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Linking national spending on the environment with the effects it has on the environmental performance of EU Member States allows for a better assessment of the effective quality of budgetary interventions. In this analysis, based on the detailed research paper in the Annex, we discuss under what circumstances some public environmental expenditure could be spent more efficiently at EU rather than at national level. We estimate that this transfer towards a more efficient level of governance would allow ...

A Welcome Revision Rather Than a Revolution

Uitgebreide analyse 03-11-2021

This contribution is a preliminary analysis of the effect of the ECB's new strategy, notably the revised inflation target, on inflation expectations. We show that the announcement of the new strategy, although necessary for several reasons, had a minor effect on inflation expectations. This reveals that the reform was either already partially anticipated by the market or too timid. Therefore, we present alternative outcomes of the strategy review. This paper was provided by the Policy Department ...

Member States have agreed that the definitive VAT reform in the EU should proceed only if it can be demonstrated that its impact on reducing the VAT gap is substantial and if the burden on businesses is also reduced. This study analyses these issues in detail, with a view to identifying possible challenges for the EU and on evaluating the European Added Value (EAV) of potential policy options to address these challenges. The study also includes a thorough comparative economic analysis of the EAV ...

Low IT spending by banks: Reason for concern?

Uitgebreide analyse 24-06-2021

We collect data on IT spending as reported by banks directly supervised by the ECB in their 2020 annual reports. Slightly more than 50% of these banks report their IT spending. Our analysis, using data for those banks that do report IT expenditure, suggests that the distribution of IT expenses as share of operating income, operating expenses or total assets is uneven. We identify banks that score low on one or more of these ratios. It turns out that this group is very diverse. We argue that these ...

Bank loans increased considerably in 2020, due to an unprecedented wave of extraordinary measures aimed at supporting bank borrowers. Where constraints posed by public-sector deficits were tighter, the response was more focused on contingent/fiscally-neutral measures (e.g. public guarantees and moratoria), which might lead to greater unbalances in the future. Post-Covid recovery can be expected to be selective in nature, both across industries and within. Accordingly, emergency measures cannot simply ...

The economic characteristics of the COVID-19 crisis differ from those of previous crises. It is a combination of demand- and supply-side constraints which led to the formation of a monetary overhang that will be unfrozen once the pandemic ends. Monetary policy must take this effect into consideration, along with other pro-inflationary factors, in the post-pandemic era. It must also think in advance about how to avoid a policy trap coming from fiscal dominance. This paper was provided by the Policy ...

This briefing discusses the main challenges and concerns for SMEs doing business in third countries. First, we show the current situation of European SMEs with respect to internationalisation and highlight the corresponding benefits. Second, based on previous literature on the topic, we distinguish between SMEs without international operations and SMEs that are already internationalised and discuss how different barriers can affect them.

The European Union has put in place an extraordinary array of policy measures to mitigate the devastating economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sheer amount and extent of the support economic lifelines makes a rushed termination of policies potentially subject to dire cliff effects. Avoiding these cliff effects requires a combination of decisive and long-lasting fiscal stimuli with an accommodating monetary stance, as well as a renewed European strategy that presents a unified fiscal ...

The COVID-19 crisis has triggered unprecedented concerted economic policy response. The paper investigates potential cliff effects that may arise from the temporary nature of the measures adopted and their different phase-out schedules. It finds that the concern that premature policy tightening could jeopardise the recovery are overblown. The major challenges for economic policy lie in the medium term. This paper was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies ...

As the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic intensifies and some highly infectious new mutations of the virus spread, a growing number of countries have increased restrictions on travel and some lockdowns have been intensified. Whilst a series of vaccines are progressively gaining official approval, and their roll-out has started, pharmaceutical companies struggle with production capacity issues, the effectiveness of the vaccines on mutations is still uncertain, and a broader debate is opening ...