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Barnier pledges fair financial overhaul for EU

MICHEL Barnier has pledged to take a balanced approach to overhauling financial regulation in Europe, City A.M. can reveal.

The French politician, who has been appointed EU internal markets commissioner, faces a vote tomorrow to ratify his role along with 25 other commissioners.

He has made a series of special pledges in a bid to assuage concerns over his appointment. The move is an attempt to soothe fears in the City after President Nicolas Sarkozy controversially claimed Barnier’s nomination was a “victory” for Paris.

Barnier said he would work in a collegiate fashion with his three fellow economic commissioners. He vowed to assess the cumulative impact of new rules on topics such as derivatives and capital requirements, and said he would involve the European Parliament at an early stage in drafting crucial legislation.

The commitments were extracted by the EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the committee, said: “These are addressing concerns which go to the core of the financial industry, not just in the UK but all over Europe.”