The Capital Markets Union Proposal: Private Law back at the forefront of European Integration

On 22 June 2015 the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, in close collaboration with the president of the European Union (Tusk), Eurogroup (Dijselbloem), European Central Bank (Draghi) and European Parliament (Schulz) published a 22 page document on ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’.

In this document the five presidents propose to further deepen the economic cooperation between the EU Member States and work towards a more complete single market. Apart from the timing – the document is published in the midst of the Greek-debt-crisis, the proposal contains very interesting material for private lawyers. The proposal contains a roadmap towards a ‘genuine fiscal union’ and is of course just a proposal.

However, under the heading ‘Towards Financial Union – Integrated Finance for an Integrated Economy’, the proposal goes into the issue of completing the banking union and the launching of the Capital Markets Union. Under the heading of the latter the proposal states:

‘A true Capital Markets Union also requires other improvements, some of which can only be achieved through legislation, such as: simplification of prospectus requirements; a revived EU market for high quality securitisation; greater harmonisation of accounting and auditing practices; as well as addressing the most important bottlenecks preventing the integration of capital markets in areas like insolvency law, company law, property rights and as regards the legal enforceability of cross-border claims.’

These improvements are so important, the report states, that

‘[t]o complete the Financial Union, we need to launch a common deposit insurance scheme and the Capital Markets Union. Given their urgency, these measures should all be implemented in Stage 1.’

Stage 1, the report informs us, is planned to be carried out between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017. The digital single market initiative, therefore seems only one of potential more regulatory proposals that affect European Union private law.

This is especially exiting news for property lawyers, as for the first time contract law is no longer mentioned, but property law comes to the forefront. This does – of course – not mean that contract law is now excluded. After all, no property law can exist without contracts. We must therefore all look at this process with renewed interest as more information becomes available.

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