During the recent years, the supply of bank funding to the European economies has been significantly curtailed exposing gaps in the way economic activity is financed. These developments have limited Europe’s ability to generate economic growth, and to reduce the high levels of unemployment which prevail in most EU Member States.
To complement the European Commission's Green Paper on the long-term financing of the European economy, published on 25 March 2013, the informal ECOFIN Council on 12 April invited the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) to consider setting up a High Level Expert Group (HLEG), benefitting from specialised market expertise, to further the analysis of the issues raised. The HLEG was set up in May 2013 with a mandate to make recommendations on increasing access to capital markets for SME and long term infrastructure financing in Europe. This Group, under the co-chairmanship of Alberto Giovannini and John Moran, comprised 15 experts from as many different institutions, who represented a broad and healthy spread of backgrounds and opinions. DG ECFIN alongside DG MARKT provided secretarial support to the group's work.
The final report includes the Group’s wide range of recommendations some of which are addressed to the Member States, the European Commission, supervisory authorities and the private sector. The group's recommendations will feed into preparation of the Commission's action plan following up to the Green Paper on long-term financing of the European economy.