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Integrating EU financial markets

Properly integrated financial markets in the EU are important because they are vital to the more efficient use and flow of investment capital, and thus to the competitiveness of the EU economy.

The analysis of financial sector developments carried out within the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) focuses mainly on two areas: macro-financial conditions and progress in financial market integration.

Macro-financial conditions

Analysis of financial market trends and the macro-financial environment feeds into DG ECFIN's economic forecasts and the assessment of financial stability risks in the European economy.

Financial market integration

Work on financial integration relates to the assessment of structural reforms, the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines linked to the Lisbon Strategy, and readiness for euro adoption as measured in the convergence reports for Member States that are preparing to join the euro area.

In addition, DG ECFIN co-operates with other Commission departments, such as the Directorates-General for the Internal Market (DG MARKT) and Competition (DG COMP). DG ECFIN contributes its expertise to analytical work related to the integration process, for example on the qualification of economic benefits or the measurement of integration. Other DG ECFIN contributions include the following:

  • DG ECFIN follows progress in the EU's Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), Financial Market Integration, corporate governance and the EU-US financial markets regulatory dialogue;
  • DG ECFIN is involved in the EFC Sub-Committee on EU Government Bonds and Bills Markets which brings together Member States' representatives from Ministries of Finance and Debt Management Agencies. Since 1999, DG ECFIN has produced monthly and quarterly reports on developments in the euro-denominated bond market. These reports provide DG ECFIN, other Commission departments and a wider readership with regular insights regarding the progress of the emerging integrated bond market in Europe;
  • DG ECFIN also participates in the Giovannini Group – a committee of private-sector experts, under the chairmanship of Alberto Giovannini, which advises the European Commission on financial market issues such as clearing and settlement.