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Reconciling risk sharing with market discipline: A constructive approach to euro area reform

This publication, written by a group of independent French and German economists, proposes six reforms which, if delivered as a package, would improve the Eurozone’s financial stability, political cohesion, and potential for delivering prosperity to its citizens, all while addressing the priorities and concerns of participating countries.

By: , , , , , , , , , , , , and Date: January 17, 2018 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

After nearly a decade of stagnation, the Eurozone is finally experiencing a robust recovery. While this comes as a relief – particularly in countries with high debt and unemployment levels – it is also breeding complacency about the underlying state of the Eurozone. Maintaining the status quo or settling for marginal changes would be a serious mistake, however, because the currency union continues to suffer from critical weaknesses, including financial fragility, suboptimal conditions for long-term growth, and deep economic and political divisions. While these problems have many causes, a poorly designed fiscal and financial architecture is an important contributor to all of them:

  • The ‘doom loop’ between banks and sovereigns continues to pose a major threat to individual member states and the Eurozone as a whole. An incomplete banking union and fragmented capital markets prevent the Eurozone from reaping the full benefits of monetary integration and from achieving better risk sharing through market mechanisms.
  • Fiscal rules are non-transparent, pro-cyclical, and divisive, and have not been very effective in reducing public debts. The flaws in the Eurozone’s fiscal architecture have overburdened the ECB and increasingly given rise to political tensions.

The Eurozone’s inability to deal with insolvent countries other than through crisis loans conditioned on harsh fiscal adjustment has fuelled nationalist and populist movements in both debtor and creditor countries. The resulting loss of trust may eventually threaten not just the euro, but the entire European project.

Read more on VOX, CEPR’s policy portal

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Policy Contribution

Crisis management for euro-area banks in central Europe

Euro-area bank integration has decreased as post-financial crisis national rules require banks to hold more capital at home. It might be undermined further by bank resolution planning. Either a Single Resolution Board takes the lead for the entire banking group or independent local intervention schemes need to be developed for crisis resolution.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: November 19, 2019
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Scholz's improved plan to complete the banking union

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By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 8, 2019
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The economy is in worse shape than in 2015 and policies to boost growth are not as effective as they once were

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 6, 2019
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Politics, not policy will help Lagarde save the eurozone

Her success at helm of Europe’s central bank will depend on her ability to mend fences with hawkish policymakers.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 4, 2019
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By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: October 23, 2019
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Talking about Europe: La Stampa 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project at Bruegel seeks to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. In this third blogpost, we carry out the exercise on 9.9 million articles from an Italian daily newspaper, La Stampa. The trend increase in the frequency of European related articles, previously found looking at the French and German press, is confirmed in the case of Italy.

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Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Boris Cournede, Sven Langedijk and Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 16, 2019
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