Publication of the report on financial integration in europe – March 2007
Today the European Central Bank (ECB) publishes its report entitled “Financial Integration in Europe”. It is the first issue of a new annual ECB publication, expected to be released around the end of March of each year. The main purpose of this report is to contribute to advancing European financial integration. In addition, the report aims to raise the public’s awareness of the Eurosystem’s role in supporting this European Union objective.
The ECB fosters European financial integration within its fields of competence. Financial integration contributes to the smooth and effective implementation of monetary policy throughout the euro area and to the stability of the financial system; it is also fundamental to the Eurosystem’s task of promoting the smooth operation of payment systems. Financial integration increases the efficiency of the financial system and helps to promote its development, thereby raising the potential for stronger non-inflationary economic growth.
The report consists of three main chapters. The first chapter provides an assessment of “The state of financial integration in the euro area”, based on a set of indicators developed by the ECB.  The second chapter, entitled “Special Features”, includes in-depth assessments of selected issues relating to financial integration. The first edition covers “Monetary policy and financial integration”, “Strengthening the EU framework for cross-border banks”, and “The SEPA initiative and its implications for financial integration”. The third chapter on “Eurosystem activities for financial integration” provides an overview of the main Eurosystem activities pursued in 2006 that contributed to advancing European financial integration: (i) giving advice on the legislative and regulatory framework for the financial system; (ii) acting as a catalyst for private sector activities; (iii) enhancing knowledge, raising awareness and monitoring the state of European financial integration; and (iv) providing central bank services that also foster European financial integration.
If you would like to receive a hard copy of this report, please contact the ECB’s Press and Information Division at the address provided below. Alternatively, you can download the full report from the ECB’s website.
 From now on, this report will contain the indicators that previously appeared in the ECB report on “Indicators of financial integration in the euro area”. The most recent edition of that report was released in September 2006. The indicators will continue to be updated bi-annually on the ECB’s website, at http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/finint/ html/index.en.html.