Public policy initiatives aimed at the prevention of future financial crises originate with global harmonization in the form of executive standards issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. This article explores the role of the European Parliament (EP) in the process of adapting the standards in European Union legislation passed in 2013 as the Capital Requirements Regulation/Capital Requirements Directive IV. Unlike accounts casting the EP as increasingly dependent upon outside sources in order to meet its enhanced legislative role, we find it increasingly dexterous in developing and using in-house policy ideas, expertise, and not least a common sense of institutional purpose. Notable EP successes in final legislation include (but are not restricted to) a headline cap on bankers’ bonuses in the face of entrenched business and national interests. The argument is developed by drawing upon a broad range of interviews together with other primary and secondary sources, tracing the contribution of the EP from the early stages of agenda-setting through to the development of an “esprit de corps” among the committee lead team which survived intact throughout the “black box” of trilogue negotiations. Besides illuminating the notoriously opaque trilogue process, the analysis also contributes to contemporary debates about whether the EP’s increased legislative powers are resulting in a shift away from its traditional allegiances with diffuse interests toward a greater engagement with producer sources in order to fulfill requirements for policy expertise.
Bibliographical noteEarly View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)
- diffuse and specific interests
- European Parliament
- financial regulation