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Policy Brief

Memo to Merkel: Post-election Germany and Europe

Recent economic data points to the seeds of an economic recovery in the European Union. However, significant risks remain and bold policies are still needed. These are the priorities for the new German government.

By: and Date: September 23, 2013 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Recent economic data points to the seeds of an economic recovery in the European Union. However, significant risks remain and bold policies are still needed. There are three central risks.

  1. Competitiveness adjustment is incomplete, casting doubt on the sustainability of public debt.
  2. Banking remains unstable and fragmented along national lines, resulting in unfavorable financial conditions, which further erode growth, job creation and competitiveness.
  3. Rising unemployment, especially among the young, is inequitable, unjust and politically risky.

Germany has a central role to play in addressing these risks. The new German government should work on three priorities:

  1. Domestic economic policy should be more supportive of growth and adjustment, with higher public investment, a greater role for high-value added services, and more supportive immigration policy.
  2. Germany should support a meaningful banking union with a centralised resolution mechanism requiring a transfer of sovereignty to Europe for all countries including Germany.
  3. The establishment of a private investment initiative combined with a European Youth Education Fund and labour market reforms should be promoted.

Building on these priorities, a significant deepening of the euro area is needed, with a genuine transfer of sovereignty, stronger institutions and democratically legitimate decision-making structures in areas of common policy.


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