HomeEuropeEU leaders demand banking union progress

EU leaders demand banking union progress

Eurozone leaders turned up the heat on their finance ministers to find a breakthrough on a banking union.

In a statement following Friday’s euro summit meeting, government heads called for more concrete work to better integrate their banking markets.

Eurogroup finance ministers should prepare “a stepwise and time-bound work plan on all outstanding elements needed to complete the Banking Union,” the statement said.

The project has stalled over a proposed European-wide deposit insurance scheme, which northern countries have blocked with an insistence on first reducing risks in southern banks.

The leaders’ statement called for building on the Eurogroup’s “major step” last month, agreeing to speed up the date when the eurozone bailout fund could be used as a backstop source of money in case of big bank failures. In previous parts of the banking union, the EU has centralized industry supervision under the European Central Bank and created a crisis-management authority.

The government chiefs also called for “rapid progress” on the capital markets union, an EU-wide initiative to spur investment and help companies find funding outside of banks. The work should prioritize green finance as well as the short-term steps identified by finance ministers, working from a European Commission action plan.

Barriers to progress on the CMU in more complex and structural areas — a reference to matters such as insolvency law and withholding taxes — should be identified, EU leaders added.



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