Scope of chapter
Two fundamental, and interlinked, issues relating to the development of an integrated EU securities market are considered in this chapter.
The first concerns the policy objectives that underpin the interest of the central EU institutions and Member States in the development of an integrated securities market, the extent to which these policy objectives have already been achieved, and the forces that have contributed to that achievement. A pan-European, fully integrated financial market, of which a securities market is an important component element, represents a key part of the political and economic vision for the EU. Establishing a common market for certain sorts of economic activity was where the massive structure that is now the European Union all began in the 1950s. If originally this was conceived as a post-World War II plan to avoid further armed conflict, by the 1960s the economic advantages that could be secured by the creation of a large trading bloc were becoming highly valued in their own right. Promotion of economic integration has continued to occupy a central position in EU policy-making down to the present day. With regard to financial markets, the integration programme received a massive boost at the end of the 1980s with the formal commencement of the process for the realisation of economic and monetary union. This process produced the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the establishment of the European Central Bank and resulted in the introduction of the Euro as a unit of account in 1999 and its adoption in 2002 as the physical national currency in the countries of the Eurozone.