How to involve civil society in financial regulation

Key points:

One of the difficulties in financial regulation is how to ensure that differing and contradictory positions are given a balanced hearing. There is no effective counterweight to the legitimate representation of the financial sector's interests.

Given the complexity of the detailed legislation, it is crucially important for civil society organisations not just to set basic objectives and call for a general tightening-up of the rules, but to put forward knowledgeable and practical proposals and arguments. This will require considerable efforts to ensure that the organisations can enter discussions on an equal footing with the legislator and with other organisations.

It may in certain cases be appropriate to provide civil society organisations with financial support from EU funds in order to rectify deficiencies in the representation of key interests.

The EESC encourages European and national civil society organisations to take a closer interest now in financial regulation. Many such organisations would do well to set themselves the discrete (and in some cases new) objective of promoting financial market stability and extend their fields of interest and activity accordingly.

The financial industry itself should also initiate dialogue with civil society organisations.

It would be valuable for the position of civil society organisations to also be represented in the media to a greater extent.