The European Commission asks not to wait for another crisis to complete the banking union


The European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, asked today not to wait for another crisis to complete the banking union in the EU and take advantage of the “great instability” to be more ambitious in this regard.

The banking union “is not complete, we are not there yet” because political support is not totalalthough it is something that “the citizens” do demand, McGuinness said in a debate in Madrid together with the First Vice President and Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, organized by the Elcano Royal Institute.

Calvino affirmed share the “frustration” of the commissioner in this regard and noted that with the recent change in the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) there is a “window of opportunity” to move towards the “integration” of the markets and the European banking system. In the opinion of the economic vice president, this progress must be made hand in hand with “green finance”, investments for accelerate the ecological transitionand the time to do it is “now” because “other parts of the world are not moving as fast” and that gives Europe a “competitive advantage”.

It is necessary to plan a “huge investment” in Europe for the development of renewable energies and other key sectors, such as semiconductors, according to the minister, who expects progress in this regard during the Spanish presidency of the EU in the second semester of 2023, as well as an agreement for tax reform, because “There is no plan B.”

On the other hand, the commissioner stressed that the European banking system is “robust” thanks to the regulations implemented after the financial crisis of 2008 and “for now” financial stability is guaranteed, despite the uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. However, citizen “confidence” in the financial system “is still being rebuilt” after the ravages of the 2008 crisis, he warned.

Calviño, for his part, commented that one of the lessons of those “turbulent years” is that “financial stability cannot be taken for granted” and advocated “anticipating”, trying to “act quickly” so that the risks do not materialize, as in his opinion Spain is doing with its pressure on the European Commission to regulate energy prices.

Digital euro and cryptocurrencies

About him digital euro, a project in which Brussels works together with the ECB to respond to the growing demand for online payments, McGuinness noted that “there is no urgency” today, but “there may be” in the future, and reiterated that the European Commission will present its Plan on it next year. For Calviño, the “geopolitical angle” must be taken into account, because both China and the United States are evaluating digital currencies and the EU cannot be left behind in this matter.

Regarding cryptocurrencies, the commissioner explained that of the three options to address this phenomenon (ignore them, prohibit them or regulate them), Brussels has chosen the third because of the “tremendous damage” that “a parallel world” of monetary transactions alien to the rules and guarantees of traditional financial services. The countries of the EU and the European Parliament reached an agreement last July to regulate for the first time in the community market all cryptocurrenciesan approach that Spain supports, as Calviño recalled today.


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