will address the future economic, employment, social, environmental challenges and set realistic common targets for the post 2010 Strategy with special attention to growth and jobs.

International Agreements With Third Parties

The scope of PLO/PA authority in the field of trade policy and therefore in trade relations with third parties is circumscribed by the terms of the Interim Agreement, signed by the PLO/Israel in Washington on September 28, 1995. (1) The relevant parts of the Agreement which together form the legal basis for the PA’s relations with third parties are found at Article IX and in the Economic Protocol at Annex V. (The Economic Protocol, which defines the Israeli-PLO/PA economic relationship, was signed in Paris on April 29, 1994 and subsequently incorporated with modifications in the Interim Agreement as Annex V.)

Overview of Palestine’s Economic Policy and Foreign Trade Regime

Palestine lies on the western edge of the Asian continent and on the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean Sea. Its territory comprises two parts – the West Bank, a landlocked area bordered by Israel and Jordan, and the Gaza Strip, bordered by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. It covers an approximate area of 6,165 km2 (5,800 km2 in the West Bank and 365 km2 in the Gaza Strip).