Wirtschaftsdienst - Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik

Newsletter – Volume 50, September/October 2015

The September/October issue of Intereconomics features a Forum examining productivity-enhancing structural reforms in the EU. The contributing authors took part in a recent conference on structural reforms jointly organised by CEPS and the IMF, which gave them an opportunity to present their findings and discuss and debate their policy recommendations with one another. This issue's Editorial attempts to answer the question of how the EU should respond to the refugee crisis. Additional contributions address the issue of whether the Baltic states might become caught in a middle-income trap, the need for reform of the financing of the EU, the rationale for the unilateral introduction of gold-backed currencies, external imbalances in the eurozone, and the rules for measuring debt and debt relief and the application to Greece.

Intereconomics would also like to invite you to our annual conference, which will be held 10 November and will focus on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Read on for further information. Follow us on Twitter at @intereconomics_ for updates and events.

Featured Topic

Structural Reforms in the EU – Policy Prescriptions to Boost Productivity

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.

Conference Announcement

TTIP: Political and Economic Rationale and Implications?

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

Towards a European Refugee Policy

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.

Economic Growth and Convergence in the Baltic States: Caught in a Middle-Income Trap?

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.

Reforming the Financing of the European Union: A Proposal

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.

Current Issue of Intereconomics Online


Quote of the Month

Humanism does not stop at national borders. It is an obligation that is to be shouldered together by all EU countries.

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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