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The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure: An introduction

28-10-2020

What is the macroeconomic imbalance procedure? What are the elements of its scoreboard? Once those elements are taken into account, how does the procedure evolve in the wider context of the European Semester? This paper attempts to put these elements in context and provides an introduction to the subject, as well as a flavour of the debate driven by academia and European institutions, in view of the general discussion on European economic governance, taking place in 2020 and 2021.

What is the macroeconomic imbalance procedure? What are the elements of its scoreboard? Once those elements are taken into account, how does the procedure evolve in the wider context of the European Semester? This paper attempts to put these elements in context and provides an introduction to the subject, as well as a flavour of the debate driven by academia and European institutions, in view of the general discussion on European economic governance, taking place in 2020 and 2021.

Plenary round-up – October II 2020

26-10-2020

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy ...

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy Union and aligning the Energy Charter Treaty with the European Green Deal. Parliament announced that its 2020 Sakharov Prize will be awarded on 16 December to the Belarusian opposition, in particular the Coordinating Council, for 'an initiative launched by courageous women'.

Public hearing with Elke König, Chair of the Single Resolution Board

26-10-2020

This note is prepared in view of an ordinary public hearing with the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), Elke König, which will take place on 27 October 2020. The central aim of the meeting is to discuss the SRB 2019 annual report. Following the structure of the SRB 2019 annual report, this briefing addresses (i) COVID-19 response measures taken by the SRB, and the need to consider a COVID-19 exit strategy going forward; (ii) resolution plans for banks under the SRB’s remit; (iii) preparation ...

This note is prepared in view of an ordinary public hearing with the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), Elke König, which will take place on 27 October 2020. The central aim of the meeting is to discuss the SRB 2019 annual report. Following the structure of the SRB 2019 annual report, this briefing addresses (i) COVID-19 response measures taken by the SRB, and the need to consider a COVID-19 exit strategy going forward; (ii) resolution plans for banks under the SRB’s remit; (iii) preparation for the 2020 resolution planning cycle; (iv) resolvability assessments; (v) preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU; (vi) cooperation with the European Parliament; (vii) contributions to the Single Resolution Fund; (viii) investments of these funds; (ix) management of resources; and (x) appeal panel.

Public hearing with Andrea Enria, Chair of the ECB Supervisory Board

26-10-2020

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, which will take place on 27 October 2020. The briefing addresses (i) recent supervisory measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including an overview of the ECB’s COVID-19 vulnerability analysis and a discussion on the effectiveness of certain capital relief measures; (ii) the SSM’s response to the European Parliament’s 2019 Banking Union Report ...

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, which will take place on 27 October 2020. The briefing addresses (i) recent supervisory measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including an overview of the ECB’s COVID-19 vulnerability analysis and a discussion on the effectiveness of certain capital relief measures; (ii) the SSM’s response to the European Parliament’s 2019 Banking Union Report; (iii) short-term risks for the banking sector (low profitability, NPLs and Brexit); (iv) longer-term challenges, including consolidation in the banking sector and completing the Banking Union; and (v) supervisory issues, namely anti-money laundering and addressing cyber and IT risks.

EU agricultural policy and health: Some historical and contemporary issues

23-10-2020

This paper examines the links between agriculture and health in the EU. Following an explanation of the links between agriculture, nutrition and diet, a chronology of some of the key studies and developments in this field is provided. This begins with an examination of efforts in the early 1970s to address high rates of cardiovascular disease before moving onto more recent assessments of the role of the EU's common agricultural policy in relation to nutrition-related public health matters, and the ...

This paper examines the links between agriculture and health in the EU. Following an explanation of the links between agriculture, nutrition and diet, a chronology of some of the key studies and developments in this field is provided. This begins with an examination of efforts in the early 1970s to address high rates of cardiovascular disease before moving onto more recent assessments of the role of the EU's common agricultural policy in relation to nutrition-related public health matters, and the extent to which the policy has influenced current dietary patterns. A brief overview is provided of the health status of EU citizens, including some key features and trends in EU health, diets and nutrition. The paper also takes account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including its implications for health considerations across all policies. Drawing on the range of studies and commentaries consulted, the paper concludes with a number of ways in which agriculture and agricultural policies can address or have an impact on the EU's public health challenges.

Coronavirus: The second wave [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-10-2020

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping ...

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping down on travel and imposing strict social distancing measures, such as night-time curfews in major cities and limits on social contacts, although most schools and businesses remain open throughout Europe. The International Monetary Fund said in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) that global growth in 2020 is projected at -4.4 per cent owing to the pandemic, a less severe contraction than forecast in the June 2020 WEO. The revision reflects better than anticipated second quarter GDP outturns – mostly in advanced economies, where activity bounced back sooner than expected following the scaling back of national lockdowns in May and June – as well as indications of a stronger recovery in the third quarter. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' of 25 September.

EU/EA measures to mitigate the economic, financial and social effects of coronavirus State-of-play 20 October 2020

21-10-2020

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

Amending the European Fund for Sustainable Development

19-10-2020

The EU is in the process of adapting its budgetary instruments to respond to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, in particular in raising the established ceilings for some financial instruments. The proposed adjustments include, among other things, measures aimed at helping the most fragile third countries recover from the consequences of the pandemic. In particular, on 28 May 2020, the European Commission put forward a proposal concerning the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD ...

The EU is in the process of adapting its budgetary instruments to respond to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, in particular in raising the established ceilings for some financial instruments. The proposed adjustments include, among other things, measures aimed at helping the most fragile third countries recover from the consequences of the pandemic. In particular, on 28 May 2020, the European Commission put forward a proposal concerning the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) in order to expand its coverage and raise the funds dedicated to leverage private investment for sustainable development and the guarantees to de-risk such investment. On 21 July 2020, the European Council rejected the draft amending budget that would have provided increased EFSD funding for the current year.

Minimum wage in the EU

19-10-2020

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. ...

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. The question of setting a minimum wage is one of the most analysed and debated topics in economics. Over recent years and in the context of the economic and social crisis engendered by the Covid 19 outbreak, the creation of a European minimum wage is increasingly considered as a useful instrument to ensure fair wages and social inclusion. In November 2017, the EU institutions jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, setting out the European Union's commitment to fair wages for workers. Since then, the European Commission has shown its willingness to address this issue. In particular, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated in her political guidelines that she will propose a legal instrument to ensure that every worker in the Union has a fair minimum wage. Such minimum wages should be set according to national traditions, through collective agreements or legal provisions. On 14 January 2020, the Commission launched the first phase of consultation with social partners on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU, to gather social partners' views on the possible direction of EU action. Based on the replies received, the Commission concluded that there is a need for EU action. The second phase of consultation was launched on 3 June 2020; with a deadline of 4 September 2020 for social partners to provide their opinion. A Commission proposal is expected by the end of 2020. The European Trade Union Confederation welcomed the European Commission's initiative and called for the Commission to propose a directive. Conversely, employers' organisations believe wage-setting should be left to social partners at national level. In their view, if the Commission wished to act, only an EU Council recommendation would be acceptable. The European Parliament has often debated the issue of low income and minimum income over the last decade, advocating a more inclusive economy.

World Food Programme: Food for peace

15-10-2020

On 9 October 2020, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) 'for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict'. Adding to a worrying rise in food insecurity, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have pushed millions more people to the brink of famine. The WFP's ...

On 9 October 2020, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) 'for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict'. Adding to a worrying rise in food insecurity, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have pushed millions more people to the brink of famine. The WFP's expertise on emergencies, often in conflict areas, has provided relief to the most fragile populations. The EU supports the WFP through funding, knowledge-sharing, and protecting its vessels from piracy in certain waters.