EU Directive 2009/138 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance – A general introduction to the Solvency II framework


Solvency II system presents a radical renewal of the EU insurance supervision. It was the number one theme of discussion over the last ten years in the European insurance world. Solvency II constitutes the contribution of the insurance sector to the EU financial integration within the single market and to EU competitiveness. It aims to meet the changing needs of the economy and the society.
Applying the so called Lamfalussy process, Solvency II at first recasts and replaces all the 13 existing related Directives with a unique framework Directive including numerous new rules which introduce an overall new approach on insurance supervision, particularly on solvency issues.
The original text of the Solvency II Directive 2009/138 was approved by the European Parliament on 22.4.2009, about the same time as the de Larosière report on the necessary changes on the EU financial supervisory framework related to the financial crisis was presented. With a delay of four years the Directive was implemented into national laws on 01.01.2016.
A number of changes, in particular the extended supplements introduced with article 2 of the Omnibus II Directive (2014/51) amending several Directives in respect of the powers of the European Supervisory Authorities – ESA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority – EIOPA and European Securities and Markets Authority – ESMA), was the reason why the launching of the Directive’s enacting was postponed four times until its final implementation to the EU Member States (MS). The changes that Omnibus II brought were particularly in order to include in Solvency II the new rules imposed for EIOPA, the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority and for the other two European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs, i.e. the European Banking Authority – EBA and the ESMA), that were created on the basis of the de Larosière report, along with the delegated acts and regulatory technical standards.

Rokas Ioannis