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 Full text 
Thursday, 18 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks (debate)

  Paul Tang, Rapporteur. – Mr President, let me start by saying that I am very glad that the Commission came forward with action plans for sustainable finance. I think that was a crucial change, led by Commissioner Dombrovskis, which I very much appreciate.

I’m happy to contribute, with others, on the first steps. Federica Mogherini is right: it’s not the last step, far from it. This also to Matt Carthy: yes, we need to work on this further. But I hope that these first steps, as Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen said, are a clear signal to the financial sector that change is coming: we are changing towards sustainable finance. This is a credible step towards that, and further steps will follow. That’s why I also now call on the Commission and the supervisors to keep on working on this file. I’m happy to work in the next Parliament and, if not, outside this Parliament on this change that we need.

Having been in this debate, I also learned that there’s a change underway in the European economy. We need to break away from the Anglo-Saxon—American tradition of ‘move fast and break things’, in which companies and financial institutions are just actors in an economy driven by monetary incentives. We need to return to the European tradition where we take into account companies, financial institutions and the board takes into account the interests of all stakeholders. We need to return to the European tradition where firms, companies, financial institutions, banks and insurers are part of our society and act accordingly. This is the change that we need, and I think it’s underway, because I can already see this change coming. I see front—runners. Maybe it’s because I’m a politician and I’m always an optimist, but I see good signs for this change. I think it’s very welcome to have this change to bring forward a fairer and more equal society.


Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice