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Speech during the plenary debate about financial services

Gunnar Hökmark (PPE-DE). – Madam President, I wish to begin by thanking the rapporteur.

There are certain things we have to ask ourselves as we proceed with the financial services and the reform process, and that is whether we want the European financial markets to be vital and dynamic and at the centre of the global financial development. The answer is obviously ‘yes’.

However, we also need to be sure that they can be attractive globally and that they can attract capital and vitality. That gives us some aims, because we must have regulations in place to ensure transparency and credibility, and we should avoid regulations aiming to regulate the competition, the product and the services. It should be the opposite. We should ensure that we have fundamental common rules that give way for the new future-oriented financial services here in Europe. This is a balance where I would like the final outcome of the report to be more open-minded, advocating opening up for competition. I should like to stress that there should not be any sort of economic patriotism in the financial sector in Europe, because that would hinder the dynamic development and growth of European financial markets. With regard to the future of the financial services in Europe, we should head for the words of the French Revolution: liberté, égalité, fraternité. That is competition and that could create dynamics in the European financial markets.