Capital markets union: Council agrees on action plan adjustments

On 11 July 2017, the Council adopted conclusions on the Commission’s review of the EU’s capital markets union action plan.

The Council renewed its commitment to the action plan, which is aimed at securing a fully-fledged capital markets union by the end of 2019. It supported a number of priority initiatives set out by the Commission.

The conclusions highlight good progress made on the plan so far, with nearly two thirds of actions already delivered. However a number of challenges have emerged since it was launched in September 2015, and with them comes a need to strengthen the plan.

“The European economy is steadily improving. What we now need most of all is more investment. That’s why the capital markets union is top of the Estonian agenda”, Mr Tõniste said. “To ensure sustainable economic growth in the longer term, it is essential to broaden the range of sources available for financing, in particular for young and innovative companies.”

The Council reconfirmed the plan’s priorities, which are to:

–           strengthen capital markets so as to attract more investment, including foreign investment, for European companies and infrastructure projects;

–           improve access to finance in particular for European SMEs and start-ups, and especially in innovative industries.

Nearly two years into the plan, economic recovery in the EU is gaining momentum. However investment rates are still below pre-crisis levels, and this continues to drag on growth in the longer term.

The Commission outlines the mid-term review in a communication issued on 8 June 2017.

It puts a specific focus on actions related to sustainable finance and financial technology. The communication sets out three categories of actions to be pursued:

–           actions announced in 2015 and not yet delivered;

–           the follow-up to actions completed under the 2015 action plan;

–           new priority actions.

The conclusions were adopted at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.