According to reports today in French newspaper Le Monde, a French minister, Michel Barnier, is likely to hold the post following France’s support for a Brit, Lady Ashton, taking on the role of EU foreign policy chief.
Ireland’s Charlie McCreevy has held the post of EU commissioner for internal markets for the past five years and the French have made no secret of their desire to take over the position.
The role of internal markets commissioner will be vital to the proposed European reforms of packaged retail investment products and may well influence the outcome of the retail distribution review.
The FSA will have to get a number of its RDR proposals, such as those involving qualifications and remuneration, rubber stamped by the European Commission as they go beyond current European regulations.
It is understood the UK is pushing for financial services to have a separate dossier with the role of internal markets commissioner split.
Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson says: “‘France has long wanted to get the internal market role. There is speculation that the internal market remit might now be split between the economic and monetary union commissioner and a new financial markets commissioner – given the desire by many EU policymakers to focus on financial sector issues.’