Good afternoon everyone.
Just over one year ago, we presented an action plan to boost the Capital Markets Union. Today, we are taking another major step forward to put that plan into effect.
Deep, integrated and well-functioning capital markets will play a large part in determining the strength of our recovery.
This means that we should:
-help smaller companies to get off the ground and later expand, and larger companies to thrive;
-make it easy for people to invest safely in their future, and;
-integrate national capital markets into a genuine single market.
At the same time, as we embark on the green and digital transformations, we need to generate massive investments to make the EU economy more inclusive and resilient.
Today's package of proposals will:
-attract and protect investors;
-improve their access to company and trading data;
-increase sources of financing and make it easier for smaller businesses to find funding;
-steer investments towards our sustainability and digital priorities;
-boost Europe's global competitiveness as a place to invest and to do business.
Next year, the Commission will follow up on the CMU action plan with four more initiatives. Mairead will say more on this.
For now, let me just briefly outline the four proposals that we are presenting today.
All of them contribute to achieving the CMU objectives.
Firstly, investors need access to public information about EU companies and investment products to make sound decisions.
This information is now scattered across Member States.
The new European Single Access Point will allow investors to find this data easily in one place, on their computer screens.
This is especially important for small companies in small capital markets.
Then, we want to see more uptake of European long-term investment funds to support our economy during the recovery, and particularly for investing in infrastructure and new technologies.
These funds are not yet being used to their full potential.
Next - alternative investment funds. Overall, the rules are working well, so there is no need for an overhaul.
But we need to remove cross-border barriers for investment funds. And this does not call into question a business model that has contributed to the global success of EU investment funds.
Lastly, we want all investors to have easier access to trading data in capital markets, in areas such as stocks, bonds and derivatives by bundling information from 476 EU exchanges and trading venues in a consolidated tape.
This electronic system collects and combines real-time trading data across exchanges for use by investors. And we are also changing the rules to make trading more transparent.
These changes will increase the international competitiveness of the EU as a place to trade, and help smaller investors too. Stock exchanges, particularly smaller ones, will receive a fair share of the revenue generated by the data they provide for the tape.
We are also proposing to prohibit the practice where brokers send clients' orders to traders in exchange for compensation. This is the so-called 'payment for order flow'. We must ensure that investors get the best deal for them, not for their intermediaries.
Ladies and gentlemen
At a time like this, we need the Capital Markets Union more than ever to stimulate financing around Europe. There is no time to lose in tackling the longstanding barriers to integrated capital markets.
Thank you and I now pass the floor to Mairead.