The European Court of Auditors is assessing how successful the Commission’s action has been so far in building the Capital Markets Union, a major initiative launched in June 2015 as part of the “Juncker Plan”.
The free movement of capital is a key long-standing objective of the European Union, being one of the pillars of the European Single Market, along with the free movement of people, goods and services. An integrated capital market would complement banks as a more diversified source of financing, offering investors and savers additional opportunities to put their money to work and opening up new funding opportunities for all EU businesses, in particular start-ups and smaller companies.
The Capital Markets Union (CMU) is a project launched in June 2015 by the Commission to ensure a free flow of private capital and to remove regulatory and other barriers in the EU. Despite some progress over the years, Europe's capital markets are still fragmented along national lines, and are not easily accessible to all would-be investors. Moreover, the EU’s economies rely heavily on the banking system as their major source of financing, and suffer when banks limit access to credit in difficult times — such as during the 2008 financial crisis. The Commission’s action plan aimed to set up the building blocks for a well-functioning and integrated Capital Markets Union by 2019. Work towards the CMU will remain one of the top priorities for the next Commissioner responsible for financial services, as barriers to the free flow of capital still exist.
“Although the direct impact of the project remains to be seen, it is time to assess its effectiveness and the progress made so far” said Rimantas Šadžius, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “Our audit will check where the Capital Markets Union project stands now, and can provide recommendations for a future reboot.”
Press Release: Auditors to look at the action taken by the Commission to foster an EU Capital Markets Union