At The Core of the EU and Finance Policy in the Making
It is fascinating being amongst the Brusselistas galore and tasting the environs transpired from the fundamental core of EU integration. This kernel is characterised by the common European economic and political foundations dating back to the mid-twentieth century, the ceaseless path to better the unity of the EU single market, as well as the typical EU decision-making process. This is enthralling in itself, together with the flair of facing so naturally the multicultural milieu that EU institutions offer.
Working at the heart of the EU’s mechanism plainly deciphers the value of uniting European States, upholding entirely this thought, instantly after having the incipient participation at one of the daily brain-storming meetings. My one-year experience working at the European Commission within the Directorate-General Internal Market and Services and contributing to the European finance policy, transformed my imagination to own realisation of how the function of a Eurocrat and politicking interact when it comes to developing policy for the EU. Contributing to finance policy for the single market is exciting and highly technical, especially when we are reaching the crest of our discussion to decide on the optimal policy option for the EU single market, considering invariably practice against theory.
Within the scope of ameliorating and extending the EU investment fund policy, it is crucial to devote a high level of allegiance and mindfulness to enhance the level of investor protection and sustain safety on financial markets, hence the European Commission’s proposal for the recast of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in October 2011. On the other hand, adequate room for the right manoeuvre has to be maintained, i.e. aiding the EU investment fund market to grow, easing more flexibility for cross-border capital flows and encouraging an increasing economic activity grounded on the mentality of generating businesses to serve better our society. Here, it is worth mentioning the European Commission’s proposals in December 2011 vis-à-vis the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EUSeFs) and the European Venture Capital Funds, both intending to lessen the fragmentation of the respective markets along national lines and enhance the visibility of these types of funds.
Another unceasing issue on the EU agenda is the sustainability of micro and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) which act as the backbone of the European economy. In fact, they have a high potential in creating value for the EU businesses through their rate of employment, generation of wealth, economic growth and innovative business ideas in conjunction with their adroitness in research and development (R&D). This is taken seriously at EU level, in fact more efforts are being put in place to enhance their access to EU financing and minimise regulatory burden of legislation faced by them, so much so, that this is fostered by the EU’s Growth Strategy, Europe 2020. This endeavour attests a commitment by different sections of the European Commission in collaboration with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.
Turning to a diurnal issue on the EU agenda, one encounters furthering harmonisation within the EU financial services market. In fact, even the EU Single Market Commissioner Michel Barnier himself, recently emphasised that he wants to create an internal market in financial services. Although, it is onerous and complex to integrate all elements within the EU states’ financial markets, due to their influence from exogenous factors at their local domain, however it is crucial that more similarity becomes evident to strengthen the EU single financial market. Unfortunately, there are still tensions and they tend to remain, at least for the time-being. Certain EU member states want to retain their power of authority and it is a slow process to reverse it, if ever at all. However, a higher level of harmonisation and a stronger unity are a necessity for the EU to pose itself as a main competitor on the world platform.
Experiencing a stretch of time at the core of the EU, or better said, at the capital of Europe leaves an array of thoughts and a gamut of the EU underlying procedures in launching EU regulation. Personally, this enrichment of knowledge helps in realising further the interests of one’s native country while tolerating ethos and ideas emerging from multiculturalism, insofar as working peacefully in unity aiming at the common good. Aspiring at an EU integrated interest, which becomes easier to digest and support when living at the core of the EU, leads oneself to conceptualise entirely the vibrancy of being a true European.