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COMECE publiceert paper over financiële ethiek

‘Serving the common good in times of systemic change’

gepubliceerd: donderdag, 18 november 2021
COMECE publiceert paper over financiële ethiek

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) publishes on Thursday 18 November 2021 a reflection paper on ethics in the fi­nan­cial sector, calling for a reform to reduce social tensions and promote a change of behaviours at the individual and enterprise levels. Fr. Barrios Prieto: “Our call is put care at the centre, contribu­ting to the dynamic of buil­ding together the common good of humanity”.

The aim of the COMECE do­cu­ment is to stimulate a debate at the European level on promo­ting a change within the fi­nan­cial sector to reduce the negative effects of the social tensions and of the climate crisis, which are increa­sing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Zie ook bij menupubli­ca­ties de CSLK bundel van ok­to­ber 2020 over dit on­der­werp.

Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto

“Our call addresses the EU institutions, its Member States, as well as industrial and service corporations, universities and citizens - states Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE. In the Christian perspective, the common good is the measure for evalua­ting our fi­nan­cial endeavors. We call to put care at the centre of our finances” - he explains.

Through the principles of Christian Social Teaching, the reflection paper confronts a selection of policy and personal dilemmas in the field of economy and finance to help the concerned actors make better in­for­med choices and decisions aiming at the common good. The do­cu­ment analyses different challenges posed by the macro, meso and micro dilemmas of finances:

  • Post-pandemic bur­dens are heavier for middle and low-income countries and manifold instru­ments must be used to increase foreign invest­ments. The unique combination of short-term urgencies and long-term challenges requires a dialogue with pru­dence, justice and adequate liste­ning of all stakehol­ders.
    The paper also contributes to the ethical discussion of credit, dept and interest and to the prevention of over-indebtedness.
  • Banking and fi­nan­cial markets should pay greater attention to the weakest among their stakehol­ders by the notion of “care” which is a call to go beyond an efficient market transaction based on equivalence, to care for the partner, the client, the supplier, the environ­ment, the local community - behaviors must change at individual and at enterprise levels.
  • The important question of how to use savings is raised and is accompanied by a call for a deeper and more evenly distributed fi­nan­cial literacy. Likewise, the validity of ESG (Environ­ment, Social and Corporate Governance) objectives is affirmed, but some major hurdles need to be clarified.

The do­cu­ment, titled “A Fi­nan­cial System ser­ving the Common Good in times of Systemic Change”, was drafted by the COMECE ad-hoc Working Group on Fi­nan­cial Ethics, chaired by Prof. Paul Dembinski - director of Observatoire de la Finance in Geneva.

A public event will be held by COMECE in early 2022, together with EU and Church representatives, to discuss the imple­mentation of the above-mentioned recommendations at the European level. More information will be shared in the next weeks.