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Regulating financial markets


Economy and finance




economy and finance

Regulating financial markets

Part of the crisis Europe is going through directly results from decades of financial deregulation.

Financial markets & economic crisis


Companies working with financial markets – banks, hedge funds, insurances – were allowed to do whatever they saw fit to raise their shareholders’ revenues. This included trading in very risky operations that were however considered extremely safe investments by the authorities in the matter: the rating agencies.

When the risky trading operations eventually turned bad, the speculative bubble burst, first in the US, spreading then to Europe and the rest of the world.

Europeans for Financial Reform

In order to prevent future crises, the financial sector needs to be properly regulated. The last decades have shown that markets are not capable of self-regulation and how this can seriously affect tax-payers.

The PES is part of the coalition Europeans for Financial Reform (EFFR) that aims at regulating the financial sector and making sure it works for all citizens.

Financial Transaction Tax


On 22 January 2013 the Council adopted a decision authorising eleven member states to proceed with the introduction of the FTT: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. 

The PES continues to exert strong political pressure for implementing the Financial Transaction Tax, an initiative that stemmed from our family in 2010. It is thanks to the commitment of the PES family that we are finally witnessing the FTT becoming a reality and foresee its implementation by 2016. 

European Credit Rating Agency 

In order to tame financial markets, the PES is also actively campaigning with EFFR for a European Credit Rating Agency.

State of play

For the moment a small group of three private agencies (all based in the US) control 95% of the rating market. The rules behind the functioning of these agencies are purposely designed to be unclear and there is a complete lack of supervision by the authorities.The inherently-conflicted and inconsistent role of Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) in assessing credit risk proved to be destructive both during the financial crisis and in the European debt crisis. Although they are private and profit-led companies, their ratings constitute a major element of public regulation.

Taming CRAs

The PES has therefore adopted a plan to tame rating agencies by offering sound regulatory measures and an institutional alternative to private rating. The PES calls for increased transparency of CRAs’ activities and demands antitrust measures to be undertaken against the monopolistic market.

Towards a European Independent CRA

Furthermore, the PES asks for an establishment of a European Independent Credit Rating Agency to fight contradictions of private rating and to return regulatory power back to public institutions.PES draft policy paper on Fixing Credit Rating

What we are fighting for
Read the PES Common Manifesto for the European Elections 2014

Our Campaigns

In some countries as many as one young person out of two cannot find a job. We are calling for a European Youth Guarantee as a way to tackle youth unemployment.

Campaign info

5.7 million young people are currently unemployed in Europe and an additional 1.5 million are forced into precarious jobs. In some countries as many as one young person out of two cannot find a job.

The campaign “Your future is my future – a European Youth Guarantee now” is calling for a European Youth Guarantee as a way to tackle youth unemployment.

Campaign Material

  • Toolkit (EN)
  • PES guide on youth guarantee (EN)
  • PES appeal for a European Youth Guarantee (EN), (FR)
  • PES report: Combating Youth Unemployment (EN), (FR), (ES)
  • Factsheet on Youth Unemployment among Women (EN)
  • Campaign flyer (EN), (FR), (DE), (ES), (NL), (PT), (HU)

Campaign Video

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