More needed to break financial industry’s stronghold

Publication date: 
jeudi, December 1, 2011

Assuming that DG Markt’s data are the most recent and accurate, the balance has clearly improved, but corporate interests still dominate, with 49 representatives from “private firms and industry associations” [...] in DG Markt expert groups.

CEO, steering committee member of ALTER-EU, report on the reforms of DG Markt's expert groups

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

[A] radical change of the composition is needed in groups like the the Tax Barriers
Business Advisory Group (T-BAG), which is made up of 19 corporate representatives and only
three others, the Expert Group on Market Infrastructures (EGMI) (31 out of 38 from industry)
or the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) which is made up of six corporate representatives
(Eurocommerce, BusinessEurope, European Payments Council, ESBG, EBF and “Payment
institutions”), one consumer, one SME, one cooperative bank and five representatives of
national authorities. This composition doesn’t correspond with the figures used for the
Commission’s stats.

The messy situation with the membership information should be clarified and the register
should become the most authoritative source of data regarding all the Commission’s expert
groups. Otherwise, it is impossible for citizens, NGOs and journalists to scrutinise.
If progress in limiting corporate membership confirmed through data clarification, this
progress will be a proof that civil society action can bring results and that citizens’
organisations and social movements should systematically challenge corporate capture in their
respective policy fields.

DG Markt must accelerate the process of breaking corporate capture and further reduce the
number of corporate advisers. It should also encourage the Secretariat-General of the
Commission to establish common selection criteria for experts across the board and explicitly
ban corporate capture.

Last but not least, DG Markt and the other DGs have still a long way to go to implement the
Parliament’s demand for full transparency around the activities of expert groups.

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