There is a growing consensus among European Union members for the need to apply a regulatory framework to ratings agencies, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has said.

'Today there is a growing consensus about what can be the proper level of regulation of the rating agencies and it can be an important contribution of what we want - a dynamic private sector,' Barroso told reporters at a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Barroso, in Warsaw for a joint session of the Commission and the Polish government which took over the EU's rotating six-month presidency on 1 July, said Brussels expected to table proposals for a regulatory framework on the ratings sector later this year.

'The Commission will come with some proposals in the autumn; I cannot yet at this stage anticipate what will be the content of the proposals,' he said.

EU officials slammed the credit ratings agencies this week after Moody's slashed Portugal's debt to junk status, plunging the markets back into turmoil and calling into question a second bail-out for debt-stricken Greece.

A former Portuguese minister, Barroso said the Moody's downgrade signalled an anti-European bias and suggested it was time for a European ratings agency to emerge as a counterweight to the US-dominated groups.
Friday in Warsaw he said it was 'strange that in such an important matter there is not a rating agency originating in Europe' - but insisted it was not the EU's job to set up such an institution.

'As far as the creation of a rating agency at the European level - of course it is not for the European Commission to create a rating agency. This is in fact clear.

'I know that some people, some actors in Europe where there is a lot of expertise in these matters, are thinking about the possibility of creating one or more rating agencies,' he said.

More competition in the ratings domain could only serve the public interest, he added.

'We know that when there ae oligopolies there are sometimes attempts to abuse the dominant position or market manipulation, so the more competition the better - this is our credo.'