Today, the European Commission has issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions to clarify how EU investment firms should interact when they seek out brokerage and research services from broker-dealers in non-EU countries. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said “With the issued guidance EU firms will have greater clarity on how to deal with non-EU brokers that provide research. In this context, we welcome the decision of the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to simultaneously agree to relief for US brokers supplying research to EU firms. Our coordinated action again shows the excellent EU-US cooperation in international financial regulatory matters.” The Commission recognised the need to clarify how firms subject to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) can obtain such services from other jurisdictions. The Commission FAQ notes the relevant provisions and explains how EU firms can procure international research and brokerage services in full compliance with their obligations. MiFID II is a cornerstone of the reforms we put in place following the financial crisis to improve investor protection and the transparency and oversight of financial markets. Today’s initiative will contribute to ensure that research budgets are decoupled from brokerage, in compliance with the requirements laid out in MiFID II.