Sapin Says Rush to Build Capital Markets Union Could Doom Plan

The European Union should not rush its quest to build a capital markets union because too much haste could make progress impossible, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said.

“We are impatient but at the same time we understand the need to go step by step,” Sapin told reporters Monday in Paris. “We would not be better off if we failed because we rushed things.”

Sapin and EU Financial Services Commissioner Jonathan Hill visited Onxeo SA, a French-Danish medical technologies company, to discuss how improved European capital markets could help small and medium-sized businesses. Hill said the company has run into difficulties because it’s listed in both Copenhagen and Paris, and so could benefit from a more unified system.

“We want to eliminate cross-border penalties, we want to eliminate bureaucratic weight, we want convergence in regulation,” Hill said. “I think we are making good progress.”

Hill last month unveiled plans for capital markets union in the 28-nation EU, an attempt to boost funding to companies and remove barriers to investment. Securitization, venture capital, tax and insolvency laws all are targeted in the strategy, which offers a step-by-step approach to overhauling financial markets rules across the bloc.

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