Photo: Krum Stoev (EU2018BG)
The Bulgarian Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov chaired the informal meeting of the EU ministers of economy and finance on 27 April at the National Palace of Culture, Sofia. During the first day of the meeting the EU economic and financial affairs ministers and central bank governors deliberated on the EU’s economic convergence policy and the Capital Markets Union.
During a discussion on the possibilities for spurring economic convergence in the EU Member States, the ministers reviewed the concepts for new instruments and mechanisms supporting convergence inside and outside the Euro area in the context of the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Recent trends were presented in order to identify the obstacles to convergence and the potential factors to accelerate it. Finance Minister Goranov highlighted:
“Economic convergence is at the foundation of the entire European project. It improves prosperity and economic and political stability both in the Euro area and in the EU as a whole. To deepen the EMU we need political agreement on the working principles of the instruments used to achieve economic convergence which all EU Member States can and should contribute to.”
The ministers also explored ways to tackle the existing capital markets fragmentation. The discussions were focused on some of the key measures to establish the Capital Markets Union (CMU), such as creating new European products, for example the pan-European Pension Product, and the Commission’s proposals to ensure effective and reliable supervisory systems. The new measures for further reducing CMU fragmentation, as proposed in March 2018, were also discussed. All EU initiatives delivered so far under the CMU project, both legislative and non-legislative, aim at providing the building blocks for the realisation of the CMU in the Union, the rapid establishment of which is of utmost importance for further integration in the EU. In this context and considering the broad support for reducing capital markets fragmentation, the ministers agreed that the current institutional framework needs to be improved by ensuring more supervisory convergence.
“The EU should have a clear view how to shape the institutional framework. A more effective and consistent supervision would contribute to eliminating the barriers to cross-border investment, reducing compliance costs for firms, enhancing investor protection and preserving financial stability”,
Minister Goranov stated during the debate.