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Digital infrastructure: Bottlenecks hamper Europes progress

October 12, 2018
During the last few years, the expansion of digital infrastructure in the EU has been carried out more slowly and less comprehensively than politically intended. The EU’s objective of ensuring fast broadband coverage of more than 30 megabits per second for all Europeans by 2020 seems out of reach. There are economic and regulatory reasons for the insufficient progress with digital infrastructure improvements. However, inadequate digital infrastructure puts companies at a disadvantage versus US competitors, but increasingly also versus Chinese players. The European Commission estimates that more than EUR 500 bn will need to be invested by 2025 to achieve the goal of a “gigabit society”. [more]

More documents about "Europe"

146 (85-96)
March 19, 2015
Core revenues are getting better, loan losses are falling substantially and capital ratios have climbed to sustainable levels – European banks seem to have turned the corner in 2014, finally. Profits have more than doubled, asset growth has also resumed and banks have regained a bit of risk appetite. The outlook for 2015 is thus brighter than in most of the past few years. The still-elevated expenditure levels remain a significant drag on performance, though. [more]
February 26, 2015
Money market funds are important financial players in Europe and the US, offering investors capital preservation and daily liquidity on the one hand, while providing short-term funding in money markets on the other. However, the European and US markets differ in their structures and economic functions: In Europe, where the market is split into two distinct segments, MMFs’ balance sheets reflect to a large degree intermediation within the financial sector and a strong investment focus on bank debt. In the US, by contrast, a homogeneous set of industry standards exists and MMFs’ business is geared more towards direct intermediation between non-financial sectors. [more]
February 6, 2015
With the independence referendum in Scotland and unofficial polls in Catalonia and Veneto, separatist aspirations in Europe were recently given a boost. In regions seeking greater self-determination or even full secession, not only emotional and cultural aspects play a role but also concrete financial motives. Nearly all the regions seeking greater autonomy are among the wealthiest in their respective countries and far outstrip the national average in terms of per capita income. Moreover, some of them are substantial net contributors in regional redistribution systems. [more]
December 19, 2014
The financial crisis has led to substantial reforms of the system of financial regulation and supervision in Europe – not limited to but including deposit guarantee schemes (DGSs), which play a key role in consumer protection and financial stability. The most recent DGS reform follows a gradual approach, i.e. focuses on adapting existing national systems rather than replacing them. Nevertheless, new rules for bank resolution and the emerging Banking Union are considerably changing the environment DGSs operate in. Given the complexity of the new setup, cooperation between the different players in the financial safety net – including DGSs – is indispensable. [more]
December 15, 2014
The integration of road transport into the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) using an upstream approach (with refineries and fuel importers as participants) is superior to the instrument of CO2 limit values for cars on the counts of ecological effectiveness and macroeconomic efficiency. This applies in particular if a cap on CO2 emissions enjoys top political priority. Higher taxes on fuel would also be more appropriate than a further tightening of limit values after 2020/21. Nonetheless, if policymakers should decide that (stricter) CO2 limit values for cars are to remain the instrument of choice after 2021, it would be appropriate to gear them to the (lower) targets in other large auto markets. [more]
December 5, 2014
2014 is witnessing a remarkable reversal in some important European banking trends of the past few years, according to the 9-month results of the continent’s largest banks. This is not solely a positive thing: apart from improvements in core revenues and a return to balance sheet expansion, expense levels are also rising again. Is deleveraging and shrinking over, then? [more]
November 25, 2014
The introduction of a common European unemployment insurance scheme would be a conceivable option to increase the eurozone's resistance to severe asymmetric shocks. This would provide relief in the short term to countries facing cyclically induced higher unemployment. In principle, such a solution could function without redistribution between countries, but its practical implementation would be a complex undertaking. One alternative proposal would be a type of insurance for "catastrophic" shocks that only provides financial support in the event of a very strong surge in unemployment. [more]
October 14, 2014
SMEs’ access to finance remains a pressing problem in many parts of the euro area as SMEs largely rely on bank loans for funding. Our findings show that it is mainly the banks’ own refinancing costs in capital markets and their risk perceptions regarding SMEs which give rise to constraints. Of the steps taken to spur bank lending, the ECB’s LTROs seem to have had limited success. Securitisation of SME loans on the other hand has the potential to bridge the gap between SMEs’ funding needs and the availability of bank loans. Public-sector and market-based initiatives to improve SME financing are of great importance as well: for the former, private-sector involvement is crucial; as for the latter, overall success has been mixed so far. [more]
September 26, 2014
The interest for higher democratic accountability in the EU is stronger than ever. Indeed, there is scope for action for stronger involvement of national legislatures at EU level. Within the time frame of the eighth legislative period of the European Parliament (2014-2019), an interinstitutional agreement is a viable option. This could lay down a working definition of subsidiarity, enhance interparliamentary cooperation, and structure the use of ‘yellow cards’. In the medium term, a stronger role for national parliaments would require outright treaty revision. [more]
September 15, 2014
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]