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Given Italy’s economic stagnation, a well-designed fiscal stimulus makes for a sensible policy — provided that these steps are accompanied by economic reforms to boost labor force participation and productivity.

Italy’s new coalition faces tough choices

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Italy has moved—again—in the direction of stability in the short term, while facing long-term fragility of its economic and financial situation

’’As EU Commission President, you will only be able to really hold your head high on the global stage if you practice what you preach. You must have the courage to take action against EU governments that are in breach of the rule of law, democratic standards and media freedoms.’’

Navigating a dark and dangerous world: a primer for von der Leyen

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

’’Dear Madame President, We don’t know each other yet. But the contents of this letter have been swirling around in my head for weeks. I’ll keep it short and simple. And, yes, I’ll be speaking frankly..’’

In truth, it is impossible to make plausible predictions thanks to the political maelstrom that is Brexit. But some economic and social projections can be envisaged. The antagonisms unleashed within the UK over Brexit are acting as a smokescreen for the inexorable trends that will transform British society, regardless of whether or not the UK leaves the EU.

The impact on Europe of ‘make-believe’ Britain

By: EBR | Thursday, September 5, 2019

Until Brexit reared its ugly head, the EU’s more far-sighted policy analysts were worrying about relations with a very different Britain

Many German economists, and not just those on the left, are now calling on the government to reform the country’s constitutionally binding commitment to balance the federal government’s budget over the economic cycle. They rightly argue that it is preventing the country from upgrading its worsening infrastructure, and that with the government’s borrowing costs having turned negative—that is, investors are prepared to pay the German government to lend to it—borrowing to fund investment would more than pay for itself. Most conservative economists and business figures, however, continue to argue that what the country needs is tax cuts for business and more labor market flexibility.

Germany Is an Economic Masochist

By: EBR | Thursday, August 22, 2019

Europe’s biggest economy could easily stop its own slide into long-term stagnation—but it would prefer not to

The Soviet Union could have lived on beyond 1991. In March of that year, then Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev held a referendum on preserving the USSR in a looser federation in which a strong majority (more than 77 percent of all Soviet citizens who took part and 73 percent of voters in Russia) voted in favor. Six republics— Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldova—boycotted the vote and could have achieved independence in time on their own with Western support, but the rest of the union still looked quite solid.

The Story of Boris and Vaclav, or How to Break Up the UK

By: EBR | Thursday, August 22, 2019

Boris Johnson could end up being the English leader who allowed the breakup of the UK to achieve Brexit. There are lessons in the dissolution of two other unions, the USSR and Czechoslovakia, and the role played by Boris Yeltsin and Vaclav Klaus

On economic issues, the group is likely to follow the EPP, while it could follow the S&D on climate and migration issues, according to Ferrari.“However, we need to wait and see how the group’s internal dynamics develop,” he added.German MEPs are numerous and experiencedOn average, French MEPs will be gaining the most influence, and Spanish MEPS will also expand theirs.However, German MEPs will carry the most significant weight – not least because Germany sends a slightly higher number of experienced MPs to Brussels and Strasbourg.

The balance of powers in the new European Parliament

By: EBR | Wednesday, July 24, 2019

With majorities in the European Parliament becoming more unstable, votes are becoming more unpredictable. The power structure has shifted considerably as a result of the European elections. While the liberal group Renew Europe will likely be decisive, German MEPs are set to be the most influential

Under Lagarde, the IMF has also played a crucial and constructive role over the last five years in seeking to pull Ukraine out of virtual bankruptcy. Lagarde appreciated that securing sound fiscal and monetary policies alone would not suffice.The Fund not only moved further than ever before to seek civil society allies in Ukraine, but it explicitly targeted kleptocracy. I believe this is where Lagarde really appreciated that the IMF could play a very meaningful anti-corruption role.She has used her formidable managerial skills to embed her anti-corruption approaches into the IMF bureaucracy. This will be a shining jewel in her IMF legacy. My hope is that her successor builds on her initiatives in this area.

Lagarde’s Leadership Should Not Be Underrated

By: EBR | Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The scope of central banking has expanded significantly in recent years. The former IMF boss is well prepared for those challenges

Europeans are living in a time of great uncertainty filled with both enormous opportunities and profound risks for the future of the common European project. Many feel uneasy about their economic, social and environmental futures and anxiety about how to keep up with rapid technological change and deepened globalization.For the first time since the beginning of the European integration process, there is real urgency for Europe to reaffirm its unique raison d’etre. A changing geopolitical landscape leaves the region with the responsibility to step up its global leadership role and to stand up for democracy, rule of law and multilateral diplomacy

An open letter to Europe’s leaders

By: EBR | Thursday, July 18, 2019

2019 is a critical year for Europe. The rise of populist, nationalistic agendas has called into question the raison d/etre of the European project and core European liberal values

The ambitious agenda she presented has more green, center-left and risk-sharing elements than German chancellor Angela Merkel has ever endorsed.However, as head of the European Commission, von der Leyen will have little control over which elements, if any, will be enacted. But that she, as a modern German conservative, has put forward such an agenda can soften German resistance to some of the ideas she put forward. In that sense, her election may make a modest difference.

EU Politics: A Narrow Vote for Progress

By: EBR | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Can von der Leyen make a difference? Probably yes — but only modestly so

Many Conservatives are frustrated. The Greens and some key members of the center-left have publicly opposed the deal. Although von der Leyen faces an uphill struggle, I expect her to prevail.

Four reasons why von der Leyen can prevail

By: EBR | Friday, July 5, 2019

Despite some obstacles, it is likely that Ursula von der Leyen will lead the next European Commission

All the new EU leadership team are on the record saying Brexit is bad for the EU and none is willing to make concessions to Boris Johnson who has denigrated and told lies about Europe over his 30 year political-journalist career. There will be no hand extended to help a Johnson-Farage UK from Brussels.

Winners and losers in Europe

By: EBR | Friday, July 5, 2019

Europe and the EU have undergone great changes in recent times. Here are five winners and five losers

Although Europe lags behind in economic growth compared to other major world economies, it does well in the Inclusive Development Index. This is an alternative measurement of economic development that focuses more on median living standards. The index was set up by the World Economic Forum to better represent economic development felt by ordinary people. Where GDP can overlook inequality - the Inclusive Development Index aims to include it.

What is the new economic agenda for Europe?

By: EBR | Friday, June 28, 2019

The Brussels Economic Forum is Europe’s answer to Davos - it is the flagship economic event of the European Commission that happens annually. This year was the 19th time European policymakers, academics and business leaders gathered to debate the current challenges facing the EU

Unfortunately, EU leaders have discarded all three Spitzenkandidaten, possibly to make the EPP’s setback more palatable for the EU’s biggest political group.Perhaps EU leaders need to think twice. There are not so many great candidates to change the narrative. Some of them, by impersonating the loathed establishment, would only help Le Pen win the elections.

EUCO’s choice

By: EBR | Thursday, June 27, 2019

Picking the new batch of EU leaders, and especially the Commission president, is much more difficult this time around. And it’s not really about the Spitzenkandidaten system, it’s not even about the political, gender or geographic balance. It’s about the person itself

The study – ’Demographic Scenarios for the EU: Migration, Population and Education’ – is published under the aegis of the European Commission and authored by a Vienna-based team. Its thrust is that policymakers should abandon ideas that young immigrants will make up for dwindling workforces and help pay for the rising costs of ageing.

This EU-backed report fails to tackle our demographic ills

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Giles Merritt bemoans the lost opportunity of a high-profile study that plays down the EU’s need for more migrants to swell our shrinking workforces

During the seminar, different ESPON projects provided insights from the latest ESPON evidence on topics related to the territorial cohesion debate including financial instruments, green infrastructure, circular economy, refugee flows, youth unemployment, geographical specificities, cultural heritage, territorial impact assessment, land-sea interactions, big data and urban-rural linkages.

We need to think and design policies beyond administrative borders

By: EBR | Monday, June 24, 2019

Places in decline, are not left behind, they are kept behind, by decades of neglect, under-development, lack of investment and misguided policies said Professor Simin Davoudi, from the University of Newcastle, keynote speaker in the ESPON seminar about “the role of functional areas in territorial cohesion”

The past 20 years or so have seen the European Commission slip to being a secretariat for an increasingly intergovernmental EU. But with Europe heading towards 21st century pressures that cannot effectively be countered by any single country, the auspices for a comeback by the Brussels commission are encouraging.Vestager’s chances have been improved by recent throws of the political dice. The rival German and French bids for the commission presidency are cancelling each other out. Germany’s Manfred Weber, the centre-right EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, is widely dismissed as too low profile and inexperienced.

A fitting leader for a new-style commission

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Giles Merritt says the classic EU leadership race now playing out in the media is misleading and outdated. What’s at stake is the mandate to be given to the next European Commission

In short, even though the EU prides itself on being a peace project, it cannot do peace. It cannot conduct peace negotiations because as a bloc it is wedded to soft power and the panoply of tools that underpin that power, including development aid, diplomacy, peacekeeping missions, and police training. And even when the EU imposes sanctions, as in Russia or Iran, the measures lack teeth because they are not targeted on individuals or backed up with hard power.

Europe’s Flawed Peace Policy

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 11, 2019

European leaders must acknowledge that the peace project on which the EU built its reputation is today inadequate for defending its values and interests or acting strategically

At the level of the European Union, even with the United Kingdom’s exit perspective, later postponed, the debate on globalisation started off as comprehensive and multidimensional, based on well-defined trends - such as intangible flows of services and data, greater participation by emerging economies and megacities, growing role of small enterprises, non-state actors and individuals, rise of open-source and shared content, technology transfer not only from developed to emerging economies, but the other way around as well.

New models are needed for restarting the debate on the EU’s future

By: EBR | Monday, June 10, 2019

From Brussels to Bucharest, the end of the European Parliament elections, followed by political negotiations, have led to the temporary suspension of the conversation on the future of the European Union as a global actor

Most of the top clubs cashed in by selling players last year, with Monaco raising the highest amount, at $350 million, followed by Barcelona, which earned $230 million.Tottenham was Europe’s most profitable club last year, turning a 36% profit margin, followed by Italy’s Lazio and the UK’s Liverpool. The biggest loss was at Italian giant AC Milan, which saw profitability plummet by 50% after restructuring amid an ownership reshuffle.

3 charts that show the economics of European football

By: EBR | Friday, June 7, 2019

It reads like an end-of-match report – Real Madrid topple Manchester United to become the king of Europe. But this time it’s financial success, rather than athletic ability, that has put the storied club in first place

German goods producers have been hit by the slowdown and lately also by the contraction of world trade. The lack of trade dynamics has various causes, with the tariff and broader trade policy conflict between the United States and China ranking prominent among them.By itself, Germany can do little to heal the weakness of global trade. Therefore, it should do all it can to create more internal dynamism of the German economy through investment and innovation.

How the German Economy Is Falling Behind

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 5, 2019

With growth deteriorating, the day of reckoning for Germany’s economic policymakers is approaching fast

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Editor’s Column

The Brexit negotiations near to an end…

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet that while he could see a ‘pathway’ to a deal, there was ‘still a significant amount of work’ needed to get there

View 03/2019 2019 Digital edition

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