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No 21 (May 2000/Mai 2000/Mai 2000)
The Commission intends to present its second  progress report on the implementation of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) in June. Progress is also being made in the five 'Forum Groups' that have been set up to help the Commission assess certain implications of technical issues raised in the Action Plan.
Financial Services Action Plan Progress Report
On 5 June, the Commission will present its second progress report on the implementation of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) to the ECOFIN Council. In March, the Lisbon European Council took an important political step towards an integrated financial services and capital market in the European Union. At Lisbon, Heads of State and Government recognised the central role of efficient financial markets for long term European competitiveness and for the development of the New Economy - the strategic aim over the next decade being for the Union to become ...the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.... Heads of State and Government also asked that the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP)  should be completed by 2005 (see also Special Feature in this issue). These target dates are now the key reference for this and all subsequent reviews of the Financial Services Action Plan.
Progress is also being made in the five 'Forum Groups'. These have been set up with the assistance of EU representative bodies which have submitted short lists of experts to help the Commission assess certain implications of technical issues raised in the Action Plan. The 'Forum Groups', composed of market experts, are initially considering issues related to market manipulation; updating the Investment Services Directive; collateral; consumer information requirements for retail financial services; and differences in national legislation that hinder the cross-border marketing of financial services (the working papers for the Forum Groups are available on Internal Market DG's website). Regular meetings are held with the EU representative bodies to assess progress in the Forum Groups and to consider the need for any further Forum Groups to examine specific issues. The Commission and EU representative bodies have decided to set up a new Forum Group that will focus on obstacles to cross-border corporate financial services. As a starting-point, this Group will consider cross-border cash management techniques. Once this work has been completed, it may also consider other corporate financial services such as those relating to insurance, pension asset management, asset management and the provision of services in the securities area.
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