(Bloomberg) -- Germany, France and the Netherlands are calling on the European Union to press ahead with capital market reforms because Brexit makes the topic an “urgent strategic issue.”

The three countries called for a new working group that should define priorities after next week’s European Parliament elections, according to a joint letter. Despite the progress achieved over the past years, the need to further integrate national markets “is still very much present,” they said.

“It is critical for the union to bolster its capacity to finance its growth and job creation, as a necessary condition to ensure the resilience of its economy,” the letter said. “The decisions taken in this respect will play a considerable role not only with regard to the shape of the future EU financial markets but also to the international competitiveness of the European economy as a whole.”

EU policy makers have worked since 2015 to break down barriers for capital flows within the bloc as they try to wean companies off bank financing. While a raft of legislation has recently been agreed, some proposals have also run into opposition from some member states who are wary of handing powers from national authorities to European ones.

Officials have stressed that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU only makes the project more important. New strategic work on EU capital markets could also help define what kind of relationship the bloc will want to have with the City of London after Brexit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Weber in Brussels at aweber45@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Christian Baumgaertel

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