Bowles: EC shared ESA chair concerns
Thursday 10 February 2011 - by Andrew Hickley
The European Commission and the Hungarian presidency shared Parliament's concerns over the procedure for appointing the heads of the new European Supervisory Authorities, according to Econ Committee chair Sharon Bowles.
The standoff lasted two days, with Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier and Hungarian EU Minister Enikő Győri ultimately guaranteeing to remove age limits and upgrade remuneration packages in the next selection process.
After also securing promises that the ESAs would remain politically independent and that Parliament would have more involvement in selecting candidates in future, the Econ Committee subsequently approved the chairmen the following morning.
Drawing on the European Banking Authority chairman Andrea Enria as an example, Bowles argued that the Parliament's role as "a kind of quality control" in grilling candidates at an earlier stage would have helped calm fears that the lesser known regulators would be unable to challenge better known candidates.
"Because all these doubts were being raised about the quality of the ESA chairs and wondering how can someone who is only number 'N' in the Bank of Italy can take on [Banca d'Italia governor and Financial Stability Board chairman] Mario Draghi, well, that kind of undermines them.
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