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British MEPs await vote on future at top of Econ committee

Sharon Bowles will find out later today if she is to remain as chair of the European parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee.

Bowles admits there has been attempts to “shake her out of her tree” after the UK was the only country which refused to back the creation of a European fiscal pact. But, despite those attempts Bowles has maintained the backing of her parliamentary group, the Association of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and is the only official candidate for the role.

She will find out later this afternoon if the committee backs her taking the job for another two and a half years. Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy will also find out if she is to remain one of four vice-chairs of the committee.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Bowles says if her colleagues look at her record they will see she is right for the role.

She says: “Of course I understand things from a UK perspective but I can also see them in the round and in the context of legislation this has helped to achieve satisfactory outcomes in negotiations.

“If you actually look at my track record you will realise I am fair, and have been pretty powerful and strong leader in a lot of the current issues around the eurozone. While the UK was busy on the sidelines it was not where I was. It is something I have demonstrated that I have got something to contribute so of course I would like the job again.”

Money Marketing understands other committee members have had discussions with colleagues about mounting a challenge but that none have officially thrown their hats in the ring. The committee could still reject her appointment.

Bowles has complained that the Government’s position over the fiscal pact negotiations made the UK look like a “sulky child” and has undermined its influence within European institutions. Losing Bowles as chair of the committee would constitute a blow to the UK’s influence over the formulation of financial regulation emerging from the parliament over the next few years.


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