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Key Macroeconomic Indicators in the Euro Area and the United States

18-11-2020

Latest forcest by EC, IMF and OECD.

Latest forcest by EC, IMF and OECD.

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

14-02-2018

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe growing ...

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe growing by over one third. For the EU, the agreement is an important stepping stone to a wider EU-south-east Asia trade deal. Despite the obvious economic benefits of the FTA for Vietnam, some of its more vulnerable manufacturing sectors may suffer from competition with the EU. NGOs have also criticised the EU for pursuing closer ties with a politically repressive regime known for its human rights abuses, although the deal includes some safeguards against negative outcomes. Although the content of the FTA was already agreed in 2015, ratification has been delayed by a 2017 opinion of the European Court of Justice. The Court argued that some aspects of the EU-Singapore FTA, which is similar to the Vietnam FTA, are 'mixed competences', meaning that the FTA as it stands will have to be ratified not only by the EU but also by the 28 Member States. The Commission and Council are now considering whether to modify the agreement so that parts of it can be ratified more speedily by the EU alone. Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

Posting of Workers Directive – Current Situation and Challenges

30-06-2016

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, provides an overview of the Posting of Workers Directive, focussing on the current situation and major patterns regarding the posting of workers in the EU, major problems and challenges, and how these patterns have translated political, as well as jurisdictive, debates and proposals to improve the regulation of this specific form ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, provides an overview of the Posting of Workers Directive, focussing on the current situation and major patterns regarding the posting of workers in the EU, major problems and challenges, and how these patterns have translated political, as well as jurisdictive, debates and proposals to improve the regulation of this specific form of employment and service provision. With the Commission’s view on the proposal published on 8 March 2016, to revise the Directive, the study aims to provide the EMPL Committee with an assessment of the proposal in light of both the key challenges addressed and the previous resolutions and requests made by the European Parliament.

Parlamendiväline autor

Eckhard Voss (Wilke Maack GmbH, Hamburg, Getmany), Michele Faioli (Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy) and Jean-Philippe Lhernould (University of Poitiers, France)

Overview of EMU

15-06-2016

This note focusses on selected policy issues as outlined in the Five Presidents’ Report and which are relevant for parliamentary work. The note provides an overview of the main steps undertaken and of the proposals planned to make EMU more resilient to shocks by addressing the policy and governance challenges unveiled by the financial crisis. These include: i) labour and product market reforms to rise long-term productivity and growth; ii) financial integration (Banking Union) to improve market confidence ...

This note focusses on selected policy issues as outlined in the Five Presidents’ Report and which are relevant for parliamentary work. The note provides an overview of the main steps undertaken and of the proposals planned to make EMU more resilient to shocks by addressing the policy and governance challenges unveiled by the financial crisis. These include: i) labour and product market reforms to rise long-term productivity and growth; ii) financial integration (Banking Union) to improve market confidence in banks, stabilize financial markets, eliminate fragmentation and cut the sovereign-bank negative feedback; iii) plans for a Capital Market Union to enhance market-based financing to the economy, diversify the sources of financing, thereby spreading the impact and risks of financial shocks; iv) plans for a Fiscal Union or fiscal capacity as a macroeconomic stabilization tool against income shocks. Fiscal union is politically challenging as it involves ceding even more sovereignty from national levels to the euro-area level and is, therefore, strongly connected with political integration (Political Union). The note is complementary to the document “Institutions and Bodies in the Economic and Monetary Union”, which provides an overview of the governance framework of EMU.

Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

02-06-2016

Overall, the Commission has attempted to provide information as clearly and transparently as possible in the IA based on external expertise and wide consultation. Nonetheless, the limited availability of data suggests that the qualitative and quantitative evidence used to support the problem definition and the assessment of impacts might require further exploration. Moreover, the IA would have benefited from a clearer explanation on the interaction with, and impact on, the Enforcement Directive. ...

Overall, the Commission has attempted to provide information as clearly and transparently as possible in the IA based on external expertise and wide consultation. Nonetheless, the limited availability of data suggests that the qualitative and quantitative evidence used to support the problem definition and the assessment of impacts might require further exploration. Moreover, the IA would have benefited from a clearer explanation on the interaction with, and impact on, the Enforcement Directive. Finally, the IA could have better explained why EU action is necessary to solve the new problems and why Option 1 was ruled out despite broad stakeholder support.

Economic Policy Coordination in the Euro Area under the European Semester

05-11-2015

This paper assesses economic policy coordination in the euro area under the European Semester, which is a yearly process of the European Union aimed at improving economic policy coordination and ensuring the implementation of the EU’s economic rules.

This paper assesses economic policy coordination in the euro area under the European Semester, which is a yearly process of the European Union aimed at improving economic policy coordination and ensuring the implementation of the EU’s economic rules.

Parlamendiväline autor

Zsolt Darvas and Álvaro Leandro, Bruegel

Brazil: Economic situation

30-10-2015

Following a cycle of steady growth at the end of the last decade, the Brazilian economy began to contract in 2011, and entered a technical recession in 2015. Declining exports, rising inflation, a growing deficit and corruption have destabilised the economy. Its future course will depend on fiscal adjustment, inflation control and on bolstering the economy's credibility.

Following a cycle of steady growth at the end of the last decade, the Brazilian economy began to contract in 2011, and entered a technical recession in 2015. Declining exports, rising inflation, a growing deficit and corruption have destabilised the economy. Its future course will depend on fiscal adjustment, inflation control and on bolstering the economy's credibility.

The minimum wage: A motor for growth or a brake on the economy?

23-09-2015

Setting minimum wages are a direct way for governments to influence wage levels. Even though they are one of the most analysed and debated topics in economics, their impact on (un-)employment, growth and poverty remains ambiguous. For some experts, the rise of minimum wages will lead to job losses, as it increases the cost of labour. Others argue that minimum wages not only prevent the creation of a 'working poor' class, but create jobs by increasing employee purchasing power. The empirical evidence ...

Setting minimum wages are a direct way for governments to influence wage levels. Even though they are one of the most analysed and debated topics in economics, their impact on (un-)employment, growth and poverty remains ambiguous. For some experts, the rise of minimum wages will lead to job losses, as it increases the cost of labour. Others argue that minimum wages not only prevent the creation of a 'working poor' class, but create jobs by increasing employee purchasing power. The empirical evidence from OECD countries does not provide a clear answer. Over recent years, the focus of the debate has switched from the macro-economic effects to the social dimension of minimum wages. A statutory minimum wage is increasingly considered a useful tool to ensure fair wages and social inclusion. The international financial crisis widened the gap on minimum wage levels between many Member States. At the same time, it gave new momentum to the debate on 'just' minimum wages, low wage immigration and a harmonised minimum wage rate for all Member States. The idea of combining minimum wages with fiscal policy measures such as tax relief, earned income tax credits or additional income support provisions to increase low paid employees' incomes is a subject for further discussion. The European Parliament (EP) has adopted several resolutions against 'in work poverty' and social exclusion over recent years. The minimum wage is increasingly considered to be a tool which ensures fair wages and social inclusion.

Wage developments in the euro area: Increasingly unequal?

17-07-2015

In the wake of the crisis, gross wages in the euro area fell by 3.1% in 2009. They started to grow again, by 2.0%, in 2011 and the European Commission forecasts an increase of trend growth to 3.5% for 2016. Net earnings are only increasing slightly, however. Convergence in wage levels in the euro area remains static. Income inequality has increased in two thirds of EU countries since 2006, specifically for low-wage earners. In the euro area, inequality increased in ten Member States: Luxembourg, ...

In the wake of the crisis, gross wages in the euro area fell by 3.1% in 2009. They started to grow again, by 2.0%, in 2011 and the European Commission forecasts an increase of trend growth to 3.5% for 2016. Net earnings are only increasing slightly, however. Convergence in wage levels in the euro area remains static. Income inequality has increased in two thirds of EU countries since 2006, specifically for low-wage earners. In the euro area, inequality increased in ten Member States: Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, France, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Slovakia, Cyprus and Spain (in ascending order). After decreasing levels of inequality in previous years, the euro area is now back to 2004 levels. Being the biggest share of labour costs, the structure and development of earnings are important features of labour markets. Within a monetary union much of the pressure to (re-)gain competitiveness is shifted onto labour markets, and thus real wage developments. Yet nominal wage rigidities, increased by a low inflation environment, may increase unemployment and foster cross-country heterogeneity. The European Parliament is stimulating the debate with the aim of formulating better social and employment policy. The EP's own initiative report on the economic governance framework of June 2015 also focused on how to strengthen the social dimension.

Summary – Debt Sustainability and Economic Convergence of Euro-Area Member States: Challenges and Solutions

26-02-2015

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit provides a summary of external briefing papers presented in view of the Economic Dialogue with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem of 24 February 2015. The main objective of these papers was to analyse and suggest the most a appropriate policy measures at the euro area and national levels so as to help bringing debt dynamics on a sustainable path and fostering economic convergence.

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit provides a summary of external briefing papers presented in view of the Economic Dialogue with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem of 24 February 2015. The main objective of these papers was to analyse and suggest the most a appropriate policy measures at the euro area and national levels so as to help bringing debt dynamics on a sustainable path and fostering economic convergence.

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