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Brussels, 19th February 2002

Financial Services Action Plan: leading players meet to assess progress and boost momentum

At the European Commission's invitation, leading figures from EU institutions, governments, regulatory bodies and the financial services industry will meet at the Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels on Friday 22 February to assess progress towards European financial integration. This mid-term review of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) adopted in May 1999 (see IP/99/327) will look at the state of play so far and at what still needs to be done to meet the target of full implementation of the FSAP by 2005. Commission President Romano Prodi will address the meeting, as will Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, economic and monetary affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes, current President of the EU's Council of Finance Ministers Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo and Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders. Other speakers will include Danish Finance Minister Thor Pedersen and Baron Alexander Lamfalussy, who chaired the Committee of Wise Men on the Regulation of European Securities Markets. Christa Randzio-Plath, Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, will also attend the meeting.

President Prodi said: "The mid-term review will help boost momentum in the approach to the Barcelona Summit on 15-16 March. At Barcelona, the Commission will be urging Heads of State and Government to take the key decisions on financial services which are needed to allow us to reach the goal of making Europe the world's most competitive economy by 2010."

Mr Bolkestein added: "By creating a truly European market in financial services, we can lower the cost of capital, create more jobs and increase choice for consumers. The review will help us to assess how far we have come, what remains to be done, how we can best achieve it and whether additional measures may be needed in the light of market developments since the FSAP was launched."

The European Round Table on Financial Services (EFR) will contribute to the review through the participation of its Chair Pehr Gyllenhammar. The EFR is an industry body representing many of Europe's largest financial institutions and has recently drawn up a report on the benefits of financial integration. The financial industry will also be represented in the morning panel by Amelia Fawcett, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Morgan Stanley (Europe), and in the afternoon by Henning Schulte-Noelle, Chairman Allianz.

The review is one of a series of steps in the approach to the Barcelona summit. Its conclusions will feed into the 14th meeting of the Financial Services Policy Group, comprising personal representatives of Finance Ministers, on 26 February and will subsequently be discussed at the Council of Finance Ministers on 5 March.

Details of the programme of the mid-term review are available on the Europa website:

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