Bank supervision, wider economic governance and the European Central Bank's role in stemming the Eurozone crisis dominated discussions with ECB President Mario Draghi and Commissioners Michel Barnier and Olli Rehn on Monday in Parliament.
In over three hours of talks, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs extracted the leading players' views, to help prepare their stance on the future economic governance paper tabled before summer by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Parliament's rapporteur Marianne Thyssen (EPP, BE), is to present the first draft of the committee’s position towards the end of September.
MEPs focused on the most immediate actions needed to tackle the crisis: the forthcoming Commission proposal on bank supervision, to be presented next week in Strasbourg, and options for ECB market intervention measures, which will dominate this Thursday's meeting of the ECB Governing Council, which is to adopt a strategy of action.
MEPs raised two key concerns about the design of a strengthened Eurozone bank supervision regime. Firstly, they stressed the need to ensure seamless coordination between supervision of non-Eurozone banks, which would remain under the European Banking Authority (EBA), and supervision of Eurozone banks, which should henceforth be monitored by the ECB. The general warning was that design faults could lead to banks being supervised differently.
The second concern was related to the proposed procedure for achieving final approval of the legislation - i.e. unanimity of Member States without a co-deciding role for Parliament .
Mr Rehn said in the open part of the meeting that a strong effort would be made to ensure that EBA and the ECB work together to ensure seamless supervision across the EU. To this end, the setup of EBA would also need to be amended.
In the closed session, Mr Barnier sought to calm fears by giving MEPs more details of how the Commission saw the system working.
In the closed session, Mr Draghi fielded questions on tools the ECB could to help calm the Eurozone troubles. MEPs also pressed him to explain how, specifically, the ECB should take on the role of bank supervisor, to what extent it should enter into daily supervision and how it would liaise with national supervisors.