An EU-wide campaign of financial reform movement Change Finance has succeeded in getting over 230 candidates for the European Parliament to sign a pledge challenging the power of the financial lobby.

The financial crisis did not lead to reforms that will prevent another crisis. In fact the changes needed to secure a financial system for the benefit of citizens and the environment have barely seen the light of day. This is in no small part due to the power that the financial lobby wields on the EU institutions.

Huge financial lobby

There is an army of 1,700 lobbyists representing the interests of banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and other financial corporations. This financial lobby has blocked reforms that are necessary to avoid a new crisis and to stop additional climate change.

Fundamental change needed

In recent years, some small steps forward have been taken by the EU institutions, including the European Parliament. But according to the Change Finance coalition, there is still a mighty long way to go. Change Finance demands a fundamental reform of the financial system.

The coalition is composed of citizens, charities, think tanks, NGOs, environmental organisations, faith groups and trade unions from all over Europe.

By signing a pledge MEPs are commiting to five measures that aim to limit the power of the financial lobby.

“With this pledge we hope to build strong political will in the new parliament, even before it convenes. This way, MEPs can start working rightaway on financial reforms that put the interests of people ahead of the interests of finance.” – Myriam Vander Stichele (SOMO)

Until 23 May, citizens can send an online message to candidate MEPs, urging them to sign on to the pledge.