The European Union believes that global markets are too dependent on the dollar and wants to take measures to counter the risks associated with it. The document mentions, among other things, the sanctions imposed unilaterally by the United States on Iran. According to the commission, these showed European weaknesses. The US sanctions had an impact on financial infrastructure in Europe, such as the Swift payment system. In order to allow legitimate trade with Iran, the EU had to set up a special body. The policy paper states that the EU must protect European companies and institutions from situations of this kind as a result of actions by ‘third countries’.
‘The Trump years have exposed our weaknesses and we must address them even if he is no longer there’, says a commission official in the newspaper. “It is about the EU’s place in the world, to be an economic and financial power with an influence appropriate to our size.”
Other plans in the policy paper concern stricter controls on foreign acquisitions of EU companies. They must be assessed in order to see whether ‘the takeover increases the risk of companies being forced to comply with the sanctions of third countries’. If so, takeovers could be blocked on security grounds.
The EU also wants the euro to be used more frequently in financial markets. As a result, European markets and businesses are less vulnerable to fluctuations in the dollar’s exchange rate. It would also make the International Monetary System ‘more resilient and stable’.
The policy paper, which is to be adopted next week, also states that the EU should become less dependent on the UK’s financial infrastructure. The commission is referring in particular to clearinghouses, which deal on the stock exchange. The commission believes that, now that the Brexit is a reality, the EU must also be able to stand on its own feet.