State of the Union 2016: Questions and Answers on the Communication on Capital Markets Union – Accelerating Reform

What is the Capital Markets Union?

The Commission’s top priority is to strengthen Europe’s economy and stimulate investment to create jobs. The EUR 315 billion Investment Plan for Europe helped to kick-start that process. To strengthen investment for the long term, we need stronger capital markets. These would provide new sources of funding for business, help increase options for savers and make the economy more resilient. That is why President Juncker set out as one of his key priorities, the need to build a true single market for capital – a Capital Markets Union for all Member States.

The free movement of capital is a long-standing objective of the European Union — a fundamental freedom at the heart of the single market. Despite the progress that has been made, Europe’s capital markets remain fragmented along national lines and European economies remain heavily reliant on the banking sector for their funding needs. This makes them more vulnerable should bank lending tighten, as happened during the financial crisis.

The Action Plan published in September 2015 sets out the priority actions needed to put in place the building blocks of a Capital Markets Union by 2019, removing barriers to cross-border investment and lowering the costs of funding. As part of the third pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Capital Markets Union should help businesses tap into more diverse sources of capital from anywhere within the EU, make markets work more efficiently and offer investors and savers additional opportunities to put their money to workin order to enhance growth and create jobs.

Access the full Q&A on the Capital Markets Union here