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Completing the Single Market in Financial Services: The Politics of Competing Advocacy Coalitions

Lucia Quaglia

The Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) and the introduction of the Single Currency in 1999 gave new momentum to financial market integration, also highlighting the need for an updating of the regulatory and supervisory framework at the EU level. Partly as a response to this, the so-called 'Lamfalussy' architecture was designed, initially with reference to the securities sector, and subsequently extended to the other two main segments of the financial sector. What were the main obstacles in the negotiations of the following directives and their implementing measures and why: The Prospectus Directive (2003), the Market Abuse Directive (2003), the Transparency Directive (2004) and the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) (2004). In the making of these directives there were different preferences amongst the member states (and sometimes within member states), hence the policy process was characterised by strong intergovernmental (and sometimes intragovernmental) negotiations, leading to 'odd' compromise solutions. The main line of division was between Northern and Southern member states, due to institutional differences in their regulatory frameworks and national financial systems ('interests' as the 'liberal intergovernmentalist' approach suggests) as well as different policy paradigms ('ideas').



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