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.
“We have now agreed a package for the first steps of a Banking Union. This will ensure proper accountability of the ECB on the supervisory side, while they will keep their independence with regard to monetary policy. We have fought hard to replicate, at EU level, the accountability of supervisory authorities to national parliaments. 

“The accountability and democracy package that the Parliament has secured will be policed by the Parliament and Council in future. Parliament has a central role in approving the Chair and Vice Chair, neither of whom will be able to take up their duties until the Parliament has exercised this right. Essentially, we will have a veto over these roles.

“In addition, we can recommend the removal of the chairperson, where they do not live up to their responsibilities. This will include the way in which they respond to accountability. We have secured access to documentation and cooperation with any Parliamentary inquiry and this will be underpinned by, and in agreement with, the ECB.

“Furthermore, we have ensured that the ECB has a duty of care to the Single Market. As decisions taken in recent days for Cyprus show, it is extremely important that Single Market legislation is respected and the ECB is more accountable.

“The powers of the EBA have been strengthened and the ECB is on a level with other supervisors and subject to binding mediation. Voting in the EBA follows the double super majority, requiring Eurozone and non-Eurozone to each have a majority. How that works will be monitored and subject to a review.”

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