|Breakfast Discussion with European Parliament – 22 Feb 2012
THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN EUROPE: VIEWS FROM THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, thanks to The European Union Business Information Programme, was delighted to host a breakfast discussion on February 22nd featuring a Delegation of Members of the European Parliament and senior executives and leaders of Hong Kong business community.
This Delegation, consisting of Ms Sharon Bowles – Chairwoman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), Mr Theodor Stolojan – Vicechairman of ECON and Ms Arlene McCarthy – Vice Chairwoman of ECON, was in an official visit to Singapore and Hong Kong.
Ms Maria Castillo Fernandez, the Head of the European Union Office in Hong Kong and Macao inaugurated the event with a grateful note to the Members of the European Parliament, emphasizing the vital importance of the EU Institutions to this region.
Ms Sharon Bowles, Chairwoman of ECON, kicked off the event with a very comprehensive presentation of ECON’s activity. The European Parliament is a major agenda-setter in the area of European policy and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) plays a key role in the work of the Parliament. It has responsibility for such matters as the economic and monetary policies of the EU, taxation and competition policies, free movement of capital and the regulation of financial services (banks, insurance, pension funds, asset/fund management, accounting, international monetary and financial systems etc.). Moreover, as the great majority of Parliament’s work is done at Committee level, it is ECON that does most Parliamentary work on these key economic and monetary policy areas. This puts ECON at the center of the Parliament’s work on the current economic and financial crisis and gives ECON significant influence on the policy agenda in the EU and internationally.
As regards the monetary policies of the Union and the functioning of EMU and the European monetary system, the accountability of the ECB vis-à-vis the Parliament plays a key role, as it acts as an important counterbalance to the central bank’s independence.
ECON plays a key role in making EU law, because the Parliament is, together with the Council, the EU’s co-legislator in most EU policy areas. EU law often determines the national laws and regulations in Member States, especially in financial services and, after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, in the area of EU economic governance. This allows ECON to shape EU law in these important areas of EU policy.
The fruitful discussion led to an interactive session of the 3 Members of European Parliament with the audience and the event was finally closed by Mr Paul Brough, Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong who warmly thanked the Delegation for their valuable time and insights.
This event was funded by the European Union