As the European Union gets ready to identify its strategic priorities and to plan its policies for the 2019-2024 legislative term, it is important to reflect on the various forces that are re-shaping many aspects of the economy and the policy landscape. These include an increasingly competitive global economic environment, the growth of disruptive technologies and new business models, as well as the drive to transition to a low-carbon economy. The United Kingdom’s prospective withdrawal from the EU will also be a factor in the near-term policy agenda.
In this context, the EU should prioritise a growth strategy that focuses on promoting competitiveness, innovation and deeper integration while transitioning to a greener economy.
A competitive, resilient and well-integrated financial system can play a central role in driving this strategy. AFME believes the EU should establish an ambitious agenda for the financial services sector in 2019-2024, which advances the following objectives.
- Supports European integration and financial stability by providing diversification, shock-absorption and risk sharing channels;
- Promotes the availability of diverse and efficient financing mechanisms for businesses of all sizes, with particular focus on funding for technological innovation and enterprises with high growth potential, through capital market ecosystems;
- Finances the transition to a more sustainable economy and helps to close the yearly investment gap of almost EUR 180 billion to achieve EU climate and energy targets by 2030;
- Provides EU citizens and organisations with a diversity of assets for investment and saving, contributing to wealth creation and the provision of retirement income to address the EU’s demographic challenge.
In order to best attract both market liquidity and long-term investment, the EU’s financial markets regulatory framework must be continually evaluated as to whether it is sufficiently competitive and at the cutting edge of innovation and connectivity.