Remarks by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis during the signing ceremony of the MoU on Baltic capital markets

 

Brussels, 6 November 2017

 

Thank you for inviting me to this signing ceremony today.

With the signature of the joint Memorandum of Understanding, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania mark an important step on the road to creating a Capital Markets Union.

Strengthening and integrating EU's capital markets through cross-border and regional initiatives helps create new opportunities – easier access to financial markets and alternative sources of financing for consumers and companies. This is crucial to boost European investment, see our companies grow and create jobs.

The three Baltic States are already often considered by investors as one single market and one investment region. Now, with this initiative, the Baltic States are proactively building their own investment capacity.

This is particularly important for small and medium enterprises. Assisting them on their way to the capital markets could be a game-changer as the costs are often the real barriers that prevent them from being listed.

Of course, developing alternative source of financing would greatly increase the resilience and competitiveness of the Baltic economies in the case of external shocks.

This is why the European Commission fully supports the initiative of the Baltic States.

And this support is concrete.

Using the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) and working together with the EBRD, our Structural Reform Support Service has been already engaged with the national authorities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania individually and will now start to put in place concrete projects coordinated with all three Baltic States.

In particular, together with the EBRD, the Commission will support the Baltic States with the introduction of a pan-Baltic covered bond framework. This will contribute towards well-functioning and larger capital markets in the region and would also open up long-term funding options for banks, allowing to increase the level of lending to economies.

We believe that this Memorandum of Understanding is the start of a very productive engagement and we look forward to future cooperation.