Between competition and centralization: the new infrastructures of European finance

Troels Krarup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Ongoing European financial market integration relies on the creation of harmonized and centralized market infrastructures: the little-known institutions and systems that settle financial transactions across borders. Since the constitutional conception of market integration within the EU entails creating ‘a level playing field’ for competition, a fundamental problem emerges of how to provide that centralization and harmonization without violating the core principles of an open market economy either through private monopolization or public privatization. The paper presents a socio-technological study of a recent major infrastructure initiative by the European Central Bank, called Target2 Securities (T2S). Embedding the analysis of the struggles and debates around the birth and development of T2S in an analysis of the structural problem of competition and centralization in European financial market integration, the paper suggests an alternative perspective to that of performativity currently dominating the research field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • competition
  • European Central Bank (ECB)
  • finance
  • market infrastructures
  • social studies of finance
  • Target2 Securities (T2S)


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