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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Industrial policy

28-06-2019

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve ...

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve this goal, the EU supports, coordinates and supplements Member State-level policies and actions, mainly in the areas of research and innovation, SMEs and digital technologies. In a Eurobarometer poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than half of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on industrial policy. Despite this, it is still the least understood policy area covered by the poll. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including investment (mainly through the European Fund for Strategic Investment, which supports industrial modernisation); digitalisation (for example setting up a number of research partnerships, or a growing network of digital innovation hubs); financing (making it easier for industry and SMEs to access public markets and attract venture funds); greener industry (for example through the revised 2030 emission targets, or measures on clean mobility); standardisation (bringing together relevant stakeholders to collectively develop and update European standards); and skills (mobilising key stakeholders to close the skills gap and providing an adequate workforce for modern industry). The European Parliament has called for ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU spending on key areas relevant to industrial policy is expected to rise moderately. The European Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending on research, SMEs and key infrastructure, although not as much as Parliament has requested. In the coming years, policies are likely to focus on seeking fairer global competition, stimulating innovation, building digital capacities and increasing the sustainability of European industry. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protecting European consumers

28-06-2019

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of ...

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including stronger cross-border cooperation between national authorities in charge of consumer protection and market surveillance. Notably, the Commission proposed a 'new deal for consumers' in April 2018, to enable representative legal actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and to modernise EU consumer protection rules. Sector-specific efforts included: eliminating roaming charges across the EU in 2017; legislation aimed at facilitating consumer participation in the digital single market; reforms on the rules on privacy and data protection; enhancing the rights of energy consumers and passengers; and efforts to address the 'dual quality' of branded food products. The EU budget for consumer protection is relatively small, because although rules in this field are made at the EU level, their implementation and enforcement are carried out by the Member States. The consumer programme has a budget of €188 million for the 2013-2020 period, or roughly €0.05 per citizen per year. This may change in the new multiannual financial framework, as consumer protection becomes part of a wider single market programme, which is expected to create synergies between its various components. Future policies could focus on longer product lifetime, labelling and quality requirements for non-agricultural and industrial products, fairer food labelling and retail financial services. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Enabling SMEs' access to capital markets

09-04-2019

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed ...

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed adopting a regulation to address the administrative burden placed on SMEs when listing or issuing equity and bonds, with the aim to increase liquidity on SME growth markets. The latter are a new category of multilateral trading facilities, which was established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. To this end, the proposal provides for targeted amendments to two key pieces of financial services legislation, namely the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation. Following interinstitutional negotiations the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 6 March 2019, and this is due to be voted in Parliament during the April II plenary session.

European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund 2021-2027

16-01-2019

In the context of the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. The majority of ERDF funding (65 % to 85 %) will focus on smart growth ...

In the context of the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. The majority of ERDF funding (65 % to 85 %) will focus on smart growth and the green economy, while the fund will also support other activities such as connectivity, social issues and local development. The CF will continue to focus predominantly on environmental and transport infrastructure. Special provisions have been proposed for territories such as urban areas and outermost regions. The indicator framework for monitoring progress will include new common results indicators. At the European Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee on Regional Development, where the rapporteur's draft report was presented in October 2018. It is planned to be voted in committee in February 2019. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

IMF World Economic Outlook reflects consensus views

15-01-2019

This briefing is provided by Policy Department A following the participation of the Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) Group in Indonesia on 8-14 October 2018.

This briefing is provided by Policy Department A following the participation of the Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) Group in Indonesia on 8-14 October 2018.

Economic Dialogue with the European Commission on the 2019 European Semester Cycle

07-12-2018

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici have been invited to an Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views on the launch of the 2019 European Semester and the Commission opinions on the 2019 Draft Budgetary Plans of the Euro Area Member States, in line with the relevant EU law. This briefing note covers the main elements of the 2019 European Semester Package, proposed by the Commission, and the 2019 Draft Budgetary Plans of the Euro Area Member States, including the specific situation ...

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici have been invited to an Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views on the launch of the 2019 European Semester and the Commission opinions on the 2019 Draft Budgetary Plans of the Euro Area Member States, in line with the relevant EU law. This briefing note covers the main elements of the 2019 European Semester Package, proposed by the Commission, and the 2019 Draft Budgetary Plans of the Euro Area Member States, including the specific situation of Italy. It gives an overview of the implementation of the previous Semester Cycles and of the on-going work to strengthen the governance and the resilience of EMU.

The productivity riddle: Supporting long-term economic growth in the EU

03-12-2018

Productivity has a key role to play in the EU's long-term economic growth. The recent economic recovery has reversed the negative trend but concerns remain about long-term prospects. Productivity varies across the EU, with newer Member States reaching only about half the level of the older ones (EU-15) when measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked, but showing a higher growth dynamic. The recent poor productivity growth in the EU raises a number of important policy questions ...

Productivity has a key role to play in the EU's long-term economic growth. The recent economic recovery has reversed the negative trend but concerns remain about long-term prospects. Productivity varies across the EU, with newer Member States reaching only about half the level of the older ones (EU-15) when measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked, but showing a higher growth dynamic. The recent poor productivity growth in the EU raises a number of important policy questions. First, there is no consensus on the reasons behind it or the best ways to remedy it. There are also conflicting views regarding how long this situation will continue. Most economists believe the current weak growth trend may be explained by a combination of cyclical and structural economic weaknesses that need to be addressed by a mix of shorter and longer-term measures. Remedies for low productivity include increasing labour market participation, strengthening product market competition, encouraging demand, investment and lending to companies, as well as restructuring inefficient markets, disseminating technology and generalising digitalisation. In the EU context, particularly important factors conducive to productivity growth include creating a genuine single market for services, boosting digitalisation across economic sectors and addressing long-term challenges, such as the ageing society and rising income inequalities, as well as implementing long-awaited structural reforms in the Member States.

Growth prospects, the natural interest rate, and monetary policy

03-12-2018

The recovery from the Global Financial Crisis was characterized by sluggish output growth and by inflation remaining persistently below the inflation targets of central banks in many advanced economies despite an unprecedented monetary expansion. Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis, GDP remains below its pre-crisis trend in many economies and interest rates continue to be very low worldwide. This raises the question of whether low GDP growth and low interest rates are a temporary phenomenon ...

The recovery from the Global Financial Crisis was characterized by sluggish output growth and by inflation remaining persistently below the inflation targets of central banks in many advanced economies despite an unprecedented monetary expansion. Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis, GDP remains below its pre-crisis trend in many economies and interest rates continue to be very low worldwide. This raises the question of whether low GDP growth and low interest rates are a temporary phenomenon or are due to a decline in long-run growth prospects (potential output growth) and equilibrium real interest rates (natural interest rate). In this paper, we address this for central banks very important question and discuss implications for monetary policy. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Vanjski autor

S. FIEDLER, K.-J. GERN, N. JANNSEN (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), M. WOLTERS (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

A monetary policy framework for the European Central Bank to deal with uncertainty

03-12-2018

We argue that monetary policy faces different challenges to those faced during the period of the great moderation. Greater uncertainties over the ability of monetary policy to control inflation, the instruments that should be used and their effects on financial stability imply that we need to rethink whether the current framework is appropriate. We recommend a few adaptions to the current framework that would provide greater flexibility to the European Central Bank without departing very far from ...

We argue that monetary policy faces different challenges to those faced during the period of the great moderation. Greater uncertainties over the ability of monetary policy to control inflation, the instruments that should be used and their effects on financial stability imply that we need to rethink whether the current framework is appropriate. We recommend a few adaptions to the current framework that would provide greater flexibility to the European Central Bank without departing very far from current practices (to avoid risking the credibility that the ECB has acquired since its inception). This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Vanjski autor

Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis, Jan Mazza

Monetary Policy in an Era of Low Average Growth Rates

29-11-2018

Economic growth in the euro area has been sluggish since the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008. While some of this sluggishness reflected cyclical patterns, ongoing weak productivity growth and demographic factors point to slow average growth rates for the euro area in the coming decades. This will most likely translate into a lower equilibrium real interest rate. The ECB should follow the Federal Reserve in providing estimates to the public of average nominal interest rate it expects ...

Economic growth in the euro area has been sluggish since the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008. While some of this sluggishness reflected cyclical patterns, ongoing weak productivity growth and demographic factors point to slow average growth rates for the euro area in the coming decades. This will most likely translate into a lower equilibrium real interest rate. The ECB should follow the Federal Reserve in providing estimates to the public of average nominal interest rate it expects to set over the long term and that this is likely lower than average rates during the pre-crisis era. The ECB should continue advocating for growth-boosting structural reforms but should also consider advocating for higher immigration levels to improve Europe’s demographic profile and growth potential.

Vanjski autor

Professor Karl Whelan

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