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EU Elections 2019: Political groups race to the top for making finance serve society

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Finance Watch releases an updated version of its citizens’ guide to the European Elections 2019 after further financial reform commitments have been submitted

Brussels, 13 May 2019 – After releasing its citizens guide to the EU Elections two weeks ago, Finance Watch has taken positive note of the race to the top between political groups and the introduction of further commitments to make finance serve society.

In the updated rating, the group Greens/EFA score best in all four in four areas of policy changes needed to make finance serve society: (1) Stabilize the financial system, (2) democratise the financial institutions as well as financial policy making, (3) re-direct capital to a sustainable economy and (4) prepare for a future financial crisis.

 

Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, said:

“We are pleased to notice that policy makers take further commitments to show their high ambition for reforming our financial system. Our aim is to ensure all parties and political groups have the strongest possible policies to make finance serve society. We are looking forward to receive more commitments from other political parties.

“This race to the top is exactly what we need today: The ‘regulatory pendulum’ is swinging back with a vengeance since a few years now. As of today, we have to conclude that none of the structural vulnerabilities that led to the financial crisis of 2008 have been tackled in a decisive way.

 “The financial sector lobby has successfully blamed post-crisis regulation, in particular higher capital requirements, for allegedly holding back bank lending and slowing down the recovery. We have witnessed how policy makers have been convinced by these misleading arguments and how new rules introduced have been already heavily watered down.

“That is why we also ask for democratising EU policy making and for setting up rules to limit the influence of the financial lobby over our policymakers. This can be done by increasing lobby transparency and introducing stronger rules on conflicts of interest and revolving doors. We are glad to see that over 230 candidates signed the pledge to challenge the financial lobby, initiated by the civil-society led Change Finance-Coalition.”

ENDS

For further information or interview requests, please contact:

Charlotte Geiger, Senior Communications Officer at Finance Watch, at charlotte.geiger@finance-watch.org or at 0032/(0) 2 880 0441.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Finance Watch is politically impartial and not affiliated with any party. For the rating, Finance Watch collected commitments made by the eight political groups of the current European Parliament, ahead of the European Parliament elections taking place between 23 and 26 May 2019. These commitments have been checked against a set of key demands that Finance Watch asks EU policy makers to put it into practice during their next mandate to make finance serve society. The ratings are based on how far the different commitments meet the Finance Watch demands.

Beyond the manifestos, Finance Watch has also analysed the political groups’ policy papers, resolutions and other submitted documents to complete the rating. Each head of the political groups and, where they exist, campaign leader or Spitzenkandidat(en), has also been informed about the results of the analysis and ratings before their publication to give them the opportunity to add additional commitments.

Finance Watch has reached out to all political groups after releasing its analysis in order to give them another the opportunity to introduce further commitments and is still welcoming any further input.

The manifestos and political groups policy papers/resolutions are all available online and input from the political parties sent to Finance Watch has been included in the table [link to campaign page]:

Group of the European People’s Party (EPP)

Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D)

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/ EFA)

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE/ NGL)

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) – No available manifesto or response to provide input.

Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) – No available manifesto or response to provide in

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