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Enhancing EU competitiveness [What Think Tanks are thinking]

13-12-2019

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital ...

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital Markets Union. A debate continues about whether the EU should support the creation of EU industrial champions, which advocates claim could be well placed to compete internationally in some sectors. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by international think tanks and research institutes on EU competitiveness and related issues. Earlier papers on reforming the euro area are available in a previous issue from the series, published in December 2019.

Introduction to the European Semester: Coordinating and monitoring economic and fiscal policies in the EU

11-12-2019

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission ...

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Mercosur: Economic indicators and trade with EU

10-12-2019

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, ...

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, and it also shows those countries’ relative positions on several indexes that assess the situation in terms of doing business, corruption and human development. Finally, it looks at trade between the EU and Mercosur – of both goods and services – highlighting the main trading partners, and the main products and services that the EU exports to and imports from the four Mercosur members.

Tackling VAT fraud related to e-commerce

10-12-2019

Changes to the value added tax (VAT) regulatory framework for e-commerce introduced the destination principle for cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Identification of the online businesses supplying goods and services to customers in other Member States is going to be key when it comes to ensuring compliance with VAT rules and addressing e-commerce VAT fraud. Parliament is due to vote on two Commission proposals in plenary in December.

Changes to the value added tax (VAT) regulatory framework for e-commerce introduced the destination principle for cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Identification of the online businesses supplying goods and services to customers in other Member States is going to be key when it comes to ensuring compliance with VAT rules and addressing e-commerce VAT fraud. Parliament is due to vote on two Commission proposals in plenary in December.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

09-12-2019

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations. Finally, the Euro Summit will concentrate on the revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), and technical work on the strengthening of the banking union.

The main factors for the subdued profitability of significant banks in the Banking Union

09-12-2019

Most significant institutions in the euro area generate returns below the risk-adjusted rate required by investors. This paper surveys some recent studies on the causes of this low profitability, and then discusses several actions that the SSM may want to undertake, to support banks in their quest for higher returns.

Most significant institutions in the euro area generate returns below the risk-adjusted rate required by investors. This paper surveys some recent studies on the causes of this low profitability, and then discusses several actions that the SSM may want to undertake, to support banks in their quest for higher returns.

Zunanji avtor

A. Resti

Main factors for the subdued profitability of significant banks in the Banking Union

09-12-2019

There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy to achieve viable profitability, but all banks need good strategic steering and risk management capabilities to adjust their business mix to changes in the operating environment. Banks have already taken actions to enhance profitability and the room of manoeuvre for the future is not that ample. Policy makers can take further initiatives to fix structural inefficiencies and provide better conditions for banks to enhance profitability. These concerted actions ...

There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy to achieve viable profitability, but all banks need good strategic steering and risk management capabilities to adjust their business mix to changes in the operating environment. Banks have already taken actions to enhance profitability and the room of manoeuvre for the future is not that ample. Policy makers can take further initiatives to fix structural inefficiencies and provide better conditions for banks to enhance profitability. These concerted actions would help reduce the gap between banks’ RoE and cost-of-equity.

Zunanji avtor

B.Bruno, E.Carletti, EUI

Main factors for the subdued profitability of significant banks in the Banking Union

09-12-2019

In this paper we argue that the own findings of the SSM THEMATIC REVIEW ON PROFITABILITY AND BUSINESS MODEL and the academic literature on bank profitability do not provide support for the business model approach of supervisory guidance. We discuss in the paper several reasons why the regulator should stay away from intervening in management practices. We conclude that by taking the role of a coach instead of a referee, the supervisor generates a hazard for financial stability.

In this paper we argue that the own findings of the SSM THEMATIC REVIEW ON PROFITABILITY AND BUSINESS MODEL and the academic literature on bank profitability do not provide support for the business model approach of supervisory guidance. We discuss in the paper several reasons why the regulator should stay away from intervening in management practices. We conclude that by taking the role of a coach instead of a referee, the supervisor generates a hazard for financial stability.

Zunanji avtor

T.Farina, J-P.Krahnen, L.Pelizzon, M.Wahrenburg

Thematic Digest on Economic Governance in the EU - December 2019

06-12-2019

This document presents a selection of thematic briefings in the area of EU economic governance recently published by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament. They are notably related to the implementation of the European Semester for economic policy coordination. These thematic documents are drafted and kept updated on a regular basis, following relevant developments. All papers published by EGOV are available on the ECON homepage.

This document presents a selection of thematic briefings in the area of EU economic governance recently published by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament. They are notably related to the implementation of the European Semester for economic policy coordination. These thematic documents are drafted and kept updated on a regular basis, following relevant developments. All papers published by EGOV are available on the ECON homepage.

Linking cohesion policy and the European Semester: Partnership and multi-level governance to boost investment and structural reforms

06-12-2019

Multi-level governance requires the involvement of all levels of government, central, regional and local, in decision-making. Obstacles to appropriate and adequate involvement may lead to infringements of the principles of subsidiarity. However, under the cycle of EU economic and fiscal policy coordination known as the European Semester, local and regional administrations are considered to be 'stakeholders' – that is, they are not categorised as part of general government. Recent extension of the ...

Multi-level governance requires the involvement of all levels of government, central, regional and local, in decision-making. Obstacles to appropriate and adequate involvement may lead to infringements of the principles of subsidiarity. However, under the cycle of EU economic and fiscal policy coordination known as the European Semester, local and regional administrations are considered to be 'stakeholders' – that is, they are not categorised as part of general government. Recent extension of the European Semester to aspects of cohesion policy may consequently strengthen a top-down policy approach. A Code of Conduct, such as that proposed by the European Committee of the Regions, may help correct this imbalance.

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