German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gestures as he speaks during the SPD European Delegates' Conference in Berlin, Germany, 28 January 2024. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


Germany’s Scholz calls for completion of EU capital markets union


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Sunday for the European Union to complete its creation of a banking and capital markets union, so the bloc can compete with the U.S. and China for new technologies.

Scholz told a conference in Berlin for European delegates of his Social Democrats (SPD) party that this was a key issue for economic growth and the creation of jobs in Europe.

The single market is far too fragmented, especially when it comes to financial issues, which is why the EU, with more than 400 million inhabitants, is unable to make full use of its power, he said.

“That’s why we need to complete the European project so that European companies can rise,” Scholz said.

The plan to create a single capital market has been on the table since 2015 without any real progress.

Scholz also called for a minimum tax rate for companies of 15 per cent to be introduced in all EU countries. “Isn’t that possibly also the basis for the banking and capital markets union to work?” he asked.

There has been concern that banks would choose to be based in an EU country with very low taxes “and if things go wrong, all European taxpayers will have to pay,” Scholz noted.

The heads of EU institutions called for a strengthened euro and progress towards a capital markets union in a joint appeal in December.