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  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Policy development in the EU is often impeded by member states being either unwilling or unable to participate. One way to overcome that problem is to resort to flexible approaches accommodating diversity. Convinced that an enlarged Union would require more flexibility, the current member states agreed in 1997 to introduce a new safety valve in the treaties, named 'enhanced cooperation'. Thanks to that mechanism, a group of member states may be authorised to use the EU framework to further their cooperation or integration in policy areas under EU competence whenever it appears impossible to do so with all of the member states.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is widely accepted that enlargement requires reform of the highest decision-making bodies of the European Central Bank (ECB). In particular, there are concerns that the Governing Council, which is composed of the six-member Executive Board of the ECB plus the governors of the participating national central banks (NCBs), will grow too large to work efficiently. In the absence of reform, it could end up having over 30 members - resembling more a mini-parliament than a decision-making body that has to manage a global currency in fast-moving financial markets. Moreover, the accession of a number of small countries is often perceived as a threat to the "power balance" in the Governing Council.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gráinne De Búrca, Jonathan Zeitlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Within the Convention process, the final reports of no less than four separate working groups - those on Simplification, Complementary Competences, Economic Governance and Social Europe - have come out in favour of including the 'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC) within the Constitutional Treaty. The relevant sections of these reports are attached in an annex.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is an urgent need to link the excessive deficit procedure with the issue of sustainability and hence the evolution of public debt. This note shows that there exists a simple way to introduce the evolution of public debt in the Stability Pact, which so far has focused exclusively on deficits. The link starts from the Maastricht criterion for participation in EMU concerning public debt and its reference value of 60% of GDP. The Maastricht criterion on public debt stipulates that if public debt exceeds 60% of GDP, it must be 'sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace''.This note provides a numerical rule for evaluating whether public debt is indeed diminishing 'at a satisfactory pace'. This numerical rule is in accordance with the reference values in the Treaty and could be used as the basis for an 'excessive debt procedure'.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul C. Light
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Public confidence is essential to America's 1.5 million charitable organizations and the 11 million Americans they employ. Confidence clearly affects the public's willingness to donate time and money, shapes the political and regulatory environment that governs charitable organizations, and has at least some influence on morale within the charitable workforce.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Lex Rieffel
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Peace Corps is one of the smallest instruments in the foreign policy toolkit of the United States. It is a “boutique” agency with a superb reputation. The Bush administration has proposed doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers working in developing countries to 14,000 by 2007, still below the 1966 peak of over 15,000 volunteers.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Agriculture, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James B. Steinberg, Mary Graham, Andrew Eggers
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has begun to revise cold war rules governing national security information in order to counter terrorist threats to the United States. The president's homeland security plan calls for new intelligence efforts to protect the nation's borders, defend against threats within the United States, minimize infrastructure vulnerabilities, and improve emergency responses. Congress has given the new Department of Homeland Security responsibility for coordinating these strategies and assuring that accurate and complete information gets to those who need it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas J. Kane, Peter R. Orszag
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In recent years, many public colleges and universities around the country have announced double-digit increases in tuition. The recession and the resulting squeeze on state revenues are the immediate causes. However, the short-term crisis should not be allowed to obscure a longer-term shift in state financing of higher education, which began more than a decade ago. As states have struggled to respond to other demands on their budgets-primarily due to rising state Medicaid obligations-parents and students have been asked to pay an increasingly large share of the costs in public higher education.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William Gale, Megan McNally, Janet Rothenberg Pack
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Participants in the annual symposium on The Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs—convened by Brookings and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School—present research on issues unique to urban areas as well as on broader economic and policy topics that can apply to urban settings. This year's participants focused on urban education and presented findings on the results of an experiment designed to detect cheating on standardized tests, the impact of school reform in an urban setting, the effect of school quality on housing values, and the determinants of improved academic performance. Two other studies addressed other urban economic issues: the increase in economic inequality across and within geographic regions, and local variation in land use regulations. This year's Brookings-Wharton symposium took place at Brookings in October 2002. The resulting bound volume is due out this month from the Brookings Institution Press.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Pennsylvania
  • Author: Robert Litan, Richard Herring
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In 1999, after nearly twenty years of debate, the U.S. Congress finally passed legislation permitting bank affiliations with all sorts of other financial enterprises, and vice versa. In this step, the United States joined many other countries — especially in Europe and, more recently, Japan — in allowing the operation of financial conglomerates. But are financial conglomerates the wave of the future in finance? And if so, how are they to be regulated? These were the two central questions addressed in the fifth annual conference of the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, an annual volume published by the Brookings Institution Press. The conference, held in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., convened financial services experts from around the world. The papers presented at the conference suggest, generally, that while the future may see more financial conglomerate activity than it has in the past, there still will be a role for specialist, or "monoline" financial companies. As for regulation, there is no settled model: some nations will pursue consolidated supervision, with authority over entire conglomerates vested in a single authority (often the central bank), while others will still regulate the pieces of diversified financial enterprises along structural lines.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington