On 30 September 2015, the European Commission launched its first Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan aimed at building a true single market for capital across the EU Member States. As part of the Juncker Commission priority to boost jobs, growth and investment across the EU, the first CMU Action Plan, a key pillar of the Investment Plan, aimed to tackle investment shortages head-on by increasing and diversifying the funding sources for Europe’s businesses and long-term projects.

The project underwent a mid-term review in June 2017 to strengthen the existing actions and put forward new measures in response to evolving policy priorities. A link to ICMA’s response to the associated consultation can be found below.
In 2019, the EC put together a group of experts, known as the High-Level Forum (HLF) to provide their recommendations on the way forward for the CMU. The HLF’s Final Report, published in June 2020, set out 17 recommendations on a wide range of issues. ICMA published its preliminary thoughts on the Final Report and responded to an EC call for feedback in June 2020 highlighting a range of suggestions and concerns.
Moreover, as a response to the pandemic, the EC announced in July a Capital Markets Recovery Package proposing targeted adjustments to MiFID II, the Prospectus Regulation and the securitisation framework.
On 24 September 2020 a new CMU Action Plan was released. The new action plan is concerned with four key issues: 

  1. Financing the recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Green transition, digital transformation and SME access to funding.
  3. Inclusive economy.
  4. EU’s global competitiveness.

These goals translate into 16 action points aimed at making the EU economy more resilient and inclusive, consolidate the EU’s attractiveness as a safe place for savers and long-term investors and build a so-called “genuine” single capital market by integrating national capital markets.

In October 2020, ICMA shared its preliminary thoughts on a range of issues covered in the Action Plan, such as the importance of secondary bond market liquidity (and associated regulatory issues), repo collateral fluidity, a consolidated tape for bonds and other key matters.

In November 2021, the European Commission (EC) published a Communication on the delivery of its 2020 Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan. It was accompanied by a set of legislative proposals reviewing MiFID II/MiFIR, AIFMD and the European Long-Term Investment Fund (ELTIF) Regulation and creating a European Single Access Point (ESAP) (together, the CMU Package). ICMA published its preliminary thoughts, welcoming the concrete steps that were taken towards enhancing the EU’s capital markets and raising some points for consideration.

ICMA materials

29 November 2021
ICMA Preliminary Thoughts on the Capital Markets Union Package

2 March 2021
ICMA response form and additional remarks on European Commission consultation on a European single access point (ESAP)

12 January 2021
The new Capital Markets Union Action Plan, by Daniel Mendes, ICMA.

8 October 2020
CMU: financing the recovery from COVID-19, by Daniel Mendes and Charlotte Bellamy, ICMA.

8 October 2020
The role of the Eurobond markets in pan-European capital markets, by Ruari Ewing and Andy Hill, ICMA.

1 October 2020
ICMA's Preliminary Thoughts on the New Capital Markets Union Action Plan

30 June 2020
High-Level Forum Report on the Capital Markets Union: ICMA Feedback

12 June 2020
ICMA preliminary thoughts on the Report of the High Level Forum on the Capital Markets Union

29 July 2019
ICMA has prepared a short briefing paper on the importance of integrated capital markets and CMU. To access the briefing, click here.

10 March 2017
ICMA responded to the commission consultation on capital markets union mid-term review. To view the response, click here.

20 January 2016
ICMA responded to the European Commission’s Call for Evidence: EU regulatory framework for financial services. To view the response, click here.

11 January 2016
Click here to read ICMA’s Paul Richards article on ‘Assessing Capital Markets Union’ from the ICMA Quarterly Report First Quarter 2016.

30 April 2015
ICMA has responded to the European Commission Green Paper: Building a Capital Markets Union. To view the response, click here.

Official sector

20 January 2021
Targeted consultation on the establishment of a European single access point (ESAP)

24 September 2020
Second CMU Action Plan

24 July 2020
Capital Markets Recovery Package

8 June 2017
Mid-term review of the first CMU Action Plan

30 September 2015

First CMU Action Plan


Julia Rodkiewicz
Director, ICMA Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC)
Direct line: +32 2 801 13 88

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