Europe’s banking crisis: A call to action

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Trust among financial institutions is disappearing and there is a risk that fear will spread more widely, argue a group of prominent professors and directors, all of whom have signed a Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) petition calling on national governments to provide a Europe-wide solution to the banking crisis.

The turmoil must be stopped before it causes “major damage to the real economy,” argue the petitioners.

Considering the fact that European banks are heavily interdependent on one another, the group also believes that action taken at national level will not be enough to solve the financial crisis. Instead, the petitioners state that “it is critical that national authorities sit together and coordinate their responses, developing Europe-wide solutions where appropriate”.

The group also insists that “now is the time to act while the situation is still manageable”.

The petitioners believe that the solution lies in an EU contribution “centred on a recapitalisation of the banking sector, through the injection of public equity or through mandatory debt-to-equity conversions”.

To prevent future crises of this nature, the group aruges that “regulation of the European financial markets and institutions at the European level will also be required”.

The petitioners conclude that “unless Europe’s leaders immediately unite to address this crisis head on before it spirals out of control, they may find themselves fighting over how best to salvage the aftermath”. 

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