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With many experienced MEPs stepping down or expected to lose their seats in next week’s elections, there will be significant changes to the membership of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee in the next five-year term. A reshuffle of the Committee’s top jobs is also expected, with the current Chair, Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), and Vice-Chairs, Peter Simon (S&D, DE) and Luděk Niedermayer (EPP, CZ), facing a struggle to retain their seats. The two remaining Vice-Chair positions will be left open by the departures of Brian Hayes (EPP, IE) and Kay Swinburne (ECR, UK). The new Committee will reflect the overall political composition of the Parliament. With current polling projecting a loss of support for the centre-right and centre-left groups and an increase in right-wing and Eurosceptic MEPs, the EPP and S&D groups will be allocated fewer seats for the next five-year term. The Chair and Vice-Chair positions will be allocated following political horse-trading once Committee membership is confirmed in July. Ahead of the elections, we have picked our top ten candidates most likely to shape the work of the Committee in the next five years.


OUR ANALYSIS Markus Ferber (EPP)

Sven Giegold (Greens)

Othmar Karas (EPP)

Caroline Nagtegaal (ALDE)

Long-serving MEP Ferber – first elected in 1994 – is likely to return to the Parliament, where he has been a member of ECON since 2009. He has held rapporteur positions on important dossiers, including MiFID II and the IFD/IFR package. If re-elected he is in a strong position to return to his current role as EPP Coordinator on the Committee or may wish to put his name forward as Chair or Vice-Chair. Giegold has been a member of the Committee since his election in 2009 and ECON Coordinator for the Green group since 2014. He played a central role in establishing the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the Single Supervisory Mechanism and is a prominent campaigner on tax and lobbying transparency. As second on the list behind Greens Spitzenkandidat Ska Keller, he will retain his seat and is likely to return to ECON as the Green group’s Coordinator. Karas is the leader of the Austrian ÖVP MEPs and holds the top spot on his party list, so is almost certain to return to Parliament where he has been a member of ECON since 1999. He is likely to return to the Committee where he has worked on a number of important dossiers – he was shadow rapporteur on the CRR/CRD and took over from Burkhald Balz as co-rapporteur on the ESA review in 2018. Nagtegaal is the shortest-serving MEP in this line-up, having joined the Parliament in 2017 to replace Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. She has held a number of important roles in this brief time, including acting as rapporteur for on the Commission’s crowdfunding proposal and shadow rapporteur on blockchain. She is almost certain to return to the Parliament, as she is third on her party’s list, and has made economic barriers facing SMEs and ensuring Member State compliance with financial legislation her priorities. Cicero Group | 1




Luděk Niedermayer (EPP)

Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP)

Paul Tang (S&D)

An economist who has worked at the Czech National Bank and the Bank for International Settlements, as well as representing Czechia at the IMF, Niedermayer is a Vice-Chair of the ECON Committee and a member of the TAX 3 Committee on financial crimes. His party is expected to lose seats but, similar to fellow ViceChair Peter Simon, if he returns to Parliament he is likely to remain a prominent member of the Committee. Pietikäinen has been a member of the ECON committee since joining the Parliament in 2008. She has acted as rapporteur on the Commission’s proposal on venture capital funds and the Regulation on sustainable investment. Her party is expected to maintain three seats in the Parliament – if she returns, she is likely to continue to champion sustainable finance during the next mandate. A former director general in the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and one-time member of the Dutch Parliament, Tang was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. He was rapporteur on the common corporate tax base, disclosures relating to sustainable investments, securitisation and the digital services tax. He is third on the list for his party, which is currently projected to win three seats in the election. If he returns to the Parliament, he is in a good position to gain a prominent role.



Katarina Barley (S&D)

An MEP for the Greens from 2009 to 2012 before joining François Hollande’s government, Canfin intends to rejoin ECON and has stated that he will focus on Eurozone reform and sustainability. During his time as an MEP, he worked on MiFID and AIFMD, and was a Vice-Chair of the Special Committee for the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis. Second on the list for French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! party, he is virtually guaranteed a seat in the European Parliament. The current Minister for Justice in Germany, Barley is guaranteed a seat in the European Parliament as the lead candidate for the SDP. While she has not yet indicated which committees she will seek to join, she has made tackling big tech companies central to her campaign. The ECON Committee, which has led the Parliament’s work on a possible European digital services tax, could be a good fit for her Parliamentary ambitions. Cicero Group | 2




Valdis Dombrovskis (EPP)

Dombrovskis has an impressive CV – he is the current Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue and previously served as both Prime Minister and Finance Minister in his native Latvia. He also sat in the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009. He leads the New Unity party’s list and will therefore return to the Parliament if they win their projected one seat, unless he is nominated for a second term as Commissioner.

THE BREXIT EFFECT: The Committee will see UK MEPs return for an unspecified amount of time. As the Committees reflect the political make up of the Parliament rather than the number of MEPs per Member State, it is not yet clear how many UK MEPs will gain seats in ECON. The Conservative MEP Ashley Fox is likely to return, as is Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, although as the duration of their stay in Parliament is uncertain they are unlikely to gain any of the Committee’s leadership positions or be allocated rapporteur roles.

If you would like to speak to the Cicero team about this document, or how we can support your organisation and its public affairs objectives in 2019, please do contact Helena Walsh:

Helena Walsh Executive Director - Brussels and Dublin BXL: +32 (0)2 612 8152

Cicero Group | 3

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EU elections - Top contenders for the financial services ECON committee  

EU elections - Top contenders for the financial services ECON committee