Economic Policy


151 - 180 of 631
08 March 2012

All in all, this Commentary finds that the Fiscal Compact signed on 2 March 2012 by all member states of the EU (except the UK and the Czech Republic) may be long on good intentions but is rather short on substance. The main danger is that that it has been oversold and in no way constitutes a first step towards fiscal or political union.

07 March 2012

According to CEPS Director Daniel Gros, the real problem in Greece is no longer the fiscal deficit, but a combination of deposit flight and continuing excessive consumption in the private sector, which for more than a decade now has been accustomed to spending much more than it earns

01 March 2012

The eurozone is in recession and will show negative growth in 2012, notes Stefano Micossi in this new CEPS Policy Brief. Hopes that fiscal consolidation could spur growth by improving household and business confidence are not materialising, because in reality, domestic demand has been hit too hard by fiscal consolidation, and investment throughout the Union remains well below pre-crisis levels.

17 February 2012

While acknowledging that Portugal is far from being in the same dire straits as Greece in terms of its levels of public debt and deficit, Daniel Gros points out in this Commentary that excess private consumption is Portugal’s real problem. And if this problem is not addressed, he warns that the eurozone might soon have another country in need of debt forgiveness.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

13 February 2012

The objectives of Work Package (WP) 2 of the EU FP7 project ANCIEN are to assess the actual and future numbers of elderly care-dependent persons in selected countries. Such projections are needed to support planning to meet future needs for long-term care (LTC) across the EU. This study has selected four countries for projections of LTC needs: Spain, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. These countries are representative of European epidemiology and of different systems for the provision of long-term care.

09 February 2012

What share of the EU’s collective GDP should the EU budget represent? 1%? 1.05%? 0.95%? A Task Force set up by CEPS to explore this question finds that the EU member states, once again, are locked in a pointless battle. Their report argues that the amount is not decisive when it comes to EU spending, but that quality matters far more than quantity. And it is on the quality side that the most significant improvements can be made.

07 February 2012

In Italy, regions are at the centre of the system providing long-term care services, which typically include residential services, formal home care and monetary benefits. The regions define their own policies for the provision of care, ranging from needs assessment and monitoring tools to the accreditation of service providers. Quality assurance policies are primarily directed at residential services and formal home care, but as this research report highlights, there are many differences across regions.

Georgia Casanova is with the LUISS Business School in Rome.

07 February 2012

This Policy Brief summarises findings from Work Package (WP) 5 of the ANCIEN project and its three objectives: first, collecting comprehensive information on national quality assurance policies and indicators in LTC systems in 15 EU member states; second, using the collected data to derive a typology of national systems on quality in LTC; and third, producing recommendations at all levels (European, national and local) to improve quality of LTC in Europe. The study has identified four clusters of countries based on the respective quality assurance policies and indicators.

07 February 2012

The provision of informal care is an important source of long-term care for older people in Europe. According to the latest available data, between 21% and 43% of the population living in Europe aged 65 and older receive informal care. Given fiscal constraints on public budgets in most of the EU countries and the ageing of the population, it is likely that in the very near future informal care providers will represent the most important source of care for disabled and older people in Europe.

07 February 2012

Work Package 3 on the Availability and Choice of Care of the ANCIEN project aims to document the forces driving the choice of formal and informal care across European countries and to characterise the linkages between the type of care used by dependent people and a country's institutional setting, which determines the supply of formal and informal care. Different issues related to formal and informal care choices and the LTC (long-term care) institutional setting in the EU have been analysed by the WP3 contributors. This research report summarises each partner’s contribution.

01 February 2012

This paper analyses labour demand and supply with respect to skills and tasks. The literature on this topic is abundant, especially in light of education expansion and the impact of technology on labour demand. The goal of this work is not to add evidence to the causes and effects of labour demand and supply but rather to sketch the broader picture of their equilibrium and then to try to anticipate what type of skills mismatch EU countries will encounter during the next decade.

20 January 2012

This paper finds evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios, and was the result of negative market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.

12 January 2012

CEPS Director Daniel Gros explores in this Commentary why the crisis in the eurozone is going from bad to worse, despite the relative strength of the region’s fundamentals. He finds that the resources are there, but that Europe needs to summon up the political will to mobilise them.

16 December 2011

This Commentary explores what will happen if Italy is not able to implement structural reforms and if international institutions, such as the EFSF and the IMF, do not intervene with sufficient resources to prevent Europe’s second-largest economy from defaulting on its debt. It warns that the Italian economic system would certainly embark on a perverse path that would follow three phases: liquidity crisis and insolvency; deflationary pressures; and finally inflationary pressures and economic and political instability.

15 December 2011

It is widely assumed in Germany, and elsewhere, that German citizens have turned against the centrepiece of the process of deeper European integration: the euro.  The German Allensbach Institute, which conducts public opinion poll research, showed that levels of trust in the euro started to decline in April 2010, and more recently, other publications claim that an overwhelming majority of German citizens have lost trust in the euro.

15 December 2011

This latest contribution by Stefano Micossi, Director General Assonime, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and member of the CEPS Board of Directors, assesses the new decisions on economic governance taken at the European Council on December 8-9 and questions whether they are truly feasible, either technically or politically.

15 December 2011

This paper analyses the evolution of public support for the euro from 1990 to 2011, using a popularity function approach, focusing on the most recent period of the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Exploring a huge database of close to half a million observations covering the 12 original euro area member countries, we find that the ongoing crisis has only marginally reduced citizens’ support for the euro – at least so far. This result is in stark contrast to the sharp fall in public trust in the European Central Bank.

08 December 2011

Even if the best possible agreement is struck by the European Council meeting in Brussels December 7th-8th, the crisis will not suddenly be over. But this Commentary suggests a formula whereby it could at least be contained, thus giving countries such as Italy or Spain the time they need to show that they can get their deficits under control and turn their economies around.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels.

07 December 2011

In the run-up to this week’s European Council, Karel Lannoo offers his assessment of what has been put on the table so far in response to the euro crisis – and what more needs to be done. He starts with an assessment of the measures taken in the ‘six-pack’ and the debate on the Euro-plus Pact and then addresses some operational elements of the European Stability Mechanism and the question whether the EU is, as often alleged, a transfer union.

02 December 2011

With European governments cutting back on spending, many are asking whether this could make matters worse. In the UK for instance, recent OECD estimates suggest that ‘austerity’ will lead to another recession, which in turn may lead to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than before. As the debate heats up, this new commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros provides some cool economic logic.

30 November 2011

The multiple attempts to restore confidence in the eurozone over the 18 months that have passed since the first Greek rescue in May 2010, have clearly failed. Indeed, following each round of emergency measures agreed by the eurozone summits, matters have turned for the worse. This contribution by Stefano Micossi exhorts the leaders of the eurozone to go back to the drawing board and overcome their political disagreements on how to proceed.

16 November 2011

In this analytical policy brief, CEPS Director Daniel Gros explores whether there is a fundamental difference between a formal sovereign default with a haircut and debt monetisation, which reduces the purchasing power for investors by the same amount. He argues that there is indeed a difference because a formal sovereign default invariably leads to a banking crisis.

16 November 2011

CEPS Senior Fellow Paul De Grauwe expresses astonishment in this new Commentary at the continued insistence in both Brussels and Frankfurt on budgetary austerity as the necessary and sufficient response to stop the government debt crisis in the eurozone. In his view, the austerity programmes should be softened and spread over a longer period of time, allowing the automatic stabilisers in the national budgets to prevent the economies from spiralling downwards.

08 November 2011

This contribution by CEPS Director Daniel Gros lays the blame for Italy’s poor growth, which presently poses an existential threat to the entire eurozone, squarely on the country’s abysmal record on such governance factors as corruption and the rule of law. Reversing this political decline will take years of national commitment – of which he sees little sign.

03 November 2011

Contrary to the high hopes being attached to the proffer of Chinese assistance at the G20 in Cannes this week, CEPS Director Daniel Gros warns in this Commentary that a large inflow of funds from China and other 'investors' could in fact do more harm than good. In his view, the incoming capital would strengthen the euro and thus make a recovery in the periphery even more difficult.

01 November 2011

Thirteen years after the Barcelona Process was launched, in 2008, Euro-Mediterranean relations were provided with a new framework for regional cooperation: the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Since then, the institution has attracted wide attention less because of its achievements than because of its stalemate. The much publicized cancellation of Heads of State Summits and Foreign Affairs Meetings, the delays in setting up the Secretariat and the empty chair policies pur- sued by its members were a blow to the institution’s credibility.

27 October 2011

Eurozone leaders agreed this morning on the rough outline of a package of measures designed to end the crisis in the eurozone. This commentary argues that a central pillar of the package will not work. The so-called ‘first-loss insurance’ of eurozone sovereign debt relies on an incomplete analysis of the underlying problem and the proposed solution.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

26 October 2011

This paper examines two questions related to the sustainability of the major neoliberal, economic and social reforms in the new EU member states, namely the flat income tax and private pension pillars. First, we look at the relationship between the political consensus/controversy at the time major policy reforms were passed and the future sustainability of these reforms after a change of government.

24 October 2011

Unlike the banking crisis of 2008; when governments had significantly lower debt burdens, governments today cannot recapitalize banks without triggering downgrades and renewed fears of sovereign default. In order to stop this downward spiral in the eurozone, a credible floor has to be put in place on the prices of government bonds. This CEPS Commentary argues that the European Central Bank is the only institution capable of imposing such a floor and breaking this vicious circle.

13 October 2011

The European Union should move quickly to enact an American-style ‘TARP’ in the eurozone to strengthen the financial sector and maintain lending, argues CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo.