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Three trends affecting capital flows in the EU

The European Commission has published a document giving a summary of the main developments regarding freedom of payments in the EU.

The main trends identified in the Commission staff working document are:

  1. the recovery of capital flows in the EU is still weaker than in other world regions
  2. the EU became a net importer of capital in the most recent period
  3. there is still less financial integration between EU countries than there was before the crisis

These factors all point to a need for the prompt implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe, which, according to the Commission's report, should be based on effective free movement of capital and freedom of payments, underpinning a well-functioning single market for capital.

The Commission's Capital Markets Union strategy, unveiled in September 2015, is part of the Investment Plan for Europe and its aims are compatible with the issues identifies in the latest document.

The CMU strategy lists 33 actions that were designed to boost cross-border capital flows by providing:

  • a greater choice of funding for Europe’s businesses and SMEs,
  • an appropriate regulatory environment for investment in Europe’s infrastructure,
  • increased investment and choice for retail and institutional investors and
  • enhanced bank lending, for instance through the proposals for legislation on simpler, transparent and standardised European securitisation. 

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