The objective of this initiative is to foster pan-European market initiatives based on instant payments, which would ensure that anyone holding a payment account in the EU could be able to receive and send an instant credit transfer from and to any other payment account in the EU, as a first step in euro and eventually in any EU currency. There should be attractive payment solutions allowing initiation and acceptance of instant payments domestically and crossborder (and in the longer-term also globally), in various circumstances, including at physical point of sale, online and between individuals.
Fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment - Related Opinions
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The EESC shares the Commission's view on the strategic importance of payments and that further work is needed to enable payment transactions within the single market using new home-grown, pan-European payment solutions. It also supports the view that the Commission should act as a political catalyst, whilst it is the private sector that should design the innovative digital payment solutions. The EESC believes that relevant market players should be subject to appropriate legislation, supervision and oversight, ensuring a level playing field among those offering the same services and activities.
The EESC affirms that it is time for the European Commission to propose legislation on mandatory due diligence that acknowledges responsibility based on current standards and offers a clear and secure legal framework for European businesses. It must be ensured that victims of business-related Human Rights infringements have guaranteed access to fair proceedings, courts and authorities.
The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States.
Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad.
Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market.
With this opinion the EESC takes the opportunity to comment on how the European market for retail financial services can be further opened up. The EESC welcomes that the Commission is on track and has an ambitious programme for implementing the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, also endorsing that consumers should be given the opportunity, whenever possible, to compare different products, so they can make an informed choice.
In June 2011, the Commission adopted a Communication on Fighting Corruption in the EU, establishing the EU Anti-Corruption Report to monitor and assess Member States' efforts in this area with a view to developing a stronger political engagement to address corruption effectively. Corruption is defined in the report in a broad sense as "any abuse of power for private gain".
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