EUROPE - Pervenche Berès, a socialist member of the European Parliament, has been elected chairman of the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Among the committee’s remit is oversight of the EU’s pensions sector.

Although widely anticipated, Berès’ election to the committee’s chairmanship was not trouble-free.

It had been expected that she would be accepted at a previous meeting of the committee. But her appointment was blocked by the members from the conservative European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats grouping in protest at an alleged contravention by the socialist grouping of an agreed appointment to another parliamentary committee.

However, the conservative members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee stressed that their action was not directed against Berès and she was voted to the committee’s chairmanship as expected on Wednesday.

The committee was responsible for oversight of the EU pensions directive, part of the 42-measure Financial Services Action Plan, of which 39 have been completed, and most of which affects pension funds.

Berès has been a member of the committee since her election to the European Parliament in 1994.