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EU Monitor

The series "EU Monitor" focuses on political, economic and monetary developments in the enlarged EU. The spectrum ranges from political commentaries and reform of the EU institutions to matters pertaining to the European Economic and Monetary Union, financial-market and banking aspects, and the consequences of enlargement for specific sectors and countries.

17 Documents
August 31, 2020
Region:
1
In its industrial policy strategy, the European Commission has merged the goal of reinforcing Europe’s industrial sovereignty and global competitiveness with its overarching objective: the twin transition to a green and digital economy. Close cooperation between the industry, governments and academia is necessary to meet these ambitions and open questions regarding the realisation and compatibility of the policy objectives need to be addressed along the way. During the pandemic, the role of the state in the EU economies has strengthened substantially. Hot political debates about normalising the market mechanism and reinstating state aid rules can be expected over the next years. Risks are that even post-COVID, there might be calls for continued exemptions to the European state aid and competition rules. This could lead to lasting distortions of the single market. [more]
August 5, 2020
Region:
2
The EUR 750 bn recovery package agreed upon by EU leaders two weeks ago will be financed through EU borrowing while the EUR 1,074 bn budget for the next seven years mainly depends on EU members' direct contributions. For the Commission to tap markets, the own resources ceiling – i.e. the maximum amount that can be called per year to finance EU expenditure – will be temporarily increased from the current 1.2% to 2% of EU members’ GNI. The Council committed itself to reform the EU’s financing system and plans to introduce new own resources for early repayment of EU borrowing. The top priority at present is swift adoption of the budget and recovery fund to address the consequences of the pandemic over the coming years. Following agreement in the Council, the MFF 2021-2027 now requires the consent of the European Parliament, in an absolute-majority vote. The decision about own resources – EU borrowing, increased ceiling and new own resources – needs to be approved by all member states in accordance with their constitutional requirements (including approval by national parliaments). While we do not expect an overall blockage of the package by the European Parliament or member states, delays cannot be excluded. [more]
July 21, 2020
Region:
3
EU leaders finally reached what looked impossible at times: agreement on a EUR 1.074 trillion next seven-year EU budget as well as a EUR 750 bn European recovery fund, consisting of EUR 390 bn in grants and EUR 360 bn in loans. In order to engineer consensus, Council President Michel repeatedly adjusted (downsized) his original proposal to meet the demands of frugal members. The EUR 390 bn grants facility agreed is a significant cut compared to the EUR 500 bn called for by France and Germany, but the share of grants in the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) was slightly increased to EUR 312.5 bn The Council meeting that lasted from Friday to Tuesday was the first in-person conference between EU leaders since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and took place under heightened health precautions. In the end, leaders of 27 EU members managed to find a joint response to the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. [more]
April 24, 2020
Region:
4
The press statement of European Council President Michel after yesterday’s video conference of EU leaders remained vague on the EU’s joint fiscal response to the COVID-19 crisis. EU leaders endorsed their earlier agreement on the EUR 540 bn package of safety nets and also agreed “to work towards establishing a recovery fund”, asking the Commission to rapidly prepare a proposal of what this requires. Interlinking the EU's recovery plan with the budget might add another layer of complexity but could also serve as a spur for rapid agreements on both matters. [more]
March 18, 2020
Region:
Topic:
5
The competition for global AI leadership is speeding up. But it already seems to be a two-horse race between the US and China. Europe faces an imminent risk of falling far behind if the EU and its members do not react rapidly and boldly. This could have broad implications for Europe's competitiveness, future wealth and political stability. The Commission's recently published White Paper on AI and its communication on a European strategy for data are crucial steps to formalise the debate on addressing the AI challenge in Europe. While the EU's strategy goes in the right direction, several points need to be clarified, in particular regarding the investment gap towards the US and China, finding the right balance between regulation and competitiveness of the EU's AI industry, and data access for AI research. [more]
August 22, 2019
Region:
6
The digital transformation has enriched societal discourse through new forms of multilateral communication, but it has also amplified the spread of misinformation, echo chambers and propaganda, offering authoritarian states new means of surveillance and control. How democracies approach this challenge will be a key factor in their performance, given intensifying competition among political systems. [more]
May 23, 2019
Region:
7
Results from the 23-26 May EU elections will not be published before late Sunday evening, final numbers not before Monday morning. Polls continue to indicate a loss of the conservatives' and social democrats' traditional majority while right-wing and left-wing Eurosceptics could gain more than 35% of the seats in the next EP. We do not expect any Council decisions on the next Commission President and other key positions before the June 20-21 summit. But negotiations between leaders on the EU's top jobs could last much longer and also a lengthy standoff between the Council and Parliament over the "Spitzenkandidaten" procedure cannot be excluded. [more]
May 6, 2019
Region:
8
The May European Parliament elections could see Germany's conservative CDU/CSU and Social Democrats lose a substantial share of votes compared to the last round in 2014, whereas the Greens could overtake the SPD and become the second strongest party. Compared to European peers, the appeal of the far-right AfD to German voters remains far more limited. Still, the AfD could expand its share and rank fourth, followed by the Liberals and the far-left Leftist party. Shifts of voters' support between centrist parties will not have a substantial impact on Germany's generally pro-European stance. However, these parties still represent different views on the future of the EU, e.g. regarding further EMU deepening. [more]
April 11, 2019
Region:
9
Soft and hard EU(ro)sceptic as well as anti-establishment parties could account for one-quarter up to one-third of the seats in the next EP, according to our updated poll-based projections. We have doubts about whether Eurosceptic and nationalistic groups in the EP will be able to overcome their previous discrepancies and build a significantly more united bloc. However, even without a joint agenda, Eurosceptics could make coalition building (as on the national level) much more complex and increasingly split the next EP into two camps. [more]
February 28, 2019
Region:
10
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]
February 13, 2019
Region:
11
Ahead of the May 23–26 European Parliament elections, the EU is surrounded by internal and external challenges, its leaders increasingly divided, and its integrity and credibility challenged by Eurosceptic and anti-European groups across the continent. An extension of Article 50 could push the Brexit date close to or even beyond the European elections. Under EU treaties the UK would then be required to participate in the vote. The implications for the next EP – both if the UK agreed and refused to hold elections – could bear risks for the unanimity required in the European Council for an extension of Article 50 beyond the election date. [more]
October 24, 2018
Region:
12
Accelerated by the consequences of the financial/economic and migration crisis, the influence of anti-European, anti-migration movements with a populist playbook in the EU is growing. For the EU, the next crucial stocktaking of voters’ sentiment will be the 2019 elections for the European Parliament on 23-26 May. The European political landscape and with it the composition of national parliaments in the EU member states has changed over the last five years and in some countries substantially so. These shifts can be expected to be reflected in the next European Parliament as well, and – as already the case in the Council – impact European policymaking. [more]
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