Impact assessment on the statute for a European mutual society

Question

In its answer to Written Question E-001717/2015, the Commission stated that, in view of the current lack of unanimous support for a European mutual society statute, it does not intend at this stage to initiate such a proposal and that therefore ‘there is no need for the Commission to publish the text of the impact assessment’.

Can the Commission explain why it intends to keep the impact assessment secret, and does the assessment make the case for such a statute?

How does this refusal to publish it square with the Commission’s proclaimed support for openness and transparency?

Does the Commission not think that wider consideration of the impact assessment might take discussions on this issue forward on the basis of informed debate, or is it opposed to informed debate?

Answer

In accordance with the Commission Guidelines on Impact Assessments, the opinions issued by the IAB are part of the documentation available to the College before deciding on any initiative and will be published once the College has taken a political decision. In this case, since no initiative was taken by the Commission in the area in question, both the draft Regulation and the accompanying impact assessment remained internal documents and neither of them is going to be published.

The alleged cross border problems of the mutual will be examined by the Commission, as explained in previous replies (see E-010487/2014) in the context of the existing EU legislation (Services Directive, Insurance Directives, Company Law Directives, right of Establishment). This will be done with the assistance of the members of the Commission’s Consultative Group of Experts on Social Entrepreneurship (CEGES) composed of private and Government experts, who will encourage Member States that allegedly impose unnecessary restrictions upon the activity of mutuals, to modify their rules so as to be more open to mutual providers.

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