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Europe

EU integration greatly influences policy-making at the national level, and the EU itself is a major actor on the world economic stage. Most of the conditions governing the economic and business environment for European companies and consumers - especially in respect of the financial markets - are decided at the European level. For this reason, Deutsche Bank Research analyses and appraises the latest developments in the EU and EMU. European banks and financial markets are a major focus in this regard.

153 (11-20)
June 28, 2018
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With the new Payment Services Directive ("PSD 2") of the EU, which entered into force on 13 January 2018, payment services in Europe have become the frontrunner of "open banking". Account holders can request, free of charge, that banks transmit their financial data in digital form to third parties. Furthermore, they can authorise third-party providers to initiate payments from their bank account. Personal data are owned by the data subject – this principle also forms the basis of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the latter, however, there is no obligation to provide a technical solution through which customers can transmit their personal data to third-party providers in a convenient manner. In contrast to the PSD 2, the GDPR is therefore unlikely to stimulate innovation and competition in payments. In the financial sector, competition will thus be distorted. Banks must grant competitors access to customer data and their payment infrastructure, whereas internet platforms, for instance, de facto retain sovereignty over the personal data of their customers as well as access to their platforms. [more]
11
June 13, 2018
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Several aspects of the European data protection regulation GDPR could have far-reaching implications for competition in the EU’s data economy and the competitiveness of the bloc’s tech industry and AI startups. Data protection “made in Europe” could give European companies a competitive edge as users become increasingly privacy-aware. But GDPR could also end up rather strengthening the position of incumbent tech giants and throw the continent further behind the US and China in the emerging race for global AI dominance. If potential negative implications of the regulation for the EU’s data economy materialize, EU lawmakers should not hesitate to make adjustments accordingly. [more]
13
May 29, 2018
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The third and fourth pipeline strings for Russian gas transports through the Baltic Sea to Greifswald/Germany, which are also known under the term of “Nord Stream 2”, are now under construction, doubling the existing transit capacity of Nord Stream 1. The project continues to be highly controversial, given arguments that it might drive a wedge between the EU countries, the United States’ opposition and the risks it poses to the triangle of energy, environmental and security policies. That – also thanks to Germany’s initiative – Russian gas flows through the Ukraine look set to continue following the expiry of the old contracts in 2019 is a step forward and may foster acceptance of Nord Stream 2. In the face of the recent realignment of global gas trading, this would be in the interest of (nearly all) players. [more]
14
May 23, 2018
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QE has been a controversial policy wherever it has been implemented, including in the euro zone. With the economy having expanded at the fastest rate in a decade in 2017, the ECB has already begun to scale back its asset purchases from EUR80bn per month at the peak to EUR30bn currently. The ECB is due to make its next decision on QE this summer. Our baseline expectation is that the ECB will announce in July the intention to finish QE at the end of this year. That will be a signal to markets and the economy that it is just a matter of time before the ECB’s other controversial monetary policy – negative deposit rates – is also withdrawn. [more]
15
April 12, 2018
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The EU institutions are about to decide on major new rules regarding the reception and the treatment of asylum applicants as well as their allocation among member states. The trigger for the intended reforms relate to the current regulatory framework’s shortcomings that emerged during the refugee crisis: an uneven sharing of responsibilities for asylum procedures and massive irregular migration within the EU. However, the Dublin procedure recast has stalled, as several member states strictly refuse the planned corrective mechanism for a fair sharing of responsibility. The prospects seem to be more favourable with regard to the harmonisation of the asylum procedures and conditions. [more]
16
March 19, 2018
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The major European banks have seen their revenues stabilise in 2017, and through further cost-cutting and improvements in asset quality, their profitability rebounded strongly to the second-best figure in the past decade. However, banks continued to shrink, and both total assets and risk-weighted assets fell substantially. This helped capital and leverage ratios to reach new record highs, finally laying questions about the sector’s capitalisation levels to rest, at least on aggregate. Large European banks lost ground versus smaller competitors and also remained far behind their US peers, although they were able to catch up somewhat on this front. [more]
18
February 28, 2018
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2018-2019 will be crucial for the future of EU finances. Compared to previous MFF negotiations, this time the challenges ahead are disproportionally larger, including a large annual budget gap of above EUR 10 bn to be left by the UK's exit from the Union. Our scenario analysis illustrates that Western and Northern European members would see their net contributions deteriorate most in case of a substantial budget expansion in order to cover the UK shortfall as well as additional spending needs. Eastern European members would be hurt most by the alternative of harsh spending cuts to close the Brexit gap in the budget. To complicate matters further, the abolishment of the UK rebate and probably all "rebates on the rebate" will lead to a redistribution of costs among members. Profound discussions will therefore be necessary regarding the prioritization, efficiency, subsidiarity and cost sharing. [more]
19
January 23, 2018
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Economic policy uncertainty in Europe has risen to extraordinarily high levels. This stands in stark contrast to conventional measures of financial market uncertainty which are at historical lows. Uncertainty surrounding economic policies has negative spillover effects to the rest of the economy. It tends to be transmitted to capital markets and to result in higher financing costs for companies. Significant cross-country transmission of economic policy uncertainty is observable within the EU, with the UK being a net exporter. In addition, banks could turn out to be a central channel through which economic policy uncertainty is transmitted to the real economy, via subdued lending to non-financial corporations, in particular to SMEs. [more]
20
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