16 Dec 2021

ECMI Annual Conference 2021

Apostolos Thomadakis / Karel Lannoo / Cosmina Amariei

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The ECMI Annual Conference 2021 consisted of a series of three webinars focused on the European bond market, the private equity (PE) landscape, and the global uptake of crypto assets. Although the 2020 Capital Markets Union (CMU) action plan and the recent legislative proposal package adopted by the European Commission both, maintain the momentum on the CMU project, the fault lines in Europe’s capital markets require much more decisive action by policymakers and regulators.

Bond markets have shown the way forward, with the increased direct issuance by the EU to finance the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). An EU-blended bond, like the one offered under the Next Generation EU programme, seems to indicate the start of a European safe asset.

The boom in PE markets observed over the last few years demonstrates an appetite for risk-taking. However, the European PE and venture capital ecosystem is not completely self-sufficient, while regulatory barriers hinder its cross-border integration and development.

The growth of crypto assets highlights the need for both coordination at the international level and harmonised standards. The securities markets regulation can form the basis to resolving some of these issues, but significant gaps require more crypto specific interventions.

This report summarises the discussions held during the annual conference.