Focus topic European Integration

Focus topic: European integrationEU 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, DB Research regularly analyses and appraises the latest developments in the EU and EMU, including issues relating to enlargement, European banks and financial markets.


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Business demographics and dynamics in Europe: Trends in the composition of the company landscape
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic policy; Economic structure; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues; Labour market policy; SMEs; Sectors / commodities; Tax policy
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Euroscepticism gaining currency? Implications of the EU elections for economic policy
Abstract: 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.
Topics: EMU; Economic policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues; Politics and elections
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European industrial policy: Limited scope for action in short term
Abstract: Even though current political developments have disrupted the agenda for the spring summit of the European Council (March 20-21), competitiveness issues have in fact traditionally been an important topic at such gatherings. At the end of January the European Commission already issued a communication on this issue that once again called for a strengthening of European industry. While this political signal is to be welcomed, the Commission's short-term scope for taking action is limited in many areas. Firstly, this is the case because established economic structures in individual member states cannot be altered overnight. And secondly, decision-making powers in important policy areas largely rest with national governments.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Economic trends; Electrical engineering; Energy policy; Energy sector; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Mechanical engineering; Other sectors; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities; Services; Sustainability; Telecommunication
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Youth unemployment not only affects “youths”
Abstract: Following two years of recession in the eurozone Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain can expect a return to positive GDP growth – albeit probably of less than 1% – in 2014. At the same time, at least the labour market situation no longer appears to be deteriorating further. Nevertheless, what remains alarming is high youth unemployment and – even though it attracts less public attention – the often equally precarious employment situation of 25 to 35-year-olds in the crisis-stricken countries.
Topics: Demographics; EMU; Economic policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Social policy; Socio-econ. trends
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Who is Europe's "lost generation"? An anatomy of (un)employment demographics in Europe
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Demographics; Economic policy; Education; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Social policy
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Europe's re-industrialisation: The gulf between aspiration and reality
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Auto industry; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Education; Electrical engineering; Energy policy; Energy sector; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Food and beverages; Gas industry; Globalisation; Innovation; Intern. economic system; Key issues; Labour market policy; Mechanical engineering; Other sectors; Real econ. trends; SMEs; Sectors / commodities; Services; Steel industry; Tax policy; Textiles and clothing industry; WTO
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The Single European Market 20 years on: Achievements, unfulfilled expectations & further potential
Abstract: 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.
Topics: EMU; EU enlargement; Economic growth; Economic policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Globalisation; Key issues; Labour market; Privatisation/liberalisation; Supervision and regulation; Trade
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Strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union – but how?
Abstract: The European Commission is pushing for a stronger "social dimension" in EMU in order to reduce the large regional differences to be found in terms of, for example, unemployment and at-risk-of-poverty rates. However, it also appears to be distancing itself from more ambitious proposals it made less than a year ago.
Topics: EMU; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Fiscal policy
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In which categories is the EU competitive?
Topics: European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Key issues
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Project Bond Initiative: Project selection the key to success
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Banking; Capital markets policy; Energy policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Financial market trends; Intern. relations; Key issues; Privatisation/liberalisation; Sectors / commodities; Supervision and regulation; Transport policy
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