Speaking immediately after the hearing of Commissioner-designate Mairead McGuinness for the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio in the European Parliament in Brussels this morning, Jonás Fernández, S&D spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, stated:
“In the European Parliament, we have known Mairead McGuinness for many years as an experienced, hard-working colleague and convinced European. The Socialists and Democrats never had any doubts that she is qualified to be a Commissioner.
“However, we had concerns as to whether she was fit for the portfolio. Financial services is a very demanding and technical file. Today, she has demonstrated that she has mastered this complex topic.
“Ireland is not a fair player when it comes to taxation and financial services. Although tax issues do not come directly under her designated portfolio, the Socialists and Democrats expect all European Commissioners to be committed to the fight for tax justice. This is why we insisted on obtaining commitments from the Commissioner-Designate that she will push through public country-by-country-reporting, that will ensure citizens and investors are aware of the profits, number of employees and taxes paid by multinationals in each country they operate. The Financial Transactions Tax would be a very important source of EU own resources. This is why we want the next financial service Commissioner to come up with a proposal on an FTT very soon. After today’s hearing we are convinced that she will act as a European Commissioner and is committed to the interests of the EU as a whole.
“If approved, McGuinness will have to hit the ground running as she will need to get a grip on big challenges from day one in office. The Banking Union, with its supervision and resolution pillars is considered one of the biggest achievements of the EU. However, to complete the Banking Union we still need to establish a European Deposit Insurance Scheme and a fully-fledged backstop for the European resolution fund. Especially now that the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to hit banks and we will see an increase in their non-performing loans, we must make sure that banks remain resilient and people’s savings are safe. McGuinness will also need to quickly present concrete proposals to foster the deepening of the Capital Markets Union, which we currently need more than ever to promote alternative financing arrangements for SMEs.
“We are glad President Ursula von der Leyen heralded our Group’s call for a woman candidate bringing the Commission a step closer to gender balance. She will be the first woman ever to be entrusted with this dossier. Today’s hearing convinced us that Mairead McGuinness is qualified to be Commissioner for Financial Services and we look forward to working together with her for greater financial stability and more tax justice.”