Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Volume 48, July/August 2013

The July/August issue of Intereconomics features a Forum that provides an in-depth examination of youth unemployment in the EU. The Forum authors focus on the specific challenges facing youth in six European countries and try to apply the lessons they learn to the EU as a whole. This issue’s Editorial provides an overview of the recent political turmoil in Portugal. The Articles in this issue cover a wide range of topics – from using gold reserves as collateral for sovereign debt offerings to the export competitiveness of some of the eurozone’s crisis-stricken countries to China’s restrictions on exporting essential rare earth elements. Finally, the latest Letter from America lays out the key obstacles to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – and how to avoid them.


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Youth Unemployment

Youth unemployment has been on the rise since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. Even more troublesome is the dramatic rise in the number of youth not in employment, education or training, which has led to widespread concerns about the impact on social cohesion and fears of a "lost generation". Given the extreme differences in youth unemployment levels among member states, it is clear that no single labour market policy will be appropriate throughout the EU. There may, however, be opportunities for mutual learning on how to combat youth unemployment. This issue's Forum explores youth unemployment in the EU via case studies of England, Belgium, Spain, Poland and Ireland. It also examines Germany's dual vocational training system as one potential solution.


Portugal - Political Repercussions of the Financial Rescue Plan

In this issue's Editorial, Steffen Hoernig (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) summarises the recent political turbulence in Portugal, which has unnerved bond markets. He traces it back to the troika-mandated financial rescue plan, whose unpopularity in the country led to large demonstrations. Hoernig concludes with an assessment of Portugal’s near-term prospects.

Keys to Negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

In the Letter from America, Jeffrey J. Schott and Cathleen Cimino (both of the Peterson Institute for International Economics) lay out the core issues that will be heavily scrutinised in negotiations between the EU and the US over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This partnership will not only benefit both parties, but could also set global rules which could help break the WTO’s Doha Round deadlock.

A More Effective Euro Area Monetary Policy than OMTs - Gold-Backed Sovereign Debt

Ansgar Belke (University of Duisburg-Essen) proposes utilising national gold reserves as collateral for government debt. Gold backing would be quite attractive to bond investors and would significantly ease the burden of high sovereign debt yields, particularly in Portugal and Italy. Moreover, it would achieve this without adding further risky assets to the European Central Bank's balance sheet and thereby transferring credit risk to Northern European countries.

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In the long run, an entire generation is at risk of having no access to employment in their own country, and policy makers are, not without reason, blamed for that.

from Werner Eichhorst, Holger Hinte and Ulf Rinne's Forum contribution Youth Unemployment in Europe: What to Do About It?

About Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics is jointly produced by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The journal appears bimonthly and features papers by economists that deal with economic and social policy issues and trends in Europe or affecting Europe. To submit a paper for publication, please visit the Call for Papers section of our website for relevant information.

Intereconomics is published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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