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The evolution of the ECB governing council’s decision-making

Before it is decided who will chair the governing council for the next eight years, the authors look back and examine precisely how decisions have been taken since the ECB was created – by unanimity, by majority, or by consensus. Given the peculiar multi-country nature of the Eurosystem, taking monetary policy decisions by unanimity, or at least by consensus, was considered a priority by the founder members of the governing council of the ECB to ensure that the new central bank would be...

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Where Brexit goes, the law shall follow

How the financial industry and the law firms that support it are preparing for what comes next By: Rebecca Christie Date: June 25, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance The UK is leaving the European Union, in spirit if not in immediate legal jurisdiction. While the next phase of Brexit won’t emerge until October, the financial sector is already on the move. London, long the dominant hub for bankers and investors,...

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Deep Focus: Making a success of EU cohesion policy

Bruegel senior fellow Zsolt Darvas talks to Sean Gibson in this Deep Focus podcast about how the EU can improve its cohesion policy, citing the best examples of its implementation and stressing the methodological difficulties in measuring its effectiveness. By: The Sound of Economics Date: June 20, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Cohesion policy remains a contentious topic in the EU, central as it is to the...

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Uncertainty over output gap and structural-balance estimates remains elevated

The EU fiscal framework strongly relies on the structural budget balance indicator, which aims to measure the ‘underlying’ position of the budget. But this indicator is not observed, only estimations can be made. This post shows that estimates of the European Commission, the IMF, the OECD and national governments widely differ from each other and all estimates are subject to very large annual revisions. The EU should get rid of the fiscal rules that rely on structural balance estimates and...

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The campaign against ‘nonsense’ output gaps

A campaign against “nonsense” consensus output gaps has been launched on social media. It has triggered responses focusing on the implications of output gaps for fiscal policy under EU rules, especially for Italy. But the debate about the reliability of output-gap estimates is more wide-ranging. The debate on the output gap is hardly new. What motivates this review is rather the social media campaign Robin Brooks (Institute of International Finance) recently launched against “nonsense”...

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A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership

Memo to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. 'A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership' by Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff is the first of our 2019 Bruegel memos to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Focusing on the most important economic questions at EU level, these Bruegel memos are intended to be a strategic to-do list, outlining the state of affairs that will greet the new Commission. The next...

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China and the world trade organisation: towards a better fit

China’s participation in the WTO has been anything but smooth, as its self-proclaimed socialist market economy system has alienated its trading partners. The WTO needs to translate some of its implicit legal understanding into explicit treaty language, in order to retain its principles while accommodating China. China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 was hailed as the natural conclusion of a long march that started with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s....

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Director’s Cut: A strategic agenda for the incoming EU presidents

In this Director’s Cut of ‘The Sound of Economics’, Bruegel’s Guntram Wolff and Maria Demertzis talk through their memo to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament, outlining the specific measures that should be implemented in order to tackle the most formidable challenges arising in the next five years. By: The Sound of Economics Date: June 12, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance...

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Liability: When Things Go Wrong in an Increasingly Interconnected and Autonomous World: A European View

In the following article, Scott Marcus first considers the sources of potential defects and what might be done to redress them. He then goes on to consider what constitutes a product defect as well as the associated liability in light of recent (and potential future) EU Directives. The Internet of Things (IoT) potentially offers society not only economic advantage but also gains in product quality and safety. At the same time, IoT (in conjunction with related technologies such as...

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Backstage: Making the most of climate modelling

Bruegel senior fellow Georg Zachmann interviews Massimo Tavoni, professor at the Politecnico di Milano and director of EIEE, on the purpose of climate and energy models, what they can deliver and what are the most recent developments in their formulation. In this episode of ‘The Sound of Economics’, Bruegel senior fellow Georg Zachmann continues the Backstage series with an interview with Massimo Tavoni, professor at the Politecnico di Milano and director of EIEE. The discussion point...

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