22 SEP 2010
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - MEPs have backed a package of EU legislative proposals on financial supervision, the final approval needed for the 27-member bloc to set up a new system of financial watchdogs, designed to guard against a repeat of the recent financial crisis.
Sitting in plenary in Strasbourg on Wednesday (22 September), the euro deputies passed the new legislation by a large majority after months of political wrangling with member states, primarily the UK, which proved less keen on the new EU-level bodies due to fears they could impinge on national sovereignty.
"This is a historic watershed moment," Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders said before the vote. As holders of the EU's rotating presidency, Belgian officials have been conducting difficult talks with representatives of the European Parliament over the past few months in a bid to narrow their differences.
Following proposals from the European Commission, member states reached a political agreement last December, but MEPs were quick to voice their opposition, brandishing the deal as overly watered-down and riddled with vetoes.
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