European Leader Ian Hudghton
MEP pressed the case for establishing a
European 'ethical investment' label at today's European Parliament
confirmation hearing of Ireland's European Commissioner Designate, Charlie
McCreevey. Mr Hudghton told the Commissioner Designate for Internal Market
and Services that eco-labels for products already exist successfully, and
asked him to consider establishing an ethical investment label so that
potential investors can make a more informed choice.
at the confirmation hearing,
Ian Hudghton MEP asked the Commissioner designate:
"Investors might be interested in putting their money into companies
which, for example, are not involved in the arms trade, have plans to
reduce negative environmental impact, pay decent wages to staff, respect
collective agreements and do not source products made using child labour.
We have eco-labels for products - is there not a case for an 'ethical
McCreevy responded that this is a very difficult area and that the best
way to approach it is through openness and making recommendations on
disclosure so that potential investors can make up their minds about
whether to invest or not. He intimated that he did not favour new
regulations that would put European businesses at a competitive
disadvantage in world trade.
later, Ian Hudghton MEP,
a member of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs
with Mr McCreevy that we don't want to take action that would
put businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace,
but that doesn't mean we can't encourage companies to be more open and
transparent with potential investors. I welcome the fact that Mr McCreevy
seemed open to further discussion on arrangements for disclosure of
companies' trading activities to potential investors.
proposal for an 'ethical investment' label would allow potential investors
to make an informed choice and avoid putting their money into companies
who engaged in activities that they found disagreeable. Far from putting
businesses at a competitive disadvantage, I believe this could actually
stimulate competition as investors are becoming increasingly conscious of
whole, I thought that Mr McCreevy performed very well at today's hearing
and I look forward to pursuing this issue with him, assuming he is
confirmed as a Commissioner ."
nominee for a job in the new 25 member Commission has to undergo a three
hour hearing before a special European Parliament committee, before the
full parliament takes a vote to accept or reject the whole Commission
later this month.