Competition, Spatial Location of Economic Activity and Financial Issues
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Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 18: European Financial Integration: Economic Aspects, the Existing Legal Framework and the Way Ahead
18 European financial integration: economic aspects, the existing legal framework and the way ahead1 Christos V. Gortsos* INTRODUCTION The process of European financial integration has been put forward in the European Union mainly during the last three decades, in stages, but at a gradually intensified pace. This process, whose starting point was the complete fragmentation of its member states’ financial systems, is constantly evolving and aims at shaping a single financial area within its common market. In principle, implementation of financial integration is sought through the regulatory framework established by intergovernmental and/or supranational authorities, or through self-regulation, or, finally, through market-led initiatives. In the European Union, implementation of financial integration through the regulatory framework is sought (and achieved) by the adoption of the provisions of the legal acts constituting the sources of European financial law. The aim of this chapter is confined to this latter aspect of European financial integration. Accordingly, it is structured in three sections as follows: Section A contains two subsections: the first is devoted on the one hand to the definition of the concept, and on the other to the two dimensions of financial integration (under 1); while the second provides a short overview of financial policy objectives and financial policy instruments in developed market-based economies (under 2). Section B lays down the stages of development of European financial law, which is then defined in two alternative ways, and concludes with an overview of the fundamentals of European banking law, one (and probably the most significant)...
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