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Working Paper

What drives national implementation of EU policy recommendations?

The authors use a newly-compiled dataset to investigate whether and why European Union countries implement the economic policy recommendations they receive from the EU.

By: , and Date: April 25, 2019 Topic: Macroeconomic policy

We use a newly-compiled dataset to investigate whether and why European Union countries implement the economic policy recommendations they receive from the EU. We find that implementation rates are modest and have worsened at a time when the economic environment has improved and market pressure on sovereigns has subsided. Implementation has deteriorated in particular among countries designated as having ‘excessive’ macroeconomic imbalances. We then empirically test three factors that could influence implementation rates: (i) the macroeconomic environment; (ii) pressure from financial markets; and (iii) the strength of EU-level macroeconomic surveillance.

The econometric estimates indicate that larger fiscal and current account deficits and a higher probability of sovereign default increase the likelihood of implementation. However, stronger surveillance under the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) does not seem to drive implementation rates. The quality of governance, the fragmentation of government coalitions and fewer recommendations received are connected to increased implementation, whereas for countries under the MIP, implementation slowed during election years. Finally, recommendations on financial services have a much greater chance of being implemented, whereas those on broadening the tax base, the long-term sustainability of public finance and pension systems, and competition in services are much less likely to be implemented. Overall, economic fundamentals and political economy factors provide only a small part of the answer to the question of why countries reform: ultimately, reform decisions are down to factors outside of the models.

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Blog Post

European governance

Does the war in Ukraine call for a new Next Generation EU?

The European Union should take significant economic measures in response to the war in Ukraine, but a new Next Generation EU is not needed yet.

By: André Sapir Topic: European governance Date: May 17, 2022
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External Publication

What drives implementation of the European Union’s policy recommendations to its member countries?

Article published in the Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

By: Konstantinos Efstathiou and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 13, 2022
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Opinion

China can see the limits of bailing out Russia's economy

Beijing will support Moscow as long as it does not fall foul of Western sanctions.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global economy and trade Date: March 16, 2022
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Opinion

European governance

How to reconcile increased green public investment needs with fiscal consolidation

The EU’s ambitious emissions reduction targets will require a major increase in green investments. This column considers options for increasing public green investment when major consolidations are needed after the fiscal support provided during the pandemic. The authors make the case for a green golden rule allowing green investment to be funded by deficits that would not count in the fiscal rules. Concerns about ‘greenwashing’ could be addressed through a narrow definition of green investments and strong institutional scrutiny, while countries with debt sustainability concerns could initially rely only on NGEU for their green investment.

By: Zsolt Darvas and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European governance, Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Date: March 8, 2022
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Blog Post

European governance

Policy coordination failures in the euro area: not just an outcome, but by design

Discussions on the fiscal framework should aim to correct its procyclical nature with a view to promoting more cooperative outcomes.

By: Maria Demertzis and Nicola Viegi Topic: European governance, Macroeconomic policy Date: December 20, 2021
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Parliamentary Testimony

Dutch Parliament

The future of the stability and growth pact

Testimony given to a Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal roundtable discussion on the future of the stability and growth pact.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Dutch Parliament Date: November 24, 2021
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Opinion

European governance

Can EU fiscal rules jump on the green bandwagon?

By and large, setting a new green golden rule would be a useful addition to the existing EU fiscal framework.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European governance, Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Date: October 22, 2021
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Policy Contribution

European governance

A green fiscal pact: climate investment in times of budget consolidation

Increasing green public investment while consolidating deficits will be a central challenge of this decade. A green fiscal pact would address this tension, but difficult trade-offs remain.

By: Zsolt Darvas and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European governance, Macroeconomic policy Date: September 9, 2021
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Policy Contribution

Commercialisation contracts: European support for low-carbon technology deployment

To cut the cost of decarbonisation significantly, the best solution would be to provide investors with a predictable carbon price that corresponds to the envisaged decarbonisation pathway.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: July 1, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

An alpine divide? Comparing economic cultures in Germany and Italy

A discussion of Italian and German macro-economic cultures and performances.

Speakers: Thomas Mayer, Patricia Mosser, Marianne Nessén, Hiroshi Nakaso, Francesco Papadia, André Sapir and Jean-Claude Trichet Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 13, 2021
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Parliamentary Testimony

European governanceEuropean Parliament

New life for an old framework: redesigning the European Union's expenditure and golden fiscal rules

Testimony before the European Parliament on the subject of EU fiscal policies.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European governance, European Parliament, Macroeconomic policy, Testimonies Date: November 17, 2020
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External Publication

European governanceEuropean Parliament

New life for an old framework: redesigning the European Union's expenditure and golden fiscal rules

This briefing paper focuses on two aspects of the EU fiscal framework: whether an expenditure rule would be more reliable than a structural budget balance rule and the possible benefits and drawbacks of introducing a golden rule to exclude certain types of investment from the operational fiscal rule.

By: Zsolt Darvas and Julia Anderson Topic: European governance, European Parliament, Macroeconomic policy, Testimonies Date: October 14, 2020
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