EU Commission requests AUSTRIA and FRANCE to enact EU law on criminal sanctions for market abuse

Today the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Austria and France following their failure to fully comply with EU rules on criminal sanctions for market abuse (Directive 2014/57/EU).

Together with the Market Abuse Regulation, the Directive guarantees the efficiency, transparency and trustworthiness of European financial markets and contributes to the completion of the Capital Markets Union.

Under the Directive, Member States are required to ensure that insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information and market manipulation, including the manipulation of benchmarks, is a criminal offence and is punishable with effective and consistent sanctions.

The laws in these two countries are insufficient on the scope of and the sanctions for criminal offences in the field of market abuse. The Commission opened the infringement procedures by sending a letter of formal notice to Austria and France in July 2019.

Following today’s reasoned opinions, the Member States concerned have four months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Christian Wigand

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