Task Force Report delay ‘disgrace’

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EIOPA OPSG hopes for more attention from European Commission

first_imgBernard Delbecque, senior director at Efama, chaired the last OPSG and will chair the new one for half of its four year termAccording to Bernard Delbecque, chair of the outgoing and new OPSG, during the second to last OPSG’s term the Commission took part in meetings via a 15-20 minute conference call, during which it briefed the OPSG on some aspects of Commission work that related to pensions and responded to questions.To improve matters, in the most recent OPSG he took the initiative to at least have the Commission connected via a video call, Delbecque, who is also senior director at investment management trade body Efama, told IPE.“Still, the OPSG members felt the Commission is such a key player in the area of pensions, and because we know EIOPA and the EC have bilateral contacts, that it would be useful if the Commission could engage a little bit more,” he said.Serious progress, serious effortIn its activity report, the OPSG welcomed that “serious progress” had been made by EIOPA in terms of explaining how it had taken the group’s advice into account, and said that “members trust this will continue under the new OPSG”.Under its revised governing regulation EIOPA now has to make public this information.On the part of the OPSG, the challenge was “to provide sharp and clear advice, well-argued and documented with facts and figures,” the OPSG report said.In his introduction to the report, Delbecque emphasised the “considerable work, real commitment and […] genuine willingness for dialogue” that was required from OPSG members to ensure cooperation within the group and with other stakeholder groups.“In my capacity as chair, I was fortunate that members made serious effort to work together with that in mind,” he wrote.Funded pensions, CMU work desiredHis only regret, Delbecque added, was that the OPSG could not finalise its work on the contribution of funded pensions to retirement income, growth and employment.“This was an ambitious project that led members to discuss systemic issues relating to pension adequacy and sustainability, the financing of pay-as-you-go state pensions, the tax treatment of pensions, the market structure, the ability of private sector pensions to meet the needs of members, and different visions for the future of social protection,” he wrote.“In the end, the OPSG did not have enough time to converge towards a common position on these different topics.”He said he hoped the new OPSG would take up this work, also taking into account the final reports from the High Level Group of Experts on Pensions and the High Level Forum on the Capital Markets Union (CMU).In addition to responding to formal requests for advice from the relevant ESA, stakeholder groups can produce “own initiative” reports. In its activity report, the last OPSG said the pension-related recommendations of the CMU High-Level Forum and its potential impact on EIOPA work in the coming years “should produce a good source of topics for own initiative reports”.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# “The possibility that members of the European Parliament read their reports, request some clarifications and raise questions will give a new meaning to their work and place the responsibility of the stakeholder groups and their chairpersons on the line,” the OPSG report said.“Undoubtedly, this will also give the ESAs further reasons to closely associate the stakeholder groups to their work.”The report also expressed a hope that possible interactions between the OPSG and the European Parliament “will convince the European Commission to show more interest in the OPSG work”.“Whilst appreciating the fact that they can raise questions to Commission officials, OPSG members strongly believe that it would be helpful if the Commission could participate in person in OPSG meetings at least once a year,” it said.The reference to participation “in person” expresses a hope that the OPSG will start holding physical meetings again in Frankfurt if safe from a coronavirus perspective. The most recent stakeholder group advising EIOPA on occupational pensions has welcomed the prospect of more attention from the European Parliament and expressed the hope it may lead to more engagement from the European Commission, according to a recently published end-of-mandate report from the group.The report provides an overview of the group’s activity and output during its one-and-a-half year lifetime, which was shorter than it should have been due to a revision of the regulation governing EIOPA on the back of reforms of the European supervisory authorities (ESAs).The new Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG), half of whose 30 members did not sit on the previous group, was appointed last month and will run for four years, a good chunk longer than previous OPSGs.In its activity report, the outgoing OPSG noted that the revision of the EIOPA regulation represented a “significant political step forward” in recognising the role of the stakeholder groups in that it now allows the European Parliament to invite the chair of any such group to come before it.center_img Source: Copyright EIOPA/Martin JoppenThe EIOPA OPSG from 2018-2020Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Cricket News What should be the playing XI for Virat Kohli’s India cricket team in Boxing Day Test?

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The stakes cannot get any higher than this. India and Australia are currently level 1-1 in the four-match series. For the first time since India’s tour of Australia in 2003/04, there is plenty at stake in a Boxing Day Test match. India’s 31-run win in Adelaide was cancelled by the 146-run win by Australia in Perth. Virat Kohli’s side is aiming to break a 37-year jinx in Boxing Day Tests in Melbourne. A win will take India one step closer to achieving glory while a loss will squander their ultimate opportunity to register a series win Down Under against what is considered to be the ‘weakest’ Australian side. Ahead of the Test, the Indian cricket team is resting and will not practice until December 23. However, Kohli can utilize the time to figure out a major issue in his team.The performances of the Indian openers have been a major issue in overseas tours right from the series against England. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay’s struggles in Adelaide and Perth have resulted in calls for them to be excluded for the Boxing Day Test. With Hardik Pandya back in the mix following his solid returns in the Ranji Trophy, the bowling composition might also be tweaked slightly after the formula of four pacers backfired on the Indian team in Perth. Kohli would be hoping that Ravichandran Ashwin regains fitness as India was sorely missing a spinner in Perth.What can be ideal XI?With Vijay and Rahul not performing to expectations, Kohli might replace both openers and bring in Hanuma Vihari at the top of the order and fast-track Mayank Agarwal as the second opener. Agarwal, who scored over 2000 domestic runs in the 2017/18 season and was incredibly unlucky to miss out on Test selection for the West Indies series, gets a chance only because Prithvi Shaw was ruled out. Agarwal was in decent form for India A in the New Zealand series, scoring a solid 65 and 42 in the four-day game and scoring 25 and 53 against Gujarat in Surat.Read More | Michael Hussey appeals to Virat Kohli to play this player in MCG TestVihari showed good application against the new ball in the Perth game and having him as an opener might not be a bad idea. If both openers can play out the new ball period and score runs at a decent rate, say in about three runs per over, then it will become easier for the middle order. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli hitting centuries, numbers 3 and 4 are sorted.Read More | What must Virat Kohli’s India do to win the Melbourne Test?Big contributions from Rahane, two all-roundersAjinkya Rahane slammed fifties in both Adelaide and Perth but he was guilty of not converting them into big scores. Rahane’s dismissal on the first over of the third day in Perth stalled India’s momentum big time. If Rahane can score big, then the lower-middle order can receive a big boost. Rishabh Pant has taken the attack to the opposition but has thrown his wickets away. If Pant bats calmly, India’s batting will be enhanced.Read More | Sourav Ganguly reveals angry message to Virat Kohli after Perth lossThe question of Hardik Pandya is a tricky one. Should Kohli get Pandya back in the side without giving him proper exposure to the conditions in Australia? Should Kohli trust Pandya’s fitness after just one first-class game? Pandya can offer depth in both bowling and batting and his inclusion could resolve plenty of problems for India.India must play a spinner in Melbourne where conditions and the pitch will be very different than Perth. If Ashwin is not fit, then getting Ravindra Jadeja in will be the next best option. Jadeja’s batting is also a welcome bonus. Thus, if Pandya and Jadeja are included in the side, then India can play eight batsmen and also play five bowlers at the same time. Thus, India’s tail, which was too long in Perth, might be eliminated.So, the ideal combination for India in Melbourne would be to promote Vihari and Agarwal as openers, play Pandya and Jadeja to enhance both batting and bowling and play three pacers.Playing XI for Melbourne TestHanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja/Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah. last_img read more

Wall provokes discussion and, for some, anger

first_imgMany students walking down Trousdale Parkway on Monday paused to view a large wall set up between the Von KleinSmid Center and Taper Hall that read, “Israel: The Politics of Genocide.”Divided · A student walking down Trousdale Parkway stops to view a separation wall set up by Students for Justice in Palestine on Monday. The wall, which will remain on Trousdale until Tuesday night, was originally built by students from UC Irvine. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan The wall, set up by USC’s Students for Justice in Palestine, caught the eyes of a number of passers-by and drew reactions ranging from appreciation to anger.The wall was originally built by students from UC Irvine and has since traveled to other campuses. SJP rented the wall, which will stand on USC’s main thoroughfare until Tuesday night.“It’s a very symbolic gesture to have this wall right in the middle of campus,” said Marwa Katbi, a member of SJP and a junior majoring in creative writing. “It’s very visible.”Members of SJP said they hope the wall will inform students about the conflict taking place between Israel and Palestine.“It’s supposed to be a model for the wall that’s currently in the West Bank,” said Shaimaa Abdelhamid, a member of SJP and a junior majoring in history and political science. “Basically, we hope to raise some awareness to the Palestinian side of the conflict in terms of statistics and stories not in the media.”Several students cast curious glances as they passed the separation wall.“It’s certainly a strong message, and I think to have it be so in your face — if you’re trying to send a message, what better way than to erect a wall such as one that might exist in the region that they are talking about?” said Daniela Montiel, a graduate student studying public diplomacy who stopped to read information posted on the wall.Some students said they feel the media portrays Israel in a favorable light and were happy to see another side of the issue presented.“I’m glad that people are actually presenting the other side of the story,” said Kiah Carr, a freshman majoring in business administration. “People deserve to see [it].”A number of students who stopped to view the wall said they are interested in learning more about the conflict.“The message is to pay closer attention to international affairs,” said Max Skeen, a senior majoring in fine art.Skeen said he wants USC to host lectures on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.“It would be nice to hear more,” he said.Dan Shaer, a graduate student studying public health, agreed.“Everybody should be reminded every once in a while about what’s really going on,” he said. “It’s just sad that this is still going on … All the ways that people are trying to help are not effective.”For Shaer, the situation is one that hits close to home. He moved to the United States from Lebanon five years ago.“We’ve been through this too,” he said. “We had a war with Israel in 2006. Most of our country was bombed.”Though some students thought the wall was a good way to raise awareness, members of ’SC Students for Israel said they were upset that SJP chose to erect the wall the day after Holocaust Remembrance Day.“It’s a very low blow that this wall is coinciding with the end of Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Shanel Melamed, the president of ’SC Students for Israel. “It was very disrespectful … There are no words to describe the horrific nature of the timing.”Melamed, who said she saw the separation wall from afar, said many Jewish students were adversely affected by its presence at USC.“People were shaking because who they are, their identity, their core was affected,” she said.SJP members said their goal was to illustrate the problem overseas for the USC community.“It’s important for people who are offended by this wall to know that there is really a wall of separation in Israel-Palestine,” Katbi said. “That is what they really should be offended about.”last_img read more