Banking needs a culture change, which piecemeal legislation will not achieve on its own, says a draft report presented in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It advocates further, more radical reforms, including separating retail from investment banking, stimulating competition, improving corporate governance and crisis management, reducing complexity and curbing risk-inducing pay deals. The Commission is asked to table legislation to this end.
MEPs quizzed European Commission Aviation Director Matthew Baldwin on Tuesday about the new rules on flight and duty times for flight crews recommended by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Commission has yet to table a proposal to put these rules into effect, but some MEPs said they would exercise their right of veto if they do not guarantee that working conditions and passenger safety outweigh commercial considerations.
A deal on banking supervision legislation that will strengthen EU-level oversight of many EU banks was struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday. Parliament's negotiators inserted many provisions strengthening the system's transparency and accountability. They also ensured that its working structures will be imbued with a European spirit, rather than reflecting just a sum of national interests.
The "right to be forgotten", explicit consent before a person's data is collected and a ban on profiling on the basis of ethnic, religious or sexual orientation criteria are among the main demands for data protection reform made by the legal affairs committee in a non-binding opinion adopted on Tuesday.
The Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency was the only EU agency whose management of EU funds in 2011 was not approved by the Budgetary Control Committee on Tuesday. In other votes, the European Commission and other EU institutions and agencies passed the committee's budget "discharge" test, but the decision on whether to approve the Council of Ministers' bookkeeping was once again postponed.
Victims of stalking, harassment or gender-based violence who are granted protection in one EU member state would get fully equivalent protection if they freely move to another under new rules approved by the Legal Affairs and Women's Rights committees on Tuesday. The new EU rules would add civil law protection to the criminal law protection already enforced under the European Protection Order (EPO) Directive.
Development Committee MEPs backed the second revision of the EU's Cotonou partnership agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific states in a vote on Tuesday (adopted unanimously with 24 votes), but voiced strong reservations about its lack of binding human rights clauses.
New rules to make groundhandling services at large EU airports more competitive were narrowly approved in a Transport and Tourism Committee vote on Tuesday. MEPs inserted service quality standards and staff provisions to prevent any deterioration of working conditions. Parliament will have the final say in a plenary vote in April.
What should be on the negotiating table in the upcoming EU-US talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? The international trade committee holds its first debate on Parliament's input into the negotiating mandate which is currently being drafted by the Commission and will have to be adopted by the Council.
The EU should establish a public prosecutor to protect its financial interests and introduce an EU-wide definition of Mafia-style crime, it was suggested in the Special Committee against Organised Crime on Monday. Other draft proposals include laying down new rules to protect public tendering against organised crime and using confiscated criminal assets to benefit the community.