Brussels, September 26 - Today the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) adopted its report on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). This piece of legislation is critical to achieve stronger regulation of commodity derivative markets and limit harmful financial speculation on food.
The EU Summit, initially planned to discuss the purpose and effectiveness of the future €1 trillion EU Budget 2014-2020, was instead used to focus on a disputed attempt at a fiscal union and more quick fix bank bailouts – which to date have cost the tax payer over €4.5 trillion . As governments put more money in irresponsible banks, they reduce their capacity to invest in a greener EU budget and economy.
Ahead of this week's EU Summit, the Green 10 network of leading environmental organizations encourages EU heads of government to break the link between the banking and the sovereign debt crises. Governments must regain the ability to implement policies that will transform the EU economy to make it more resource efficient and resilient to worsening environmental conditions. The green groups also welcome that the debate is moving beyond austerity and consider that an EU stimulus agenda, if devised correctly, would help solve the interlinked environmental and economic crises.
More than 60 environmental, development and farming groups are calling on governments and financial institutions to put a stop to land grabbing financed by European pension funds, banks and insurance companies.
The European Parliament is currently reviewing a crucial piece of financial regulation called MiFID. This regulation, if done right, could rein in speculation on food prices, and protect the world's most vulnerable from the whims of Europe's big financial players.
This week, 15th-22nd May, campaign groups and individuals all across the world are taking part in a global week of action for a Robin Hood Tax – the financial transaction tax that would raise millions to fight poverty and climate change, whilst curbing the excesses of our failing financial system.
Just a few years ago, the idea of taxing the banks was unimaginable, but the campaign for a financial transaction tax has taken giant leaps towards becoming reality.
Friends of the Earth Europe and 25 other environmental, social justice, human rights and development groups are urging European governments and parliamentarians to use the review of EU financial legislation (MiFID)  to curb financial speculation in food and other commodity derivatives markets.
Lack of sufficient regulation has led to increased price volatility in the markets for food commodities, contributing to the recent food price spikes that have left millions across the world facing hunger and poverty.
Markus Ferber, the MEP leading the European Parliament's work on financial markets reform has today published proposals which would go some way to putting the hunger of people before the hunger of financial institutions.
Together with the World Development Movement (WDM) and World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Friends of the Earth Europe handed in a petition to the European Parliament's rapporteur on a crucial piece of legislation that could stop banks profiting from hunger, MEP Markus Ferber. More than 8000 people across Europe signed the petition, asking the Parliament to ensure the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) stops big financial players from gambling on food.
European banks and other financial institutions are investing billions into practices which fuel speculation in agricultural commodity markets. These include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. Free speech radio's Liam Moriarty interviews Friends of the Earth Europe's Daniel Pentzlin on our latest report on the issue.