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External Publication

How has the macroeconomic imbalances procedure worked in practice to improve the resilience of the euro area?

This paper shows how the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) could be streamlined and its underlying conceptual framework clarified. Implementation of the country-specific recommendations is low; their internal consistency is sometimes missing; despite past reforms, the MIP remains largely a countryby-country approach running the risk of aggravating the deflationary bias in the euro area. We recommend to streamline the scoreboard around a few meaningful indicators, involve national macro-prudential and productivity councils, better connect the various recommendations, simplify the language and further involve the Commission into national policy discussions. This document was prepared for the Economic Governance Support Unit at the request of the ECON Committee.

By: and Date: March 24, 2020 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) was introduced in 2011 as part of the ‘six-pack’ reform of economic governance. It aims to identify, prevent and address macroeconomic imbalances that could adversely affect economic stability in a particular EU country, the euro area, or the EU as a whole.

The empirical analysis provided in this paper, however, shows that:

  • Implementation rate of the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) has been declining over time; although imbalances have clearly receded in the euro area and in the EU over 2013-2018, there is no apparent link with the implementation of the CSRs;
  • Despite past reforms, the MIP keeps still largely a country-by-country approach, running the risk of contributing to a deflationary bias in the euro area;
  • The MIP scoreboard could be simplified with little loss in terms of early-warning performance; some indicators need to be re-defined consistently with the objective of convergence within the euro area;
  • The consistency among the CSRs and the recommendations made by the IMF and the OECD varies greatly across countries; the CSRs are less clear on the financial sector than the IMF is, and they are not always connected to the recommendations made by the ESRB;
  • The CSRs sometimes lack internal consistency, especially for countries with high current accounts surplus and with respect to the connection with the recommendations to the euro area.
  • National policy-makers and experts are often totally unaware of the entire European Semester process. Communication is often done in technical and administrative form – failing to trigger interest in national debates.

Recommendations

  1. Streamline the scoreboard around a few meaningful indicators; check that they are geared towards intra-euro area imbalances rather than performance vis-à-vis the rest of the world.
  2. In the recommendation to the euro area, include a section explaining the strategy to reduce imbalances, the contribution of each Member State being specified.
  3. Focus MIP-CSRs on policy actions that can have direct impact on imbalances. Involve national macroprudential authorities and national productivity councils; coordinate the timetable of the European semester with that of ESRB’s recommendations;
  4. Simplify the language and further involve the Commission into national policy discussions
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Opinion

Covid-19 and emerging economies: What to expect in the short- and medium-term

This article was originally published in the Observer Research Foundation. As Brazil, Russia, India and Mexico record the fast spread of the Covid-19 contagion, a third wave of the pandemic is reaching the emerging world. As a result, business sentiment has decreased in March and April in the region. What’s more, as emerging economies gradually […]

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: June 3, 2020
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Policy Contribution

COVID-19’s reality shock for external-funding dependent emerging economies

COVID-19 is by far the biggest challenge policymakers in emerging economies have had to deal with in recent history. Beyond the potentially large negative impact on these countries’ fiscal accounts, and the related solvency issues, worsening conditions for these countries’ external funding are a major challenge.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Elina Ribakova Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: May 28, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

A European response to the coronavirus crisis with Paolo Gentiloni

This is the second event in our series with the Financial Times, where Paolo Gentiloni will discuss the European response to the coronavirus crisis.

Speakers: Paolo Gentiloni, Mehreen Khan and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 6, 2020
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Blog Post

Be bold now: coronavirus, the Eurogroup and fiscal safety nets

This blog post sketches two scenarios: one in which countries provide a large fiscal safety net to companies and another in which they do not. Both lead to similar debt-to-GDP ratios in 2021, but the safety net leads to a smaller and shorter recession and a quicker rebound. We then discuss how to fund a large response without fragmenting the euro area. Until the lockdowns end, such measures should be implemented.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 17, 2020
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Policy Contribution

An effective economic response to the Coronavirus in Europe

'Whatever it takes' needs to be the motto to preserve lives and reduce the impact on the economy of the epidemic.

By: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Testimonies Date: March 12, 2020
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Opinion

What if the rest of Europe follows Italy's coronavirus fate?

The silence from Brussels could be as damaging as the silence on Italian streets

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 11, 2020
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Blog Post

Three macroeconomic issues and Covid-19

COVID-19 raises a number of serious issues of a sanitary, social and economic nature. While recognizing the difficulty of giving definitive answers at this early stage, we attempt to shed light on three critical macroeconomic topics.

By: Leonardo Cadamuro and Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 10, 2020
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Blog Post

Climate risks to European banks: a new era of stress tests

Several European central banks have begun assessing the impact of adverse climate scenarios on banks’ capital. Comparable work at EU or euro area level has evolved more slowly. Supervisors need build up a distinct and more complex type of analysis, and should engage with banks now.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: February 4, 2020
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External Publication

Factors determining Russia’s long-term growth rate

This paper’s main conclusion is that Russia’s economy cannot grow at the pace recorded in the early and mid-2000s because of the different external environment, the different stage of development and serious demographic headwinds.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 16, 2020
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Opinion

Why border carbon adjustment is important for Europe’s green deal

The European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is pursuing ambitious environmental targets, notably to reach zero net emissions across the EU by 2050. This transition requires pricing emissions to incentivise producers to develop greener alternatives, while avoiding putting domestic producers at a disadvantage.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 27, 2019
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Opinion

How to ward off the next recession

Despite confident official pronouncements, the deteriorating state of the global economy is now high on the international policy agenda. The OECD recently revised down its forecasts to 1.5% growth in the advanced G20 economies in 2020, compared to almost 2.5% in 2017. And its chief economist Laurence Boone warned of the risk of further deterioration – a coded way of indicating a growing threat of recession.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 2, 2019
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Blog Post

EU support for SME IPOs should be part of a broader package that unlocks equity finance

The incoming Commission President has put support for SMEs at the centre of her economic programme. A public-private fund investing in initial public offerings should be carefully targeted, primarily at small firms with risky projects. The announced SME strategy and further measures under the Capital Markets Union programme should address numerous other barriers to both public and private equity finance.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 16, 2019
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