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EU elections countdown #2: Tough race to the top of the European Commission

February 28, 2019
Region:
The outcome of the EU elections and the composition of the new Parliament will significantly influence the nomination and election of the next President of the European Commission (EC). Parliament will vote for the Council's proposed candidate in a secret ballot with a majority of component MEPs required. The election of the Commission President will be particularly challenging this year. Given the projected new balance of power after the elections both within the EP and within the Council as well as between the EP and the EU Council, an institutional stalemate cannot be ruled out. [more]

More documents contained in "EU Monitor"

87 (49-60)
July 25, 2014
Region:
49
Sub-sovereign bonds are a segment that has attracted little attention to date. Bonds are the dominant form of funding for Germany's Länder, though, and they also play an important role for the regions in Spain. While the Länder benefit from Germany’s excellent sovereign rating, only those Spanish regions not forced to request financial assistance from the central government at the height of the debt crisis have recently been able to obtain financing via the capital market. In France the issuance by the municipalities is likely to increase due to the newly established Agence France Locale. A local authority finance agency is also in the process of being introduced in the United Kingdom. The importance of the sub-sovereign bond market crucially depends on country-specific institutional arrangements. [more]
July 14, 2014
Region:
50
Migration patterns within the eurozone have changed fundamentally. While prior to the crisis many citizens from Central and Eastern European EU countries migrated to Spain and other peripheral countries, the westward migration is now primarily directed to the core. The crisis has also triggered increasing migration from the periphery to the core. Eurozone migration acts as a sensible adjustment mechanism in the labour markets. In Germany it contributes to the reduction of bottlenecks in the market for qualified labour, whereas in the GIPS it functions like a safety value. Migration also fosters growth in the host countries, while the impact on the GIPS is ambiguous. Emigration reduces persistent structural unemployment especially in problem sectors like construction. It also helps to rein in public spending. However, the huge swing in the migration balance, especially in Spain, weighs on domestic demand. Higher remittances would be helpful to mitigate the shock from the outflow of purchasing power. While fears of a brain drain are overstated, lasting migration deficits would accelerate population ageing in the periphery. [more]
July 9, 2014
Region:
51
The transatlantic integration of financial markets has suffered a serious setback since the crisis of 2007. Since then, the countries affected have fundamentally overhauled the regulatory framework governing financial markets. However, this stricter regulation has led to regulatory divergence: Divergent rules on capital, liquidity, derivatives and banking structures are threatening to fragment the financial markets. Slightly divergent national policy preferences, the institutional framework and the relevant partners' differing ideas on reform have been the main factors driving this unfortunate trend. The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) provides a good opportunity to lay strong institutional foundations for regulatory cooperation on financial services as well. Responsibility for creating internationally harmonised rules on financial market regulation rests with the G20 leaders. [more]
June 5, 2014
Region:
Analyst:
52
The adoption of the proposal to extend the Savings Taxation Directive is another important stepping-stone towards comprehensive, universal automatic exchange of information at the EU level. The current schedule is very optimistic. But given the international developments over the past year it may be assumed that nothing will be able to stop the march of automatic exchange of information even beyond the EU's borders on a medium-term horizon. It remains to be seen to what extent it will actually be possible to coordinate the multitude of international initiatives with one another and ensure adequate data protection. [more]
May 9, 2014
Region:
53
In mainland Europe, the financial position of many institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs), which offer defined benefit pension plans, has markedly improved in recent years. Nonetheless, the market conditions facing pension funds remain tough. The main challenges here are the persistently low yields on high-quality bonds and the beneficiaries' rising life expectancy. New regulatory requirements, such as those contained in the recently published draft revision of the EU Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision ('IORP II'), are also likely to pose a challenge for many IORPs. [more]
April 24, 2014
Region:
54
On May 1, 2004, eight CEE countries joined the European Union, followed by Bulgaria and Romania in January 2007. Strong trade, investment and monetary integration with the EU have been the cornerstone of the successful economic catch-up story of those economies which started much earlier than actual accession. Ten years and a textbook boom-bust cycle later, the CEE-10 have witnessed not only the benefits but also the drawbacks of such strong trade and financial integration. Still, we expect high and rising trade openness and strong integration in European manufacturing value chains will continue to support the CEE-10 industry-based growth model. [more]
April 14, 2014
Region:
55
As a consequence of the eurozone crisis nearly all the EMU countries have seen aggregate company numbers fall over the past few years. The crisis has hit small and medium-sized enterprises on the eurozone's periphery particularly hard. The low demand triggered a sharp drop in the number of firms, mainly in Ireland and Spain but also in Portugal and Italy. As the crisis progressed, the funding conditions for enterprises in these countries gradually worsened and the differences in lending conditions between small and large companies increased. Apart from better funding access for SMEs also the elimination of structural obstacles to growth ought to be on the political agenda. [more]
March 27, 2014
Region:
56
The European elections will be held in late May. The share of the vote gained by eurosceptics could increase. Using national election surveys as a basis we have modelled three potential scenarios of the outcome. Even under extreme assumptions the eurosceptics remain far short of attaining working majorities. However, in the run-up to national elections government positions on European policy could be influenced by how well the respective eurosceptics fare on polling day. Thus, the eurosceptics' indirect influence will probably be of relevance both before and after the European elections. [more]
February 3, 2014
Region:
57
The burden of the employment crisis is shared very unequally across generations and the euro area periphery faces an often termed “lost generation” which encounters unusually adverse labour market conditions. Youth unemployment, which refers to the population younger than 25 years, has received the bulk of attention, but also the early cohorts of the prime labour market population above 25 have experienced disproportionate employment losses. In addition, long-term unemployment is becoming increasingly prevalent across younger cohorts. The most affected countries have started to implement measures to facilitate job creation and the transition from education to work, which need to be complemented by effective activation policies not only aimed at the under-25s, but also at younger cohorts in the prime labour market age. [more]
November 26, 2013
Region:
58
The EU Commission's stated aim of increasing the industrial sector's share of gross value added in the European Union to 20% by 2020 is extremely ambitious and, in our view, cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, it sends out the right political signal that Europe is to be strengthened as an industrial location. Rather than focusing on purely industry-specific measures, the attainment of this goal will ultimately require supportive conditions for companies – those from both the industrial and service sectors – to ensure that they can compete against non-European rivals. This in turn will necessitate investment in education, research and infrastructure as well as a benign investment climate, affordable energy prices and intelligent regulation. [more]
October 31, 2013
Region:
59
Is the Single European Market a success story? 20 years after it was established the question can largely be answered in the affirmative. The high and in part too optimistic expectations have not all been fulfilled. Nevertheless, the Single Market has resulted in increased competition, higher exports and more foreign direct investment. Overall, positive effects on GDP can be confirmed, albeit not on the scale anticipated by some. Given the structural problems in the eurozone and Europe's long-term dwindling importance for the global economy the continuing development of the Single Market is one absolutely essential element if Europe wants to maintain its economic strength. [more]
September 25, 2013
Region:
Analyst:
60
The economic and financial crisis in Europe has led to a dwindling of the options for funding infrastructure projects. While funding conditions have deteriorated, a huge amount of investment needs to be made in infrastructure. The Project Bond Initiative (PBI) developed by the European Commission and the EIB is an instrument that is intended to help free up the investment logjam. The primary objective of the PBI is to persuade private-sector institutional investors to fund infrastructure projects. [more]
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