EUROPE - The European Parliament's Economics Committee (Econ) has postponed its decision on the appointment of candidates for the European supervisory authority chairmen, including that of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).
The committee said it needed more guarantees from the Commission and national governments regarding the independence of all senior executives of the authorities, appropriate budgetary and human resources, and an improved personnel selection procedure.
Econ chair Sharon Bowles said: "From the very beginning, the European Parliament has championed the cause for effective and strong European financial supervisory authorities. Many months of work and effort were put into this cause by MEPs responsible for reaching a deal with member states.
"The right choice of persons to head the authorities in their first years is essential if they are to truly represent strong authorities with an important say at Europe's highest financial levels."
"Unfortunately, the selection procedure has so far been below par."
Bowles said remuneration levels were uncompetitive, that the 60-year age limit was inappropriate and that gender balance had been lacking.
In a press release from the EPP party, French MEP Jean-Paul Gauzès, also a member of Econ, said: "We strongly appose those who are still trying to unravel attempts to develop a truly efficient European supervision system."
Gauzès continues that while the Parliament has limited powers, it still has the possibility to express its opposition to the nominations, "not because of the possible personal insufficiencies of the chosen candidates, but because of the lack of real assurances regarding the position that they will be concretely be offered."
He goes on to request from the Council of the EU, representing national finance ministers, for assurances that the interest of financial stability will be taken into account.
On a similar track, Bowles has written to Györgu Matolcsy, president of the ECOFIN Council, asking for a statement to clarify that the new authorities are "expected to fully carry out the activities foreseen by the regulations to ensure that systemic risk, resilience of financial markets and institutions are evaluated and addressed without any interference".
She sent a similar letter to Michel Barnier, Commissioner for the internal market.