by Sideek M. Seyad. Stockholm: Stiftelsen Skrifter utgivna av Juridiska fakulteten vid Stockholms universitet, 2010. 471pp. Paper. kr572/€64.00/$92.00. ISBN: 9789185985005.
Reviewed by Michael Kohajda, Department of Financial Law and Financial Science, Charles University in Prague. Email: kohajda [at] prf.cuni.cz.
EU FINANCIAL LAW by Sideek M. Seyad of the Stockholm University Faculty of Law deals with several different matters more or less related to financial law and European law. It is divided into fifteen basic chapters, starting with recent case law in the field of free movement of capital as one of the fundamental freedoms of the European Union. Later the book analyzes the regulation of financial market and its institutions, instruments and regulation, payment systems, and tax issues. In the end, the issues of euro currency and the Euroland system (with special stress laid on Swedish Accession to the Euroland) are also analyzed.
The EU financial law is derived from treaties, case law, and EU directives. Seyad discusses several important and interesting judicial decisions of the European Court of Justice in the beginning of the book, including ANDRÉ AMBRY, KLAUS KONLE v. AUSTRIA, TRUMMER AND MAYER, and ÉGLISE DE SCIENTOLOGIE DE PARIS v. PRIME MINISTER. The author works with these judicial decisions and deduces fundamental conclusions about the most important effects of these decisions.
Later Seyad pays close attention to the issues of the insurance market, both life and non life insurance services. He deals with legal requirements established by the E.U. legislation as technical reserves or solvency margins. The author analyses the Lamfalussy Report on the Security Market in detail. He also presents a plan of reform to the E.U. securities market.
In my opinion the chapter analyzing consumer protections in the financial market is very interesting. Seyad pays close attention to the existence of fundamental provisions regulating the consumer protection in the financial market. He comes to the conclusion that there is no clear provision in the original Treaty of Rome that would declare consumer protection as one of its objectives. He follows the development of this legal regulation issue in the Maastrich Treaty on European Union, the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice. Further Seyad works well with case law, such as the very interesting discussion of the fundamentals of consumer protection, in the famous case CASIS DE DIJON. He also analyzes the more important and more relevant case ALPINE INVESTMENTS BV v. MINISTER OF FINANCIEN. Seyad deals with the E.U. directives that set a minimum level of protection of consumer protection in E.U. countries, especially the minimum level of deposit guarantees and depositors’ compensation or clients’ protection at credit transfers. Unfortunately I have to write that the factual information discussed is not up to [*257] date. An example is the amount of minimum level for protected deposits.
Seyad elaborates common European taxation issues as well. He starts with a discussion of information on direct taxation harmonization that is, politically, highly complicated to achieve. He focuses especially on taxation of cross-border saving incomes. Again I must mention that some information is out of date – for example the information that the Nice Treaty is awaiting ratification (p. 172). In my opinion this chapter's discussion of indirect taxation should be amended because it is largely more harmonized in the E.U. than direct taxes.
In the ninth chapter the reader can find a discussion of the legislation on the government battles with money laundering. Seyad starts with international legal instruments adopted with wide international cooperation, and then follows with Wolfsberg Money Laundering principles and unilateral measures of some of the E.U. states. He concludes the chapter with an analysis of current European development on this issue.
Both chapters ten and eleven address financial market integration and the creation of a single regulatory regime of European financial markets. Seyad analyses contributions of the European Court of Justice to the development of fundamental principles such as the free movement of capital in the European Union. I find his ideas about a single regulatory framework for the European financial market very interesting. This issue is analyzed often in the academic sphere after an actual financial crisis. Seyad tries to examine whether or not it is appropriate to have a single regulator for the European financial market. He speaks about liberation of financial services and especially about banking supervision and European legal regulation. He analyses right and duties of host states and states of origin, and relationships between them; all of this is related to running a banking business based on a European passport. The author briefly presents his arguments for and against the single regulator. He concludes that the member states that do not favor a single regulator should not be allowed to take part in this integration.
In chapter twelve Seyad speaks about the possibility of Swedish accession to the European monetary union and a possible joining of the Euroland countries. Sweden has not expressed an opt-out and shall be obliged to adopt the Euro currency when it will fulfill the economic and legal criteria of the accession, but it is evident that the political situation and voice of Swedish people are against adoption of the European single currency. The author analyses economic and legal steps that shall be taken if Sweden decides to adopt the Euro.
The book ends with two chapters related to the European Stability and Growth Pact and issues on the effect of E.U. enlargement and the Constitutional Treaty for the Euro. These chapters are more applied than previous ones and deal with disparate influences that affect the Euro and its stability. The very end of the book in chapter fifteen is about the Lisbon Treaty and its relevance for the Economic and Monetary Union. This chapter is the most applied and I think it tries to make the previous text more accurate and updated. [*258]
The most substantial negative aspect of the book is the fact that it is a compilation of already published articles (which the author admits in the acknowledgement), amended by several connecting parts of text. Of course Seyad tried to join the articles into a coherent whole, but his intention is not very well achieved. This aspect is very obvious in the discussion of time related information. Many of the chapters were written around the beginning of the twenty-first century; this problem is flagrant especially in connection to the accuracy of information affected by the Lisbon Treaty; most of the chapters are not updated in light of the Lisbon Treaty or else it is done very lightly. Seyad tries to eliminate this deficit by adding chapter 15, "The Lisbon Treaty and the Economic and Monetary Union," but this is an insufficient way. While it is fair that the author correctly introduces that this book was not written as a monograph, these deficiencies must be expressed to be fair to readers.
I have to mention another imperfection of this particular publication that is more technical than an imperfection of content. The symbol of the Euro currency is missed in most of the places where it should be printed out. This problem is not important from the professional point of view, but it is very distracting for readers.
Irrespective of these negatives, I must say that the book involves very interesting matters for reading. It discusses all relevant legislation of European financial law and most of the relevant judicial decisions. I would highly recommend it to readers who are interested in European financial and monetary law.
ALPINE INVESTMENTS BV v. MINISTER OF FINANCIEN, Case E.C.R.I-01141
ANDRÉ AMBRY, Case C-410/96,  E.C.R. I-7875.
ÉGLISE DE SCIENTOLOGIE DE PARIS v. PRIME MINISTER, Case C-54/99  E.C.R. I-1335.
KLAUS KONLE v. AUSTRIA, Case C-302/97  E.C.R. I-3099.
TRUMMER AND MAYER, Case C-222/97  E.C.R. I-1661.
© Copyright 2011 by the author, Michael Kohajda.