Past Event

Could uncertainty derail the European recovery?

It is a contradictory time for Europe. The economy is recovering but the political climate is uncertain. There is excitement about common projects but also rifts and increasing nationalism and populism.

Date: March 22, 2018, 12:30 pm Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance


Zsolt Darvas, Bruegel’s Senior Fellow, opened the event by naming several challenges the EU faces currently among those being Brexit, the uncertainty following the Italian elections, and the still very high unemployment in many European countries.  External shocks, such as the protectionist US trade policy, add to this uncertainty.

Franco Bruni, Vice President of ISPI and contributor to the ISPI Annual Report 2018, provided further details on the uncertainty surrounding the European Union in his presentation. He mentioned several EU specific problems such as the late formation of a German government, disagreements in the Franco-German leadership and uncertain formation of the Italian government. On top of these “home-made” problems, Mr. Bruni outlined global challenges the EU has to deal with. As an overall assessment, Bruni identified a strong economic situation in the EU that is accompanied by a fragile political situation and is wondering whether the European political elites are waiting for the next big crisis to tackle the current problems.

Maria Demertzis, Bruegel’s Deputy Director, identified a lack of trust as the fundamental source of uncertainty. Currently, European countries do not have sufficient trust to each other. On top, trust in the European institutions and projects is declining as well. Ms. Demertzis argues that diverging levels of rule of law in European countries is the source of the declining trust. EU’s promise to new member states of an increasing quality in the rule of law could not be held and therefore the EU should think of implementing a system that monitors the status of rule of law. Regarding the global challenges, the EU should increase the resilience of the Europa economic and political system. That would include aiming for a good Brexit outcome, defending the multilateral system, and introducing an “insurance” system that protects the EU from external (economic) shocks.

Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament, expressed her deep concern about the fast and increasing deteriorating of the transatlantic relations. She pointed out that nobody would have imagined a decline in that pace and that this trend will have profound consequences for Europe. In order to improve trust in Europe’s institutions and to reduce uncertainty, Ms. Schaake proposed that the European institutions should rigorously focus on a set of issues (such as immigration, security, climate) in which the EU can bring added value. On top, she promoted a “rules-based approach” in the field of rule of law in which breaking the rule has to hurt and has consequences. She regards the payment of cohesion funds, conditional of the quality of rule of law, as a radical policy option but which is worth discussing.


Event notes by Alexander Roth.

The event offered the occasion to present and discuss the ISPI 2018 Annual Report “Big Powers are back. What about Europe?

event materials

Presentation by Franco Bruni


Mar 22, 2018


Check-in and lunch


Panel discussion

Chair: Zsolt Darvas, Senior Fellow

Franco Bruni, Vice President, ISPI

Maria Demertzis, Deputy Director

Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament

Additional speakers to be confirmed






Franco Bruni

Vice President, ISPI

Maria Demertzis

Deputy Director

Zsolt Darvas

Senior Fellow

Marietje Schaake

Member of the European Parliament

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevon

Read article Download PDF

Policy Contribution

European Parliament

Hybrid and cybersecurity threats and the European Union’s financial system

The authors document the rise in hybrid threats and cyber attacks in the European Union. Exploring preparations to increase the resilience of the financial system they find that at the individual institutional level, significant measures have been taken, but the EU finance ministers should advance a broader political discussion on the integration of the EU security architecture applicable to the financial system.

By: Maria Demertzis and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament, Finance & Financial Regulation, Testimonies Date: September 12, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author


Economic priorities for new EU leadership

Europe is no longer in crisis mode. However, it remains vulnerable; it is unprepared and it is procrastinating. Following European elections this May, new leaders are about to take their positions at the main European institutions for the next 5 years. They have the power in their hands to take action. But more importantly, they have the power to convene 28 states, which, if united, can play a significant global role. What are the urgent challenges that require collective European action?

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 10, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author



Backstage at BAM19: Which priorities for the new EU leadership?

Backstage at the Bruegel Annual Meetings, Rebecca Christie talks with Guntram Wolff on priorities for the new EU leadership, the Annual Meetings and Commissioner Malmstrom's keynote.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 4, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event


Bank resolution: its impact in the EU

Closed-door workshop on various aspects of bank resolution.

Speakers: Jon Cunliffe, Martin J. Gruenberg and Elke König Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article

Blog Post

How long is the head table?

An empirical assessment of concentration in global collective action

By: Jan Mazza and Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Date: August 28, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

La Banca centrale europea

This external publication delves into the new responsibility given to the European Central Bank: supervision on banks in the euro-area. It tells its history and illustrates its functions, structure and responsibilities and the exceptional answers to respond to the "perfect storm" of the crisis.

By: Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 31, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Modernising European Competition Policy: A Brief Review of Member States’ Proposals

French, German and Polish governments have jointly proposed options for modernising EU competition policy. The debate to recalibrate European competition rules was already well underway. So, it is not surprising that proposals are consistent with other statements made by France and Germany. Yet, proposals do not address current issues weighing on the international competition community, such as conglomerate effects theory or algorithmic collusion.

By: Mathew Heim Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 24, 2019
Read article More on this topic


EU policy recommendations: A stronger legal framework is not enough to foster national compliance

In 2011, the EU introduced stricter rules to monitor the implementation of country-specific policy recommendations. Using a new dataset, this column investigates whether these new laws have increased national compliance. There is no evidence that these stricter processes matter for implementation rates, whereas macroeconomic fundamentals and market pressure are important determinants of implementation progress. These results suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of European policy coordination that go beyond stronger legal processes.

By: Konstantinos Efstathiou and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 23, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author


The EU needs a bold climate strategy

Scientists report that global temperature increases must be limited to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. With global greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase and rising temperatures driving up the frequency of extreme weather events, the world needs a greater commitment to climate policy.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 19, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Talking about Europe: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project is seeking to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. A first snapshot screened more than 2.8 million articles in Le Monde between 1944 and 2018. In this second instalment we carry out an analogous exercise on a dataset of more the 500 thousand articles from two German weekly magazines: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel. We also report on the on-going work to refine the quantitative methodology.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 18, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The 4th industrial revolution: opportunities and challenges for Europe and China

What is the current status of EU-China relations concerning innovation, and what might their future look like?

Speakers: Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Chen Dongxiao, Patrick Child, Eric Cornuel, Maria Demertzis, Ding Yuan, Luigi Gambardella, Jiang Jianqing, Frank Kirchner, Pascal Lamy, Li Mingjun, Gwenn Sonck, Gerard Van Schaik, Reinhilde Veugelers, Wang Hongjian, Guntram B. Wolff, Xu Bin, Zhang Hongjun and Zhou Snow Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 12, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

The European Union energy transition: key priorities for the next five years

The new members of the European Parliament and European Commission who start their mandates in 2019 should put in place major policy elements to unleash the energy transition. It is becoming economically and technically feasible, with most of the necessary technologies now available and technology costs declining. The cost of the transition would be similar to that of maintaining the existing system, if appropriate policies and regulations are put in place.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann, Ottmar Edenhofer, Jean-Michel Glachant, Pedro Linares and Andreas Loeschel Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 9, 2019
Load more posts