Euro & Finance

07-06-2013

Payment Services Directive: The new payments landscape

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in March 2007, but an explosion in e-commerce through the internet and the ownership and use of smartphones has taken place since then. In response to the challenge posed by technology to traditional payments methods, the Commission published a green paper called: ‘Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments,’ as a precursor to further rules changes. Following a consultation period an updated Payment Services Directive (PSD II) was published this summer (July 24), with a separate regulation on multilateral interchange fees (MIFs).

EU Priorities 2020 21-09-2012

EU budget 2014-2020: The €1 trillion deal

Is €1 trillion too much or not enough to fund the many activities of the European Union for the next seven years? This is the main question that European institutions and the 27 member countries’ leaders will have to answer early next year.

Future EU 22-12-2011

The Danish EU presidency: Bridge over troubled water [Archived]

With the euro debt crisis, Denmark's presidency of the EU council coincides with one of the most difficult moments in the Union's history. As Denmark is not member of the euro zone, it is prepared to take a back seat in the troubleshooting effort, but would strive to keep the countries from both sides united - "a bridge over troubled water" as European Affairs Minister Nicolai Wammen described it.

Future EU 15-12-2011

Europe’s new treaty: Towards a multi-speed Union

All 27 EU countries – except Britain and the Czech Republic – have agreed on a new treaty for tighter fiscal discipline and deeper economic integration to save the euro currency. The treaty came into force on 1 January 2013.

30-07-2010

The EU’s economic governance: Rewriting the rulebook

The Greek sovereign debt crisis is forcing Europeans to rethink the coordination of their national economic policies, confronting the euro area with its most severe test since its launch eleven years ago.

25-01-2010

Payment Services Directive: The end of the cash era?

Europe has been on the cusp of a payments revolution since 2007, when it established a single rulebook setting the same payment standards and obligations across the 31-member EU/EEA. But the Payments Services Directive and a voluntary payments scheme, the Single Euro Payments Area, were welcomed only guardedly by the industry and member states and banks have been slow to implement both initiatives.

EU Priorities 2020 25-11-2009

Growth and jobs: Reshaping the EU’s ‘Lisbon Strategy’

As the recession bites, the European Commission and national governments have begun to reflect on replacing the EU's overarching strategy for growth and jobs, known as the Lisbon Strategy. 'Green growth', innovation and education are likely to feature highly among the strategy's new priorities.

03-09-2009

Enlargement and the euro

In accordance with the provisions of the Maastricht Treaty, all new members of the European Union are eligible and compelled to join the bloc's single currency, the euro. Of the twelve member states that joined the Union between 2004 and 2007, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia have fulfilled the convergence criteria and are now part of the euro area. 

Development Policy 01-09-2009

2004-2009: An evaluation of the Barroso Commission

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso spent the summer preparing his programme for the next five years after his bid to secure a second term was put on ice by the European Parliament's political group leaders in July - EURACTIV asked key stakeholders to assess the Barroso Commission's achievements and failures.

Brexit 01-04-2009

Financial regulation: The EU’s agenda

In response to the worst crisis in decades, the European Union has agreed on a series of rules and new watchdogs to regulate and supervise global financial markets. EURACTIV offers an overview of the state of play.

15-09-2008

Financial education

Schoolchildren could start receiving courses on how to use a bank account or buy and sell shares on the stock exchange as part of EU efforts to educate citizens and prevent possible future financial crises.

Brexit 25-07-2008

Banking services: Time for consumers to benefit?

Consumers take centre stage in the Commission's Green Paper on Retail Financial Services, which lays down options on how to make retail banking and insurance services better and cheaper for EU citizens. However, the Commission, Parliament and industry are at odds over how to improve consumer protection and choice in retail financial services.

Brexit 25-01-2008

Single Payments Area

In the European single market there are still large differences between the national payment systems. The EU seeks to remove these obstacles and reduce the costs to cross-border payments for consumers by creating a Single Euro(pean) Payments Area (SEPA). The European Payments Council (EPC) was set up to develop a common infrastructure and standards. However, there is only little progress, since banks are reluctant to apply standards and fear competition being opened up to non-banks, which makes it difficult to reach the 2010 target. Therefore, the Commission has laid out a common legal framework in its 2005 proposal.

17-01-2008

Consumer credit

Following years of negotiations, EU member states found an agreement to amend the consumer credit directive, harmonising credit rules across the Union and allowing consumers to choose the best deal.

Digital 17-09-2007

Internet Security

Security in the online world is essential for the internet to realise its economic potential - but experts agree that there is no simple solution to a problem that has multiple dimensions: technological, societal, economic and psychological.

SME growth: Key to Europe’s economy

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are potentially the most dynamic sector of the economy. Their growth is key for the overall economic well-being. The Commission has several programmes and measures in place to promote SME growth. 

Brexit 06-11-2006

Introduction to Financial Services

The aim of the European Union's policy in the financial services sector is to create an integrated Europe-wide single market through a framework of legislation, co-operation and practice within which financial services can operate as a whole across borders to achieve the free movement of capital and services. The policy addresses the "wholesale" (corporate and capital) markets and the "retail" (consumer) markets as well as the underpinning services such as the clearing and settlement of shares and integration of payment systems.

27-07-2006

Efficiency of Payment systems

The economic efficiency of the EU and the attainment of its Lisbon goals greatly depend on the establishment of speedy and reliable means of making and receiving payments across the Union. Figures show that if making cross-border payments were as easy as making domestic payments, the EU economy could save between €50 and €100 billion per year.  The improvement of payment systems across the EU is therefore a large plank of the Commission’s financial services policy for 2005-2010.

07-07-2006

Stability and Growth Pact

Heads of state and government agreed at the March 2005 Summit to revise the EU's Stability and Growth Pact reform. Under the revised rules, member states must still keep their public deficits under a 3% GDP/deficit ratio and their debts under a 60% GDP/debt ratio. 

Brexit 14-02-2006

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)

One of the last major pieces of the Financial Services Action Plan still to be implemented is the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. It is designed to reduce barriers to cross-border share trading, facilitate investment and thereby boost the EU economy. Financial institutions, however, are concerned that the changes required will entail heavy costs.

28-01-2006

European Payments Infrastructure overhaul

The introduction of a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is set to overhaul the eurozone's payments infrastructure by creating a cross-border network to make using banking services as easy as it is at national level - however, uncertainties over the introduction of the new system remain.

18-01-2006

Financial Services Agenda 2005-10

The Commission's regular progress report on the single market in financial services, published in January 2006, declares the period 2004-2005 to have been one of "significant strides". The next five years, therefore, will see a period of consolidation with a tidying up of remaining specific issues.

01-12-2005

Finance Fraud

In the wake of new ways to make payments, from cheque books, credit cards and debit cards to online payments and m-commerce, have always come new ways to steal money.  Some would say that the thieves are in fact always one step ahead. This dossier outlines types of fraudulent practices, developing technological solutions and European legislative measures.

26-10-2005

Corporate Governance

The collapse of Enron in the US and European scandals such as those revolving around Dutch retailer Ahold and Italian agri-food giant Parmalat, all in 2003, forced the issues of corporate governance and financial reporting to the fore in the EU. The Commission therefore began to systematically address these issues through its company law and financial services policies.