Le piège de l'harmonisation 

L'intégration européenne donne l'impression d'être en panne, voire en régression. Mais grâce aux efforts de la Commission, des progrès réels ont été accomplis au moins dans un domaine, celui de la construction d'un marché unique des services financiers.

Un ambitieux plan d'action pour les services financiers (PASF) lancé en 1999 doit aboutir à un marché unique pour les opérations de gros, des services de détail accessibles et sûrs, des règles de surveillance et une réglementation parfaitement adaptée. Il comporte 42 mesures à mettre en application durant la période 2003-2005. Après un début plutôt lent, des progrès rapides ont été obtenus, 36 mesures ont été formellement adoptées, notamment des directives importantes concernant les abus de marché, les prospectus (informations publiées lors d'une offre initiale), les nantissements, la vente à distance de services financiers, les organismes de placement collectif (OPVCM) et les normes comptables internationales applicables aux comptes consolidées des entreprises cotées en Bourse.

Quatre autres mesures ont fait l'objet d'une position commune, en particulier les directives relatives aux investissements, à la transparence et au rachat d'entreprises. Un saut en avant a été accompli grâce à l'approbation d'un comité de régulateurs européens et à la mise en œuvre de la méthode dite de Lamfalussy destinée à accélérer l'adoption d'une législation communautaire.

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