Maarten Verwey, Mirko Licchetta, Alexandru Zeana, 08 July 2021

COVID-19 caused a “recession like no other”, which triggered an unprecedented economic policy response in the EU. As the European Commission’s Summer 2021 Economic Forecast points to a quick return to the pre-pandemic output levels, attention shifts to the post-pandemic years. Will the recovery be short-lived, or will the COVID-19 crisis prove to be a transformative event for the EU? Much will depend on the course of economic policy in the years ahead. NextGenerationEU, with its centrepiece the Recovery and Resilience Facility, provides a unique possibility to turn the challenges of the crisis into opportunities. The first set of National Recovery and Resilience Plans give reason for optimism, but much will depend on their implementation by the member states.

Marco Buti, Oscar Polli, 11 February 2021

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is at the heart of Next Generation EU, Europe’s plan to tackle the economic fall out of the pandemic crisis. Member states must prepare national plans to receive the EU contributions. These plans include the investment and reform projects as well as their implementation mechanisms. This column uses the veto players’ theory to explain and predict the governance arrangements chosen by EU countries. It shows that the institutional features of countries and the internal cohesion of governments are important determinants of the governance of Recovery and Resilience Programmes.

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.

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