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Launch of European Joint Platform for EU Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs

On 2 April 2019, the European Commission announced the launch of the European Forum for Innovation Facilitators (“EFIF”). The EFIF will serve as a joint platform designed to foster collaboration and experience sharing among European financial supervisors on their engagement with FinTech firms through sandboxes and innovation hubs. On an ad-hoc basis, the European Supervisory Authorities (“ESAs”) and EU Member States’ National Competent Authorities (“NCAs”) will also be joined by third-countries’ authorities to exchange best practices, identify regulatory obstacles and share knowledge.

The EFIF is expected to contribute to the creation of a favourable environment for FinTech and to enable innovative firms to scale-up across the EU single market. As envisaged by the Commission’s 2018 FinTech Action Plan, the ultimate objective is to ensure competitiveness of the European financial sector by turning Europe into a hub of financial innovation.

The establishment of the EFIF follows the recommendations set out in the 2019 ESAs’ joint report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs. The ESAs mapped the existing EU initiatives and reported that there are currently 5 operational regulatory sandboxes and 21 innovation hubs in the EU. Besides a joint platform for these innovation facilitators, the ESAs suggested the development of guidance on their cooperation. 

The recently agreed changes to the ESAs’ mandates in their founding regulations should provide a further push to ensure regulatory convergence and facilitate the uptake of FinTech. In addition to the coordination role, the ESAs will have to take account of all issues related to technological innovation when carrying out their supervisory and regulatory mandates. 

Copyright 2019 K & L Gates

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About this Author

Giovanni Campi, KL Gates Law Firm, Financial Services Policy Director
Financial Services Policy Director

Giovanni Campi is financial services policy director in the Brussels office. Mr. Campi, a non-lawyer, has experience of assisting with advocacy strategy, policy analysis, and interest representation on various financial services dossiers, including Supervision, Recovery and Resolution, Capital Requirements, Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), and Benchmarks, among others.

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Martina Topercerova, KLGates Law Firm, Brussels, Policy and Regulatory Specialist
Policy and Regulatory Specialist

Martina Topercerova is a financial services policy and regulatory specialist in the Brussels office. Ms. Topercerova, a non-lawyer, has a direct experience with EU policy making from the Slovak Ministry of Finance, including during the Council Presidency. She covers various financial services and taxation files, with focus on capital markets, sustainable finance, FinTech and digital taxation.

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Jonathan Lawrence, KL Gates Law Firm, Restructuring and Insolvency Attorney
Partner

Jonathan Lawrence has been a finance partner in the London office since 2005.

Alongside his general banking and finance work, he concentrates his practice on restructuring & insolvency matters -- Legal 500 UK 2016 Corporate restructuring and insolvency “K&L Gates LLP … maintains a ‘quality team’ that includes ‘impressive’ team head Jonathan Lawrence”.

Mr. Lawrence also plays a leadership role in the firm’s global Islamic Finance practice -- Legal 500 UK 2016 Islamic Finance “K&L Gates LLP is...

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