The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a speech by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell (Member of the Executive Board of the ECB) entitled The Quest for the Holy Grail? - European Financial Integration: Achievements and Hurdles.

In her speech Mrs Tumpel-Gugerell discusses market infrastructures and their importance for achieving an integrated European financial market. She first explains the economic rationale behind the ECB’s interest in financial integration and then provides examples of how a well integrated market infrastructure for payment and securities settlement represents a condito sine qua non for financial integration.

One of the issues that Mrs Tumpel-Gugerell mentions in her speech is the TARGET2 Securities project (T2S). T2S will provide a single, borderless pool of pan-European securities, as well as a core, neutral, state-of-the-art settlement process. Market users will be able to access these assets through central securities depositories (CSDs) in a way which seeks to accommodate, rather than perpetuate, national and regional differences. Mrs Tumpel-Gugerell states that T2S is currently in the phase of defining the "general functional specifications", which will be ready by the end of 2009. This will be followed by the development phase and subsequently the testing and migration phase. The envisaged go-live of the system is 2013.

In parallel to T2S, the Eurosystem launched the CCBM2 project (Correspondent Central Banking Model). CCBM2 will be a common platform for managing Eurosystem collateral, i.e. the assets pledged to the Eurosystem as security for its central bank credit operations, both on a national and pan-European basis. CCBM2 will be compatible with T2S. This creates synergies in the settlement of collateral for Eurosystem credit operations and the release of the related credit to the financial institutions.

View ECB speech - The Quest for the Holy Grail? – European Financial Integration: Achievements and Hurdles, 16 March 2009