Whereas the US has apparently abandoned economic logic in its search for quick ‘wins’ on trade, the EU continues to prioritise economic logic above geopolitical considerations. In this contribution, Daniel Gros argues that when it comes to steel at least, there is a way the EU can give Trump his victory and also support its own economic interests.
On 25 April, the European Commission presented its long-overdue communication on the digital transformation
An enormous political battle has just begun in the European Union (EU). On 2 May, the European Commission presented its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU budget, for the period 2021-27. This kicked off a lengthy and complex negotiation process. Throughout 2018 and 2019, probably even beyond, we can expect a discussion on the highest political level, involving the European Parliament and the member states, about the priorities and direction for the EU. As before, this will likely turn into horse-trading whereby competing interests are translated into actual figures – at the cost of the agreed...
Núñez Ferrer, Jorge; Gros, Daniel.
Despite the fanfare accompanying its announcement, the Commission’s proposal for the EU budget period 2021-2027 offers an old-fashioned budget in an old-fashioned presentation.
Following the re-election of President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, both the Egyptian authorities and the EU must guard, once again, against giving a free pass on ‘universal values’ in the name of stability.
Possibly facilitated by the perspective of Brexit, the European Commission has proposed, for the first time, a truly proportional regime in its new prudential framework for investment firms. The very large firms, which are all headquartered in London today, will be required to obtain a banking license – to the extent they will relocate to the EU – given the possible systemic effects. For mid-sized and smaller firms, a different and lighter regime is proposed. This initiative should be welcomed in the context of capital markets union (CMU) as it not only harmonises, but also recognises that a clearly distinct...
Financial literacy is financial education, such as basic economics, statistics and numeracy skills combined with the ability to employ these skills in making financial decisions. As more and more households are asked to make their own decisions about such issues, financial illiteracy can become a serious threat to their life-time welfare. The authors of this paper explain why financial literacy matters and suggest, in light of their findings, some policy recommendations.
The negotiations between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) have entered the next ‘hot’ phase. The EU is pushing for an agreement on the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to be ready for sign-off at the June European Council to create certainty on transition and the process to follow. But domestic and EU pressures on Theresa May imply both a hard Brexit and the Irish border backstop. The only way she can get this through parliament is by taking the UK to the brink of no deal.
Following its annexation of Crimea and its military intervention in Ukraine, Russia has been sanctioned by the European
Union (EU) and the United States (US). They have often stressed the coordination in their decisions, which has given more
weight to the sanctions’ political message and impact. While the initial rounds of measures were not identical, differences in
US and EU sanctions have amplified in the past two years. Washington has been readier to reinforce sanctions, the effect
of which partially weakens over time. Some of the new actions are based on mounting evidence of the Kremlin’s
involvement in the 2016 US presidential elections. The latest...
The result of the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016 came as a shock to many, including much of the political
establishment in the United Kingdom (UK). With a relatively narrow margin of victory (less than 4%) and Scotland,
Northern Ireland, and London clearly voting to Remain, the vote left the country deeply divided. The immediate
decision of Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, triggering a leadership contest in the Conservative Party,
added to the overall sense of dislocation. In addition, there was a degree of uncertainty about the final outcome.
In the UK, a referendum is non-binding and the final decision-making body remains the...
The EU and Japan are now concluding two partnership agreements that should facilitate bilateral trade, streamline political and security cooperation and reinforce shared values. While they buttress the strategic scope of their cooperation as “like-minded” partners, their ratification may take a while. Furthermore, in order to measure up to contemporary global and regional challenges, the political and economic agreements need to be followed up by concrete initiatives in such realms as infrastructure investment (connectivity), maritime security and nuclear non-proliferation.
In a circular economy, materials are more durable and easier to repair, reuse and recycle while waste is turned into a resource. In addition, processes from production to waste management become more resource efficient. Innovative business models enable companies to create value by selling services rather than products. Digital technologies will be pivotal in bringing about this systemic change. The European Union (EU) has to make the most of digital solutions for the benefit of a circular economy. This requires addressing the barriers to their uptake, enabling the free flow of data across borders, fostering trust in the data economy,...
Katharina Bamberg,, Katharina Bamberg; Marta Llonch Valsells,, Marta Llonch Valsells,; Frank Mc Namara,, Frank Mc Namara,; Marie De Somer,, Marie De Somer,
This EPIM policy update covers the elections in
Italy and Hungary, which both highlighted the
continued significance of immigration for
European electorates. Attempts at forming a
new government in Italy and Viktor Orbán’s
plans for his new term in Hungary will be
closely watched in the weeks and months ahead.
In the closer look section, the Migration Policy
Group presents a new Europe-wide campaign on
migration with the objective of engaging the
public and influencing EU migration policy.
The policy update’s special focus deals with the
coalition agreement in Germany and the
proposal for a new immigration bill in France. It
also considers to what extent a German-Franco
alliance on immigration policies could emerge at...
Lebanon has frequently been praised for its resilience in the face of regional turmoil. But behind its solid façade, there are structural weaknesses – a polarised political class, dysfunctional institutions, deteriorating living standards, and social divisions – that threaten the country’s stability in the long term. On the eve of the long-delayed parliamentary elections, this paper takes a closer look at the political dynamics at play in Lebanon and assesses whether political change is imminent.
Menkiszak,, Marek; Rodkiewicz, Witold
On 6 April, the Trump administration introduced additional, more severe sanctions against
Russia, covering 24 people and 14 companies: Russian oligarchs, the businesses they run, senior
government officials and heads of state corporations, and (again) the Russian state arms
company Rosoboroneksport. The immediate consequence of the new sanctions has been
a downturn on the Russian stock market and the weakening of the rouble, as well as financial
problems for the companies sanctioned, especially those belonging to the oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
In the longer term the Russian oligarchs and their companies which conduct extensive
activity abroad will find that the sanctions hamper their operations, and as a result,...
Jakóbowski, Jakub; Bogusz, Michał
At its annual session in March 2018, the National People’s Congress (NPC) approved a series
of changes to the structure and organisation of the Central People’s Government (also known
as the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, further in the text referred to as the
central government) and an amendment to China’s constitution. It also announced nominations
to several important state offices. This represents a crowning achievement and formal
confirmation of the process of changes to the Chinese system of power that has been ongoing
since 2012. The purpose of these changes is to secure continued governance by the Communist
Party of China (CPC), to...
In the period from the 1990s until the end of the ISAF operation in Afghanistan in 2014, the primary aim of Denmark’s security policy was to contribute to NATO and US-led crisis management operations. Denmark developed an expeditionary model of its armed forces capable of meeting the demands of asymmetric warfare while cutting its defence budget and the number of military personnel. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Denmark did not increase its defence spending and did not make any changes to its armed forces development strategy. Meanwhile, it started paying more attention to deterrence in the Baltic region,...
The current system of government in Russia will not collapse, although signs of destabilisation may appear. The authorities will not carry out any reforms, political or economic. A process of ‘technocratisation’ will take place. The economy will remain dependent on external factors. Despite the implementation of energy infrastructure projects, exports of raw materials will not rise significantly. The economy will continue to stagnate, and the government will partially reduce social spending. Russia will attempt to drive a wedge between the United States and its allies by offering the latter the prospect of normalised relations and economic cooperation. Moscow will intensify...
The convergence process in Europe has bifurcated: the new member states (NMSs) from Central and
Eastern Europe are catching up in terms of income per capita, as one would expect, with the initially
poorer ones growing generally at a faster pace. Within the euro area, however, the North has diverged
from the South since the start of the financial crisis. This pattern, reflecting East-West convergence but
also North-South divergence within the euro area, can be observed for a number of indicators, such as
real wages, investment and consumption.
A European alliance of battery manufacturers (European Battery Alliance) was launched in 2017. This contributes provides some insight into the Alliance’s strategy and the challenges it faces before publication of the review of the Clean Energy Package.