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Policy Contribution

In sickness and in health: protecting and supporting public investment in Europe

The long-term decline in gross public investment in European Union countries mirrors the trend in other advanced economies, but recent developments have been different: public investment has increased elsewhere, but in the EU it has declined and even collapsed in the most vulnerable countries, exaggerating the output fall.

By: and Date: February 7, 2014 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The provisions in the EU fiscal framework to support public investment are very weak.The recently inserted ‘investment clause’ is almost no help. In the short term, exclusion of national co-funding of EU-supported investments from the fiscal indicators considered in the Stability and Growth Pact would be sensible.

In the medium term, the EU fiscal framework should be extended with an asymmetric ‘golden rule’ to further protect public investment in bad times, while limiting adverse incentives in good times. During a downturn, a European investment programme is needed and the European Semester should encourage greater investment by member states with healthy public finances and low public investment rates. Reform and harmonisation of budgeting, accounting, transparency and project assessment is also needed to improve the quality of public investment.

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Opinion

Greece: What to expect after the bail-out

After being under the close scrutiny of three financial assistance programmes since May 2010, Greece has finally left the bail-out in August 2018. How different is the post-bail-out era from the preceding eight years? Will Greece be able to stand on its own? And how might the country improve its economic outlook? In this post, which summarises a presentation recently given at an Athens conference, the author answers these three questions.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 9, 2018
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Blog Post

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By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 17, 2018
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The great fiscal lever: An Italian economic obsession

In the Italian macroeconomic context, many are convinced that if only we had a large enough fiscal lever, we could set in motion an economy that has stagnated for almost 20 years. But the author argues that the efficiency of Italian (public) investment is currently low. Specific measures can be taken to improve this situation, though, and only once this is done should the public investment lever be used forcefully.

By: Alessio Terzi Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: August 21, 2018
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Economy of Intangibles

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By: Silvia Merler Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: July 16, 2018
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By: Silvia Merler Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: July 9, 2018
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Opinion

Die Unternehmensteuer muss reformiert werden

Der deutsche Kapitalstock schrumpft. Das liegt zum einen an sinkenden Investitionen von Unternehmen. Eine Reform der Unternehmensteuer könnte helfen.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 3, 2018
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Past Event

Past Event

Assessing the EU’s fiscal architecture: a presentation by the European Fiscal Board

This event will discuss the 2019 Fiscal Stance, which assesses the current macroeconomic situation and offers advice for the future.

Speakers: Niels Thygesen, Guntram B. Wolff and Maria Demertzis Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 2, 2018
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Blog Post

Understanding (the lack of) German public investment

An array of data suggests that there is a general lack of investment by all branches of the German government, despite running budget surpluses for several years. This blog post plots the progression of the public investment problem, and explores which regions, which sectors, and which levels of government have been most affected.

By: Alexander Roth and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 19, 2018
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Opinion

Fiscal rules and the role of the Commission

The proposals on fiscal frameworks and rules in the recent CEPR Policy Insight on euro-area reform showcase the multiple dimensions of the fundamental dilemmas we are confronted with in the governance of the euro area. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on Euro Area Reform, looks at the challenges to the central role of the Commission that have arisen as the rules-based fiscal framework has been severely compromised.

By: Thomas Wieser Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 22, 2018
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Opinion

Greece must capitalise on its growth momentum

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By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 26, 2018
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Opinion

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By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 26, 2018
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Opinion

China's “matryoshka” approach for debt-to-equity swaps could be good for banks, but bad for investors

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By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 8, 2018
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