Oxfam reaction to outcome of EU Finance Ministers meeting on derivatives

Published: 24th January 2012

Today’s EU Finance Ministers meeting inBrussels reached a deal to resolve disagreement on regulators’ powers over clearinghouses that will handle over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. This decision is a step towards adopting the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

Marc Olivier Herman, Oxfam International’s EU food security policy advisor, said:

“It is good news that EU Finance Ministers are making progress towards an EU bill that regulates trading in derivatives. Food commodity derivatives must be much more transparent and better controlled to ensure they don’t wreak havoc in poor countries. To calm food markets and help avert a looming crisis, we need to see EU Finance Ministers sealing a deal with the European Parliament on the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation as soon as possible. By doing so, the EU could still be on schedule to meet its G20 commitments.”

Notes to Editors

1. In 2009, one year after the collapse of the Lehman Brothers (a major player in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets) G20 leaders agreed inPittsburghthat all standardised OTC derivative contracts should be traded on exchanges and centrally cleared by the end of 2012. It was also agreed that OTC contracts should be reported to trade repositories.

2. Press release on EU Finance Ministers’ position on derivatives following today’s meeting http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/127502.pdf

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Contact information

 Angela Corbalan on angela.corbalam@oxfaminternational.org or + 32 473 56 22 60