The European Parliament has outlined its policy preferences on two very important subjects – financial regulation reform and the Common agricultural Policy (CAP).
On financial regulation the EP wants a strengthening of the powers of the three European supervisory authorities (ESAs) – the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, and the European Securities and Markets Authority. The Parliament wants for the ESAs to be able to issue decisions directly to a financial institution such as a bank, where the national supervisor has not been able to change some of its practices that are considered unsound. The ESAs would also have the power to settle disputes between national supervisors.
On the Common Agricultural Policy the European Parliament says that funding should be maintained “at least maintained during the next financial period” (2013-2020). MEPs call for more objective criteria, partly to reduce disparities in direct payments, considering the current “hectare basis” inappropriate, and partly to reflect regional diversity. The Parliament believes that geographical indications of origin need to be strengthened and enforced. The EP proposes strengthening producers’ bargaining power in the food supply chain vis-à-vis the retailers and other players and improving price transparency. This position aligns the Parliament with the position of Member States that oppose a radical reform of the CAP. The Commission and other Member States, however, believe that the funding for the CAP should be reduced, and used elsewhere for boosting the overall competitiveness of the EU.