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Posted on 19-05-2017

The role of macro-prudential policies in prevention and correction of asset imbalances in the Euro Area

19-05-2017

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there is consensus among academics and policy makers on the need for the so-called macroprudential policies. Additionally, the current low interest-rate environment creates further risks to financial stability. However, the implementation of such policies in a monetary union is a rather complex issue. Housing and credit markets heterogeneity across countries calls for action at national level. The role of the ECB in macroprudential policy is a matter of debate ...

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there is consensus among academics and policy makers on the need for the so-called macroprudential policies. Additionally, the current low interest-rate environment creates further risks to financial stability. However, the implementation of such policies in a monetary union is a rather complex issue. Housing and credit markets heterogeneity across countries calls for action at national level. The role of the ECB in macroprudential policy is a matter of debate because monetary policy can conflict with the ultimate goal of macroprudential policy. This document reviews the key issues that are relevant for the implementation of macroprudential policies in the euro area and questions the current institutional framework. Finally, it gives some policy recommendations on how to improve the current situation.

External author

Margarita Rubio

The Fiscal Governance Frameworks of the United States and the European Union: Comparing ‘Apples and Pears’

19-05-2017

This paper lays out the different institutional frameworks that govern fiscal policy in the United States and the European Union. It details the resulting differences in fiscal activity through a comparison of the revenues, expenditures, and fiscal balances that we observe at the central and state level in both jurisdictions. The paper tries to provide a factual ‘snap shot’ of these fiscal frameworks in order to distinguish the characteristics of these two institutionally very different economic ...

This paper lays out the different institutional frameworks that govern fiscal policy in the United States and the European Union. It details the resulting differences in fiscal activity through a comparison of the revenues, expenditures, and fiscal balances that we observe at the central and state level in both jurisdictions. The paper tries to provide a factual ‘snap shot’ of these fiscal frameworks in order to distinguish the characteristics of these two institutionally very different economic governance systems.

Posted on 18-05-2017

The use of EU funds for gender equality in Poland

15-05-2017

This research article was requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. It was commissioned, overseen and published by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs. The focus of the study is to assess how gender equality funds for 2014-2020 are allocated in Poland. The focus is mainly on the ESIF's funding within the National and Regional Operational Programmes, as well as the Horizon 2020 and the REC Programmes on the Gender Equality ...

This research article was requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. It was commissioned, overseen and published by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs. The focus of the study is to assess how gender equality funds for 2014-2020 are allocated in Poland. The focus is mainly on the ESIF's funding within the National and Regional Operational Programmes, as well as the Horizon 2020 and the REC Programmes on the Gender Equality Objective, and the follow-up of Daphne Programmes on violence against women. The reference period is 2014-2016. The report presents to what extent the rules of projects' selection procedures determine the implementation of gender equality principles within operational programmes.

External author

Dr Manuela Samek Lodovici, IRS – Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale, Italy

Posted on 15-05-2017

An evolutionary path for a European Monetary Fund? A comparative perspective.

15-05-2017

Eurozone reformers are looking to the United States and other federations as they seek to craft a more sustainable architecture for the Euro. This paper first extracts lessons about mechanisms of inter-regional insurance and redistribution, and then turns attention to related debates about moral hazard and fiscal discipline. In the United States, inter-regional fiscal stabilization is achieved through a progressive income tax. Contrary to common wisdom, federal direct expenditures and grants are ...

Eurozone reformers are looking to the United States and other federations as they seek to craft a more sustainable architecture for the Euro. This paper first extracts lessons about mechanisms of inter-regional insurance and redistribution, and then turns attention to related debates about moral hazard and fiscal discipline. In the United States, inter-regional fiscal stabilization is achieved through a progressive income tax. Contrary to common wisdom, federal direct expenditures and grants are targeted neither to states suffering from short-term asymmetric negative shocks nor to relatively poor states in the long term. Fiscal policies of state and local governments are highly pro-cyclical, and partially undermine the stabilizing role of the system of federal taxes and transfers. Thus the U.S. experience suggests a number of design challenges facing any future Eurozone stabilization mechanism. The paper also places proposals for even stronger top-down surveillance and correction mechanisms of Eurozone member states’ fiscal policies in comparative perspective, arguing that such powers are not found in unions of sovereigns like the United States, Canada, and Switzerland. Moreover, there are reasons for concern about the credibility of such efforts in the Eurozone as currently structured. Unless political will can be found for extraordinary political and fiscal centralization, reformers should assume that member states will continue as sovereigns, and hence will be disciplined (or not) by voters and credit markets rather than European regulators. Thus it might be useful to consider policies that would make the “no-bail out clause” credible.

External author

Jonathan A. Rodden, Stanford University

Posted on 11-05-2017

European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs: An overview

11-05-2017

The interconnections between border management, migration and internal security have become more apparent recently in the context of high inflows of refugees and irregular migrants and of increasing terrorist activities in the EU. To address these challenges, the EU has taken steps to revise and develop the European information systems in order to improve the collection, processing and sharing of data among Member States and relevant EU agencies. This publication provides an overview of the existing ...

The interconnections between border management, migration and internal security have become more apparent recently in the context of high inflows of refugees and irregular migrants and of increasing terrorist activities in the EU. To address these challenges, the EU has taken steps to revise and develop the European information systems in order to improve the collection, processing and sharing of data among Member States and relevant EU agencies. This publication provides an overview of the existing and proposed European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. It discusses the legal basis, the purposes, the scope of data and access, the utilisation and the proposed changes for each information system, including issues of interoperability.

Posted on 03-05-2017

An evolutionary path towards a European Monetary Fund?

03-05-2017

There is no need for Europe to replicate the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can provide the backstop for sovereigns, even without a financial contribution from the IMF. In this sense, the ESM already constitutes to a large extent a ‘European Monetary Fund’. Other IMF functions such as surveillance and policy coordination should remain with the European Commission, the Eurogroup and other existing bodies. The ESM will be called upon to act as a backstop only ...

There is no need for Europe to replicate the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can provide the backstop for sovereigns, even without a financial contribution from the IMF. In this sense, the ESM already constitutes to a large extent a ‘European Monetary Fund’. Other IMF functions such as surveillance and policy coordination should remain with the European Commission, the Eurogroup and other existing bodies. The ESM will be called upon to act as a backstop only intermittently, in times of great financial market instability. The need for it will evolve as a function of the nature of financial markets and their cross-border integration. It is not possible to forecast with any precision when the next financial crisis might break out and what form it will take. Any evolution in the functioning of the ESM should thus aim at enhancing flexibility and clarity of its overall mandate (financial stability), rather than revising the details of the rescue mechanism (which should be extended to the Single Resolution Fund) and its modus operandi. Moreover, the ESM should be viewed as the natural instrument for unifying the euro area’s representation in the IMF.

External author

Daniel Gros (Centre for European Policy Studies)

A European Monetary Fund?

03-05-2017

The creation of a European Monetary Fund seems a natural next step to improve upon the European Stability Mechanism. This paper argues that such a step is neither necessary nor desirable, for many reasons. First, the European Stability Mechanism is a fundamental contradiction with the no-bailout rule, which is arguably the most crucial instrument to foster fiscal discipline in the Eurozone. Second, any insurance mechanism creates moral hazard. A European Monetary Fund would be deeply immersed in ...

The creation of a European Monetary Fund seems a natural next step to improve upon the European Stability Mechanism. This paper argues that such a step is neither necessary nor desirable, for many reasons. First, the European Stability Mechanism is a fundamental contradiction with the no-bailout rule, which is arguably the most crucial instrument to foster fiscal discipline in the Eurozone. Second, any insurance mechanism creates moral hazard. A European Monetary Fund would be deeply immersed in conflicts of interest among its members. Third, it would have to fit in alongside the Commission and the Eurosystem, already in charge of monitoring the Eurozone countries, preventing crises, lending in last resort and developing debt-restructuring principles. Fourth, it would need a highly competent staff to deal with crises but idle in quiet times. Fifth, its governance should guarantee fast action when needed, with proper accountability and undue politicisation. These are serious hurdles and the IMF can perform the task.

External author

Charles Wyplosz

Posted on 02-05-2017

Competition Policy and an Internal Energy Market - Study concept and preliminary results

14-04-2017

The study will describe the challenges for competition policy in relation to the internal energy market. It explores the specific topics related to the internal energy market and analyses the competition policy issues arising from the topics. The study will mainly focus on competition policy and its instruments such as anti-trust laws, merger regulation, sector regulation and State aid. Other policy fields fall outside the scope. This presentation of the approach and preliminary results was prepared ...

The study will describe the challenges for competition policy in relation to the internal energy market. It explores the specific topics related to the internal energy market and analyses the competition policy issues arising from the topics. The study will mainly focus on competition policy and its instruments such as anti-trust laws, merger regulation, sector regulation and State aid. Other policy fields fall outside the scope. This presentation of the approach and preliminary results was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Posted on 26-04-2017

The Impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on Scotland, Wales and Gibraltar

26-04-2017

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has commissioned this in-depth analysis on the impact of Brexit on the devolved territories of Scotland and Wales as well as the Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It examines the economic and political implications of Brexit on these territories, the consequences of the possible return to devolved administrations of formerly ‘Europeanised’ competencies and looks at how Brexit might affect their ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has commissioned this in-depth analysis on the impact of Brexit on the devolved territories of Scotland and Wales as well as the Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It examines the economic and political implications of Brexit on these territories, the consequences of the possible return to devolved administrations of formerly ‘Europeanised’ competencies and looks at how Brexit might affect their future status within the UK as well as their relations with the EU.

External author

Michael KEATING

Posted on 19-04-2017

Politique et législation de l'UE sur les pesticides: Produits phytopharmaceutiques et biocides

19-04-2017

Les substances qui contrôlent, détruisent ou préviennent les organismes considérés nuisibles sont regroupées sous le terme de pesticides. Celui-ci inclut à la fois les produits phytopharmaceutiques (utilisés sur les végétaux dans l'agriculture, l'horticulture, les parcs ou les jardins) et les produits biocides (utilisés dans d'autres applications, par exemple pour protéger les matériaux ou désinfecter). L'utilisation de pesticides présente une série d'avantages, comme la lutte contre les maladies ...

Les substances qui contrôlent, détruisent ou préviennent les organismes considérés nuisibles sont regroupées sous le terme de pesticides. Celui-ci inclut à la fois les produits phytopharmaceutiques (utilisés sur les végétaux dans l'agriculture, l'horticulture, les parcs ou les jardins) et les produits biocides (utilisés dans d'autres applications, par exemple pour protéger les matériaux ou désinfecter). L'utilisation de pesticides présente une série d'avantages, comme la lutte contre les maladies et des rendements agricoles plus élevés. Cependant, elle présente également une série d'inconvénients, notamment les impacts sur l'environnement, les risques pour la santé humaine et les impacts en termes de protection des cultures. La législation de l'Union européenne sur les pesticides vise à assurer un niveau élevé de protection de la santé humaine et de l'environnement, et à améliorer le fonctionnement du marché intérieur. Les produits phytopharmaceutiques et biocides font l'objet d'un double processus d'agrément: les substances actives sont approuvées au niveau de l'Union européenne, et les produits sont ensuite autorisés principalement au niveau des États membres. Par ailleurs, des limites maximales harmonisées sont établies en ce qui concerne les résidus de produits phytopharmaceutiques dans les aliments, et un cadre d'action vise une utilisation durable des pesticides. Plusieurs aspects de la politique de l'Union européenne en matière de pesticides peuvent être considérés comme des opportunités ou des défis, notamment en qui concerne les coûts pour le secteur, les procédures d'agrément et la durabilité. La Commission européenne mène une évaluation de la législation sur les produits phytopharmaceutiques et leurs résidus, dont les conclusions sont attendues fin 2018.

Upcoming events

29-05-2017
The future of OLAF
Workshop -
CONT
30-05-2017
The potential of electricity demand response
Workshop -
ITRE
30-05-2017
The current challenges of fighting terrorism and serious crime
Hearing -
LIBE

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