Lib Dem MEPs call for Committee of Inquiry on Cyprus


Sharon Bowles MEPSenior UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles has called for a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry should the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) Hearing on 25 April not answer the many questions hanging over the Cyprus affair.

Sharon Bowles, who chairs the influential ECON Committee said: Continue reading

Bowles: “Today’s agreement on a bankers’ bonus cap will usher in a much needed culture change”

Sharon Bowles MEPFinal agreement on a cap for bankers’ bonuses will be reached tonight in Brussels with the completion of the last trialogue negotiation between the European Parliament and European Commission. 

New rules on bonuses, incorporated in the updated Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), include:

  • A salary / bonus ratio of 1:1 which can be raised to 1:2 with a shareholder vote of 65% if there is a 50% quorum or 75% vote if no quorum applied.
  • Up to 25% of the bonus can be paid in long-term instruments (deferred for five years) linked to the capital, and therefore stability, of the bank.* Continue reading

Bowles on Banking Union: Making ECB accountable is great victory

 Sharon Bowles MEPSpeaking from Brussels today following the final negotiations on the Banking Union Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:

“This was an historic agreement to establish first steps for a Banking Union which will see the ECB take over supervision of systemic banks, or those receiving state aid, and revise the voting arrangements of the European Banking Authority. Continue reading

Fighting tax dodging and corruption: MEPs vote for tough new rules on corporate transparency

MEPs in the Legal Affairs Committee today voted in favour of tough amendments to European Commission’s proposals requiring oil, mining and logging companies to disclose payments to governments of countries in which they operate on a project by project basis.  MEPs also succeeded in extending the scope of the legislation to cover the banking, construction and telecommunications sector. Continue reading

Sharon Bowles: ECB pledge to preserve Euro

Sharon Bowles MEPCommenting on the ECB announcements today following the Governing Council
meeting, UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee welcomed the reconfirmation that the ECB would do ‘whatever it takes’ to preserve the Euro as a stable currency. She said:

“I do not think the remarks made last week in London by chance, but Mario Draghi has made it quite clear that the ECB is not taking unilateral action, and that is as it should be. Continue reading

Bowles: Split up banks in wake of Libor Scandal

Sharon Bowles MEPThe breadth of the scandal about the manipulation of benchmarks, such as LIBOR and EURIBOR, has pushed the European Commission to yesterday suggest amending its proposals of 20 October 2011 which revises EU legislation on market abuse, including criminal sanctions, currently under discussion in the European Parliament and Council.

Liberal Democrat Euro MP Sharon Bowles Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, welcomed the thrust of the Commission’s proposal to outlaw manipulations of benchmarks, punishable as criminal offence, explaining:

“Manipulation of LIBOR and other similar benchmarks is a seismic event in financial markets, which affects the pricing of many other financial instruments. Not only do we need to ensure the strongest punishments for such market abuse, we will need to examine how benchmarks are produced and if possible move to a system based on actual transactions rather than estimates.” Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs call on UK Government to support deal on European Patent Court

Senior Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has today called on the UK Government to support a proposed deal on the location of the new European Patent Court.

A European patent that covers the whole of the single market rather than the current system which requires patents to be registered in European countries separately and at greater cost (including substantial translation costs) has been on the table for over four decades.

Last year, the 40 year long battle over which languages should be admissible came to an end with the decision of 25 EU Member States to push ahead with the creation of a common patent regime without the involvement of ItalyandSpain. However, for the past 6 months,France,Germanyand theUK had blocked further progress over a disagreement on the possible location of the newEuropean Patent Court. Now a compromise deal has been proposed by Council President Herman van Rompuy to end the stalemate at the European Council this week. 

Commenting ahead of the European Summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, Ms Bowles, who is also the Parliament’s only European patent attorney, said: Continue reading

Bowles: EU member states want to continue hiding debts

Sharon Bowles MEPThis morning the European Parliament suspended trialogue negotiations with member states on legislation regarding the disclosure of information of national and regional public accounts.

The Parliament’s negotiating team, led by rapporteur Sharon Bowles MEP, issued the following statement:              

“Three years down the line and some EU governments are incredibly still blind to the most basic lessons to come out of the sovereign debt crisis.    Continue reading

Bowles: MEPs vote through tough new rules on corporate transparency

Sharon Bowles MEPThe European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has today voted through amendments to the EU’s Transparency and Accounting Directives, making it harder for big multinational companies to hide profits made in the developing world.

Currently, multinational companies only need to submit one set of consolidated accounts despite often having hundreds of subsidiaries – this has allowed some multinationals to hide details of their business activities abroad and also avoid paying taxes to host countries.

After much political negotiation, the ECON committee voted for all sectors to disclose payments to host governments on a country by country and project by project basis, reports of which will be fully audited. 

Speaking from Brussels today, committee chair Sharon Bowles MEP, said: Continue reading

Bowles: EU banking union is a good idea

Sharon Bowles MEPFollowing calls from EU Commissioner, Olli Rehn, and President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, for the EU to establish a “banking union”, Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has said that an EU banking union “is a good idea”.

Speaking on Newsnight Ms Bowles said:

“I think there are elements of a good idea in the proposed EU banking union. I think that one of the things it recognises is that banking supervision has to take account of what monetary policy is, so to have the ECB involved in supervision of Eurozone banks and therefore taking account of Eurozone monetary policy in that supervision is a good idea. Continue reading