Financial Services Action Plan

Financial Services Action Plan

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The Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) is a key component of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

's attempt to create a single market for financial services. Created in 1999 and to last for a period of six years, it contained 42 articles related to the harmonization of the financial services markets within the European Union. It was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2004.

The European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

 held in Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 in June 1998 requested the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 "to table a framework for improve the single market in financial services, in particular examining the effectiveness of implementation of current legislation and identifying weaknesses which may require amending legislation".

The European Commission responded with five imperatives for action that were agreed at the Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 European Council in December 1998, and the Financial Services Action Plan was issued by the European Commission on 11 May 1999.

The cornerstone of the action plan's achievement is the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID).

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