EU policies

Jean-Charles Bricongne, Alessandro Turrini, 22 June 2017

Since 2011, EU macroeconomic surveillance has aimed at preventing or correcting the type of imbalances that were responsible for the Global Crisis. Surveillance under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure implies regular reports and policy recommendations monitored by the Commission, and the possible activation of economic sanctions. This column shows that, despite the procedure not having been used to its full extent so far and the sanctions stage not having been reached yet, the surveillance and recommendations have had an impact on policies in the first years of implementation. 

Christos Genakos, Tommaso Valletti, Frank Verboven, 16 June 2017

Europe is experiencing a wave of mergers in the telecommunications industry. This column argues that an increase in market concentration in the mobile industry generates an important potential trade-off: while consolidation increases prices, investment per operator also goes up. Competition and regulatory authorities should be open to the potential trade-off between market power effects and efficiency gains from agreements between firms.

Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Francesco Giavazzi, 31 May 2017

The euro’s economic architecture is still incomplete, meaning that any number of large shocks could reignite the crisis in the Eurozone. This column introduces a new VoxEU eBook which summarises the main issues that need to be addressed to make the euro work and identifies, for each issue, the degree of consensus among experts.

Samuel Bentolila, Juan Dolado, 23 May 2017

Almost 20 years after CEPR published “Social Europe: One for All?”, Social Europe has moved again to the top of the policy agenda. In this column, two of the authors revisit their report and argue that the challenges posed by the Global Crisis, the deepening of the inter­nal market, globalisation, technological progress, popu­lation ageing, and the refugee crisis now require a more effective strat­egy to strengthen the EU social acquis.

Marco Buti, José Leandro, Katia Berti, 12 May 2017

As the recovery in the Eurozone approaches its fifth year, this column presents the latest economic forecast from the European Commission, which projects a continuation of the recovery at a steady pace (1.7% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018). Nevertheless, over the next two years, wage growth is expected to remain constrained, the investment gap is expected to persist, the current account surplus is forecast to remain high, and core inflation to stay subdued. This suggests that there is still scope for higher growth without triggering inflationary pressures, and the Spring forecast shows that maintaining the current supportive macroeconomic policy environment is the right approach, while implementing comprehensive and productivity-enhancing structural reforms. The main immediate priority should be cleaning up the banking sector.

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