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Procedure : 2009/2558(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B6-0185/2009

Debates :

PV 23/04/2009 - 13
CRE 23/04/2009 - 13

Votes :

PV 24/04/2009 - 7.22
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0330

Texts adopted
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Friday, 24 April 2009 - Strasbourg
Conclusions of the G20 Summit
P6_TA(2009)0330RC-B6-0185/2009

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the London G20 Summit of 2 April 2009

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Leaders' Statement (Global Plan for Recovery and Reform) issued following the London Group of Twenty (G20) Summit and their declarations on 'Strengthening the financial system' and on 'Delivering resources through the international financial institutions', of 2 April 2009,

–   having regard to the progress report on the jurisdictions surveyed by the OECD global forum in implementing the internationally agreed tax standard, which requires exchange of information on requests in all tax matters for the administration and enforcement of domestic tax law, of 2 April 2009,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions following the European Council meeting of 19 and 20 March 2009,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 4 March 2009, entitled 'Driving European recovery' (COM(2009)0114),

–   having regard to the report by the High-Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU chaired by Jacques de Larosière, of 25 February 2009,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 29 October 2008, entitled 'From financial crisis to recovery: A European framework for action' (COM(2008)0706),

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2009 on the European Economic Recovery Plan(1),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 8 April 2009, entitled 'Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis' (COM(2009)0160),

–   having regard to the report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), entitled 'The Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Low-Income Countries', of in March 2009,

–   having regard to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Member States' commitments to provide aid to tackle hunger and poverty,

–   having regard to the report by the UN Environment Programme, entitled 'Out of Crisis - Opportunity', of 16 February 2009, which urged the G20 to take forward the 'Global Green New Deal',

–   having regard to the report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Institute for Labour Studies, entitled 'The Financial and Economic Crisis: A Decent Work Perspective', of 24 March 2009, which urges the G20 to put forward a coordinated stimulus package oriented toward social protection and job creation,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the world is falling deeper into a recession, the effects of which no country and no sector can expect to avoid, and whereas worldwide economic performance is declining fast during 2009 and only slow recovery is expected during 2010, according to even the most optimistic projections,

B.   whereas the consequences of the financial crisis for the real economy have given rise to exceptional economic circumstances that require timely, targeted, temporary and proportional measures and decisions with a view to finding solutions to an unprecedented global economic and employment situation,

C.   whereas the main challenges to be met in countering the downturn in the international and the European economy are the lack of confidence in the financial and capital markets and rising unemployment, and the contraction of international trade,

D.   whereas the current recession should be used as an opportunity to promote the Lisbon-Göteborg goals and the global commitment to fight unemployment and climate change and reduce energy consumption,

E.   whereas the Global Plan for Recovery and Reform (Global Plan) encompasses the following aims: (1) to restore confidence, growth and jobs; (2) to repair the financial system to restore lending; (3) to strengthen financial regulation and rebuild trust; (4) to fund and reform the international financial institutions in order to overcome the crisis and prevent future crises; (5) to promote global trade and investment and to underpin prosperity, while rejecting protectionism; and (6) to build an inclusive, environmentally friendly and sustainable recovery,

F.   whereas international coordination is essential to the task of reviving and then rebuilding the global economy,

G.   whereas membership of the euro area has been shown to enhance economic stability in the relevant Member States, as a result of their efforts to comply with the Maastricht criteria and the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact and the shielding of their economies from currency fluctuations,

H.   whereas several Member States have encountered severe balance-of-payments problems, and whereas some of those Member States have had to resort to the IMF or the European Union for relief,

I.   whereas the MDGs, in particular the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, must underpin ACP-EU cooperation under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

J.   whereas, as a result of the financial crisis, some donor countries have reduced their financial contribution to Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries, endangering the efforts to achieve the MDGs,

K.   whereas the ACP countries are dependent on exports of commodities that account for over 50 % of their foreign currency revenue, and whereas the financial crisis is resulting in decreasing exports from and remittance flows into many developing countries, reduced access to credit and reduced foreign direct investment, and plummeting commodity prices,

L.   whereas offshore centres act in such a way as to allow avoidance and evasion of taxation and financial regulation,

M.   whereas growth in international trade is slowing down owing to a lack of credit and finance and to the general slowdown in the world economy,

N.   whereas strong multilateral cooperation is needed to ward off the protectionist measures the financial/economic crisis may give rise to,

General remarks

1.  Welcomes the G20's Global Plan; notes that the Global Plan is in line with the efforts already made in the European Union to avoid conflicting policies the effect of which is to cancel each other out; welcomes the G20's recognition that a global crisis requires a global solution and an integrated strategy to restore confidence, growth and jobs; considers that such recognition requires a serious follow-up at the next meeting of the G20, which will take place in early autumn 2009;

2.  Believes that the task ahead for the world's leaders is not to patch up the present financial and economic system, but to recognise that a new balance must be struck in the regulatory framework which would take into account environmental and social sustainability, opportunity, revived global economic growth and job creation as well as social justice and participation; calls for better and all-encompassing regulation and supervision and for a new regulatory and governance framework to be developed; considers that the G20 should have addressed the problem of global imbalances in trade and finance, which have played a fundamental role in the current economic crisis;

3.  Stresses the fact that all the commitments entered into must be respected in full, put in place rapidly and fleshed out, at national and international level, in order to rebuild confidence and maximise effectiveness; takes note of the arrangements by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and IMF assignment to monitor progress made on the Global Plan and invites them to present their report to Parliament;

4.  Stresses that the immediate priority must be to get the real economy moving again, to ensure that the capital markets and lending function properly, to sustain and promote employment, and to protect people from the adverse impact of the crisis, paying special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable;

5.  Lauds the G20 for having largely opted for solutions based on loans and guarantees, which will maximise economic effects whilst helping to reduce the long-term impact on government coffers of the package of measures that is worth over USD 1 trillion;

Restoring growth and jobs

6.  Welcomes the agreement to provide EUR 832 billion in additional financial resources for the IMF, other financial institutions and trade finance and the commitment to deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort needed to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy whilst ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability; notes, however, that no additional European fiscal stimulus was agreed; recognises that the margin for action is different for each country, but that each needs to act to the limits of its possibilities;

7.  Recognises the essential role of central banks in this effort and their rapid reduction of interest rates, and welcomes the G20's commitment to refrain from competitive devaluation of national currencies, which could trigger a vicious circle; welcomes the ECB's successive rate cuts to foster growth, and its prompt provision of short-term financial facilities designed to revive inter-bank lending; draws attention to the need to create conditions that facilitate passing on interest rate cuts to borrowers; calls for every measure to be taken to enable financial markets to function properly again, including urgent moves to restore domestic lending and international capital flows;

8.  Notes with concern the rapid increases in public debt and budget deficits; stresses the importance of establishing sound State finances as soon as possible and of ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability in order to avoid imposing too heavy a burden on future generations, noting that, country-by-country this should be considered in the context of total indebtedness;

9.  Deplores the fact that global imbalances, which are at the root of the financial crisis, were not addressed at the G20 Summit; points out that if financial crises are to be prevented in the future, the underlying causes have to be addressed (i.e. an excessive US deficit financed by excessive Chinese trade surpluses), which have implications far beyond the realm of banking and financial regulation and institutional governance; considers that an effective multilateral response to the crisis must involve addressing the causes of exchange rate imbalances and commodity price volatility within multilateral frameworks; urges the European Council, therefore, to adopt a common position in order to tackle those issues before the next G20 Summit in New York;

Strengthening financial supervision and regulation

10.  Welcomes the common approach to better regulation of the financial sector and improved financial supervision on the basis of greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries; urges all governments to act in accordance with the commitments they made at the G20 meeting; considers that the decisions taken and commitments made at the G20 Summit represent a minimum and not a maximum; welcomes the fact that the European Union is more ambitious in regard to the scope and requirements of regulation and supervision;

11.  Stresses the importance of rebuilding confidence in the financial sector, which is the key to restoring lending to the real economy as well as international capital flows; insists on the need to deal urgently with impaired banking assets which are constraining lending; urges Member State governments and competent authorities to obtain from banks full and transparent disclosure of the impairment of balance sheets, taking into consideration the Commission communication on the treatment of impaired assets in the Community banking sector(2), and to act in a coordinated manner whilst respecting competition rules; calls on the G20 governments to disclose how their impaired asset programmes work and what the results are; recommends maximising international cooperation and rejecting financial and regulatory protectionism;

12.  Welcomes the decision to regulate and oversee all systemically important institutions, markets and instruments (including hedge funds), but believes that further measures are needed to stamp out speculative excesses and that regulation and supervision must include those activities the size of which may individually be judged to be non-systemic, but which collectively represent a potential risk to financial stability; insists on the need to develop efficient cooperation and information-sharing mechanisms between national authorities in order to ensure effective cross-border supervision while maintaining open markets;

13.  Approves the G20's decision to adopt the Basel II capital framework and its intention to make efforts to strengthen prudential regulatory standards as soon as possible;

14.  Takes the view that principles for cross-border cooperation on crisis management need to be urgently implemented at a high level; in the light of the growing interactions between national financial systems; urges the relevant authorities to cooperate at international level to prepare for and manage financial crises;

15.  Welcomes the G20"s decision to promote integrity and transparency in the financial markets as well as increased responsibility of financial actors; welcomes the G20 pledge to reform remuneration schemes in a more sustainable way as part of the financial regulatory review and insists on the importance of linking incentives to long-term performance, avoiding incentives that induce irresponsibility and guaranteeing an industry-wide application of the new principles in order to ensure a level playing field; will remain extremely vigilant regarding the effective implementation of the principles relating to pay and remuneration in financial institutions and calls for the adoption of more stringent measures in this area;

16.  Welcomes the measures with regard to credit rating agencies that aim to increase transparency and enhance cooperation between national supervisory authorities; remains concerned at the lack of competition in that sector and calls for significantly lower market entry barriers;

17.  Welcomes the intention to reach agreement on a single set of accounting standards; deplores the fact that the Financial Accounting Standards Board has amended the definition of 'fair value' for US market players, and urges the Commission to bring IAS 39 into line with the agreement without waiting for a decision by the International Accounting Standards Board;

18.  Calls on the next G20 Summit to agree on coordinated and concrete action both to close down all tax and regulatory havens and to close 'onshore' tax and regulatory loopholes which permit widespread tax avoidance even in major financial centres; welcomes the G20 statement regarding bank secrecy and lauds automatic exchange of information as the most effective tool to tackle tax avoidance; recommends that the European Union should adopt its own appropriate legislative framework regarding tax havens and calls on its international partners to do the same;

Strengthening our global financial institutions

19.  Fully supports the decision to assign the central role of coordinating the agreed agenda to the newly renamed and expanded FSB; supports the G20"s decision to provide the FSB with a stronger institutional basis and enhanced powers; underlines the importance of sharing common principles and ensuring convergence of rules in the financial services area to tackle global market players;

20.  Welcomes and fully supports the request made by the EUROLAT Parliamentary Assembly on 8 April 2009 to the EU-LAC countries to act at once to abolish all tax havens on their territory and to work at international level for the abolition of the rest and for sanctions against companies and individuals resorting to their services;

21.  Welcomes the G20's plan to reform international financial institutions and calls for those reforms to begin as soon as possible; expects a far-reaching reform of global economic and financial governance, which must promote democracy, transparency and accountability and ensure coherence between the policies and procedures of the international economic and financial institutions, and urges a review of the conditionalities applied to most IMF and World Bank lending;

22.  Calls, in addition, for the representation of developing countries in international financial institutions to be improved; welcomes the commitment to an open, transparent and merit-based selection process for appointing the leaders of international financial institutions; urges the European Union, as a consequence, to speak with one voice;

23.  Asks the Commission to assess the increase in the IMF's Special Drawing Rights in line with what may become necessary and asks the ECB to evaluate the effects of such an increase on worldwide price stability;

Resisting protectionism and promoting global trade and investment

24.  Endorses the G20"s pledge to increase the resources available to global financial institutions by USD 850 billion to support growth in emerging markets and developing countries; welcomes the substantial increase in the resources of the IMF, which is the main supplier of financial assistance to countries with balance-of-payments problems, including Member States, and which acts to support growth in emerging markets and developing countries;

25.  Welcomes the progress made by the IMF with its new Flexible Credit Line, moving away from its former prescriptive and rigid lending and conditionality framework, as illustrated in a the IMF's report entitled 'The Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Low-Income Countries' by the following statement: 'In formulating spending policies, priority should be given to protecting or expanding social programmes or bringing forward approved investments, and, in general, to preserving the momentum toward achieving the MDGs';

26.  Welcomes the reaffirmed commitment in the Global Plan to the MDGs and the promise to make an additional USD 50 billion available "to support social protection, boost trade and safeguard development in low income countries"; calls for those funds to be disbursed not only as loans, but also in the form of direct grants where possible, in order to support social protection and boost trade;

27.  Deplores the fact that the G20"s promises on Aid for Trade and ODA were insufficient; stresses that, although the Global Plan lists financial measures to increase resources for the developing world through the World Bank and IMF, there was no specific commitment to ensure that Aid for Trade represents additional funding;

28.  Welcomes the pledge further to promote global trade and investment; is alarmed, however, by the fall in world trade, which threatens a further deepening of the global recession; stresses the importance of reaching a rapid and successful conclusion to the Doha Round which serves to redress the imbalances in the world trading system which have worked to the detriment of developing countries;

29.  Rejects any form of protectionism both in the real economy and in the financial sector as a reaction to the economic downturn and falling world trade;

30.  Calls on the next G20 Summit also to address the reform of the world trading system and the governance of the WTO in order to promote fair trade, reverse the growing inequalities between North and South, improve coherence between commercial, social and environmental policies and make the WTO more democratic, transparent and accountable;

31.  Calls on the Member States to present actions and instruments introduced in response to the crisis in developing countries in order for the European Union to make a coordinated response; calls for the implementation of the actions thus identified to be assessed in the next Monterrey report on financing development;

32.  Draws attention to the persistent food crisis, which requires immediate action and reforms to make sure agricultural production is sustainable in developing countries;

Ensuring a fair and sustainable recovery for all

33.  Welcomes the G20's acknowledgement of the importance of a more sustainable global economy; emphasises that a binding agreement on climate change at the forthcoming Copenhagen conference is critical; stresses, however, that the G20 leaders should recognise the broad nature of global sustainability challenges, such as fisheries, forests, and water crises, which most affect people in developing countries;

34.  Asks the Commission to launch, in the context of its reflections on the future of the Sustainable Development Strategy, the necessary processes aimed at fully taking into account the implications of climate change for all the existing policies;

35.  Stresses the need for the effective implementation of the Climate and Energy Package and more investment in energy from renewable sources, eco-innovation, eco-friendly energy and energy efficiency, which should be a central part of the Energy Action Plan for 2010-2014;

36.  Calls on the next G20 Summit to consider the 'Decent work agenda', as proposed by the ILO, which should, in particular, include a commitment to universal respect for human rights at the workplace, core labour standards and the elimination of child labour;

o
o   o

37.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Central Bank, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the G20 States, and the International Monetary Fund.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0123.
(2) OJ C 72, 26.3.2009, p. 1.

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