Remarks by Commissioner Gentiloni at the Eurogroup press conference

Good morning and let me thank the Belgian Presidency for organising this informal meeting, for the visit we had yesterday evening to the cathedral and for these couple of days of work.  

Capital Markets Union was the only subject we addressed in the Eurogroup this morning.

And this is a workstream that is so important economically, but also challenging politically, and I think the discussion this morning showed this. Because the more we seek to be ambitious – and we must be ambitious – the more we touch on national sensitivities. So another difficult file, after other difficult files we addressed, the last one being the reform of our Economic Governance.  

We all agree on the fundamental role that deeper and more integrated capital markets must play if Europe is to make progress towards its strategic goals.

Our investment needs, as Christine just reminded us, are immense, we face a mountain of investments. Of course a public contribution is needed, I don't like it when we exclude this dimension, so the discussion of what's next after Next Generation EU is an important one. But we all know that this mountain of investment must be addressed primarily through private investments.

So, we need a single market that is of sufficient scale to compete with global rivals in a multi-polar world.

Because developing national capital markets – important though this is – will not be sufficient if these markets remain fragmented.

The CMU is not a “nice-to-have”. It is a must-have and an urgent one. I think this was very clear in the discussion today. And it is of course part of the broader discussion on our competitiveness strategy. We will continue of course this discussion tomorrow.

So I want again to thank Paschal for his tireless work on this crucial project and for his determination to help us forge a consensus on a way forward and on our priorities.

I think there is an urgent need to be ambitious in driving the CMU forward in the next political cycle with ambitious actions.

And this is where I see the Commission's role – in coming forward with proposals that are sufficiently ambitious and in helping to achieve the unity that has so far been lacking.

Thank you.