Single European Payments Area (SEPA)

The European Union (EU) aspires to be a single market. Obstacles to buying and selling goods across borders have almost disappeared. The economic efficiency of the EU greatly depends on the establishment of speedy and reliable means of making and receiving payments across the Union. The eradication of barriers to cross-border payment is the aim of the Commission's plan for a Single European Payments Area (SEPA). The proposal for a new legal framework for payments is expected to come before the Council for agreement in November 2006.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Why do we need a Single Payments Area?
Is there really a need for a new legal framework in order to achieve an efficient payment market?

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