Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The road towards the establishment of the European Banking Union

Papanikolaou, Nikolaos (2015): The road towards the establishment of the European Banking Union.

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Abstract

The rising delinquencies in the U.S. subprime mortgage market in 2006 and the succeeding collapse in housing prices had a considerably negative impact on the functioning of the European financial systems and the smooth operation of European economies. Indeed, in the Euro-area, what started as a financial crisis escalated to a twin crisis after being doubled by the eruption of a massive sovereign debt crisis in 2010. The lack of an established set of bank supervision and resolution strategies at the Euro-area level, the vicious circle between banks and European nation-states, the threats for the sustainability of the common currency, and the deterioration of the market conditions were the key factors which lately led to the acceleration of the steps towards the creation of a banking union in Europe. The principal aim of the European Banking Union is to shape the necessary legal and institutional framework and provide the authorities with powers and tools to deal with ailing banks in order to prevent the devastating effects that a future shock may have on the financial system, the real economy, and the society. This paper presents the formal reactions of the sovereigns and the European Central Bank to the twin crisis, and critically discusses the key problems and the inherent weaknesses which led to the establishment of a banking union for the Euro-area member states. The structure of the banking union, the various aspects of its operation, and its future prospects are also presented and discussed.

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