European Capital Markets Institute

February 2016: In the aftermath of the great financial crisis, the lack of risk diversification in the European financial system, i.e. limited cross-border banking and capital markets activities, is the main cause of the fast retrenchment of capital flows within national boundaries. Europe needs private risk sharing mechanisms to withstand asymmetric shocks, such as the recent financial crisis. An EU-wide action to promote competition among national capital markets could free up to €1.8 trillion in cash and deposits to invest cross-border in more profitable and riskier projects to create growth and jobs.

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ECMI Commentary, March 2016. In his assessment of the latest draft prospectus Regulation, Karel Lannoo argues that the text goes somewhat further than the European Commission has previously entertained, but it falls short of creating a European market. In his view, the Commission is hostage to its own (or member states’) unwillingness to expand the powers of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to become an EU-wide listing authority.

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ECMI Commentary, October 2015. The European Commission’s new Action Plan for Capital Markets Union, unveiled on September 30th, consists in a nutshell of a short list of technical proposals and a longer one of (rather general) potential actions. Overall, the plan indeed proposes to achieve some short-term objectives, such as a reduction of listing costs for SMEs, but it lacks long-term vision. The plan bundles actions under rather generic objectives of long-term finance or cross-border investing.

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