The crisis and new technologies have made it easier for criminals to launder money despite the current EU directives in place and the best efforts of law enforcement agencies. The Parliament's special committee on organised crime held a public hearing on 12 November to discuss with experts what can be done.
MEPs hit out at the lack of concrete proposals adopted during the EU summit on 18-19 October, with many criticising the time table for the implementation of the banking union. During a debate in plenary, MEPs also called for quicker progress and said more needed to be done to kick-start growth.
The EU should help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop efficient internationalisation strategies to allow them to seize opportunities in the global market. This is what Austrian Christian Democrat Paul Rübig is calling for in his report on SMEs competitiveness and business opportunities. He will present his proposals in plenary on Monday 22 October. Check out our infographic to find out more.
The financial crisis has called attention to some unsavoury market abuse practices such as traders taking advantage of insider knowledge in order to make an extra euro. But times are changing: the EP's economic and monetary affairs committee supported on 9 October the introduction of jail time for the most serious offenders. British Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, responsible for steering the legislation through European Parliament, explains why.
The single market, which this year celebrates its 20th birthday, has grown to include more than 500 million consumers, however, does this mean all is well? A report adopted by the EP's internal market committee calls for solutions for problems consumers and companies continue to experience, ranging from issues with recognising professional qualifications, opening bank accounts, sorting out cross-border tax issues or registering a car abroad.
The Commission tabled this month proposals for a common bank supervision in Europe, a first step towards a banking union, an idea Parliament has advocated since 2010. MEPs are determined to tackle the issue quickly as it is seen as an essential anti-crisis measure and insist that the future EU supervisory system should be transparent and under democratic control. On 26 September the EP's economic committee will scrutinise the plans. Here is an introduction to what the banking union is all about.
When Commission president José Manuel Barroso laid out plans for a federation of nation states and deeper fiscal and economic integration in his annual State of the Union address, he did not have to wait long to see what MEPs thought. From the moment he began to speak, MEPs started tweeting. Check out some of the things MEPs said, as gathered on the Parliament's Newshub.
About 30 million adult EU citizens do not have a bank account, including the homeless and people with a low or irregular income. In a resolution adopted on 4 July, MEPs say that everybody should have access to basic banking services and call on the Commission to tackle this financial exclusion.
A long overdue step in the right direction: that is how most MEPs assessed the results of the European Council on 28-29 June. Plans agreed at the summit include a compact for growth earmarking €120 billion to support growth in the EU, a single supervisory mechanism for European banks and a possibility of their direct recapitalisation. However, MEPs warn that in order to truly overcome the crisis, the EU will need to quickly adopt concrete legislation.
Extending loans, collecting interest and making a profit for their banks: that's the business of bankers who got richly rewarded for their services in the economic boom leading to the crisis. Too richly, say some, arguing that the possibility of big bonuses led bankers to take excessive risks, which got banks into so much trouble that they had to be bailed out by the taxpayer. Austrian Christian Democrat Othmar Karas says tougher rules on banker bonuses may be a part of the solution.