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The ECB must change course
Abstract: Over the past century central banks have become the guardians of our economic and financial security. The Bundesbank and Federal Reserve are respected for achieving monetary stability, often in the face of political opposition. But central bankers can also lose the plot, usually by following the economic dogma of the day. When they do, their mistakes can be catastrophic. Today the behaviour of the European Central Bank suggests that it too has gone awry. After seven years of ever-looser monetary policy there is increasing evidence that following the current dogma, broad-based quantitative easing and negative interest rates, risks the long-term stability of the eurozone.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; European integration; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation
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Better budgeting in Europe: What can Fiscal Councils contribute?
Abstract: Fiscal councils can improve the sustainability of public finances. They can increase transparency and accountability of fiscal policymaking by providing unbiased information to the public and stakeholders in the budget process. The design of their mandates, independence, and their public role are key conditions determining effectiveness. The new European Advisory Fiscal Board (EAFB) can be a valuable addition but is unlikely to be a game changer. Far-reaching reforms on the Union’s fiscal framework remain contingent on political will. Independence is crucial for fiscal councils to have an impact. This holds for both the EAFB and national fiscal councils. In addition, cooperation between the new EAFB and national bodies is a necessary requirement for a “European System of Fiscal Boards” to work effectively.
Topics: Economic policy; European integration; European issues; Fiscal policy; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Monetary policy
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Promoting investment in Europe: How has the Juncker Plan been doing?
Abstract: The Juncker Plan set out to foster investment in Europe – and can show some progress so far. After operating for about a year, a total of EUR 12.8 bn financing of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) has been approved by the EIB and the EIF. This is expected to co-finance EUR 100 bn of total investment according to estimates by the institutions.
Topics: Economic policy; European integration; European issues
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Ending China’s differential treatment: What’s at stake for EU trade defence?
Abstract: When China joined the WTO in 2001, its accession protocol included an option for members to apply alternative methodologies when assessing dumping for Chinese imports. As parts of the provisions are set to expire in December 2016, the future approach to determine dumping in investigations concerning China in the EU has come under debate. There are several options on the table: They range from sticking to the status quo to allowing for full market economy treatment. The outcome matters for both European and Chinese industries and could have potential ramifications on China-EU trade relations. The European Commission therefore has to walk a tightrope taking into account the concerns of the different market participants affected as well as member states, which have often held divergent positions on anti-dumping in the past.
Topics: Asia; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Emerging markets; European integration; European policy issues; Globalisation; Intern. economic system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Other sectors; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry; Trade; WTO
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Higher EMU labour mobility at risk
Abstract: Our analysis on labour mobility shows that mobility between EMU countries is relatively low compared to the US. EMU mobility was far higher in the post-crisis period and increased significantly since 2007. In particular, the ongoing, pronounced variation of the labour market situation across EMU countries should remain a driving force of bilateral migration. The higher mobility provides some limited hope for the ECB. However, the increased competition caused by the jump of migration from non-EMU countries will probably put the increased EMU labour mobility at risk, which was dominated by the shift of flows in the direction of Germany as EMU’s stability anchor since the start of the crisis.
Topics: Diversity; Economic policy; Education; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Migration; Socio-econ. trends
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Transparency of business regulation around the world
Topics: Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic trends; European integration; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics
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The business environment in the eurozone: Why it is worth paying attention to the details
Abstract: The quality of the business environment is a key driver of countries’ economic development. “Good rules” foster market functioning, increase efficiency, and encourage entrepreneurial activity. The eurozone performs well by international comparison, although differences are found among specific aspects of the business environment, particularly in terms of insolvency rules and credit markets. In recent years, several countries have recorded significant improvements in terms of their business environment, such as Portugal, Slovenia and Latvia. Though at a comparatively high level, Germany is among those countries with less positive momentum in this regard. After all, a good business environment should be conducive to increase investment, such as for instance through the EFSI. Thus looking at the business environment can contribute to the ongoing debate about reforms in Europe.
Topics: Economic growth; Economic policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Globalisation; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Trade
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Updating the single market: Will Europe’s digital strategy succeed?
Abstract: The single market is and remains the centrepiece of Europe’s economic architecture – but current single market arrangements are struggling to keep pace with the digital economy. With digitisation advancing, adapting single market rules becomes increasingly important to ensure its functioning and digital technologies could help unlock some of the remaining single market benefits. The European Commission has made the digital single market (DSM) a key priority, put forward a dedicated strategy in May 2015 and recently announced further steps to strengthen the internal market. Big expectations have been attached to the DSM – yet the gains associated with it are unlikely to materialise automatically. Will Europe’s digital strategy succeed?
Topics: E-commerce; EMU; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Information technology; Innovation; Intern. relations; Internet; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Real econ. trends; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Technology and innovation
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European Politics: Issues moving to the front burner
Topics: European integration; European issues
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Migration into the EU - a first look at the impact
Abstract: In H1 2015 about 430,000 asylum seekers entered the EU-28. In Germany the minister of the interior even expects 800,000 new applicants in 2015. According to the Spring 2015 Eurobarometer survey, citizens in the member states see immigration as the most important problem in the EU, overtaking the economic issues.
Topics: European integration; European issues; Fiscal policy; Intern. relations; Labour market
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