Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne

EU Budget für 2019: Wirtschaftsausschuss des Europaparlaments stimmt für Grüne Projekte

Letzte Woche hat der Wirtschafts- und Währungsausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments über die Ausgaben der EU für 2019 abgestimmt. Eine Mehrheit der Abgeordneten hat sich dabei für unsere Grünen Vorschläge ausgesprochen. Neue Pilotprojekte sollen im Bereich Nachhaltige Investitionen, Geldwäsche und Steuern gefördert werden. Das Pilotprojekt im Bereich “Nachhaltige Investitionen” stellt zusätzliche Finanzmittel für die EU-Kommission und die Expertengruppe für Nachhaltige Investitionen bereit, die Methoden für die Bewertung von Umweltrisiken entwickeln sollen. Die Methoden sind die Voraussetzung, damit Banken, Versicherungen und andere Akteure zukünftig Klima- und Umweltrisiken angemessen berücksichtigen. Um den Kampf gegen Geldwäsche und Finanzkriminalität in der EU zu stärken, sollen europaweit Projekte von Nichtregierungsorganisationen, Gewerkschaften und Wissenschaftlern finanziell gefördert werden. Die Stärkung der Zivilgesellschaft in diesem Bereich ist eine wichtige Ergänzung zu den Aktivitäten staatlicher Behörden. Solche Fördergelder waren schon bei der Bekämpfung von Steuerdumping und bei der Kontrolle der Finanzmärkte erfolgreich. Die Ausweitung auf Geldwäsche wäre ein wichtiger Schritt, um die Zivilgesellschaft auch hier zu stärken.

Nachdem zuletzt zahlreiche nationale und internationale Initiativen zur Verhinderung von Steuervermeidung und -betrug erlassen wurden, soll ferner die Wirksamkeit dieser Maßnahmen untersucht und verbliebene Gesetzeslücken aufgedeckt werden. Eine Studie soll untersuchen, in welchen Steueroasen vermögende Privatpersonen wie viel Geld vor dem Fiskus verstecken. Die Datenlage ist hier immer noch mäßig.

Außerdem hat sich eine Mehrheit der Abgeordneten dafür ausgesprochen, dass die mit Rechnungslegung betrauten internationalen Organisationen IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) Foundation und PIOB (Public Interest Oversight Board) ihr volles Budget von der EU nur erhalten sollen, wenn sie endlich die Empfehlungen des Europaparlaments im Bereich Transparenz und Gemeinwohlorientierung befolgen.

Der Budgetentwurf des Europaparlaments muss noch vom federführenden Haushaltsausschuss sowie dem Plenum des Parlaments beschlossen werden. Danach folgen Verhandlungen mit dem Rat der Mitgliedsländer, damit das Budget in Kraft treten kann.

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Vom Wirtschaftsausschuss angenommene Grüne Vorschläge

Draft amendment 6487

Pilot project — Capacity building for developing methodological milestones for the integration of environmental and climate risks in the EU banking prudential framework

Tabled by Sven Giegold

Budget 2018: 0

Budget 2019: 1.000.000

Remarks:

Environmental and climate risks carry challenges that are not appropriately taken into account by the financial sector. Between 60 and 80 per cent of the coal, oil and gas reserves of publicly listed companies are ‘unburnable’ if the world is to have a chance of keeping global warming well below 2°C and as closely as possible to 1,5°C as agreed at the COP21 in Paris. This means in practice that a very substantial source of global systemic risk is currently embedded within EU and global financial markets due to such ‘carbon stranded assets’.

As the Commission point out in its action plan for financing sustainable growth adopted in March 2018, ‘The increase in weather-related natural disasters means that insurance companies need to prepare for higher costs. Banks will also be exposed to greater losses due to the lower profitability of companies most exposed to climate change or highly dependent on dwindling natural resources (…) close to 50% of the exposure of Euro area banks to risk is directly or indirectly linked to risks stemming from climate change’.

As a part of its action plan for financing sustainable growth the Commission announced that in the second quarter of 2018 it will propose a Regulation on the principles and scope of a EU taxonomy for climate change, environmental and socially sustainable activities. The aim is to embed the future EU sustainability taxonomy in EU law and provide the basis for using such a classification system in different legal basis such as those regarding banking prudential standards. The Commission will also set up a technical expert group on sustainable finance. The group will be asked, based on broad consultation of all relevant stakeholders, to publish a report providing a first taxonomy with a particular focus on climate change mitigation activities by the first quarter 2019.

In the same context, the ECON committee adopted a report on sustainable finance asking the Commission to adopt a regulatory strategy and a roadmap aimed inter alia at measuring sustainability risks within the Basel IV prudential framework for banks. The report includes a commitment to initiate an EU pilot project within the next annual budget to start developing a methodology with that purpose as well as a call for introducing European ‘carbon stress tests’ and a roadmap towards a mandatory reporting of ‘carbon stranded assets’.

The proposed pilot project aims at supporting the activities of the Commission as well as of the expert group on sustainable finance by providing dedicated resources for exploring how to develop methodologies that could be used by supervisors for measuring the intensity of climate/environmental risks to which banks are exposed (including risks related to the depreciation of assets due to changes to the regulatory treatment). Such dedicated resources will also support capacity building for developing an underlying methodology for ‘carbon stress tests’.

The methodologies would have to be based on specific qualitative criteria and quantitative indicators and would be used by supervisors to assess (i) whether banks manage the abovementioned risks properly and (ii) whether the overall business strategy and investment policy of a bank is aligned with the Paris targets and EU related Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. The project would be expected to build on the EU taxonomy to be laid down by the Expert Group and further developed by the Platform to be set up by the Commission.

Legal basis:

Pilot project within the meaning of Article 54(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

Justification:

The ECON committee adopted report on sustainable finance committing to initiate an pilot project for developing methodology for the integration of environmental and climate risks in the EU banking prudential framework as well as the development of ‘carbon stress tests’. The proposal has receive an ‘B grade’ in the Commission’s pre-assessment and the scope of the proposal was adapted to fully integrate the remarks made by the Commission to ensure that the project can be implemented.

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Draft amendment 6455

Preparatory action — Capacity building, programmatic development and communication in the context of the fight against money laundering and financial crimes

Tabled by Sven Giegold

Budget 2018: 0

Budget 2019: 1.000.000

Remarks:

This preparatory action will help to strengthen a wide range of civil society organisations, including some new actors not actively involved in fighting money laundering and financial crimes, so as to build up their expertise and capacity in connection with European law and rules, enhance awareness-raising efforts and further develop tools and instruments to fight money laundering and financial crimes. In the light of the challenges revealed by Panama and Paradise Papers scandals and the fifth revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (providing public access to beneficial owner registers of companies and access to people with a legitimate interest for beneficial owners of trusts), it is apparent that the Union-level capacity of a wide range of organisations (e.g. NGOs, trade unions and academic communities) in this field needs to be boosted. Enhanced capacity building for research, training and awareness raising, alliance building (including with journalists) and greater involvement of civil society experts in the design and implementation of, and advocacy for, action to combat money laundering and financial crimes will create synergies with current Union efforts to put an end to such abusive and criminal practices.

Legal basis:

Preparatory action within the meaning of Article 54(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

Justification:

In the light of the challenges revealed by the Panama and Paradise Papers scandals and the fifth revision of the anti-money laundering directive, it is apparent that the Union-level capacity of a wide range of organisations (e.g. NGOs, trade unions and academic communities) in this field needs to be boosted.

The proposal has receive an ‘A grade’ in the Commission’s pre-assessment, explaining that the project can be implemented as originally proposed.

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Draft amendment 6456

Pilot project — Monitoring the amount of wealth hidden by individuals in offshore financial centres and impact of recent internationally agreed standards on tax transparency on the fight against tax evasion

Tabled by Sven Giegold

Budget 2018: 0

Budget 2019: 200.000

Remarks:

New tax standards have been recently agreed and implemented to increase automatic exchange of tax information among tax authorities. Whether they are national (but with international effect, like the FATCA legislation in the US) or international (like the OECD Common Reporting Standards, implemented in the European Union through the Directive on Administrative Cooperation), these standards aim at curbing tax evasion by individuals by ensuring greater access to information by tax authorities. This pilot project aims at measuring to what extent these measures are effective in curbing international tax evasion as tax evaders might find new loopholes or shift their wealth to less compliant jurisdictions. Thanks to an analysis of data from multiple sources, including but not limited to data from the IMF, the Bank for International Settlements, the European Commission and from academics, this pilot project aims at presenting a study on cross-border transactions involving personal wealth (and therefore potentially relevant for tax evasion by individuals) such as portfolio investments, loans and deposits or foreign direct investments. The study should also look at potential new loopholes to be exploited in order to circumvent these standards (e.g. citizenship/residency programmes or other aggressive tax competition measures for high net worth individuals). This project will build on ongoing studies currently conducted by the European Commission (on the evaluation of the directive on administrative cooperation and on tax evasion by individuals) and available early 2019. With a timeframe of two years (2019-2020) and with a spirit of complementarity, this research will provide additional geographical and statistical information as to offshore financial centres and their impact for the fight against tax evasion in the Union.

Legal basis:

Pilot project within the meaning of Article 54(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

Justification:

New tax standards have been recently agreed and implemented to increase automatic exchange of tax information among tax authorities in order to fight tax evasion. This pilot project aims at measuring to what extent these measures are effective in curbing international tax evasion as tax evaders might find new loopholes or shift their wealth to less compliant jurisdictions.

The proposal has been revised to fully take into account the Commission’s pre-assessment and feedback.

 

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Draft amendment 6138

Standards in the fields of financial reporting and auditing

Tabled by Sven Giegold

Budget 2018: 8.446.000

Budget 2019: 8.515.000 but 1.000.000 put into the reserve

Conditions for releasing the reserve:

The reserve is to be released under the condition that the requests made in the European Parliament (Stolojan) initiative report on IAS evaluation and the activities of the IFRS Foundation, EFRAG and the PIOB (2016/2006(INI)) are fulfilled by the IFRS Foundation and the PIOB.

Justification:

Funding for the requests made in the European Parliament (Stolojan) initiative report on IAS evaluation and the activities of the IFRS Foundation, EFRAG and the PIOB (2016)/2006 (INI) should be ensured.

Rubrik: Mein Europa

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