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30 March 2015

The Parliament Magazine: Competitiveness must be 'focal point' of EU cohesion policy

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The capital markets union could benefit SMEs who often find themselves at a disadvantage when seeking out financial assistance, writes Tadeusz Truskolaski.

The green paper on the establishment of a capital markets union is an important document which represents a significant step towards the diversification of sources of business financing. The competitiveness of the European economy and entities operating within it is a priority that must be the focal point of the EU's cohesion policy. 

The complexity and multifaceted character of the actions planned for the launch of the single market requires the intensification of our work and careful analysis of the full spectrum of possible impacts.

Existing tools to finance the economy have hindered Europe from accessing its full resource potential. It is therefore particularly necessary to look at the possibilities of activating and stimulating small and medium-sized entities in order to increase the possibility of their financial support. 

Currently, their external sources of capital are based on unified offers from retail banks. Yet stimulating European activity and entrepreneurship requires seeking out new opportunities to support economically active units. This will be the focus of work on the unification of capital markets in the near future.

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is currently preparing an opinion on the commission's green paper. Its draft will be discussed in a commission for economic policy meeting on 7 May, and the CoR's opinion is due to be adopted during the plenary session on 8-9 July.

This is an important topic for the CoR because of its focus on the economic and social cohesion of the EU, which cannot be achieved without equal and clear rules in all areas of operation. 

Particularly, entities operating in less developed regions face the problem of insufficient funding. The lower level of competitiveness of such areas is very often the result of weaknesses on the part of governmental bodies. 

Those finance models that work are primarily suited to the largest and strongest actors, therefore financial institutions tend to reject entities that have large prospects but fail to meet unified financial institutions' requirements.

The CoR's work will be focused primarily on the green paper's proposals regarding the establishment of a capital markets union, which will allow greater access to capital for governmental entities and ensure better use of accumulated financial resources.

We are interested in actively participating in the development of a single capital market. Regional and local experiences - due to their diversity and visible multifaceted approach - may well affect the expected development of the model document to be prepared. Cooperation between the CoR and European institutions can ensure the creation of solutions that would better answer the needs signalled by the market.

The CoR encourages all actors operating directly or indirectly in the economic zone to take appropriate action. The single capital market is a step in the direction of research, leading to better implementation of the EU's priorities, aimed at accelerated and sustainable growth.

Full article on The Parliament Magazine

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