Talking point
Commission Juncker: New team, new structures – new policies?
On Wednesday the Commission's new President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled the next European Commission. As a new element, Juncker has established an intermediate level of six Vice-Presidents. This new formation of the college of Commissioners could enhance governance efficiency but could also cause rivalries over matters of competence. [more]
European integration
A future in the EU? Reconciling the ‘Brexit’ debate with a more modern EU
The future of the British EU membership has become one of the most pressing concerns for the EU. The EU-British relationship has always been one of special character but a number of recent developments have led to a ‘Brexit’ gaining momentum. Only the UK itself will be able to rationalise the domestic debate on EU membership. Economically, Britain and the EU are inextricably linked. Realistic estimates predict losses in the range of 1 to 3% of British GDP in case of a Brexit. Likewise, the Single Market would shrink by 15%. [more]
Germany
Progress needs broadband: Private investment requires more government stimuli
Besides transport and energy infrastructure, communications infrastructure is steadily gaining in importance in the regional competition to attract investment. One source of concern in particular though is the significant gulf in investment both between west German and east German federal states as well as between urban and rural regions. This is compounded by the problem that there is usually no viable business model for projects in rural areas without government subsidies. As there is no such thing as a standard blueprint for the broadband rollout with its huge investment requirements, every single project with its specific local features needs to undergo a critical economic feasibility analysis. On this basis, efforts should be taken to work out the best rollout model in terms of technology, funding and time horizon, respectively. In essence, the broadband rollout in Germany requires more government stimuli to foster private investment, but these efforts need to be coordinated and based on sound judgement. [more]
Spotlight on Germany
 
 
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