With the composition of the UK's MEPs set to change significantly following this week's European elections, Chris Cummings, Chief Executive at TheCityUK, comments on the important role those who secure seats will have in representing the best interests of the UK in Europe, and helping the financial industry contribute to jobs and growth across the continent:
"The task facing those elected to the European Parliament this week is huge. European economies are showing sluggish growth and compared with other parts of the world, Europe looks uncompetitive and in urgent need of modernisation.
"Our new MEPs have an urgent role to play in shaping the future of the continent and as our recent Finance for Jobs and Growth in Europe report makes clear, the financial services industry has a vital role to play in resolving the major economic challenges that Europe and its leaders are now facing.
"Promoting sustainable economic growth and tackling unemployment should be the primary objectives of the Parliament's 2014 – 2019 mandate. There is much work to be done. Financial services can contribute to this by facilitating growth, as ours is an industry where Europe has a competitive advantage over other economies. However, regulation needs to be implemented properly for this to happen.
Significant progress has been made to strengthen the regulation of the financial industry, but a stable financial system alone will not be sufficient to drive jobs and growth – this will come from businesses that have the confidence to invest, export to the world's higher growth nations and reap the benefits of higher productivity.
"Britain's new MEPs must play a vigorous role in ensuring the policies we need to deliver jobs and growth are implemented. Regardless of the political party of our elected representatives, our industry needs them to work hard, work with others from other member states, and work for Britain's and Europe's economic interests. Failure to do so will cost jobs at home and hurt the UK's economic recovery badly."