Shane Fitzgerald

A portfolio of writing on politics and policy in Europe and Asia

Tag: European Parliament

Fixing Finance (Continued…)

After playing a strong role in negotiations over the ‘six-pack’ of economic governance legislation that has formed the core of the EU’s policy response to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee now turns part of its attention back to the no-less imperative task of financial regulatory reform.

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A New Deal for Europe?

We’ve previously covered the work of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis (CRIS Committee) on this blog and indeed the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Wolf Klinzvisited the IIEA in October to discuss its work.

Yesterday its Rapporteur, Pervenche Beres, presented her final report to the Parliament. A resolution backing the report was adopted with 434 votes in favour, 128 against and 33 abstentions.

The resolution is non-legislative but nonetheless is a strong demonstration of the European Parliament’s hopes for radical action to boost European competitiveness, employment, innovation and growth in the years ahead.

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The Quest for Consensus

Economic heavyweights have been knocking their heads together at the International Monetary Fund in recent weeks in an effort to Rewrite the Macroeconomists’ Playbook in the Wake of the Crisis.

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Corporate Tax Battle Looms

The European Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta, has today presented long-awaited new proposals on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB).

The goal is to introduce common rules about what corporate profits are taxable (the base) and to consolidate where they should be paid. The proposals cover tax bases but not rates, which would remain the prerogative of national governments.

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The Empire Strikes Back

“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.”
— Han Solo, Star Wars: A New Hope

Avinash Persaud, chairman of the Warwick Commission, whose 2009 report on international financial reform was one of the best to come out of the financial crisis, has a short article up on VOXEU dealing with the key policy responses to date.

“The Empire Strikes Back” argues that:

despite appearing to be down and out, the banking lobby has struck back, successfully making the case that all of these initiatives should be postponed or phased-in between 2015 and 2019. By then the pressure for regulatory reform could be a distant memory. Financial regulation veterans will be experiencing déjà vu. In each of the last seven international financial crises, plans for a radical shake up of international regulatory or monetary arrangements made surprising progress, only to be tidied away and stuffed in the bottom drawer once the economy recovered.

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Demonstrating Democracy

How to empower national parliaments for European democracy. 

In March 2009, the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) adopted a report (subsequently adopted by the European Parliament) on the development of relations between the European Parliament and national parliaments under the Lisbon Treaty. The report proposed “new forms of pre- and post-legislative dialogue” and advocated strengthening the network of meetings between corresponding committees of the European Parliament and national parliaments. The report also urged innovations such as encouraging MEPs to address national parliamentarians and to participate in the meetings of European affairs committees. The Oireachtas has already begun to respond to this report, for example by allowing for the attendance of Irish MEPs at the Joint Committee on European Affairs.

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EU Shuns Funds?

Europe is divided over proposals to regulate alternative investment funds.

One of the most controversial elements of the European Commission’s response to the financial crisis has just arrived in the European Parliament, ripe for criticism, debate and amendment. Upcoming sessions of the Parliament and the European Council will grapple with a draft directive, put forward by EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in April 2009, aimed at regulating the activities of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM). The AIF Management sector in the EU is substantial, diverse and disproportionately based in a small number of member states (preeminently the UK but also Ireland), so proposals to regulate it were always bound to be politically contested. Indeed, in what looks set to be the latest installment in a long-running feud between the City of London and continental capitals over financial supervision and regulation, protests against the directive have so far been numerous, vocal and sustained. Read the rest of this entry »