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Western Balkans – Bumbs on the road to EU accession

August 24, 2012
Region:
We assess the economic outlook for the Western Balkan region, including Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Each country in the region is on the road to EU accession, though they are at very different stages of the process. The most advanced, Croatia, is set to become the EU’s 28th member towards the middle of next year. For the rest, it could be a long road given the economic and political challenges that they face, and also a sense of enlargement fatigue among some existing member states. [more]

More documents about "Europe"

175 (133-144)
May 9, 2014
Region:
133
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:
134
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 15, 2014
Region:
135
In our empirical analysis we investigate the substitution between weak bank lending and lush bond markets and we show that rising bank CDS spreads are consistently associated with positive growth in securities underwriting and negative growth in loan syndication. This suggests that banks and clients switch funding instruments in times of financial stress. In this regard, a well-developed bond market is an important element to increase financial resilience as it offers an alternative source of funding for the real economy and an alternative source of revenue to banks. However, we also note a worrying trend towards financial fragmentation during times of stress which limits diversification potential. [more]
April 14, 2014
Region:
136
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]
April 1, 2014
Region:
137
The fundamental transformation of the European banking sector into a leaner, less profitable, low-growth but also more stable industry in the “new normal” continues to make progress. Banks are shedding assets, reducing costs and raising capital ratios, with revenues in 2013 having declined for the third consecutive year. Legacy assets and litigation remained an additional, significant burden. Nonetheless, profitability has improved somewhat from its extremely low levels and may well rise further this year. [more]
March 27, 2014
Region:
138
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:
139
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]
December 16, 2013
Region:
140
Following years of struggle and having seen their world turned upside down, European banks may finally be heading for a (somewhat) smoother ride in 2014. Profitability is returning, though so far this is mainly driven by lower extraordinary charges rather than improvements in revenues and costs. Pressure to build capital may lessen thanks to significant progress over the past two years, yet currently banks are still shrinking relentlessly. Much will also depend on regulatory and supervisory actions, especially on how the EU Banking Union is implemented. [more]
November 26, 2013
Region:
141
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:
142
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:
143
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]
September 12, 2013
Region:
Analyst:
144
In the current debate and the numerous initiatives surrounding the improvement of tax collection and cooperation on cross-border (investment) income it is vital to differentiate between two phenomena: one is the fight against (illegal) tax evasion (mainly on investment income) and the other is the legal, (often) so-called 'aggressive' tax planning via profit shifting. Efforts to establish the automatic exchange of information for tax purposes as the European and/or international standard are relatively advanced. 'Aggressive' tax planning, which enables the de facto tax exemption of profits, cannot be addressed by extending the scope of the exchange of information alone, however. [more]
7.5.1