The European Union (EU) called for "discipline" and "a special sense of responsibility" Friday following Standard & Poor's "incorrect" rating on France.
"This incident is serious and it shows that in the current tense and volatile market situation, market players must exercise discipline and demonstrate a special sense of responsibility," EU's internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier said in a statement.
Barnier's statement referred to Standard & Poor's downgrading French sovereign debt's rating Thursday, which caused some sensation in financial markets afterwards. The world's largest rating company then issued a statement saying it was just a "technical error."
Barnier stressed that what he cared about was not the incident itself. "It will be up to European Supervisory Authority of rating agencies (ESMA), in coordination with the AMF (the national) to establish the facts, assess them and draw conclusions," he said.
He urged that Europe "adopt strict and rigorous rules, including but not limited to the rating agencies."
Barnier also disclosed in the statement that he would bring forward a draft legislation enhancing regulation on rating agencies, measures include reduced reliance on those agencies, increased competition, increased transparency and rigor in the rating of sovereign debt, creating a European framework for civil liability in the case of serious misconduct or gross negligence.