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Governance

Rebalancing the Euro Area: A proposal for Future Reform

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Under a monetary union, fiscal and monetary discipline have to go hand in hand if macroeconomic stability is to be maintained. The question is how to set up the right institutions to achieve this stability in a credible manner. This policy brief proposes a new institutional arrangement for the euro area to restore fiscal discipline. It places the responsibility for compliance entirely on the shoulders of the member states. It also provides for the mutualisation of 30% of the member states’ debt-to-GDP ratio.
This would help to maintain a stable currency and to limit the risk of contagion should another crisis occur in the future. However, this comes at a cost. Under the fiscal scheme proposed, member states, which would be fully fiscally sovereign, would need to run long-term sound fiscal policies to benefit from euro membership.
In addition, this brief proposes a reform of Target2 under which overspending economies would have to pay the financial cost of accessing extra euros, which would deter the accumulation of internal imbalances within the euro area. All this is expected to change the current fragility of the architecture of the euro, provide member states with the right incentives to abide by sounder economic principles and make them fully responsible for the policies they adopt.
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20
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25 Years of Spitzenkandidaten: What Does the Future Hold?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper critically reflects on the development and implications of the Spitzenkandidaten system. It makes three claims. First, it argues that, despite the assertions of many commentators, this system did not appear out of the blue in 2014 but has a much longer history. Since the Maastricht Treaty, a series of steps have been taken that have clearly led the way to this outcome and, in fact, may even lead beyond it. These steps, including the role of the European People’s Party, are explained here as they cast a different light on the whole process, without which the success of the Spitzenkandidaten system cannot be properly understood.
Second, the paper claims that, from a political–institutional point of view, the system implicitly promotes the parliamentarisation of the EU architecture and might eventually lead to a stronger EU executive and a weaker European Parliament, as is the case in most national parliamentary systems. This would be the opposite of what many of its supporters would like to see. Third, the paper concludes that, in order to avoid this unintended consequence and fulfil the democratic potential of the Spitzenkandidaten system, the current procedure must be understood as an intermediate step on the road to the direct election of the president of the EU. This, however, requires its success and consolidation in 2019. The paper thus ends with some recommendations that will help to make this happen.
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16
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Reflecting on the future of the European Union - The view from local and regional authorities

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Abstract in English: 
If there is one thing that everybody seems to agree on, it is that the European Union is at a juncture. What started as a relatively small scale dream after the Second World War is now a largely mature political system of half a billion citizens, spanning much of the continent that it is named after and with competences in a wide range of policies. What emerged as an elite driven process now belongs to citizens who are increasingly demanding about the levels of democracy, transparency, and accountability of the political system which determines or influences so many of their rights and duties. What once seemed unanimous and generic is now open to the traditional debates of all decision making processes, with rife disagreements on conceptions of regulation, solidarity, and efficiency, as well as competition for ideas and power between various people, various parties.
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63
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Global Trends to 2030: Shaping the future in a fast-changing world

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Global power shifts, pressure on liberal democracies, challenges to global governance, the transformation of economic models and of the very fabric of societies, new uses and misuses of technology, humanity’s growing ecological footprint: the world may be on the cusp of a new geopolitical, geo-economic and geotechnological order. Against this backdrop, how can the European Union ensure that it holds its destiny in its own hands? What must it do to better prepare and shape the future, tackling emerging challenges and seizing the opportunities that will arise?
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72
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Rebuilding Strategic Thinking

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Churchill is said to have commented after a particularly undistinguished meal: “The pudding [that’s dessert for us Americans] lacked a theme.” This is also true of the world before us today. If that world is less existentially dangerous than the height of the Cold War, it is scary in its shapelessness. Threats seem to emanate from everywhere, unpredictably, even at a luncheon in San Bernardino or a nightclub in Orlando. It is a world that cries out for old-fashioned strategic analysis as an input to strategy: What is important, what is less so? How do issues connect or relate to each other, and where are the trends taking us? Where and how should we intervene, and where should we disengage? What are the important investments to make? What should we be aiming for a decade hence?
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41
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More European, More Connected, More Capable: Building the European Armed Forces of the Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Europe’s security environment has deteriorated in the last few years. New threats include a more aggressive Russia, instability in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and cyberthreats from hostile governments and nonstate actors.
The United States is sending mixed signals about continuing the high level of military support it has provided for Europe in the past decades.
Adding to the challenge, Europe’s defense capabilities have declined. Equipment inventories have been reduced to critical levels across most weapons categories, and many systems are outdated. Austerity and an increase in missions abroad have reduced the readiness of Europe’s forces; in many countries, up to half of military equipment, from infantry vehicles to helicopters, is not available at any one time.
Europe’s fragmented approach to defense exacerbates the situation: Europe has six times more types of major weapon systems than the US. In many European defense projects, countries put the interests of their national industries ahead of European capability building, military cooperation, and interoperability.
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48
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ASEAN 2030: Toward a Borderless Economic Community

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 18, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This book examines development issues for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and concludes that they have the potential to reach by 2030 the average quality of life enjoyed today in advanced economies. This book investigates long-term development issues for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It finds that with a proper policy mix including domestic structural reforms and bold initiatives for regional integration, by 2030 ASEAN has the potential to reach the average quality of life enjoyed today in advanced economies and fulfill its aspirations to become a resilient, inclusive, competitive, and harmonious (RICH) region.Key challenges moving forward are to enhance macroeconomic and financial stability, support equitable growth, promote competitiveness and innovation, and protect the environment. Overcoming these challenges to build a truly borderless economic region implies eliminating remaining barriers to the flow of goods, services, and production factors, and strengthening competitiveness and the institutional framework, while updating some governing principles. But ASEAN should not copy the European Union. It must maintain its flexibility and pragmatism, without creating a fat regional bureaucracy.
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340
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Partnerships for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - Transformative, Inclusive and Accountable?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) as an essential tool for realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted along-side the Agenda. However, prior experience of such partnerships between state and non-state actors (from the private sector and/or civil society) has shown mixed results: significant successes have been marred by too many failures. To what extent do policymakers and other relevant actors integrate these insights into multi-stakeholder partnerships – especially as regards the relevant conditions for success – when calling for and fostering new partnerships for the SDGs? This study presents inter alia the results of a series of interviews with selected international actors – from (1) the United Nations, (2) donors and funders, (3) gov-ernments and (4) private initiatives.
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28
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Assigning responsibilities across levels of government - Trends, challenges and guidelines for policy-makers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The past decades have seen an undeniable trend towards decentralisation and greater diversity of multilevel governance arrangements around the world. Decentralisation outcomes depend on the way decentralisation is designed and implemented. A key issue for the effectiveness of decentralisation is linked to the way responsibilities are assigned across levels of government. The literature on fiscal federalism has provided some general guidelines that provide a point of departure for thinking about the assignment of responsibilities. However, when looking at country practices, the difference between theory and country experience appears to be significant. This paper reviews the trends, challenges and good practices in the way responsibilities are distributed across levels of government. It concludes with a set of guidelines for policy-makers, to better assign responsibilities across levels of government for more effective decentralisation.
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67
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The Long March Towards the EU: Candidates, Neighbours and the Prospects for Enlargement

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Seven consecutive enlargements, spanning over half a century, have provided geopolitical stability in Europe and facilitated trade and economic growth. Currently, the EU is considering further expansion towards the Western Balkans and Turkey. In this process, the EU is weighing fundamental values against security concerns, public scepticism in some member states and past experience of letting in countries that were not prepared.In addition the economic, security and refugee crises are making the EU more cautious about enlarging further. The present paper considers options for further EU enlargement, including ending enlargement altogether, offering a reduced membership status (‘membership minus’) and keeping enlargement alive under strict conditions.It argues for the third option, under which the EU institutions must make sure that candidate countries not only align their legislation with that of the community but also respect fundamental EU values in the economic, political and legal spheres. Giving a viable prospect for membership is vital to enabling the candidates to maintain reform momentum and their attachment to the West. It is also in the interests of the EU and its member states.
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78
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