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Brussels, 23 July 2008

EU Presidency and Commission welcome launch of TARGET2 – Securities "T2S" project

On 17 July, the European Central Bank announced its decision to formally launch the TARGET2 -Securities ("T2S") project. European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCREEVY and Christine LAGARDE, Minister of Finance of France and President of the Council of EU Finance Ministers, have welcomed the formal ECB decision to invest in the T2S project.

"T2S is of major economic significance and has the potential to make a very significant strategic and economic contribution to strengthening and integrating European securities markets and to economic growth for the benefits of European citizens;

One of the EU's main objectives in financial services is to promote integration, transparency and competition in clearing and settlement. T2S can contribute to achieving this objective;

We will continue to work closely with the ECB and market participants to ensure that T2S continues to contribute to the development of a more efficient and integrated post-trading environment in the EU."

TARGET2-Securities is a single IT platform which will centralise the settlement of euro-denominated securities (the system will also be open to other currencies) between participating entities. T2S will thus contribute to the elimination of the distinction between domestic and cross-border settlement between those entities. The platform would be offered as a service to Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) and would be managed by the Eurosystem (the ECB and the national central banks of the Member States that have the euro as their currency). T2S is an important example of integration in the post-trading area, taking place alongside other initiatives, notably on the private sector side. It will bring substantial benefits to the European economy by lowering the costs of securities settlement, by removing a number of barriers and by exploiting economies of scale amongst the participating entities.

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