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Competition in the EU and globally [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

14-02-2020

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Some politicians and economists argue that competition is an increasingly global phenomenon and that the intra-Community trade context for which the EU competition rules were originally designed no longer applies, and that the ...

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Some politicians and economists argue that competition is an increasingly global phenomenon and that the intra-Community trade context for which the EU competition rules were originally designed no longer applies, and that the rules themselves are, as a result, too prescriptive. This emerging view might encourage the Union to pursue a more active and coordinated EU industrial policy, supported by more flexible rules on state aid and mergers in particular. The debate comes at a time when the US–China trade conflict and problems in the World Trade Organization are reshaping global economic competition, with new relationships and partnerships being formed. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the EU’s competition and industrial policy challenges and on the changing nature of global competition. More studies on trade issues can be found in a previous item from this series, published in September 2019.

Financing the European Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-02-2020

The European Union is preparing its next long-term budget – the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). However, more than a year and a half after the European Commission made its MFF proposal, differences persist over the size of the budget and spending levels on individual policies. The European Parliament has called for an ambitious budget, capable of financing new initiatives, such as the European Green Deal. Despite tensions, a decision on the next MFF is still expected in 2020, before ...

The European Union is preparing its next long-term budget – the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). However, more than a year and a half after the European Commission made its MFF proposal, differences persist over the size of the budget and spending levels on individual policies. The European Parliament has called for an ambitious budget, capable of financing new initiatives, such as the European Green Deal. Despite tensions, a decision on the next MFF is still expected in 2020, before the planned start of the next financing period at the beginning of the following year. The later the decision comes, the more significant the negative consequences for beneficiaries of the EU budget, as some aid programmes could be delayed. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the EU’s long-term budget and related issues. The current item includes a recent package of publications on the MFF prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service.

Brexit: The final countdown [What Think Tanks are thinking]

24-01-2020

It is now clear that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. It will do so on the basis of the revised Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU-27 and the UK by Boris Johnson after he became Prime Minister last year. Both sides will then start negotiations on future relations, including on trade, which will run during the transitional period, currently due to end on 31 December 2020. The UK government has said it will set out its hopes for the future partnership ...

It is now clear that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. It will do so on the basis of the revised Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU-27 and the UK by Boris Johnson after he became Prime Minister last year. Both sides will then start negotiations on future relations, including on trade, which will run during the transitional period, currently due to end on 31 December 2020. The UK government has said it will set out its hopes for the future partnership after Brexit has happened. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on numerous challenges facing the UK, EU and their future ties after their divorce.

Future of European Security and Defence Policy [What Think Tanks are thinking]

17-01-2020

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) aims to ensure an appropriate role for the Union in peace-keeping operations, conflict prevention and in the strengthening of international security. It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets. Now its importance is rising because of the increasingly uncertain strategic environment. For years, the EU has been considered as an economic powerhouse but militarily weak, ...

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) aims to ensure an appropriate role for the Union in peace-keeping operations, conflict prevention and in the strengthening of international security. It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets. Now its importance is rising because of the increasingly uncertain strategic environment. For years, the EU has been considered as an economic powerhouse but militarily weak, and it is currently debating whether and how to enhance its defence capabilities, notably because of the growing complexity of transatlantic security relations. The new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, is determined to expand the EU’s international role, calling her Commission ‘geopolitical’. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the state of the future of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy.

EU cohesiveness and cohesion [What Think Tanks are thinking]

10-01-2020

The European Union is envisaged as an area of growing stability, security and prosperity, with integration allowing it to boost citizens’ living standards and to enhance its influence globally. Generous cohesion and regional development funds are meant to limit wealth disparities among the various EU regions and countries. However, frequent difficulties in forging common foreign and economic policies, due to national differences, can diminish the EU’s domestic effectiveness and international leverage ...

The European Union is envisaged as an area of growing stability, security and prosperity, with integration allowing it to boost citizens’ living standards and to enhance its influence globally. Generous cohesion and regional development funds are meant to limit wealth disparities among the various EU regions and countries. However, frequent difficulties in forging common foreign and economic policies, due to national differences, can diminish the EU’s domestic effectiveness and international leverage, while inequalities in income have been widening, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by international think tanks and research institutes on EU cohesiveness and cohesion published over the past year.

2019: A year of challenges and choices [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-12-2019

The European Parliament elections and formation of a new European Commission with new priorities, together with a general economic slowdown against the backdrop of the US-China trade conflict, to say nothing of Brexit, defined 2019 as a year of tough choices in the context of old and new challenges. Those include efforts to fight climate change, the defence of the rules-based international order, the advance of the digital revolution, the emerging debate over the EU’s strategic sovereignty, and the ...

The European Parliament elections and formation of a new European Commission with new priorities, together with a general economic slowdown against the backdrop of the US-China trade conflict, to say nothing of Brexit, defined 2019 as a year of tough choices in the context of old and new challenges. Those include efforts to fight climate change, the defence of the rules-based international order, the advance of the digital revolution, the emerging debate over the EU’s strategic sovereignty, and the need to re-define relations with the United Kingdom post-Brexit. This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU in 2019 and its outlook in several important areas.

Enhancing EU competitiveness [What Think Tanks are thinking]

13-12-2019

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital ...

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital Markets Union. A debate continues about whether the EU should support the creation of EU industrial champions, which advocates claim could be well placed to compete internationally in some sectors. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by international think tanks and research institutes on EU competitiveness and related issues. Earlier papers on reforming the euro area are available in a previous issue from the series, published in December 2019.

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-12-2019

Government officials from across the world are currently engaged in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, focussing on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference, which runs from 2 to 13 December 2019, was moved at short notice to Madrid in Spain, to avoid the social unrest in Chile. Meanwhile, the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is preparing a set of new climate and environmental ...

Government officials from across the world are currently engaged in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, focussing on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference, which runs from 2 to 13 December 2019, was moved at short notice to Madrid in Spain, to avoid the social unrest in Chile. Meanwhile, the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is preparing a set of new climate and environmental initiatives, as part of the European Green Deal. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change.

Euro area deepening and reform [What Think Tanks are thinking]

03-12-2019

Countries sharing the euro have done little to change the functioning of the single currency area since French President Emmanuel Macron called for its major overhaul in 2017. Many analysts and politicians have attributed the lack of significant reforms in this area to Germany’s – and some other countries’ – cautious approach, although also underlining that the currency area is now much stronger and more resilient than in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. The single currency area’s most immediate ...

Countries sharing the euro have done little to change the functioning of the single currency area since French President Emmanuel Macron called for its major overhaul in 2017. Many analysts and politicians have attributed the lack of significant reforms in this area to Germany’s – and some other countries’ – cautious approach, although also underlining that the currency area is now much stronger and more resilient than in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. The single currency area’s most immediate challenge is to cope with the economic slow-down, which is partly a consequence of global trade disputes. A smooth transition in leadership at the European Central Bank will also be very important. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on challenges facing the euro area and related issues. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in February 2019.

European borders [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-11-2019

The European Union helps its Member States to secure their external borders, whilst ensuring an area of free movement without internal borders. Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, inter alia, coordinates and organises joint operations with Member States, provides surveillance and risk analysis, and supports cooperation between law enforcement authorities. The EU also helps Member States to fight crimes such as human trafficking, child abuse and smuggling of illegal goods. The issue ...

The European Union helps its Member States to secure their external borders, whilst ensuring an area of free movement without internal borders. Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, inter alia, coordinates and organises joint operations with Member States, provides surveillance and risk analysis, and supports cooperation between law enforcement authorities. The EU also helps Member States to fight crimes such as human trafficking, child abuse and smuggling of illegal goods. The issue of borders is closely linked to EU migration policy, which is being debated with a view to its reform, following the 2015 migration crisis. This note offers links to commentaries and studies by major international think tanks on the issue of borders and some related reports on migration. More papers specifically on migration can be found in earlier items from the same series, published in October and December 2018.

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