Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

McGuinness: An Irish for financial markets consumer protection and sustainable finance

Today the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs held a hearing with the Commissioner-designate Mairead McGuinness. McGuinness is the candidate to succeed the resigned Irish Commissioner Hogan. McGuinness would take over the financial market portfolio from Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis, while the latter is to take over the trading portfolio. McGuinness is a committed and strong MEP who is more open to climate protection, consumer interests and social issues than many other MEPs in the Christian Democrat conservative political group. However, she as many other Irish MEPs have repeatedly voted against more tax harmonisation in Europe. In her written and oral answers McGuinness has committed herself to strong consumer protection in financial markets and sustainable finance. She also promised bold measures against money laundering.

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

There has never been more financial market consumer protection in the EU Commission. McGuinness has proven time and again that she stands up for consumers and will now do so in the financial sector as well. Her promise to look at the harmful effects of commission-based distribution methods was very strong. All retail investors must finally get full access to the best and most profitable financial products.

McGuinness has also made a clear commitment to make Green Finance a priority. We Greens are looking forward to the promised ambitious action plan 2.0 for sustainable finance. Sustainable finance is crucial to ensure that Europe’s major investment push for the Green Deal is successful.

In response to my question she gave a clear commitment to counter the scandalous ignorance of many member states with regard to EU money laundering laws with infringement proceedings. This brings me a big step closer to my goal of EU infringement proceedings against Germany as a money laundering paradise. So far, the Commission has only done its job on the paper in this matter instead of comprehensively enforcing Europe’s laws against financial crime.

In the run-up to the hearing, there were many concerns about too many top positions in the EU in Irish hands, which could hamper the fight against tax dumping in Europe. However, McGuinness has made it clear that she will support all tax policy initiatives of the EU Commission as Commissioner. We Greens will be watching closely, also when it comes to regulatory and supervisory special treatments for the financial center Dublin.

We Greens in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs support her candidacy by a large majority. We are particularly pleased that a woman will be at the head of an important financial post in Europe. The Von der Leyen Commission will thus become the first ever gender-balanced EU Commission”

P.S.: Italian-German webinar on “Funding the Corona Recovery by curbing tax dumping and money laundering” with Finance Ministers Scholz (Germany) und Gualtieri (Italy) on Wednesday, 30.9.2020 7-8pm CEST. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tt9-EIA_Q9-1eC_QetcPCg