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01 October 2005

Liberalising EU Financial Services

The UK Presidency of the EU - Moving Europe Forward
The benefits of a liberalised market in financial services throughout the EU have been championed actively by the UK for the last two decades. The changes in that time are nothing short of revolutionary – and yet there is still a strong feeling that much remains to be done. But that feeling is tempered by creeping doubts about whether something is in the process of “going wrong”. So the UK holds the EU Presidency at an opportune moment for steering the path away from those doubts – coinciding with the European Commission review of the responses to its Green Paper on “Financial Services Policy (2005-2010)”. In the longer term, this may be the greatest opportunity for the UK Presidency

SummaryGrand slogans have an immediate appeal but the reality of the task facing the UK Presidency must be different because, in Lamfalussy’s wise words again, “the European Union has no divine right to the benefits of an integrated financial market”. The benefits will only come by pushing forward – step by step – the creation of soundly-based policies of liberalization. But that means change, and change cannot be free.

Why could things be seen as 'going wrong'? Delays in transposing measures agreed at the European level Excessive detail in primary legislation Better Regulation State of Play


© Graham Bishop

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