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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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EMU: Money's tight in Southern Europe
Topics: Banking; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic policy; EMU; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Financial market trends; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation; Real econ. trends; Supervision and regulation
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Privatisation in the euro area: Governments should grasp opportunities
Abstract: As a major element on the new reform agenda for Greece stipulated at the latest eurozone summit in Brussels privatisation has become an important issue for the southern European country. However, privatisation should be a topic for other governments in the euro area, too. Privatisation can generate substantial receipts for the public purse, and it opens up the prospect of increased efficiency in the economy. In several countries the potential for privatisations is by no means exhausted.
Topics: Economic growth; Economic policy; EMU; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Fiscal policy; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Privatisation/liberalisation
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ECJ accepts OMT: 6 Questions, 6 Answers
Abstract: On Tuesday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has presented its final decision on the question whether Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) by the European Central Bank (ECB) are legally compatible with the EU treaties. The judgment is a reaction to a request for preliminary ruling by the German Constitutional Court (GCC) dating from February 2014. The judgment of the ECJ will have implications for the final ruling of the GCC on the OMT case which we will expect for the second half of the year.
Topics: European integration
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EU Investment Plan set on course
Abstract: The long-awaited European Fund for Strategic Investments, Mr. Juncker´s key economic priority, has successfully passed the final stage of negotiations in the ordinary legislative procedure and is expected to be approved in the ECOFIN on 19 June and in the EP on 24 June. In response to a still cumbersome economic recovery the Juncker Commission proposed the EFSI as a cornerstone of its investment plan to stimulate underperforming investment in Europe. The EFSI sets out to mobilise EUR 315bn in public and private investment via leveraging an initial endowment of EUR 21bn with a multiplier of up to 1:15. The initial funds will be provided in the form of a EUR 16bn guarantee from the EU, of which 50% or EUR 8bn will be backed up with a standing EU guarantee fund, and EUR 5bn from the European Investment Bank.
Topics: European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Macroeconomics
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A profile of Europe’s populist parties: Structures, strengths, potential
Abstract: Populist parties are gaining momentum in countries across Europe. Their profiles may be fundamentally different, but they are united in rejection of further steps towards European integration. Despite successes at national level, no noteworthy influence has been wielded by Eurosceptic parties at the European level to date. However, populist parties could shape European politics in the future by blocking progress in political areas that require broad consensus in particular. Established parties could then be forced to follow a course aligned more strongly with putative national interests. This could mean that reforms are not implemented on time or in full, thus preventing the required further development of the institutions of the eurozone.
Topics: Economic policy; EMU; EU enlargement; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Politics and elections
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Debate on free movement: Does the EU need new rules on social security co-ordination?
Abstract: In the EU there is ongoing debate about so-called "social benefit tourism". Not only supporters of populist parties, but also broader sections of the population say that the current rules on free movement and coordination of social security systems virtually invite people from southern, central and eastern Europe to migrate into the social security systems of more prosperous partner countries and thus overstrain these systems. Reforms should, at the very least, aim at making the current law less contestable and easier for national authorities to apply. Much argues in favour of taking a generally more restrictive approach. The closer coordination of the social security systems sought in various quarters is not suitable as a driver of European integration.
Topics: EU enlargement; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Labour market; Labour market policy; Politics and elections; Social policy
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