Banking crisis headlines EP Committee activity

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Having quizzed ECB President Christine Lagarde on the bank’s measures to deal with an economic environment marked by high uncertainty and strong inflationary pressures, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will today discuss the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank and its implications for financial stability in Europe with European Banking Authority Chair José Manuel Campa and ECB Supervisory Board Chair Andrea Enria.

Euro zone yield spreads between core and periphery widened as risks of a banking crisis continued to spook investors after UBS sealed a deal to buy Credit Suisse and some of the world’s largest central banks teamed up to reassure markets. The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and SNB joined forces in a coordinated action to enhance the provision of liquidity through their standing U.S. dollar swap line arrangements.

Tomorrow, Parliament and Council negotiators are expected to continue to work towards an agreement on how to steer the EU maritime sector towards decarbonisation. They will look into ways to cut green-house gas emissions from ships, increase the use of more renewable fuels and support the maritime sector in contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The proposal on he table seeks to drive the uptake of low-carbon fuels by introducing limits on carbon intensity of the energy used on board ships, and mandates the use of onshore power supply (OPS) in EU ports. Reductions of annual average GHG intensity of energy used on board would start from 2025, with a modest 2 % improvement compared to a 2020 baseline. However, the requirements would get increasingly stringent over time, with a 6 % improvement required in 2030 and a 75 % cut in 2050.

Meanwhile, MEPs from the Inquiry Committee on the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware will go to Madrid to learn more about allegations of spyware abuse targeting politicians, journalists and civil society. MEPs will meet with members of the national and regional parliaments, civil society actors and journalists, the leadership of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), the Ombudsman and various public officials targeted with Pegasus.

In parallel, EP political groups will prepare for the 29-30 March plenary session in Brussels, where MEPs will hold final votes on new legislation on pay transparency to promote equal pay between women and men, and on safety of products sold online in the EU. MEPs will also discuss the results of the 23-24 March European Council with President Charles Michel.

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