Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

EU financial regulation goes too far towards subjugation rather than cooperation 23.09.09

Source: ECR Group

ECR ECON coordinator has concerns about pan-European regulator

Proposals published by the European Commission today for a pan-European risk board and three watchdogs to oversee banks, securities and insurers, do not go far enough to protect the role of national regulators, Kay Swinburne MEP, Economic and Monetary Affairs coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, said today.

The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), which is likely to be headed up by the European Central Bank (ECB), will have powers to sound alarm bells if it sees emerging threats to the financial system. It may have the power to force a country to take action, even if the national supervisor disagrees.

Three other bodies will be set up - the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority, and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority - to create new standards for supervisions and to establish common rules across the EU.

Whilst recognising the value and need for enhanced global coordination and cooperation through improved European and global financial supervision, Dr Swinburne will seek to strengthen the independence of national supervisory bodies when the proposals come before the European Parliament.

She said:

"A common rule book should be welcomed but supervisory decisions relating to individual firms must remain at national member state levels.

"We do need a strong early warning system at the EU level that can monitor, name and shame countries that allow excessive risk to be taken. However a pan-European risk board will be a large and unwieldy body and there is no guarantee that it will be better at detecting systemic risks than the organisations that preceded it. The board must remain completely free of any political interference.

"Our real concerns surround the power that the supervisory bodies will have to overrule national regulators.

"The safeguards the commission claims to have drafted into the plans will be insufficient to prevent the ECB from usurping risk-taking on a pan-European level. Ultimately, a sensible amount of risk is a key component of a vibrant financial services industry and national regulators understand their market conditions better.

"There is a serious question about the role of the ECB in the ESRB, given that 11 countries are not in the Eurozone.

"We need to get the structures right and the possible appointment of Mervyn King should not distract from the overriding concerns about loss of national control. We are trying to create a supervisory structure for the foreseeable future, and such important decisions should never rest on the appointment of one man."

"Although we support well regulated financial markets we believe any changes to the supervisory architecture need to be aimed at restoring confidence in the financial system and improving the quality of coordinated supervision within the EU and globally."
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Welsh Conservatives

The European Commission has today designated European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to the well-known Pembrokeshire Early Potato from West Wales.
The Pembrokeshire Early Potato was one of only three quality farm products whose applications for PGI status were approved today.
The EU PGI schemes protect product names against misuse and under these schemes more than 1200 products are already protected.
Commenting on this announcement from the European Commission today Dr Kay Swinburne MEP – who is from West Wales - said:
"I am delighted to see that this application to have "Pembrokeshire Earlies" added to the register of PGI products has been approved by the European Commission today."

"Achieving this prestigious status is a clear acknowledgment of the high-quality and distinctive produce we continue to deliver in Wales. Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes thoroughly deserve their place alongside the well-known food and drink products from right across the EU which already feature on the PGI register."


Kay was delighted to host an event to celebrate Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Wales last night in the European Parliament.  The event builds on the British Council’s “Strategic Analysis of the Welsh Higher Education Sector, Distinctive Assets”.  A number of experts spoke to share their views of Welsh HE at the event and how it can develop in the future.

In advance of the 'Fox-Hafner Report' vote on the single seat for the European Parliament, Kay and the other UK Conservative MEPs feel it is right to draw attention to the fact that the seven-year cost of the dual-seat arrangement comes to £928,000,000. Since her election to the European Parliament in 2009, Kay has strongly supported bringing the monthly Parliamentary meetings in Strasbourg to an end and therefore saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.


Kay was delighted to meet Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize at the European Parliament today.

Following Malala’s speech to the European Parliament, Kay said, “What an inspirational speech Malala gave to the Members of the European Parliament today. As a mother of young children myself, I hope that they can also aspire to achieve like her. Malala is an exceptional young lady who has overcome adversity by tremendous force of character and a passionate belief in the right of everybody to enjoy and benefit from education.”   


Kay was very pleased to meet with members of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, one of four groups set up in key Welsh research strengths to engage with EU research funds. The delegation visiting Brussels included representatives from Cardiff University, Bangor University, Swansea University and Trinity St.Davids University.

In advance of tomorrow's European Council meeting of leaders, Dr Swinburne has echoed the recommendations made in a recent report published by a number of business leaders, which highlights the importance of removing barriers to business competitiveness in Europe and getting rid of burdensome legislation by cutting EU red tape.

Last year Dr Swinburne encouraged businesses in Wales to highlight to the European Commission which over-burdensome regulations they would like to see slashed, by writing to small businesses all over Wales and asking them to tell her their red-tape problems.

Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

Conservative MEP's led the amendment to defeat proposals that would have classified e-cigarettes as medicinal products, meaning they would have to undergo an overly burdensome and costly authorisation procedure, which would go beyond the procedures for traditional tobacco products... (Read more under 'Articles')



Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

As a member of this year's judging committee, Kay is once again supporting the EuropaBio award, which has attracted applications from all three sectors of biotechnology - healthcare, industrial and agricultural, from across the EU... (Read more under 'Articles')


WELSH Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne today hailed a vote in the European Parliament as a "wake-up call" in the battle to save Europe's endangered languages.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg backed a report which calls on governments across the EU to develop action plans to encourage continued linguistic diversity.

The report, written by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi, also says governments should be "more attentive" to threats which may lead to languages becoming extinct.

Dr Swinburne, who was a shadow rapporteur for the report, has argued that Welsh can be seen as a positive example of language revitalisation which communities across the EU should follow... (Read more under 'Articles')

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