CMU and SMEs – structural power and the EU

For many the link between Capital Market Union and SME finance is a cynical ploy […]

Policy Study


For many the link between Capital Market Union and SME finance is a cynical ploy to sell financial markets to the citizens of the EU. In this paper we explore the relationship between the SME finance and European integration to illustrate a central structural relationship in the EU. Since the late 1960s significant volumes of capital controlled by the European institutions has been directed to SMEs through financial institutions. While this supported credit supply in peripheral economies it has also demonstrated the close relationship between financial institutions and the EU. In this context the CMU agenda describes a long-standing relationship between finance and enterprise that now supersedes the capital labour relationships traditionally associated with European capitalisms. In this context CMUs focus on SME securitization, and its reintroduction of subprime, private placements, and the unfair advantage this offers large investors, and the predatory private equity industry that dominates venture capitalism is a terrifying insight into the future of capitalism in Europe.

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