European Policy Research
In this section you find analyses and commentaries on European (and especially German) economic and fiscal policy. Particular attention is devoted to the institutional development of the EU, above all monetary union, and its individual policy areas.
Talking Point
No all-clear signal from demographics
The latest population projections by Germany's Federal Statistical Office once again highlight the Herculean task of coping with demographic change. Once immigration begins to fall from its current temporary high, the fair weather in the labour market caused by rising employment figures may already turn cloudy within the next ten years. Consistent political action in the fields of old-age provision and long-term care is required given rising life expectancy and the expected doubling of the number of the very elderly. [more]
Chart in focus
Research Briefing
Debate on free movement: Does the EU need new rules on social security co-ordination?
In the EU there is ongoing debate about so-called "social benefit tourism". Not only supporters of populist parties, but also broader sections of the population say that the current rules on free movement and coordination of social security systems virtually invite people from southern, central and eastern Europe to migrate into the social security systems of more prosperous partner countries and thus overstrain these systems. Reforms should, at the very least, aim at making the current law less contestable and easier for national authorities to apply. Much argues in favour of taking a generally more restrictive approach. The closer coordination of the social security systems sought in various quarters is not suitable as a driver of European integration. [more]
In focus
Economic and fiscal policy coordination in the euro area: a primer
A factor limiting the scope for a fiscal stimulus at a national level is the euro area’s framework of fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance. In the absence of a central Government, the Euro area has developed a sophisticated system of mechanisms for economic and fiscal policy coordination that aims to prevent moral hazard and crises with a fiscal impact in the future. In the light of the events of the Euro crisis, this framework has recently been revised in various steps. The reforms tightened the rules. However, the framework still offers various possibilities for a flexible interpretation. Looking forward it will be key to reconcile any attempts of a flexible interpretation with the need for rigidity in order to keep the credibility of fiscal and economic surveillance in Europe. [more]
EU Monitor
Better off on their own? Economic aspects of regional autonomy and independence movements in Europe
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]
Current Issue
Focus Germany: Further disappointments
We have cut our German GDP growth forecast from 1.5% to 1.3% for 2014 and further from 1.5% to 0.8% for 2015. We do not see Germany falling into a technical recession in Q3. But the 6 month slump of the ifo index has increased the risk that we might see a negative GDP print in Q4 2014 or Q1 2015. The positive effect of weaker oil prices will be offset by wage growth slowing from 3% plus this year towards 2% in 2015, as export-orientated sectors will respond to weaker external demand. Further topics in this issue: German industry: Temporary slowdown; German construction: Robust investment, but price momentum slowing; Inheritance tax: Constitutional Court ruling likely to weigh harder on business heirs; 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: "Blooming landscapes" only in part. [more]
30.03.2015
German exports, GDP growth, Budgetary policy, View from Berlin
02.03.2015
German GDP growth, Negotiated wages, Savings ratio, View from Berlin
02.02.2015
German GDP forecast, Industrial output forecast, Sentiment data, View from Berlin
Spotlight on Germany
 
 
Publications
Articles on economic policy appear in the following periodicals: 
SMEs
Dataflash Eurozone
    European elections 2014
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