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12 June 2013

Plenary Session: Stop talking and act on financial services reform, MEPs tell Member States

MEPs took aim at Member States and, to a lesser degree, the Commission, for holding up financial services reforms. A number of MEPs said EU countries were unable to translate their words into deeds and many stressed that the lack of progress was undermining confidence in the EU.

A resolution clearly identifying the legislation which is blocked in Council or delayed by the Commission will be voted on Thursday.

Opening the debate, Sharon Bowles (ALDE, UK), chair of the economic and monetary affairs committee, accused the Council of "eating up all the time" available until the European elections by always trying to reach consensus among Member States. She also said the Commission should have proposed crucial banking legislation, for example on bank recovery and resolution, back in 2009, when Parliament first requested it.

Jean-Paul Gauzès (EPP, FR) said the Council's consensus model did not work. "The paralysis is causing legal uncertainty, euroscepticism, and a decline in investment in the real economy. The EU needs a new image, other than a line of limousines entering a building in the evening to emerge again with no result", he said.

Elisa Ferreira (S&D, PT) called on the Council to press ahead with all the elements of a banking union, including deposit guarantees on which no progress had been achieved since February 2012. "You need to stop making statements and move to action", she said.

Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE) said in response to the Council representative's earlier defence of its track record: "the list of blocks in Council is undeniable. You need to change your method. Stop listening to the industry of each and every Member State all the time and take real votes."

Kay Swinburne (ECR, UK) said the key was to legislate less but better. "If we do begin a legislative process then we need to be able to complete it in good time. Otherwise confidence is lowered", she said.

Godfrey Bloom (EFD, UK) went a step further arguing that regulating was actually only providing a way for people in the finance industry to hide from their mistakes and responsibilities. Everyone should be free to engage in the activities they wanted but must face the consequences when things went wrong, he said.

Jürgen Klute (GUE/NGL, DE) highlighted that nothing in the legislation passed or proposed up to now had provided anything tangible for citizens. "We need to provide people with something they can find useful", he said.

Press release

Motion for a resolution

See also Financial Services: Lack of Progress - Debate at the EP Plenary Session

© European Parliament

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