On Thursday, June 6, 2013 Group III, 'Various Interests' of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organized an extraordinary meeting in Brussels, Belgium to examine and debate issues affecting the European economy, and more specifically concerning the access to credit by economic operators and the stimulation of consumer savings.

More so, the EESC urged the EU policy makers to fundamentally change the EU financial system in order to better support Europe's economic recovery. The discussion, which allowed dialogue between key actors (consumers, family and SME organizations, traditional cooperatives and ethical financial institutions, and regulatory and supervisory bodies of the financial markets) discussed proposals to stimulate businesses to start-up, operate, and grow, as well as aid consumers to save money securely and productively.

The president of the Various Interests' Group, Mr. Luca Jahier, acknowledged that relevant stakeholders should be allies and have common interests in establishing a more efficient EU financial system. The theme, has also transcended itself in a recent speech by European Commissioner for Internal Market, Mr. Michel Barnier who spoke about the EU financial system, at the Economic Ideas Forum in Helinski, Finland on June 7, 2013. Mr. Barnier highlighted four main areas: (i) greater involvement of institutional investors, such as pension funds, insurance companies or development banks; (ii) more direct capital market financing, for example the establishment of a bond market as an alternative to bank loans; (iii) encouraging financing and long-term saving; and (iv) facilitating SMEs' access to financing as keys to bringing back stability.