EU institutions

Stefano Borgioli, Carl-Wolfram Horn, Urszula Kochanska, Philippe Molitor, Francesco Paolo Mongelli, Eva Mulder, Alessandro Zito, 03 December 2020

The COVID-19 shock is unprecedented in terms of the scale and speed of its effects. This column provides an overview of financial fragmentation in the euro area during the crisis through the lens of a novel high-frequency composite indicator. It reveals that after an initial sharp deterioration, euro area financial integration broadly recovered to pre-crisis levels by mid-September, thanks to unprecedented fiscal, monetary and prudential policy responses.

Ethan Ilzetzki, 16 November 2020

The ECB is in the process of reviewing its monetary policy strategy. This column presents the latest CfM-CEPR survey, which reveals that a majority of panel members support allowing inflation to exceed 2% following periods when inflation has been below target and making more explicit its secondary objective of supporting economic growth and full employment. Only a minority support increasing the inflation target itself. 

Olivier Blanchard, 06 November 2020

The EU's increasingly complex system of fiscal rules should be replaced by a system of fiscal standards instead, Olivier Blanchard tells Tim Phillips.

You can watch the recording of Olivier presenting his paper on Fiscal Standards for Europe at the 72nd Economic Policy Journal Panel Meeting here

The full paper, Redesigning the EU Fiscal Rules: From Rules to Standards by Olivier Blanchard, Alvaro Leandro and Jeromin Zettelmeyer, can be downloaded here

Björn Bremer, Theresa Kuhn, Maurits J. Meijers, Francesco Nicoli, 04 November 2020

Concerns about a populist, Eurosceptic backlash have long been an obstacle to the fiscal integration of the EU. This column uses a new survey fielded in five countries – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain – to measure the validity of those concerns. The results suggest that support for a joint European fiscal instrument is high; that the pandemic recovery plan agreed under ‘Next Generation EU’ is a well-tailored instrument; and that making the recovery fund permanent would provide a path to political sustainability and garner widespread support among European citizens.

Niels Thygesen, Roel Beetsma, Massimo Bordignon, Xavier Debrun, Mateusz Szczurek, Martin Larch, Matthias Busse, Mateja Gabrijelcic, Eloïse Orseau, Stefano Santacroce, 26 October 2020

This year’s annual report of the European Fiscal Board provides new evidence that the EU fiscal framework does not deliver the goods. This column argues that it should be reformed without delay. As forging consensus among EU member states takes time, the activation of the general escape clause until end-2021 offers a window of opportunity to build a simpler, leaner and more effective fiscal contract. The year 2019 illustrated once again how EU member states largely failed to build buffers in good times, those very buffers that would have been welcome in the face of the Covid-19 shock. In 2019, and despite sustained economic growth, the aggregate EU government deficit has increased for the first time since 2011 while cases of non-compliance with the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Like other common shocks before, the pandemic has exposed three long-standing gaps in EMU’s architecture: (1) the lack of a genuine and permanent central fiscal capacity; (2) adverse incentives to maintain or scale up growth-enhancing government expenditure; (3) an intractable set of rules and benchmarks poorly tailored to country-specific debt reduction needs and capacities.

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