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The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and some implications for CESEE countries

Bruegel scholars Zsolt Darvas and Guntram Wolff contributed to the September 2018 edition of the OeNB's Focus on European Economic Integration.

By: and Date: September 12, 2018 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This article was also published in the September 2018 edition of the OeNB’s Focus on European Economic Integration.

The European Union’s budget – which is fundamentally different from the budgets of federal countries and amounts to only about 1% of the EU’s gross national income – continues to be heavy on agricultural and cohesion spending. The literature shows that the EU’s common agricultural policy (accounting for 38% of EU spending from the current budget) provides good income support, especially for richer farmers, but is less effective for greening and biodiversity and is unevenly distributed. The EU’s cohesion policy (accounting for 34% of current EU spending) contributes to convergence, but it is unclear how strong and long-lasting the effects are. Spending on new priorities such as border control could require additional funds of at least EUR 100 billion in the 2021–2027 period, but there will be a EUR 94 billion Brexit related hole in the EU budget for 2021–2027 if the EU loses the United Kingdom’s share of contributions and the EU’s work program as a share of gross national income remains unchanged.

The European Commission’s May 2, 2018, proposal for the 2021–2027 budget makes several welcome steps in reforming the EU budget, e.g. by reorganizing spending commitments toward priorities which have gained more importance recently, while reducing the share of spending on agriculture and cohesion policies. But many details remain quite fuzzy and need to be spelled out further before a critical appraisal can be made. Moreover, the new draft budget for agriculture foresees larger cuts for rural development support – important for environment and biodiversity goals – than for direct subsidies to farmers. Also, we would argue that the European Commission needs to make a significantly stronger attempt at measuring the actual “European value added” of the various proposed initiatives. Therefore, while we regard the European Commission’s proposal a good basis for subsequent negotiations, we propose a number of significant changes.

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External Publication

Building a Euro-area Budget Inside the EU Budget: Squaring the Circle?

As part of a volume on the Multiannual Financial Framework, the EUI recently published a chapter by Grégory Claeys on the creation of a euro area budget within the EU's budget.

By: Grégory Claeys Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 1, 2020
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Opinion

Europe’s recovery gamble

Next Generation EU, was rightly hailed as a major breakthrough: never before had the EU borrowed to finance expenditures, let alone transfers to member states. But the programme and its Recovery and Resilience Facility amount to a high-risk gamble.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 25, 2020
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The Sound of Economics Live: The State of the Union going forward

In the first Sound of Economics Live episode after summer we look at the State of the Union address delivered by Ursula von der Leyen.

Speakers: Giuseppe Porcaro, André Sapir, Guntram B. Wolff and Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: September 16, 2020
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Without good governance, the EU borrowing mechanism to boost the recovery could fail

The European Union recovery fund could greatly increase the stability of the bloc and its monetary union. But the fund needs clearer objectives, sustainable growth criteria and close monitoring so that spending achieves its goals and is free of corruption. In finalising the fund, the EU should take the time to design a strong governance mechanism.

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An EU budget for Europe's future with Johannes Hahn

How do we make the EU fit for future?

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An uncompromising budget

Apart from decisive European Central Bank measures, the EU-wide response to the COVID crisis had been rather weak until the Commission put on the table a drastically new proposal: the creation of a new recovery facility, ‘Next Generation EU’, that would borrow money in the name of the EU to finance EU-wide expenditures. The changes to the proposed standard seven-year budget that primarily focuses on long-term structural issues are however generally small, and funding reductions are compensated by new funds from the recovery instrument, suggesting that an opportunity is missed to reform the EU budget.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 29, 2020
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The new EU budget: from COVID-19 remedies to green goals

Can we rescue the economy after COVID-19 and reach the environmental goals?

Speakers: Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Karolina Ekholm and Miguel Otero-Iglesias Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 29, 2020
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External Publication

European Parliament

A Just Transition Fund – How the EU budget can help with the transition

On 14 January 2020, the European Commission published its proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, intended to provide support to territories facing serious socioeconomic challenges related to the transition towards climate neutrality. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of how the EU can best ensure a ‘just transition’ in all its territories and for all its citizens with the tools at its disposal. It provides an overview and a critical assessment of the Commission's proposal, and suggests possible amendments based on best practices from other just-transition initiatives.

By: Aliénor Cameron, Grégory Claeys, Catarina Midões and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament Date: May 26, 2020
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Policy Brief

Rebooting Europe: a framework for a post COVID-19 economic recovery

COVID-19 has triggered a severe recession and policymakers in European Union countries are providing generous, largely indiscriminate, support to companies. As the recession gets deeper, a more comprehensive strategy is needed. This should be based on four principles: viability of supported entities, fairness, achieving societal goals, and giving society a share in future profits. The effort should be structured around equity and recovery funds with borrowing at EU level.

By: Julia Anderson, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 13, 2020
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How can cohesion funds help the National, regional and local communities that are on the frontline in countering the coronavirus and the resulting economic crisis.

Speakers: Jim Brunsden, Maria Demertzis and Elisa Ferreira Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 21, 2020
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The EU’s poverty reduction efforts should not aim at the wrong target

The EU cannot meet its ‘poverty’ targets, because the main indicator used to measure poverty actually measures income inequality. The use of the wrong indicator could lead to a failure to monitor those who are really poor in Europe, and a risk they could be forgotten.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 18, 2020
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A European anti-money laundering supervisor: From vision to legislation

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By: Joshua Kirschenbaum, Nicolas Véron and Bruegel Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 24, 2020
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