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Deputies in the European Parliament from all Parties form an Alliance on tougher Bank Regulation and Supervision

The Declaration

We, as European elected officials in charge of regulating financial markets and banks, can see every day the pressure exerted by the financial and banking industry to influence the laws governing it.

There is nothing extraordinary if these companies make their point of view known and have discussions on a regular basis with legislators. But it seems to us that the asymmetry between the power of this lobbying activity and the lack of counter-expertise poses a danger to democracy. Indeed, this lobbying activity should be balanced by that of others. When it comes to the environment or to public health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have developed a counter-expertise which reports a different point of view compared to the one of corporations. The same happens when it comes to social policies and industrial relations, where the voice of employers is balanced by the one of trade unions. These disputes allow elected officials to hear opposite points of reasoning. But when it comes to finance, this is not the case. Neither trade unions nor NGOs have developed an expertise capable of countering the banks expertise.

Therefore, there is currently no sufficient counter-power in civil society.

This absence does not prevent us from developing our own expertise, independent from industry, and to do our work, but this asymmetry constitutes in our eyes a danger to democracy.

Because this asymmetry lies in a context of close proximity between political and financial elites. In the U.S. the connections between Goldman Sachs and the government are known. But in Europe this proximity is by no means smaller. This proximity contributes to a unilateral attention to the argumentations of the financial industry and it certainly hinders the ability of politicians to take decisions free from influences. As it happens, the lack of an adequate political response to the crisis of the financial system can feed any form of populism, based more on emotion than on reason.

As European elected officials in charge of financial and banking regulations, we therefore call on civil society (NGOs, trade unions, academic researchers, think-tanks...) to organize to create one (or more) non-governmental organization(s) capable of developing a counter-expertise on activities carried out on financial markets by the major operators (banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, etc ...) and to convey effectively this analysis to the media.

As elected officials from different political families we may differ on the measures to be taken.

But we are all together in wanting to create greater awareness in the public opinion on this risk for the quality of democracy.

We invite all the Members of the European Parliament and the Members of national parliaments to join our call.

Signatures by June 24, 2010

Initiators :
Sophie Auconie (France, Group of the European People's Party, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Burkhard Balz (Germany, Group of the European People's Party, Member in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Pervenche Berès (France, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Rapporteur in the Committee on Financial, Economic and Social Crisis, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs), Udo Bullman (Germany, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Coordinator for S&D in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Leonardo Domenici (Italy, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Member in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Pascal Canfin (France, Group of the Greens, Vice-Chair in the Committee on Financial, Economic and social Crisis), Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (Italy, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Coordinator in the Committee on Financial, Economic and social Crisis), Elisa Ferreira (Portugal, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Member in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Jean-Paul Gauzès (France, Group of the European People's Party, Coordinator for EPP in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs , Rapporteur for the directive Alternative investment fund manager), Sven Giegold (Germany, Group of the Greens, Coordinator for the Greens in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Rapporteur for the directive European Securities and Markets Authority), Robert Goebbels (Luxembourg, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Charles Goerens (Luxembourg, Group of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, Substitute in the Committee on Financial, Economic and social Crisis), Thomas Händel (Germany, Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Eva Joly (France, Group of the Greens, Chair of the Committee on Development), Jürgen Klute (Germany, Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, Coordinator for GUE/NGL in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Philippe Lamberts (Belgium, Group of the Greens, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Arlene McCarthy (United-Kingdom, Group of Socialists and Democrats, Member in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs , Rapporteur for the directive Capital requirements for the trading book and for re-securitisations, and the supervisory review of remuneration policies), Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, Group of the European People's Party, Member in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Anni Podimata (Greece, Group of Socialists and Democrats), Miguel Portas (Portugal, Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, Vice-Chair in the Committee on Financial, Economic and social Crisis), Peter Simon (Germany , Group of Socialists and Democrats, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), Dirk Sterckx (Belgium, Group of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, Substitute in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs)...


ID: 45666
Author(s): UR
Publication date: 24/06/10
   
URL(s):

European Parliamentary Initiative to regulate Banks
 

Created: 24/06/10. Last changed: 28/06/10.
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