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Slowbalisation – understood as the slowdown in global integration – is said to have started in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. The coronavirus pandemic brought about a further dramatic fall in cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people, to the extent that commentators have proclaimed the beginning of deglobalisation. This paper examines whether the phenomenon described as slowbalisation is myth or reality, by looking at five different pathways of globalisation ...

The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) – the strategic foresight network of the European Union institutions – offers a valuable ‘free space’ in which to conduct a genuine continental, and potentially global, conversation about where the world is heading over the medium to long run. It was initiated by the European Parliament almost a decade ago in order to help promote a serious discussion of this kind. The third ESPAS Global Trends Report, Global Trends to 2030: Challenges and ...

In recent years, international trade has gained increasing visibility on the European Council agenda. A high level of economic interconnectedness and the ineluctable rise of emerging economies on the world stage, notably China, have highlighted differences across economic systems and divergences over the impact of certain policies and practices in the global economy. Moreover, the United States administration's pursuit of an 'America first' foreign policy has been accompanied by a trade policy aimed ...

It appears that recession may be on the way for the EU as a whole and the euro area in particular. Having used all of its instruments in the previous crisis, the European Central Bank has little left that can be helpful when the inevitable happens. This brief examines the financial risks facing the euro area and details how flexibility and non-intervention – the direct opposite approach from the global financial crisis – should characterise the response to the next crisis. This document was provided ...

The European Union (EU) is the biggest integrated economic zone and a guarantor of an open and predictable regulatory system able to determine its own economic destiny. But the behaviour of other global powers is increasingly calling this ability into question. China and the United States, especially, do not separate economic interests from geopolitical interests in the same way the EU does and are increasingly trying to gain geopolitical advantage using their economic might. The EU is known as ...

Inflation in advanced economies is low by historical standards but there is no threat of deflation. Slower economic growth is caused by supply-side constraints rather than low inflation. Below-the-target inflation does not damage the reputation of central banks. Thus, central banks should not try to bring inflation back to the targeted level of 2%. Rather, they should revise the inflation target downwards and publicly explain the rationale for such a move. Risks to the independence of central banks ...

The substantial reduction in trade costs and the rapid technological advances characterising the global economy over the past three decades have allowed multinational enterprises (MNEs) to increasingly break up their supply chains and spread them across different countries. The principal implication of this change relates to the concept of value added and the way it is created and captured across MNE-controlled global value chains (GVCs). The dynamic nature of transfers within MNEs, the increasing ...

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to engage in a quota review which is likely to have important institutional, economic and political consequences. Quotas are an essential component of the governance structure of the IMF, defining the influence member countries exert in the decision-making processes, their financial commitments and access to financing in case of need. The 15th review is likely to revolve around two key issues: overall sufficiency of IMF resources and redistribution of ...

International value chains have emerged as the new paradigm for the organisation of production globally. Today, most production processes across the world are vertically fragmented as a result of the increased unbundling of tasks and functions and their sourcing from different geographical locations. The extent to which this expansion in supply-chain trade is global in character (which some describe as the 'Factory World' phenomenon), or is rather based on more intra-regional ties clustered around ...

China has recently taken centre-stage in many global debates, as the volatility of its stock market and currency have posed a question mark over the health of its economy, which has implications for international and European economic growth.  The growing importance of China was highlighted last year, for example, by its increasingly active foreign policy and the inclusion of the Yuan in the International Monetary Fund's currency basket. The European Union faces strategic choices in its often complex ...