GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) – France proposed on Friday that European Union member countries that support the creation of a capital markets union should immediately form a pioneering group to advance the project, which has been stalled for ten years .

Speaking before a meeting of EU finance ministers in Ghent, Belgium, Bruno Le Maire said this union was essential to mobilize private capital to invest massively in the ecological transition and artificial intelligence.

“I can no longer accept that things continue to drag on in this way. I am therefore launching this morning, in Ghent, an appeal to all European states who wish to launch the capital markets union on a voluntary basis “It will perhaps be two, three, four, five states, whatever (…) and we will see when we are at 27”, declared the French Minister of Economy and Finance.

“Let’s start with a few on the basis of three concrete proposals, first of all voluntary European supervision (…). Second very concrete proposal, I propose that we set up a European savings product with the States which wish (…). Third proposal: let’s put in place a guarantee for securitization”, specified Bruno Le Maire.

France and Germany estimate that the European economy needs 500 billion euros of additional private investment each year to cope with the ecological transition and the digital revolution, capital that can be mobilized provided that it is more easy to invest in highly fragmented European capital markets.

“There is not enough money available, European money is sleeping, instead of working. And if we want European money to work instead of sleeping, we must put in place the union of capital markets without delay. From 2024, there must be progress on the union of capital markets”, further underlined Bruno Le Maire.

His German counterpart in Finance, Christian Lindner, said he hoped for progress on the project while hoping that it would continue to be the subject of discussions at 27.

“Bilateral or small circle initiatives are possible, it is not excluded, but the goal must be to move forward together,” he said before the Eurogroup meeting.

The Capital Markets Union project was launched in 2014 with the aim of facilitating investments within the EU by unifying rules on bankruptcies, taxation of capital income, etc.

(Jan Strupczewski, Jean-Stéphane Brosse for the , with Benoît Van Overstraeten and Piotr Lipinski, edited by Sophie Louet)

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