EU policies

Sylvester Eijffinger, 31 August 2016

The ECB is under fire from all sides for its inability to stimulate Europe's economies. This column puts the case for an informal European ‘praesidium’ within the Eurogroup to coordinate wider stimulus and reform measures. This will inevitably lead to the appointment of a European finance minister – the Eurozone's equivalent of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary in the history of the US.

Ramon Xifré, 29 August 2016

Spain implemented a host of structural reforms following the Global Crisis. But questions remain about whether the current economic condition is due to the reforms or to ‘automatic’ adjustment in public and private sectors. This column sheds light on these questions by examining changes in a set of economic indicators following the introduction of the reforms. Five stylised facts are presented that suggest limitations of the reforms. Much of the current climate appears to reflect inherent limitations of the Spanish economy.

Marco Buti, José Leandro, Plamen Nikolov, 25 August 2016

The fragmentation of financial systems along national borders was one of the main handicaps of the Eurozone both prior to and in the initial phase of the crisis,  hindering the shock absorption capacity of individual member states. The EU has taken important steps towards the deeper integration of Eurozone financial markets, but this remains incomplete. This column argues that a fully-fledged financial union can be an efficient economic shock absorber. Compared to the US, there is significant potential in terms of private cross-border risk sharing through the financial channel, more so than through fiscal (i.e. public) means.

Lars Feld, Christoph Schmidt, Isabel Schnabel, Volker Wieland, 22 August 2016

It has been suggested that the vote for Brexit marks the first step of disintegration in Europe. This column argues that if the European integration process is pursued wisely, it still carries the promise of enduring peace and growing prosperity. But EU policymakers must devise a process of integration that strengthens Europe’s competitiveness to such an extent that the advantages of EU membership are clear to member states’ citizens.

Patricia Jackson, 09 August 2016

The Brexit vote has created particular uncertainty for London, the EU’s largest financial centre. This column looks at the issues facing the UK’s banking sector in the wake of the referendum: the right to conduct cross-border activity in the EU in future, the impact on flexible recruitment in London, the possibility of diverging UK and EU regulation, and the effect on bank profitability more widely across Europe.

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