The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments should be capped under uniform rules across in the EU following a deal struck by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Council negotiators on Wednesday. The cap would apply to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments and should result in lower costs for consumers.
The ultimate owners of companies would have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, accessible to people with a "legitimate interest", such as investigative journalists and other concerned citizens, under a deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on a draft EU anti-money laundering directive on Tuesday. The rules would also require banks, auditors, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos, among others, to be more vigilant about suspicious transactions made by their clients.
Candidate Chair of the EU Single Resolution Board (SRB) Ms Elke König (DE), was quizzed by Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at a public hearing on Monday. Ms König and five other candidates for Board positions were nominated by the European Commission on Friday 5 December.
Commissioner Pierre Moscovici was asked to account for the European Commission’s decision to give France, Italy and Belgium more time to hit Eurozone budgetary targets by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. MEPs urged that budget plan deadlines should be met and that criteria for applying rules more flexibly to some EU member states than others should be clear and detailed.
A negotiating team led by Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR) struck a political deal with the Council and the Commission on European Long Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs) on Wednesday evening. These funds should boost non-bank financing for projects that deliver infrastructure, intellectual property or research results which benefit the real economy and society.
The European Central Bank will take unconventional monetary measures if the economic situation in the euro area requires them, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated to economic and monetary affairs MEPs on Monday. As the Banking Union takes shape, risks could migrate from banks to the non-banking sector, he warned. Also, speaking as chair of the Systemic Risk Board, he added that there is "a vast scope for more coordination of sanctions against banks between the US and Europe".
EU countries need to do more to put their EU economic policy reform pledges into effect at home, especially in the euro area, urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. Noting that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs also pressed the Commission and the Eurogroup President to see that they are put into practice.
"The priorities of the Italian Council Presidency were outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Italian ministers in a series of meetings held in July and September."
Economic recovery is losing momentum; European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday, citing slowing growth in the second quarter and less than encouraging economic indicators in the summer. "The weak credit curb, high unemployment, political and geopolitical tensions could work against the necessary confidence the ECB is trying to build", he explained.
Fiscal measures, such as shifting taxation away from labour, should play a bigger role in combating the crisis, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Thursday. But flexibility in implementing the Stability and Growth Pact pact is also needed, because this pact is “the anchor for confidence and it would be self-defeating to break it", he underlined.