April 1989

Financial Intergration in the European Community

Sydney J. Key


The EC program to complete the internal market is designed to allow the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital within the Community by the target date of December 31, 1992. This paper provides a comprehensive description and analysis of the EC program for the financial sector, with emphasis on the relationship of this program to overall issues regarding international trade in financial services.

The first section of the paper presents a brief historical survey of the origins of the internal market program. The second section provides an overview of the EC program for creation of a "European Financial Area," a term used by the EC Commission to refer to both the removal of barriers to capital movements and the establishment of a framework for a Community-wide market for financial services. The third section, which is the main focus of the paper, is a conceptual analysis of the internal and external dimensions of the EC program for financial services and markets; the section analyzes the EC approach of mutual recognition as a means of achieving integration of the Community's financial sector and also sets forth a general framework for considering approaches to market access for third-country firms. The fourth section presents the conclusions. A series of appendices provide detailed explanations of the EC programs for banking, investment services, securities markets, and insurance.

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: March 30, 2021