Bowles: European Parliament approvals appointment of Sabine Lautenschläger to ECB Board

Sharon Bowles MEPMEPs in Strasbourg today have approved the appointment of Sabine Lautenschläger to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) executive board, who will replace fellow German Jörg Asmussen.

The report approving Ms Lautenschläger’s appointment, authored by Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, was passed with an overwhelming majority with 443 MEPs in favour and just 47 against.

This follows a campaign by the European Parliament in 2012 for the appointment of a woman to the all-male ECB board.

Sharon Bowles, who spearheaded the campaign and chairs the Parliament’s influential Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, commented:

“I would like to congratulate Sabine Lautenschlager on her new post. The appointment of a well-qualified and highly experienced woman to the ECB board is well overdue.

“It is shameful that there has been no woman involved at the highest level of the ECB since 2011, and that Ms Lautenschläger will only be the third woman to serve on the ECB’s six-person board since the institution was founded in 1998. It is not the case that there is a shortage of suitable women, as has quite clearly been demonstrated.

“We have a long way to go still to achieve gender equality in the banking sector, but the Parliament’s insistence on more female candidates is clearly bearing results.

“We must continue to keep up the pressure on all EU institutions to lead by example when it comes to promoting equal opportunities for men and women.”


Notes to Editors

Sharon Bowles’ report approving Sabine Lautenschläger’s appointment can be found here:

Sharon Bowles: Excessive online card fees banned under new EU consumer rights law

Sharon Bowles MEP

Excessive surcharges on card payments and pre-ticked boxes on websites are to be banned following the coming into force of new EU consumer rights legislation today. Under the new rules, which must be fully implemented by 13th June 2014, retailers across the EU will also have to give clearer price information and provide shoppers with longer cooling-off periods to cancel orders and return goods.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who helped to steer the EU legislation though the European Parliament, commented:

“These new rules will finally bring consumer law into line with the digital era. This is particularly welcome news for customers in the UK, who now do more of their shopping online than almost any other country in the world. Continue reading

Bowles: Goldman Sachs may reconsider London as a hub if UK quits EU

Sharon Bowles MEPLiberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles today warned of dramatic job losses in the financial sector if the UK were to leave the EU, after co-CEO of Goldman Sachs Michael Sherwood said his company would be likely to ‘drastically reduce’ its activities in London in case of an EU exit.

Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurte Allgemeine Zeitung, Mr Sherwood warned:

“In all likelihood we would transfer a substantial part of our European business from London to a Eurozone location – the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt.”

Goldman Sachs currently employs around 5500 people in London compared to just 200 in Frankfurt.

Commenting, Chair of the European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Sharon Bowles said: Continue reading

Bowles backs EU proposal to close corporate tax loophole

Sharon Bowles MEPChair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, has today pledged to support EU plans to close a loophole which has allowed large corporations to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Amendments to the EU’s corporate tax legislation, proposed by Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta, will introduce an anti-abuse clause which will prevent companies including Google, Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple from stockpiling their profits in countries with lower tax rates.

Ms Bowles has led calls for the introduction of country-by-country reporting in the EU to clamp down on aggressive corporate tax avoidance. Continue reading

Bowles: New EU rules will step up the fight against tax fraud

Sharon Bowles MEP

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee today voted by a large majority in favour of extending rules on the automatic exchange of information in taxation policy, making full exchange of information the standard across the European Union.

Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the committee, commented:

“This is an important step forward in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. I have long called for the automatic exchange of relevant tax information between EU Member States and the Commission as part of a coordinated strategy to improve the fight against fiscal fraud. It is clear that individual countries cannot combat cross-border tax fraud in isolation. Continue reading

Sharon Bowles MEPA new poll, published today, conducted by IPSOS-MORI for TheCityUK has found that four in five business leaders in the financial and professional services sector want the UK to stay in the EU.

Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, commented:

“The UK financial services sector employs over 2 million people and contributes billions to the economy each year.

“Key to its success is the UK’s access to the EU single market, the world’s largest trading bloc, and influence over its rules.

“Leaving the EU would be killing the goose that lays the golden egg.”

Bowles: Good news for wannabe home-owners across Europe

Sharon Bowles MEPThe European Parliament today voted in favour of new common legal framework for mortgages which will reduce irresponsible lending and make it easier for UK citizens to buy properties abroad.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, commented: Continue reading

Bowles: EU must get tough on tax

Sharon Bowles MEPAhead of tomorrow’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament has backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:

It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.

“I have been fighting for companies to pay their fair share in tax for many years now and this can only be achieved by much more transparency in how companies prepare their accounts and with much better European and international cooperation. Continue reading

Bowles: Strengthening EU banks to get Europe back on the path to growth and trade

Sharon Bowles MEPSharon Bowles MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, today welcomed the vote in favour of the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, which implements Basel III – the international accord which sets global standards for banks – into EU law. 

While in recent weeks the hotly politicised subject of capping bankers’ bonuses has dominated the headlines this measure is in fact part of a much larger raft of legislation which will increase banks’ resilience to future financial crises by requiring them to have higher capital buffers to absorb losses and hold more easy-to-sell liquid assets. In addition, the regulation and directive introduce various other measures to strengthen corporate governance and transparency, and encourage growth and lending to the real economy in the EU.

Sharon Bowles MEP said: Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs pave way for tough new rules on corporate transparency

Large oil, gas, diamond and logging companies will be obliged to disclose full information on all projects where payments to governmental authorities exceed a threshold of 100.000 Euros under new rules negotiated between MEPs and ministers from all 27 EU Member States last night.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, Fiona Hall MEP, who steered the legislation through the Development Committee and was a key MEP for the insertion of the county-by-country and project-by-project rule, commented: Continue reading