Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne

ECON pushes for strong European supervisory authorities and the fight against money laundering in the EU budget

On September 4th, the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted its opinion on the draft annual budget for 2020 and budgetary amendments to ECON-related EU budget lines. The agreed position is addressed to the budget committee which has the final say on Committee level for the European Parliament on the annual budget for 2020. There was broad support across all parties except the extreme right for the rapporteurs’ compromise opinion and budgetary amendments to restore several budget lines that had been cut by the Council. In addition, the committee agreed on several Green proposals including to increase the budgets of the European financial watchdogs and pilot projects to improve the European fight against money laundering.

MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:

“The majority in favour of additional funding for the European financial watchdogs shows the broad support for financial supervisors that are well equipped for the fight against money laundering and the protection of consumers all over Europe. Christian democrats, right-wing conservatives and the extreme right were unfortunately not on board for stronger European supervisors. Additional tasks to fight financial crime and to strengthen consumer protection require additional resources.

ECON’s supported two pilot projects initiated by the Greens to strengthen the fight against money laundering. In particular a European observatory of tax and financial crime will help building pressure for much needed political consequences. By restoring several budget lines of key Commission functions, the ECON committee sends a clear signal towards the Council. Europe cannot deliver for its citizens in the areas of financial markets, tax and economic governance without adequate resources.

The adopted reserve of a share of Eurostat funds should lead to much needed improvements in the user-friendliness of its website and stems from a green proposal. It is not acceptable that Eurostar’s website does not deliver for citizens but remains an overcomplicated outdated tool. The same applies to a reserve to urge EU-funded auditing and accounting entity IASB to finally fulfill crucial demands of the co-legislator. Europe is financing large parts of the IASB budget but is not taken seriously when it comes to democratic standards.

The rejection of both our pilot projects to explore the feasibility of an EU asset registry and a study on the effects of common ownership is a missed opportunity. These projects would have allowed important insights into the impact of ownership concentration in large asset managers such as BlackRock, the distribution of wealth in Europe, and related questions on tax and money laundering.”

Background: adopted budgetary amendments and pilot projects

– The rapporteurs amendments to restore budget lines for DG ECFIN, TAXUD, FISMA and COMP have been approved

– Increase of budget for EBA: +€2 million (the S&D amendment got approved which was very similar to the one we had proposed)

– Increase of 10% budget line for EIOPA

– Increase of 10% budget line for ESMA

– Our Preparatory Action to create a Tax & Financial Crime Observatory has been approved

– Our Pilot project to monitor the amount of wealth hidden offshore has been approved

– Reserve for the budget line on auditing and accounting, pending implementation of Stolojan report

– Reserve for the budget line on Eurostat website, pending improved user-friendliness