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Christine Lagarde: Progress on the European Capital Markets Union is “urgent”

Photo: Olivier Matthys / EPA

According to the European Central Bank (ECB), Europe is facing gigantic investments in climate protection and defense.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said at a meeting of EU finance ministers in the Belgian city of Ghent that 800 billion euros would be needed to meet Europe's climate targets by 2040 alone.

The EU Commission has proposed reducing greenhouse gases by 90 percent compared to 1990.

Another 75 billion euros are needed so that all EU countries can achieve NATO's goal of spending at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, said Lagarde.

Progress on the European Capital Markets Union is therefore “urgent”.

EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni also called the need for investment “immense”.

Whether in climate protection, digitalization or defense - "this mountain of investment can only be achieved through private investments," he said, referring to the tight budgets of many member states.

The Capital Markets Union is therefore a “must-have”, i.e. mandatory.

The EU has been discussing the completion of the Capital Markets Union for years.

The EU wants to improve cross-border capital flows and improve access to finance, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

All member countries agree that progress is urgent, said Euro Group leader Paschal Donohoe after the round of discussions.

However, there are still differences of opinion on some points.