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Regulatory roundabout: Five developments you need to know

We highlight notable European regulatory developments, from an extension in pandemic emergency refinancing to a warning shot to Poland over its judicial processes.

On 3 December 2020, the European Commission (EC) followed up on an infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish judiciary with a formal letter of notice to Poland regarding the functioning of the Disciplinary Chamber of the country’s Supreme Court. The note added to an existing EC grievance against Poland regarding legislative changes affecting the judiciary.
On 10 December 2020, the European Central Bank announced it was extending its pandemic emergency longer-term refinancing operations, including four additional ones allotted on a quarterly basis in 2021, each with a tenor of one year. These will serve as a liquidity backstop to the euro area banking system and aim to preserve the smooth functioning of money markets.
On 11 December 2020, it was announced that EU institutions have agreed to establish a Cybersecurity Competence Centre in Bucharest, Romania, with the aim of improving and strengthening the technological and industrial cybersecurity capacities of the EU, and helping to create a safe online environment.
The European Parliament and member states announced (14 December 2020) that they have forged a political agreement on the region’s new Digital Europe Programme. Forming part of the next long-term EU budget (2021-2027), the programme will provide funding worth €7.5 billion for projects in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills.
The EC is seeking views from those participating in financial settlements processes on a new regulation it is planning for central securities depositories, which aims to increase safety and improve settlement efficiency, as well as providing a set of common requirements for depositories.