Productivity-enhancing structural reforms are crucial to the economic prospects of the EU. Indeed, such reforms are even more urgent in the current environment in which many economies are reaching the limits of the policy support they can provide to shore up demand. Moreover, even as some of the crisis-related effects fade, demographic headwinds loom, further strengthening the case for boosting productivity. The key question is how to identify, prioritise and calibrate the reforms that best suit each country’s situation. This issue's Forum examines specific barriers to enhanced productivity within the EU and puts forth policy proposals to offset the secular slowdown apparent in advanced economies and take better advantage of the EU’s vast economic potential.
Intereconomics invites you to attend our annual conference to be held 10 November at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels. The focus of this year's conference will be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Presenters include Elena Bryan, Lucien Cernat, Fredrik Erixon, Monique Goyens, Hiddo Houben, Thea Lee, Jürgen Matthes, Federica Mustilli, Marietje Schaake, René van Sloten, Jacques Pelkmans. Click here for more information and to register for the conference.
Additional Highlights from the Current Issue
The refugee crisis is filled with drama and tragedy, but Thomas Straubhaar (University of Hamburg and Transatlantic Academy) also sees it as an opportunity. It could provoke the European Union member countries to face reality and to accept that migration – and especially refugee – policies are no longer a competence that individual states can handle efficiently, ideally resulting in an agreement on a common EU migration and refugee policy.
The Baltic states experienced strong economic growth and a rapid closing of the income gap with developed economies until the onset of the global financial crisis. Since then they have seen a marked slowdown of economic growth. Karsten Staehr (Tallinn University of Technology and Eesti Pank) discusses whether the Baltic states might become caught in a middle-income trap with modest growth and slow convergence. Much of the discussion may also be applicable to other EU countries from Central and Eastern Europe, and to some Southern European countries severely affected by the global financial crisis.
The current system for the financing of the EU needs to be reformed. This holds true for both the revenue and expenditure sides of the budget. Clemens Fuest, Friedrich Heinemann and Martin Ungerer (Centre for European Economic Research, ZEW) put forth a reform proposal which would both strengthen the links between citizens and EU spending as well as shift more budgetary power to the Parliament.
Quote of the Month
from Thomas Straubhaar's Editorial Towards a European Refugee Policy
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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