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AFME is providing strategic input and practical support for the EU Capital Markets Union project

AFME has been a strong supporter of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) initiative – an EU project which aims to further integrate Europe’s Member States and reduce barriers to cross-border finance.

Efficient and well-developed capital markets are essential to meeting the financing and risk management needs of EU citizens, enterprises and public authorities. Importantly, an integrated and well-functioning CMU would help strengthen EU competitiveness and prospects for economic growth and job creation.

We also believe that the development of the CMU is a pre-condition for the success of the sustainable finance agenda and, therefore, the fulfilment of the EU’s climate change objectives.

The European Commission’s new legislative cycle that began in December 2019 provides an opportunity for policymakers, market participants and other stakeholders to re-launch an ambitious plan for further integration of European capital markets.

AFME’s yearly report “Capital Markets Union – Key Performance Indicators”, developed in partnership with European and international organisations, highlighted that while there has been progress on the CMU project, there are also areas in need of improvement (see video on CMU progress in Europe).

In this context, AFME has put forward recommendations:

General recommendations General recommendations

  • Establishing a comprehensive EU retail investment strategy
  • Fostering better conditions for SMEs to access equity finance
  • Advancing the EU's global leadership on sustainable finance including through the promotion of globally coordinated efforts to defining sustainability
  • Building a competitive digital single market by harnessing the potential of emerging technologies (including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and digital assets) and ensuring a level playing field among different types of participants

Recommendations in wholesale markets Recommendations in wholesale markets

  • Undertaking a recalibration of MiFID 2/R
  • Building and interconnecting securities market ecosystems (including both trading and post-trading)
  • Continue working towards creating an environment which supports a high quality and dynamic European securitisation market
  • Improving and further converging EU legal frameworks, such as insolvency, and supervisory practices
  • Recognising the role of banks and the need for well-calibrated prudential regulation to support the development of capitla markets
  • Ensuring a well-functioning third country equivalence framework
  • Deepening reflections towards a solution for a European safe asset

Key Publications

2020 2020

2019 2019


  • AFME Letter to EU finance ministries ahead of ECOFIN recommendations on CMU (November 2019): this letter to finance ministries provides a high level summary of AFME's perspectives on the next phase of CMU and priorities in wholesale markets.
  • AFME CMU Key Performance Indicators (Second edition - October 2019): the second edition of AMFE's report Capital Markets Union- Measuring progress and planning for success was published in October 2019, in collaboration with 10 other European and international organisations. The report includes a country-by-country comparison of individual EU member State progress against CMU's objectives. A summary of policy recommendaitons supported by the signatory organisations is provided on page 11.
  • AFME submission to the Next CMU High Level Group (August 2019): this submission summarises AFME's current thinking on priorities for the next phase of CMU. Question 9 provides a summary of the submission, listing three priority principles and three priority policy areas for action in the next phase of CMU. 
  • AFME publication Finance for Europe - Building competitive, resilient and integrated financial markets (July 2019): this publication summarises AFME's overall priorities for the 2019-2014 EU political cycle, including recommendations on CMU, banking regulations, sustainable finance, technology, international relationships and other areas. 

2018 2018

2017 2017

  • The links between the Risk Reduction package and the development of Europe’s capital markets (December 2017): the report sets out eight case studies which explore the potential impact of the RRM on capital markets products and transactions used by different real economy actors such as corporates, institutional investors and EU governments.
  • Global and European Green Finance Policy Directory (December 2017): authored by the GGFC, a group comprised of global and regional financial industry organisations, the Directory aims at providing policymakers and global and regional market participants with a simple reference guide to the major initiatives on green finance, sustainability and climate change being implemented by international and regional bodies and industry organisations.
  • Shortage of Risk Capital for Europe's High Growth Businesses (March 2017): This report was authored by AFME with the support of 12 other European organisations representing various stakeholders involved in risk capital. The purpose of the report is to outline the existing sources of risk capital for growing businesses, why shortages occur, and to highlight recommendations for European and national policymakers to improve its supply.

2016 + prior 2016 + prior

  • The Benefits of Capital Markets to High Potential EU Economies (November 2016): This report is a collaboration between New Financial and AFME (the Association for Financial markets in Europe) and analyses the potential role and benefits of deeper capital markets in the high potential economies in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Raising finance for Europe's small and medium-sized businesses/SME Finance guide - (October 2015): This guide provides practical information to SMEs across Europe on how to raise finance from a variety of sources.
  • Bridging the growth gap report (June 2015): AFME and The Boston Consulting Group co-wrote a report based on a survey of global investors, collectively holding around €9tn of assets under management. It provides a unique, in-depth analysis of how capital markets in Europe and the US compare, and how these differences may have contributed to the wide disparity in growth rates since the financial crisis.
  • AFME/ICMA Infrastructure finance guide(June 2015): prepared in partnership with the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), this report helps infrastructure issuers more easily access funding sources – including bank, private placement and public project bond financing – and supports the European Commission and EIB’s Investment Plan for Europe. AFME, in cooperation with the ICMA, is actively engaged with the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) in its work on the definition and calibration of the infrastructure asset class, including infrastructure corporates.  
  • Unlocking funding for European investment and growth (June 2013): this AFME-Oliver Wyman report identified nearly 50 obstacles to funding for corporates and investors. 

Rick Watson

Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets, Membership and Events

+44 (0)20 3828 2737

Pablo Portugal

Managing Director, Advocacy

+32 (0)2 788 3974