Cyprus, crisis and austerity - there was no shortage of topics to discuss when Sharon Bowles, chair of the EP's economic committee, took part in a chat with our Facebook fans on Tuesday 23 April. The British member of the ALDE group fielded many questions about the EU's economic policy, including how the Cyprus bailout had been handled. Ms Bowles said she worried about the precedent it sets for other small countries, which is why better rules and better oversight are needed
Ms Bowles said there are valid concerns that the Cyprus situation could repeat itself in other countries and that member states are having to find other sources of funding in addition to the European Stability Mechanism, the European bailout fund.
She was also asked about recent highlights of her committee's work: "There are two things that clearly stand out: the capital requirements directive and regulation, which control how banks operate, and the Single Supervisory Mechanism, which makes the European Central Bank the banking supervisor for the eurozone, and paves the way for the rest of the Banking Union proposals."
Some fans were also interested in whether countries outside the eurozone should join now or wait: "I can understand that with the development towards banking union, countries who meet the criteria for joining may want to do so as quickly as possible. At the same time, it is necessary to have the backing of citizens for such moves," Ms Bowles said.
The EU budget and austerity were also brought up by fans. Ms Bowles said: "Increase in the EU budget and austerity are not opposites: where the EU budget can give added value, it is reasonable for there to be funding at the EU level."