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.

Roel Beetsma, Brian Burgoon, Francesco Nicoli, Anniek de Ruijter, Frank Vandenbroucke, 21 August 2020

Building a large and durable consensus for mutual assistance policies in the EU is challenging. Even in times of crisis, member states express different preferences, and policies must reckon with democratic politics. This column presents evidence from a randomised survey to assess support for various EU budgetary assistance packages across five member states. A majority of packages are supported in all countries, although individual design features have significant effects on public approval. Importantly, it is possible to design packages such that they obtain majority support across all sampled countries, a key condition for success with policies of this kind.

Massimo Motta, Martin Peitz, 30 April 2020

The European Commission has been asked to develop a proposal for a new recovery fund of more than €1 trillion. Given the substantial support needed by most sectors in the present circumstances, it is crucial to identify the ones which are most important to proper functioning of the EU economies. Based on the principle of subsidiarity, this column formulates two general criteria to identify these sectors: those for which (i) the volume of cross-border trade within the EU is large, or (ii) externalities across member states are important. Support schemes should be oriented towards the future and not try to preserve the status quo ante.

CEPR Policy Research