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Improving the quality of public spending in Europe - Budgetary 'waste rates' in EU Member States

27-10-2020

This EPRS study looks at whether, and under what conditions, greater effectiveness could be achieved in overall public spending at all levels of the European Union through greater pooling of resources at European level. It suggests that added value can be realised in public spending, through efficiency gains and lower administrative costs, delivered by and through the EU budget, usually with corresponding savings to national budgets. The study provides a methodology for assessing the ‘waste rate’ ...

This EPRS study looks at whether, and under what conditions, greater effectiveness could be achieved in overall public spending at all levels of the European Union through greater pooling of resources at European level. It suggests that added value can be realised in public spending, through efficiency gains and lower administrative costs, delivered by and through the EU budget, usually with corresponding savings to national budgets. The study provides a methodology for assessing the ‘waste rate’ in overlapping national spending and analyses four policy areas, with the potential to realise gains of around €180 billion.

On the path to 'strategic autonomy': The EU in an evolving geopolitical environment

28-09-2020

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy ...

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy on a horizontal – cross-policy – basis would strengthen the EU's multilateral action and reduce dependence on external actors, to make the EU less vulnerable to external threats; while promoting a level playing field that benefits everyone. The EU could thus reap the full dividend of its integration and possibly benefit from greater economic gains. To build European strategic autonomy, the EU may choose to use the still 'under-used' or 'unused' potential of the Lisbon Treaty, with the European Council having a key role to play in triggering some of the Treaty provisions, particularly in foreign and security policy. European strategic autonomy may also result from a deepening of the EU integration process. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the Member States will wish to grasp the opportunity offered by the Conference on the Future of Europe to deepen the European project.

Digital finance: Emerging risks in crypto-assets – Regulatory and supervisory challenges in the area of financial services, institutions and markets

17-09-2020

The rapid growth of digital finance and crypto-assets has raised questions about the appropriate regulatory perimeter and the ability of the existing regulatory architecture to adapt to changing conditions. In this study, we evaluate the impact in terms of benefits and in terms of risk reduction that the adoption of an EU legislative initiative on a framework for crypto-assets, on cyber-resilience and on a data strategy would bring.

The rapid growth of digital finance and crypto-assets has raised questions about the appropriate regulatory perimeter and the ability of the existing regulatory architecture to adapt to changing conditions. In this study, we evaluate the impact in terms of benefits and in terms of risk reduction that the adoption of an EU legislative initiative on a framework for crypto-assets, on cyber-resilience and on a data strategy would bring.

European economic recovery

03-07-2020

A more united Europe has the potential to deliver greater benefits for its citizens, more effectively and efficiently, by offering a level of strategic scale and depth that no individual Member State, or even group of Member States, can achieve on their own. In particular, the combination of Europe's single market and economic and monetary union, used to their full potential and complemented by progress in other policy areas, such as the Green Deal, could prove to be key assets for a strong European ...

A more united Europe has the potential to deliver greater benefits for its citizens, more effectively and efficiently, by offering a level of strategic scale and depth that no individual Member State, or even group of Member States, can achieve on their own. In particular, the combination of Europe's single market and economic and monetary union, used to their full potential and complemented by progress in other policy areas, such as the Green Deal, could prove to be key assets for a strong European recovery from the serious economic shock recently administered by the coronavirus pandemic. An intensive debate has therefore opened up about the potential benefits of moving towards a higher degree of risk-sharing and collective 'strategic autonomy' for the Union, based on stronger and deeper common policies at EU level. The recent European Commission proposal for a 'Next Generation EU' recovery plan is likely to prove an important staging-point in this process. In practice, the size of the recovery response, the policy areas chosen for deepening, the financing options available to support them, and the degree to which they are matched by a greater willingness of the Union to 'act as one' on the international stage, are all likely to be determining factors in the outcome. This paper analyses some of the issues arising specifically in the economic field in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis and looks at a range of policy initiatives that could help build a broadly based and sustainable European economic recovery and a more resilient European Union.

Coronavirus and the cost of non-Europe: An analysis of the economic benefits of common European action

11-05-2020

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European ...

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European added value' permanently lost); and (ii) a parallel failure to take advantage of the unexploited potential of collective public goods that have yet be achieved (this would be future GDP growth foregone). The latter 'cost of non-Europe' in 50 policy areas was identified by EPRS in 2019 as around 14 per cent of EU GDP by the end of a ten-year running-in period.

Added value of a common EU response to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic

17-04-2020

In addition to the tragic loss of human lives, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic will have severe consequences for the European economy. Common action at EU level and coordinated long-term strategic action at international level is more necessary than ever before. In particular, in addition to the measures taken after the 2008 economic and financial crisis, a resolute move towards greater common policy action and a deepening of the single market, more strategic autonomy, increased common investment ...

In addition to the tragic loss of human lives, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic will have severe consequences for the European economy. Common action at EU level and coordinated long-term strategic action at international level is more necessary than ever before. In particular, in addition to the measures taken after the 2008 economic and financial crisis, a resolute move towards greater common policy action and a deepening of the single market, more strategic autonomy, increased common investment, and a reasonable deepening of risk-sharing within the economic and monetary union (EMU), could help to achieve a rapid, broad based and sustainable recovery. Our simulations, which use growth models based on long-term scenarios to 2035, indicate that the cost of complacency could be substantial. In a pessimistic worst-case scenario, where the policy response is fragmented and where no risk-sharing takes place, potential added value growth would be reduced by 0.8 % in 2035. For 2020 to 2035, this would represent a cumulated €2.9 trillion of added value losses for the EU as a whole compared to the initial baseline. In a more optimistic scenario, we assume a decisive move towards more sustained common action at EU level. As a result, potential added value growth is initially less impacted and the common action boosts long-term growth prospects to levels surpassing the estimates from the baseline scenario. For 2020 to 2035, such a scenario would represent a cumulated gain of €0.5 trillion of added value for the EU as a whole compared to the initial baseline.