Rafael Doménech, Miguel Otero Iglesias , Federico Steinberg, 15 June 2018

Deepening of EMU cannot wait until all countries have carried out all their domestic reforms, both risk sharing and risk reduction need to proceed simultaneously. In fact, all euro area countries are exposed to the risk of an incomplete monetary and economic union but with very asymmetric costs. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, argues that this risk can only be tackled with common instruments and policies at the European level, whose mere existence will reduce not only its magnitude but also its asymmetric consequences. 

Roel Beetsma, Martin Larch, 10 May 2018

The key question in the policy debate on the next steps for the Economic and Monetary Union seems to be whether we can progress with integration in a context where some countries perceive themselves as consistently paying for policy mistakes of others, while others see themselves victims of a moral diktat. This column, adding to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that the policy dilemma around a central fiscal capacity can only be overcome if fiscal risk sharing and risk reduction advance in parallel. Therefore, reform of EU fiscal rules need to receive more attention. 

Ramon Marimon, Thomas Cooley, 01 May 2018

The Horizon 2020 ADEMU project has aimed to reassess the fiscal and monetary framework of the Economic and Monetary Union in the wake of the euro crisis. This column introduces a new VoxEU ebook which presents the main findings from the project, including the lessons we can extract from the crisis and the policy response. It also outlines the two main proposals arising from the project relating to the European Stability Fund and a European Unemployment Insurance System.

Marco Buti, Gabriele Giudice, José Leandro, 25 April 2018

The debate on deepening EMU is entering a critical stage. This column, contributing to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate argues that while the proposals in a recent CEPR Policy Insight are both timely and attractive, the mix seems unbalanced and carries significant risks. The focus of the proposals on reducing fiscal risks could lead to financial distress, ultimately requiring more, not fewer, rescues.

Vesa Vihriälä, 13 April 2018

The smooth functioning of the EMU requires risk sharing. This column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues, however, that its best use is not in the support of fiscal expansion in recession countries, but in ensuring the liquidity of solvent sovereigns under market pressure. Giving the ESM/EMF access to central bank financing should be explored as a means to facilitate it.

Nauro Campos, Corrado Macchiarelli, 12 March 2018

The concepts of core and periphery remain ubiquitous and elusive in the European integration debate. This column documents the formation and evolution of a core and periphery in EMU, unearthing an increasingly integrated core, an entrenched periphery, and a third set of countries marked by in-and-out movements.  Using a novel measure to capture the probability of a country being classified as peripheral, it reveals that this probability positively correlates with euro membership and flexible product market regulations.

Nauro Campos, Jarko Fidrmuc, Iikka Korhonen, 26 September 2017

The debate about the future of the Economic and Monetary Union entails a careful examination of the costs and benefits of the European single currency. This column takes stock of the empirical evidence on the euro’s effects on business cycle synchronisation. We find that synchronisation across European countries increased by 50% after 1999 (the year the euro was introduced) and that this increase was more pronounced in euro area countries.

Marco Buti, Servaas Deroose, José Leandro, Gabriele Giudice, 13 July 2017

Despite much being done to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union, it remains incomplete and this is one of the main reasons for the Eurozone's lacklustre economic performance in the recent years. While there are still diverging views on how to "cross the river", there is also a political and economic window of opportunity to complete the EMU architecture. This column discusses the ideas presented in a new European Commission Reflection Paper aimed at relaunching the debate on how to move forward, with a focus on bridging the differences between the member states that stress responsibility and risk reduction and those calling for solidarity and risk sharing.

Enrico Perotti, 04 April 2017

The members of the Eurozone are diverse in terms of their institutional quality. This column outlines the redistributive effects created by the rigid structure of a monetary union next to its direct effects on monetary credibility, and highlights the general equilibrium benefits that core countries draw from it and the cost paid by the productive sector in ‘weaker’ countries. Europe faces a clear challenge, but the success of the transition to the banking union suggests that collective efforts towards institutional evolution can succeed.

Nauro Campos, Corrado Macchiarelli, 19 October 2016

Explanations for the Eurozone Crisis rely on the notion of cross-country asymmetries. The core-periphery pattern to the EU was first established by Bayoumi and Eichengreen in 1993, prior to the Eurozone. This column replicates their approach to explore whether the euro has strengthened or weakened this pattern. A new ‘coreness index’ indicates that the core-periphery pattern has weakened, and that a new, smaller periphery has emerged.

Igor Masten, Ana Grdović Gnip, 13 October 2016

Fiscal policies in European Economic and Monetary Union states are being reinforced. This column argues that the cyclically adjusted budget balance will be an imprecise tool for measuring fiscal discipline, and structural deficit rules limits are too stringent. If the official methodology is used to trigger corrective fiscal contractions, it may increase macroeconomic instability.

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.

Philip Lane, 23 August 2015

This paper examines the cyclical behaviour of country-level macro-financial variables under EMU. Monetary union strengthened the covariation pattern between the output cycle and the financial cycle, while macro-financial policies at national and area-wide levels were insufficiently counter-cyclical during the 2003-2007 boom period. We critically examine the policy reform agenda required to improve macro-financial stability.

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Kick-off Conference of the ADEMU project (A Dynamic Economic And Monetary Union). Hosted by University of Cambridge, October 8-9, 2015. More information and registration: http://ademu-project.eu/

Paul De Grauwe, 07 September 2015

Economists were early critics of the design of the Eurozone, though many of their warnings went unheeded. This column discusses some fundamental design flaws, and how they have contributed to recent crises. National booms and busts lead to large external imbalances, and without individual lenders of last resort – national central banks – these cycles lead some members to experience liquidity crises that degenerated into solvency crises. One credible solution to these design failures is the formation of a political union, however member states are unlikely to find this appealing.

Carmen Reinhart, 09 July 2015

Contrary to the intent of the designers of what was to be an irreversible currency union, Greece may well exit the Eurozone. This column argues that default does not inevitably trigger the introduction of a new currency (or the re-activation of an old one). However, if ‘de-euroisation’ is the end game, then a forcible (or compulsory) currency conversion is likely to be a central part of that process, along with more broad-based capital controls. 

Reuven Glick, Andrew Rose, 15 June 2015

The Economic and Monetary Union in Europe has recently been the source of a lot of pain. Its economic benefits often seem a lot harder to measure.  This column reconsiders earlier opinions on the trade effects of currency unions using the latest data and methodologies. It suggests the euro has at least a mildly stimulating effect on exports.  However, the switches and reversals across methodologies do not make allowances for any bold statements.

Michal Kobielarz, Burak Uras, Sylvester Eijffinger, 12 March 2015

The Eurozone Crisis has been characterised by a sharp rise in sovereign interest rates in peripheral countries. The re-emergence of spreads between peripheral and core Eurozone countries at the start of the Greek crisis came after a decade of homogeneous interest rates in the monetary union. This column investigates the behaviour of spreads through the lens of a theory of implicit bailout guarantees.

Paul De Grauwe, 07 July 2014

There has been a stark contrast between the experiences of Spain and the UK since the Global Crisis. This column argues that although the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions policy has been instrumental in reducing Spanish government bond yields, it has not made the Spanish fiscal position sustainable. Although the UK has implemented less austerity than Spain since the start of the crisis, a large currency depreciation has helped to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio

Marco Buti, Maria Demertzis, João Nogueira Martins, 30 March 2014

Although progress has been made on resolving the Eurozone crisis – vulnerable countries have reduced their current-account deficits and implemented some reforms – more still needs to be done. This column argues for a ‘consistent trinity’ of policies: structural reforms within countries, more symmetric macroeconomic adjustment across countries, and a banking union for the Eurozone.

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