EU Financial Regulation and Markets: Beyond Fragmentation and Differentiation

At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century European citizens, but also policymakers, did not imagine that – apart from political disintegration – in the decade before them the Union’s knitting will also be strained by differentiation demands and consequently, by fragmentation effects that will profoundly affect the field of economic governance and challenge, at times, the financial stability of the Union. Still, even though faced with unprecedented challenges, the EU economy and the financial system in particular, demonstrated great resilience to pressures of differentiation and fragmentation. The ambitious and skillful guidance of the EU political and policymaking community allowed preserving the integrity of the European financial system while accommodating the preferences and capacities of its very diverse membership (e.g. Euro “Ins” and “Outs”, “North” and “South” countries) thanks to the establishment of new mechanisms for the stabilization of finances or closer cooperation of EU member states, such as the Banking Union or the Capital Market Union. To add further complexity, each of these crisisdriven mechanisms has to fulfill its integrative scope while remaining responsive to current market challenges that – at the end of the decade – are primarily presented by a fast-developing FinTech industry and a (currently) underdeveloped RegTech response.

This is the societal, political and economic backdrop that framed the Jean Monnet International Scientific Conference on ‘EU Financial Regulation and Markets: Beyond Fragmentation and Differentiation’. Held as an online event due to the 2020 global pandemic, the conference – a direct deliverable of the Jean Monnet European Module on “EU Financial Markets and Regulation” at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb – gathered international scholars and policymakers whose papers looked beyond the current pressures of differentiation and fragmentation, reflecting on a future with perhaps less uniform political integration but more societal and economic solidarity.

Editors ambitions of this book of conference proceedings is to convey the brilliant atmosphere that defined the Jean Monnet conference as well as to provide intellectual encouragement needed to venture into reflection on the motives of, and solutions to, differentiation demands and fragmentation effects that will surely continue to shape European economic and financial governance.

Conference Proceedings are available here.

Ivana Bajakic

Jean Monnet Professor, Faculty of Law – University of Zagreb