Andrew Duff MEP: Proposal to improve MEP voting transparency postponed

Andrew Duff MEPFollowing opposition from the two largest groups in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP) and Socialists and Democrats (S&D), a proposal to record and publish the results of how MEPs vote in committees has been postponed for the foreseeable future.

The proposal was due to be voted on next Wednesday 5th February by MEPs during the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg. However, it has now been delayed following this morning’s meeting of the European Parliament Conference of Presidents, who have taken it off the final Strasbourg agenda.

Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff called for all final votes in committee on draft laws to be made public back in 2012, but his proposal was rejected by EPP and S&D MEPs in the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

He now strongly supports the current proposal.

He commented:

“It is wrong to have delayed this important reform. People have a right to know how their elected representatives vote. The argument is not complicated.

“Many important legislative decisions are made at committee stage. MEPs should not hide the choices they make from voters, the media and lobbyists. I had hoped that the European Parliament would put in place higher standards of scrutiny and transparency than those that are met in national parliaments. Sadly we seem not quite ready for this.

“The democratic legitimacy of the European Union is being called into question. More openness about MEPs’ engagement in law making is an important element in the reform movement to which European Liberals are committed.”

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