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  • Author: Theresa Reidy
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage through a national referendum vote. The decision to introduce equal marriage received a great deal of attention, and not just because it was the first positive referendum decision on this issue; the vote was also preceded by a citizens’ assembly which recommended the referendum and endorsed a “yes” vote. The resounding victory for the liberal position provided definitive evidence of Ireland’s shift from a conservative, inward-looking European periphery state to a modern, liberal, and inclusive republic.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture, Domestic politics, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland, European Union
  • Author: Alessandro Marrone, Ottavia Credi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have consequences on every aspect of the European societies, including the defence sector. The extent to which it will impact the military budgets is heavily discussed, with optimists trusting in slightly decreased investments and pessimists anticipating severe downturns. The fulfilment of NATO capability goals will be at stake, while allies will bring further diversified security needs to the Alliance’s agenda. The EU will have to cope with both pandemic and economic recession for the sake of its own security and stability, without sacrificing the European Defence Fund which could rather be part of a EU-wide plan for industrial and economic re-launch. This report summarizes the main findings of the IAI webinar hold on 8 April 2020 and participated by 22 experts and practitioners from Italy and other European countries.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Spending, Transatlantic Relations, Coronavirus, Defense Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump administration recognises the “Indo-Pacific” region—which in official terminology has replaced “Asia-Pacific”—as the most important area for maintaining U.S. global dominance by confronting China. The anti-China approach in the American strategy is not shared by other countries that also are developing Indo-Pacific policy because they are concerned about the negative effects of the U.S.-China rivalry. The Americans will put pressure on their NATO and EU allies to more strongly support the achievement of U.S. goals in the region. However, the EU approach is closer to that of the Asian countries in seeking cooperation and strengthening the stability of a cooperative and rules-based regional order.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In her latest Eastern Monitor, Jana Juzová examines the fight of western Balkans countries against the COVID-19. The COVID-19 global pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for humanity. Across the globe, countries are facing a historical dilemma of stricter security measures aimed to ensure safety of the populations at the cost of fundamental human rights and freedoms. The affected countries across the globe has adopted a wide scale of measures, and as there is no central mechanism for coordination in the health policies even inside the EU, each country approaches the crisis in a different way. Consequently, the policies range from opting for relatively loose ones relying on building up of natural immunity in the population, i.e. in Sweden, to extreme restrictive measures adopted in Hungary, diminishing human rights as well as democracy in the country. The Western Balkan countries’ approach, although differing significantly in each country, belongs among the most restrictive ones. The countries with the highest number of infected persons (relative to the population size) are Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.1 In Montenegro, the situation has worsened in the past few weeks, as the country reported only a very small number at the beginning of the pandemic, and the government started introducing stricter measures, similarly to its neighbours.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Balkans, European Union
  • Author: Raphaël Danino-Perraud
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Although it is still marginal, the market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. According to the French Institute of Petroleum and Renewable Energies (IFPEN, Institut Français du Pétrole et des Énergies Renouvelables), EVs accounted for a little more than 2% of the light vehicle market in 2019. This was up by 54% compared to 2018, but EVs still only represent 0.8% of the global car fleet. That said, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates EVs could make up between 15% and 30% of vehicle sales in 2030. However, while European manufacturers have so far developed EVs such as the Renault Zoé or the BMW i3, they are highly dependent on Asian companies for the supply and manufacture of materials for cells and electric batteries, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium used to build precursors, or cathodes and their components. Asia provides more than 90% of world car battery output, half of which comes from China alone. European dependence is not only related to the manufacture of batteries, but occurs throughout much of their value chain, from extraction and processing of raw materials to the preparation of necessary treatment processes for recycling. The recycling market for batteries from small electronic objects (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) has also been led by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Business , Recycling
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Gregory Claeys, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: European Commission president-designate Ursula von der Leyen has made climate change a top priority, promising to propose a European Green Deal that would make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Th e European Green Deal should be conceived as a reallocation mechanism, fostering investment shifts and labour substitution in key economic sectors, while supporting the most vulnerable segments of society throughout the decarbonisation process. Th e deal’s four pillars would be carbon pricing, sustainable investment, industrial policy and a just transition.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Security, Sustainable Development Goals, Global Warming, Green Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Edwin Black
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: “Area C,” which makes up about 60% of the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria (known as the West Bank since their 1950 annexation by Jordan), is making news these days. This time, the hot button issue is the illegal Palestinian settlements that are sprouting up across the region. These settlements shred the last scraps that remain of the Oslo Accords, which propelled the idea of the “two-state solution” for a generation. The funding for these illegal Palestinian settlements, which amounts to hundreds of millions of euros annually, comes from the EU. According to the Oslo Accords, only Israel can issue construction permits in Area C. In joining forces to promote the rapid expansion of illegal Palestinian settlement in Area C, the EU and the PA have dispensed entirely with any coordination with Israel, in direct contravention of the Accords.
  • Topic: International Law, Treaties and Agreements, Settlements
  • Political Geography: Palestine, European Union, West Bank
  • Author: Éric-André Martin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Restrictive measures are a major instrument of the European Union (EU)’s external action, which has emerged as one of the world’s leading sanctions emitters. The EU has thus leveraged the size of its market and its economic and financial clout (trade relations, aid policy and bilateral agreements). Through its significant activity in the field of sanctions, the EU has been able to reinforce its image as a normative power and a global player, contributing actively to international peace and stability. The EU’s restrictive measures were adopted in a favorable international context, marked by the legitimacy that was conferred, most of the time, by United Nations resolutions, and by close coordination with the United States (US). This privileged period culminated with the management of the Iranian crisis and the conclusion of the 2015 Vienna Agreement. More recently, however, sanctions have tended to lose their function as an instrument contributing to shape a shared vision of the world order, and to become what they are in essence, namely an instrument of statecraft dedicated to the protection of States’ national interests. This trend is illustrated on the one hand by the affirmation of a unilateral United States policy on sanctions, which tends to extend the scope of coercion to third parties, including European entities, and on the other hand, by the increasing use of sanctions by powers like China and Russia as a geo-economic tool.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Power Politics, Sanctions, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, European Union
  • Author: Michel Cruciani
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Europe has become a frontrunner in fixed offshore wind. Can this success story be replicated with floating offshore wind, a technology that would lift the sea depth constraint and thus open up wider market opportunities? This research study looks at the main success factors for this emerging industry.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Electricity, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
  • Political Geography: France, European Union
  • Author: Élie Tenenbaum
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Although the first and foremost domain in the history of warfare, Land power has been dissociated from the concept of “strategic forces” for some time now, as these generally referred to long-range and/or high-yield strike capabilities, above all nuclear weapons. The growing importance of the command of the commons at the operational level of war has sometimes led to a conception of land forces as mere consumers of air-, sea- and information-borne effects. Yet, such a dynamic is now being challenged, as Western forces’ supremacy over “fluid spaces” is increasingly contested. The time has therefore come to reassess the contribution of land forces to the main strategic functions: intervention and stabilization, deterrence and prevention, protection and anticipation. For each of these key missions, land forces prove to be essential tools to which there is no readily available workaround. As the future operational environment is bound to become more contested and demanding, land forces will have to prove their renewed relevance in the face of challenges such as anti-access and area denial capabilities, hybrid actors and ambiguous warfare strategies. Given this outlook, they will play a key role as integrators and multi-domain effects providers, improving joint forces’ overall resilience and maneuver capability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Military Strategy, Weapons , Deterrence
  • Political Geography: France, European Union
  • Author: Matthieu Tardis
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Since 2015, refugee resettlement programmes have grown significantly in Europe becoming a key component of European asylum strategy. In 2017, Emmanuel Macron committed to resettle in France 10,000 refugees until the end of 2019. Refugees from Syria and Africa are increasingly welcome in small towns and rural areas. There are plenty of challenges to address when it comes to receiving refugees in smaller communities. Small towns are often less accustomed to refugees, and above all, they do not have the same human and financial resources as large cities to provide services adapted to this population’s needs. The lack of opportunities, in particular job opportunities, affects the attractiveness of these areas for newcomers. On the top of that, the continuous rise of the far right in France since the 1980s is often perceived as a political hurdle in sized cities and rural areas. However, this study shows another picture altogether. Following interviews and field visits with some 40 practitioners, the study offers an alternative picture to the stereotypes usually associated with areas. Indeed, small towns and rural areas prove to be places of hospitality. Refugees in small towns are not perceived as anonymous newcomers. Instead, they quickly become new members of the local community and receive strong support from many local residents. Likewise, in order to address specific needs of the refugees, local actors are drivers of innovation who often manage to design new solutions in an informal fashion. Of course, this positive image of the reception and integration of resettled refugees in small towns and rural areas should not obstruct the difficulties encountered such as lack of public transportation, access to healthcare, learning French. However, the strong mobilisation of local residents mitigates the handicaps of these areas. They have proved to be a powerful driver for integration. For example, access to labour market is facilitated by interpersonal networks in areas where there is a shortage of manpower. This study highlights that many obstacles to refugee integration are not specific to refugees. Lack of transportation, of doctors and of public services affect local populations all the same. But local actors proved to be innovative to address these issues for refugees and provide lessons to learn for big cities and for the future of migration policies in France. This study is published in partnership with ICMC Europe as part of the SHARE Integration project.
  • Topic: Refugees, Public Policy, Asylum, Integration
  • Political Geography: France, European Union
  • Author: Eugénie Joltreau
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The world plastic production has been multiplied by 23 since 1964 to reach 348 million tonnes (mt) in 2017. This production level is expected to double in the next 20 years, largely because of the significant growth in plastic consumption in developing countries. Today, China is the largest producer of plastics (representing nearly 30% of global production) and the European Union (EU) comes second (18.5%) with 64 mt. About 40% of plastics are single use, and thus quickly accumulate as waste. For example, in the EU, plastic packaging waste accounts for more than 60% of the total plastic waste generated each year (16.3 mt in 2016). Since the 2000s, the backbone of the EU’s waste management policy has been to define mandatory recycling objectives along with a reverse financing scheme requiring producers to take over a significant part of their products’ waste management costs. In line with these objectives, the European recycling rate for plastic packaging waste should reach 50% by 2025, against about 42% in 2016 (6.9 mt). In the EU, 30% of total plastics were collected for recycling (in 2016), and half of it was exported for recycling, mainly to China. Yet in 2017, China announced a ban on the importation of almost all plastic waste effective as of early 2018. Since then, over-dependence on China for recycling plastics has put the global recycling industry in crisis. Without the possibility to export their waste, the ability of the EU and other developed economies to reach ambitious recycling objectives is called into question. It also sheds light on the limits of plastic recycling and of low-cost recycling strategies.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Sanitation, Recycling
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, European Union
  • Author: Irene Schöfberger
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) has been struggling to find a shared course on African migration since the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement (1995). It has done so through two interrelated processes of negotiation. Firstly, parties have negotiated narrative frames about migration and, in particular, whether migration should be interpreted in terms of security or in terms of development. Secondly, they have negotiated internal and external migration policies, that is, how migration should be managed respectively inside the EU (based on cooperation between EU member states) and outside it (based on cooperation with third states). In times in which narrative frames increasingly shape policy negotiations, it becomes very important to analyse how policymakers negotiate narrative frames on migration and how these shape policy responses. However, such an analysis is still missing. This discussion paper investigates how European states and institutions have negotiated the relation between EU borders and African mobility between 1999 and the beginning of 2019. It focusses in particular on how the process of negotiation of migration policies has been interrelated with a process of negotiation of narrative frames on migration. It does so based on an analysis of EU policy documents from 1999 to 2019 and on interviews with representatives of European and African states and regional organisations. Two major trends have characterised related EU negotiation processes: migration-security narrative frames have strengthened national-oriented and solid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa), and migration-development narrative frames have strengthened transnational-oriented and liquid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa). Since 1999, the European Council has mostly represented security- and national-oriented approaches, and the European Commission has mostly represented development- and transnational-oriented approaches. The two competing approaches have always been interlinked and influenced each other. However, in the last years, security-oriented national and solid border approaches have gained prominence over development-oriented transnational and liquid border approaches. In particular, the Commission has progressively mainstreamed national objectives in its transnational actions and security concerns in its development measures. Prioritising security over transnational development has augmented inequalities, in particular at the expenses of actors with scarce political representation in Africa and the EU. Such inequalities include increasing migrant selectivity and wage dumping.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Migration, History, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Africa, European Union
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Establishing free movement regimes is an ambition for most African regional economic communities, and such regimes are widely understood as important for regional integration, growth and development. However, in recent years the EU’s migration policies and priorities in Africa - which are narrowly focused on stemming irregular migration to Europe – appear to be in tension with African ambitions for free movement. This paper examines how the EU’s current political engagement and programming on migration in Africa is impacting on African ambitions to establish free movement regimes. It focuses first on the continental level, and then looks in-depth at two regional economic communities: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The paper begins by examining how free movement has featured within both EU and African migration agendas in recent years, describing how this issue has been increasingly sidelined within the EU’s migration policy framework, while receiving growing attention by the African Union. The paper then discusses the impact of EU migration policies and programmes on progress towards regional free movement in the IGAD region. It finds that the EU is broadly supportive of efforts to establish an IGAD free movement regime, although in practice gives this little priority in comparison with other migration issues. The paper goes on to examine the EU’s engagement in the ECOWAS region, which is strongly focused on preventing irregular migration and returning irregular migrants. It asks whether there is an innate tension between this EU agenda and the ambitions of ECOWAS to fully realise its existing free movement regime, and argues that the EU’s current engagement in West Africa is actively undermining free movement. Finally, the paper discusses the differences between the EU’s approach to migration and free movement in these two regions. It offers recommendations regarding how the EU can strengthen its support for free movement in both these regions, as well as more broadly in Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Regional Cooperation, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Report has been prepared for the European Commission, DG TAXUD under contract TAXUD/2017/DE/329, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States” and serves as a follow-up to the six reports published between 2013 and 2018. This Study contains new estimates of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap for 2017, as well as updated estimates for 2013-2016. As a novelty in this series of reports, so called “fast VAT Gap estimates” are also presented the year immediately preceding the analysis, namely for 2018. In addition, the study reports the results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). It also scrutinises the Policy Gap in 2017 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. In 2017, growth in the European Union (EU) continued to accelerate with a combined real GDP growth of 2.5 percent, providing a sound environment for an increase in VAT collections. As a result, VAT revenue increased in all Member States (MS). An increase in the base was the main, but not the only, source for growth. Increase in compliance contributed to an approximate 1.1% increase in VAT revenue. In nominal terms, in 2017, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell to EUR 137.5 billion, down from EUR 145.4 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 11.2 percent in 2017 and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2013-2017. Fast estimates for 2018 indicate that the downward trend will continue and that VAT Gap will likely fall below EUR 130 billion in 2018. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap as percentage of the VTTL decreased in 25 countries and increased in three. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap occurred in Malta, Poland, and Cyprus. The smallest Gaps were observed in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Luxembourg (0.7 percent), and Sweden (1.5 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.5 percent), Greece (33.6 percent), and Lithuania (25.3 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 10.1 percent (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1). The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.5 percent, out of which 9.6 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates instead of standard rates (the Rate Gap). The countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.8 percent) and Estonia (3 percent). On the other side of spectrum are Cyprus (29.6 percent), Malta (16.5 percent), and Poland (14.6 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap – a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap – is, on average, 13 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis repeated after the 2017 Study confirmed the earlier results. We observe that the dispersion of tax rates and unemployment rate have a positive impact on the VAT Gap. Regarding the variables in hands of the administration, on the extended times series compared to the previous year, our results suggest that the nature of the expenditure of the administration, in particular IT expenditure, is more important that the amount of the overall resources.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.EuroPACE combines the best practices from the US PACE market with project partners’ substantial experience in improving energy efficiency in European buildings. EuroPACE is a three-year project that intends to assess market readiness, deploy a pilot programme in Spain and scale across Europe to four leader cities. A two-phase research (firstly – legal & fiscal readiness, and secondly – market demand) has been carried to assess the overall readiness for adaptation of this model across the European Union (EU). This document is the second phase of the EuroPACE readiness assessment developed to identify European countries most suited for EuroPACE implementation. It complements the legal and fiscal assessment by focusing on the “demand dimension” by analysing local needs for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in residential building renovation of seven selected countries. Based on the results of legal and fiscal analysis of the EU28 MS, in October 2018 the Steering Committee Group of the EuroPACE Horizon2020 (H2020) project chose seven countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Romania, for the second phase of evaluation. These countries were selected based on the scoring outlined in D2.1 and two additional considerations developed by the Steering Committee Group. First, a diverse geo-graphical distribution of the countries was an important element for the selection of these seven countries. Secondly, the knowledge and expertise of the Steering Committee Group about the national potential market opportunity was taken into consideration during the selection process. While in Austria a similar mechanism has already been tested but was unsuccessful, the country still has been chosen for further analysis. In Belgium, despite being a federal state, there is a strong local and regional interest in new financial mechanisms designed to upscale residential retrofits across the country. In the Netherlands, asset-based financial instruments are currently being discussed at the national level, which opens a window of opportunity for EuroPACE to be tested in the country. As for Italy, although the property-taxation system is far from stable, potential synergies with successful programmes like Ecobonus or Sismabonus should be explored. In Poland, nearly 70% of the 6-million residential buildings need significant energy efficiency overhaul; these buildings contribute to some of the worst air quality across the EU leading to approximately 47 thousand premature deaths annually. Portugal, given its Mediterranean climate, proves a great potential not only for EE, but also prosumer RES development, given that current incentives are far from sufficient. Romania has been chosen mainly because of its highest home-ownership rate across the EU and the most institutionalised property-related taxation, possibly setting a stable base for EuroPACE being collected alongside existing charges.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, European Union
  • Author: Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative financial mechanism inspired by an American building improvement initiative called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). The innovative character of the EuroPACE mechanism is that financing through EuroPACE is linked to the taxes paid on a property. In other words, the financing lent by a private investor is repaid through property taxes and other charges related to the buildings. EuroPACE is therefore in line with the EC’s objectives of (1) putting EE first, (2) contributing to the EU’s global leadership, and (3) empowering consumers to enable MS to reach their energy and climate targets for 2030. Last but not least, EuroPACE could contribute to the democratisation of the energy supply by offering cash-flow positive, decentralised EE solutions. The EuroPACE mechanism engages several stakeholders in the process: local government, investors, equipment installers, and homeowners. To establish the EuroPACE programme, several conditions must be satisfied, each of which are relevant for different stakeholder at different stages of the implementation. For the purpose of this report, we divided these criteria into two categories: key criteria, which make the implementation possible, and complementary criteria, which make the implementation easier. For the time being, it is a pure hypothesis to be tested with potential EuroPACE implementation. One ought to remember that residential on-tax financing is a concept in its infancy in the EU. Therefore, the methodology to evaluate the readiness of a country to implement on-tax financing is complex and consists of six stages:Identification of fiscal and regulatory conditions; Data collection; Weighting; Grading; Country SWOT analysis; Qualitative assessment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Economy, Tax Systems, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Twenty years of euro history confirms the euro’s stability and position as the second global currency. It also enjoys the support of majority of the euro area population and is seen as a good thing for the European Union. The European Central Bank has been successful in keeping inflation at a low level. However, the European debt and financial crisis in the 2010s created a need for deep institutional reform and this task remains unfinished.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, European Union, Economy, Economic growth, Fiscal Policy, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Maria Saide Liperi, Asli Selin Okyay
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: On 6 December 2018, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Rome (FES) and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) co-organized the conference “External Borders and Internal Divisions of Europe: Policies and Politics of Migration” to foster debate on European migration and asylum governance by approaching it both as a policy issue and a political question. While the scale of migratory flows is no longer the main problem, countries at the Southern external borders continue facing different policy challenges. The lack of political will and continuing tensions among the member states stand out as the main obstacles blocking substantial policy reform at the European level. This context also provides fertile ground for further polarization of the political debate between the two extreme positions of open versus closed borders, highlighting the need for more balanced and neutral narratives on migration in the run up to the European elections. Report of the conference “External Borders and Internal Division of Europe: Policies and Politics of Migration”, organized in Rome on 6 December 2018 by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Rome and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
  • Topic: Migration, Politics, Refugees, Borders, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Greece, Balkans, Spain, Italy, Mediterranean, European Union
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Bayram Balci, David Cadier, Isabelle Facon, Clémentine Fauconnier, Marie-Hélène Mandrillon, Anaïs Marin, Dominique Menu, Ioulia Shukan
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Looking into Eurasia : the year in politics provides some keys to understand the events and phenomena that have left their imprint on a region that has undergone major mutation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991: the post-soviet space. With a cross-cutting approach that is no way claims to be exhaustive, this study seeks to identify the key drivers, the regional dynamics and the underlying issues at stake
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Globalization, Human Rights, Nationalism, Political Economy, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Global Markets, Finance, Europeanization, Memory, Borders
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, European Union
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: For decades the partnership between North America and Europe has been a steady anchor in a world of rapid change. Today, however, the transatlantic partnership itself has become unsettled and uncertain. Nowhere is this clearer than in the economic sphere. Voters across the United States and many parts of Europe have grown skeptical of open markets. Concerns about stagnant wages, widening income inequality, and pockets of stubbornly high unemployment have combined with fears of automation, digitization and immigration to swell economic insecurities on each side of the Atlantic. The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and the decision by British citizens to leave the European Union have only added to transatlantic uncertainties. This state of division and mutual inwardness threatens the prosperity and ultimately the position of North America and Europe in the global economy and the broader global security system. This study charts possible paths by which Americans and Europeans can navigate this strange new world. It describes how the transatlantic economy is being transformed by domestic political uncertainties, the digital revolution, the changing nature of production, and the diffusion of global power and intensified global competition. It takes account of shifting trade relations among the United States, Canada and Mexico through NAFTA, and what Brexit and the rise of non-EU Europe may mean for the European Union and for transatlantic partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Partnerships, Brexit, Economic growth, Trump, NAFTA
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Filip Ejdus, Ana E. Juncos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This think-piece discusses progress and needs in the area of SSR in the context of the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans, reflecting specifically on the aspects of the EU’s Action Plan in support of the Transformation of the Western Balkans5 that are related to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)6.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Reform, European Union
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, European Union
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The approaches of the EU and India to the connectivity between Asia and Europe largely converge. Both the Union and the country emphasize the importance of maintaining the highest international standards in infrastructure projects, share similar concerns regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement their own ambitious transregional transport projects in their respective neighbourhood. Comprehensive cooperation on connectivity may become a key element of their strategic partnership, help promote regulatory standards, and boost economic cooperation. Better connectivity between Europe and India is also in Poland’s interest.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, South Asia, India, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Sebastian Płóciennik
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Negotiations on the creation of common bank deposit insurance for the EU have been underway for more than three years. The deadlock is mainly due to Germany’s reluctance, afraid of the creation of a new financial transfer mechanism at the expense of its own economy. An opportunity for compromise is the December Euro Summit. If an agreement is reached, it would mean the finalisation of the banking union—a key area for the future of the eurozone.
  • Topic: Finance, Economy, Regional Integration, Banks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Thomas Gomart, Marc Hecker
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: How can we define Emmanuel Macron’s foreign policy since he took office? After Nicolas Sarkozy’s brazen style of “gutsy diplomacy” and François Hollande’s “normal diplomacy”, the eighth president of the Fifth Republic seems to have opted for an agile classicism. In substance, he makes no claim to any radical break with the past, but sees his approach as being in line with historical tradition. In relation to his predecessors, he has adjusted the balance between alliances, values, and interests in favor of the latter, while giving his policies an unambiguous European orientation. Formally, his approach is characterized by recourse to symbolism, strict control of communications, and an agile personal style. A term used within the business world to encourage organizations and individuals to adapt and innovate, “agility” also connotes a will to utilize and master new technologies. [...] Comprising 14 brief analyses, this collective study contributes to the initiative launched by Ifri in 2016 to analyze French foreign policy, and follows on directly from the earlier study published on the eve of the presidential election. It aims to give an update on the action Emmanuel Macron has taken on the principal international issues since his arrival in office. It should therefore be read not as an overall assessment, which would be impossible at this early stage of the presidential term, but more as an impressionist tableau giving a sense of an overall movement containing many different hues. Emmanuel Macron has four years left to perfect it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Trade Policy, Emmanuel Macron
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Middle East, Asia, France, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In this Report, the Authors present the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2016, as well as updated estimates for 2012-2016. In addition to the analysis of the Compliance Gap, this Report examines the Policy Gap in 2016 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. Moreover, the Report contains an econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants, which is a novelty introduced from this year’s Study. In 2016, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw positive tailwinds with a combined real GDP growth of 2.0 percent. As a result of a growing base and increasing VAT compliance, VAT revenue increased in all MS with three exceptions. Most pronounced is the case of Romania, where VAT revenue decreased in response to reduction of the standard rate by four percentage points. In nominal terms, in 2016, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell below EUR 150 billion and amounted to EUR 147.1 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 12.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2015, and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2012-2016. Denoted at the share of GDP, the VAT Gap in 2016 amounted to 0.99% compared to 1.05% in 2015. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap share decreased in 22 countries and increased in six—namely, Romania, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, and France. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap—of over five percentage points—occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. The smallest Gaps were observed in Luxembourg (0.85 percent), Sweden (1.08 percent), and Croatia (1.15 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.88 percent), Greece (29.22 percent), and Italy (25.90 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap below 9.9 percent. The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.8 percent, out of which 9.95 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap). Countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.93 percent) and Estonia (2.97 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap—a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap—is, on average, 16.5 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis can be considered a successful first attempt at inferring the impact of various determinants. Firstly, it can be observed that the productive structure of the economy exerts an impact on the VAT Gap. The share of retailers has the strongest impact on the VAT Gap; however, telecommunications, industry, and art also have a positive impact. Secondly, liquidity constraints and the productive structure of the economy also play a role in determining VAT compliance. The most interesting results have to do with the impact of the variables under the direct control of the tax administration. We show that the impact of the size of the tax administration and the VAT Gap is concave. On the contrary, in the case of IT expenditure, the impact is convex, albeit small, until productivity vanishes when IT expenditure is about 9.8 percent of the total expenditure of the tax administration.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Lukasz Janikowski, Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Virtual currencies are a contemporary form of private money. Thanks to their technological properties, their global transaction networks are relatively safe, transparent, and fast. This gives them good prospects for further development. However, they remain unlikely to challenge the dominant position of sovereign currencies and central banks, especially those in major currency areas. As with other innovations, virtual currencies pose a challenge to financial regulators, in particular because of their anonymity and trans-border character.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the last decade, advanced economies, including the euro area, experienced deflationary pressures caused by the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the anti-crisis policies that followed—in particular, the new financial regulations (which led to a deep decline in the money multiplier). However, there are numerous signs in both the real and financial spheres that these pressures are disappearing. The largest advanced economies are growing up to their potential, unemployment is systematically decreasing, the financial sector is more eager to lend, and its clients—to borrow. Rapidly growing asset prices signal the possibility of similar developments in other segments of the economy. In this new macroeconomic environment, central banks should cease unconventional monetary policies and prepare themselves to head off potential inflationary pressures.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Inflation, Macroeconomics, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to derive the characteristics of an effective fiscal governance framework, focusing on the incentives that ensure a commitment to the fiscal rules. We study this problem with the use of econometric tools, complementing this analysis with formal modelling through the lens of a dynamic principal-agent framework. Our study shows that both economic and institutional factors play an important role in incentivising countries’ fiscal efforts. Fiscal balances are affected not only by the economic cycle, but, among others, by the level of public debt and the world economic situation. We find that the existence of numerical fiscal rules, their strong legal entrenchment, surveillance mechanisms, and credible sanctions binding the hands of governments have a significant impact on curbing deficits. The relationship between the Commission and European Union (EU) Member States (MS), where the EU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for MS, has elements in common with the assumptions of the principal-agent framework. These are: asymmetry of information, moral hazard, different objectives, and the ability to reward or punish the principal. We use a dynamic principal-agent model and show that to ensure good fiscal performance, indirect benefits should be envisaged for higher levels of fiscal effort. In order to account for the structural differences of exerting effort by different MS, it is efficient to adjust fiscal effort to the level of indebtedness. To ensure a commitment to the rules, MS with difficulties conducting prudent fiscal policies should be required to exert less effort than the MS with more modest levels of debt. The FIRSTRUN project is a European Union funded multinational research project that investigates the need for fiscal policy coordination in the EU.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Colin P. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As European authorities watched thousands of aspiring jihadists leave their countries to fight in Iraq and Syria in 2012 and 2013, few laws were in place to prevent them from “taking a holiday in Istanbul,” a well-known euphemism for jihadists seeking to travel to Syria. As law enforcement and intelligence agencies prepare for the return of some of those who left, European officials may be wondering whether they have the policies, authorities and capabilities to effectively deal with any threats returnees may present.
  • Topic: Law, Violent Extremism, Citizenship, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, European Union
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Bayram Balci, François Dauceé, Laure Delcour, Tatiana Kastouéva-Jean, Aude Merlin, Xavier Richet, Kathy Rousselet, Julien Vercueil
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Looking into Eurasia : the year in politics provides some keys to understand the events and phenomena that have left their imprint on a region that has undergone major mutation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991: the post-soviet space. With a cross-cutting approach that is no way claims to be exhaustive, this study seeks to identify the key drivers, the regional dynamics and the underlying issues at stake
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Sovereignty, War, International Security, Regional Integration, State
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Belarus, European Union
  • Author: John Bruton
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: Testimony by CTR Distinguished Fellow and former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton at the Seanad Special Select Committee on the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union on Thursday, April 27 2017.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Border Control, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland, European Union
  • Author: Antonella Mori, Loris Zanatta
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Latin America is at a crossroads. The “golden age” inaugurated with the turn of the new millennium seems a faint memory. Economies that had grown at a steady pace are now slowing down, while some are in freefall. Politically, the “pink tide” of populist movements is now ebbing. From Brazil to Venezuela, from Argentina to Bolivia, left-leaning leaders across the region seem to have lost their bond with the people. Their promises of an equitable society through an apparently never-ending redistribution of wealth crashed against the reality of shortsighted and unsustainable policies. Political and social turmoil are heralding an era of changes and – maybe – of new opportunities for Latin America. And this ‘great transformation’ is precisely what this volume is all about. Where is it leading to? Does it mark the beginning of a new age? Which lessons can be learnt from the past? Leading international scholars and experts scratch beneath the surface of Latin America’s current crisis to have a clearer glimpse of what the future holds and draw policy recommendations, especially for the EU.
  • Topic: Reform, Economic structure, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, European Union
  • Author: Juliane Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The European Union and emerging market economies are facing a great variety of challenges and transformations in a rapidly changing world. They are important players on the world stage, working through and shaping the various multilateral organisations they are members of. The European Policy Centre (EPC), in cooperation with the Institute for the Scientific Advancement of the South (ISAS), has carried out a project that looked at the political, economic, and environmental interests of the EU and emerging market economies and considered the future of their cooperation in global governance. In order to shed light on the relationship between emerging market economies and the EU, the project focused on four key areas of multilateralism: climate change, trade, international financial institutions, and global governance in the security realm. This report reflects upon the outcomes of the project’s discussions, while also providing punctual updates.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union’s (EU) Migration Partnership Framework (MPF) was established in June 2016 and seeks to mobilise the instruments, resources and influence of both the EU and member states to establish cooperation with partner countries in order to “sustainably manage migration flows” (European Commission, 2017a, p. 2). Its strong focus on EU interests and positive and negative incentives mark a departure from previous EU migration initiatives and have generated significant controversy. This Discussion Paper examines the politics, implementation and impact of the MPF more than one year on from its establishment, asking what lessons it offers for the future direction of EU migration policy. The paper begins by introducing the MPF and examining the different perspectives of EU actors on the framework. It finds that there is significant disagreement both among EU member states and within EU institutions over the MPF’s approach and priorities. The paper explores the political and ethical controversies that the MPF has generated, including regarding its ambition to subordinate other areas of external action to migration goals; its use of incentives; and its undermining of EU development and human rights principles. The paper assesses the implementation and impact of the MPF in its five priority countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. It argues that the concrete achievements of the migration partnerships have been limited; that the MPF has largely failed to incentivise the cooperation that the EU was seeking; and that the EU’s migration programming in MPF partner countries has suffered from serious flaws. The paper takes an in-depth look at the Ethiopia partnership, which has been the most challenging. It describes how the interests and goals of the EU and Ethiopia have not aligned themselves, how the issue of returns has come to entirely overshadow engagement, and how the relationship between the partners has been soured. The paper goes on to examine how the MPF relates to African interests and how it has affected EU-Africa relations, arguing that the MPF approach is seen by many African actors as imposing EU interests and undermining African unity and continental ambitions. Finally, it explores how the EU can develop engagement with Africa on migration issues that is more realistic, constructive, and sustainable, with the aim of fostering intra-African movement and economic opportunities; ensuring protection for refugees and vulnerable migrants; and allowing both continents to benefit from large-scale, safe and orderly African labour migration to Europe. However, it warns that any such shift will require a change in mindset by European leaders and populations.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Migration, Labor Issues, Refugees, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: CASE prepared a new study for the European Commission on the VAT Gap in the European Union in 2015. The figures offer an important snapshot of the problems of collecting VAT in the EU and what needs to be done to improve revenues and fight tax fraud. During 2015, the overall VAT that should have been collected in EU Member States grew by about 4.2 %, while collected VAT revenues rose by 5.8 %. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU Member States decreased by about €8.7 billion in absolute terms, down to €151.5 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap decreased by 2.1 % to 12.7 %. In 2015, the highest VAT Gap was recorded in Romania with a figure of 37.18 %. In absolute terms, the highest VAT Gap of €35 billion was in Italy. Overall, the VAT Gap decreased in most Member States, with the largest improvements noted in Malta, Romania and Spain. The VAT Gap measured in this study includes for the first time revenues emerging from new VAT rules for cross-border sales of e-services which came into force on 1 January 2015, following a Commission proposal. CASE's team was led by Grzegorz Poniatowski, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, and composed of Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiy and Misha Belkindas.
  • Topic: European Union, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki, Katarzyna Mirecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Tax administration has been improving in Poland in recent years. The country moved from a ranking of 128 to a ranking of 47 in the Paying Taxes indicator of the World Bank’s Doing Business report between its 2012 and 2017 editions. However, compliance with taxes still requires 271 man hours, compared to the European Union (EU) & European Free Trade Association (EFTA) average of 173 man-hours and to the top Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) performer Estonia’s 81 man-hours. Polish tax legislation has been described as complex by some observers and not overly complex by other observers, while many emphasise that it is improving at a good pace. The paper summarizes knowledge on tax gaps in Poland with respect to PIT, CIT, VAT, and excise. An introduction to the Polish tax system is given, trends in tax collectability and estimates of the tax gaps are discussed, and methods of combating tax evasion and avoidance are reviewed. The paper has been written as part of the project “Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine” co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016-2017.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: ax gaps, or the differences between tax amounts that are due by the taxpayers and the amounts that are actually collected by the state, remain a challenge for many European Union (EU) Member States, including for the V4 countries. Tax gaps also present a formidable challenge for Ukraine, which is currently reforming many aspects of its financial and legal systems. To help increase awareness about tax compliance and exchange knowledge on the state-of-the-art methods used to combat tax gaps, the project Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine has been implemented. The paper is a summary of the exchange of knowledge and experience that took place in the course of the project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016–2017.
  • Topic: Economics, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Stanisława Golinowska, Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: With the population ageing the development of sustainable long-term care institutions is of great importance in many European countries. In Poland, currently dominant, traditional and family based care will become insufficient with increasing cohorts of older people. Presented paper discusses recent developments in long-term care policy in the country. Long-term care institutions are separated in the two sectors, with little field for cooperation and coordination of activities. Over the past years policy addressing ageing related problems was developed, focusing on the active ageing instruments. Dependency prevention and active ageing are among goals of national policies formulated separately in the health and social sector. Information policy and monitoring long-term care services’ provision remains insufficient. Coordination of activities mainly takes place at the local level. Local governments and non-governmental organizations, often cooperating with representatives of older people, are active in providing services to older people in community and often incorporating innovative solutions in care.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The recent wave of financial innovation, particularly innovation related to the application of information and communication technologies, poses a serious challenge to the financial industry’s business model in both its banking and non-banking components. It has already revolutionised financial services and, most likely, will continue to do so in the future. If not responded to adequately and timely by regulators, it may create new risks to financial stability, as occurred before the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. However, financial innovation will not seriously affect the process of monetary policymaking and is unlikely to undermine the ability of central banks to perform their price stability mission.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Economic growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The paper aims to assess the impact of selected elements of social harmonization on labor market performance in the European Union among two groups of workers—the total working population and the elderly. The aim is to examine whether upward changes in labor taxes affect employment, unemployment, and inactivity rates in the European Union. The descriptive empirical evidence shows that the level of labor taxation varies significantly across European countries and the introduced changes might affect national markets differently. The Arellano-Bond dynamic panel data regression shows that an increase in the tax wedge, as an element of a social harmonization process, has a very weak impact on labor market performance in the European Union. The impact is statistically significant and negative only for the elderly (i.e. the population aged 50+). Empirical analysis suggests that upward social convergence might negatively affect the employment of the most disfavored groups in the labor market, such as the elderly. It suggests that social harmonization focused on reducing the tax wedge would have favorable effects on labor market performance, especially among the most disadvantaged groups. This report was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Tax Systems, Social Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Matthias Kullas, Matthias Dauner, Izabela Styczynska, Paul Lirette
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides an analysis of the issues related to female brain drain between Poland and Germany in the years 1989-2015: female and male migration patterns during specific time periods, the challenges of female migration, the emigration of highly-skilled individuals in Poland and Germany, as well as the issues regarding brain drain from a gender perspective. Global female migration is a topic frequently studied in academic literature; however, the topic of female brain drain is one that has long been ignored by academic research. This gap in research on female brain drain is closely related to a significant lack of relevant quantitative data, and, consequently, has led to gaps in policymaking. The aim of this report is to gather all available information on female brain drain and its impact on labour markets, gender equality, female migration, and human capital, while noting the gaps in data and policymaking. A further objective of this report is to highlight the issues that are important for policymaking, as well as to propose adequate polic recommendations. The report aims to provide a current and comprehensive analysis of female brain drain in Poland and in Germany – two neighbouring countries, with complex histories of population migration – as well as an analysis of the economic and societal consequences of this phenomenon for both countries. The publication was prepared within the project “Brain drain/brain gain: Polish-German challenges and perspectives - Focus on the gender aspects of labour migration from 1989” with financial support from the Polish-German Foundation for Science and The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.
  • Topic: Demographics, Education, Gender Issues, Migration, Labor Issues, Brain Drain, Women, Inequality, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Aspects of labor mobility and discrepancies in social benefits schemes in Member States became an urgent matter to address. Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Mobility Package were aimed at introducing more harmonization within the EU countries. However, the EU propositions faced a strong resistance from some groups of stakeholders and Member States. Moreover, the debate has been evolving quickly given recent events such as the economic and migration crises and Brexit. CASE held a forum with various Polish stakeholders, where CASE experts gathered views on the future of social situation in the EU. They are all summarized in this Policy Brief. Main policy recommendations emphasize that proposed legislation is important for Poland, however it still needs more debate, since under current form certain policies might be harmful for many EU Member States. This policy brief was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Agata Górny, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Joanna Tyrowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the ongoing public debate on economic migration to Poland, emotional statements, or those without any basis in data, often have the upper hand. But in order to speak rationally about Poland as a destination country for immigrants, it is necessary to fully understand the conditions – and in particular the weaknesses – of the Polish labor market. It’s also worth becoming aware of the scale of the processes being discussed. In the 149th mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings, Joanna Tyrowicz analyzes whether immigration could be a significant labor market driver in Poland. Paweł Kaczmarczyk and Agata Górny discuss the structural consequences of the inflow of Ukrainian workers to the Polish labor market.
  • Topic: Markets, Migration, Labor Issues, Immigration, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Stanisław Gomułka, Jarosław Neneman, Michał Myck
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: What are the challenges facing Poland’s economy and tax system over the next 20 years? What does the optimal tax system mean? Do we have high taxes in Poland? The goal of the publication is to initiate a discussion on the subject of a tax system for Poland, presenting a framework within which the current system should be analyzed and conclusions drawn about what changes are needed over the longer term. Professor Stanisław Gomułka, chief economist of the Business Centre Club, analyzes the challenges facing Poland’s economy and tax system over the next 20 years. Jarosław Neneman, an assistant professor at Łazarski University, presents the basic parameters for a planned academic research project on how to use the Polish tax system effectively. Michał Myck, director and board member of CenEA (the Center for Economic Analysis) describes the optimal characteristics of a tax system according to theory and the results of scholarly research, which of course also relates to the Polish tax system.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Kamil Olczykowski, Piotr Laskowski, Tomasz Kassel, Tomasz Michalik
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The VAT gap, both on the European Union scale and that of particular member states (though not all of them) appeals to the imagination and awakens many extreme emotions. For it is difficult to accept that the level is so significant, and – what is more – in recent years it has narrowed quite insignificantly despite attempts to limit it. In the popular understanding, this gap is quite often identified exclusively with the consequences of fraud, but it has many more component elements, many of which have nothing to do with abuse. Still, this doesn’t change the face that it is precisely fraud and abuse that constitute a particularly significant element of the VAT gap.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Xavier Cuadras-Morató
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. Until the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis in 2008, it enjoyed a phenomenal economic boom – which then turned into a very severe depression, from which the region began to exit only in 2014. Consolidating the recovery and making the economy more competitive and resilient, and less volatile, are some of the key challenges of economic policy in Catalonia. Also, to improve the region’s social cohesion, policymakers should make sure that economic prosperity is more widely shared, and transform it into an effective tool for social progress.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Economic growth, Social Policy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Policy, Trade, Recovery
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Poland’s structural deficit is one of the largest in the EU. While other Member States are taking action to reduce their deficits, the Polish government has not only introduced costly projects, but has also announced additional projects that will further aggravate the state of Polish public finances. The aim of maintaining the nominal deficit under 3% of GDP, as declared by the government, is insufficient because it does not leave a margin of safety in case of an economic slowdown. In the meantime, the turbulent global economy and the structural challenges the Polish economy is facing make the scenario of an economic slowdown increasingly plausible. Dr. Aleksander Łaszek evaluates the government’s current policy through the lens of the challenges that stand a head of Polish economy, and its resilience to shocks, in the new mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings "Economic policy, the international environment and the state of Poland’s public finances: Scenarios".
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Finance, Economic growth, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Bayram Balci, Isabelle Facon, Adrien Fauve, Thorniké Gordadze, Sergei Guriev, Raphaël Lefèvre, Gilles Lepesant, Céline Marangé
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: "Looking into Eurasia" provides some keys to understand the events and phenomena that have left their imprint on a region that has undergone major mutation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991: the post-soviet space. With a cross-cutting approach that is no way claims to be exhaustive, this study seeks to identify the key drivers, the regional dynamics and the underlying issues at stake.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Energy Policy, Migration, Nationalism, Political Economy, Sovereignty, Terrorism, Natural Resources, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration, State
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Middle East, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Western Europe, European Union
  • Author: Sergey Aleksashenko
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It has been more than two years since the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. For some of the measures, though not all, that is time enough to evaluate effectiveness. But before such an assessment can be made, the initial goals of the sanctions should be clearly stated. This is not as straightforward as it might seem.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Security, Sanctions, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, European Union
  • Author: Josef Janning
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This volume reflects the diversity of European cohesion. It provides the national context and personal assessments from 28 EU member states.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Eva Krizkova
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The development cooperation policy of the EU is an important political and economic tool. Nevertheless, its importance might be underestimated in today’s public debate. In 2000 and 2015 the international community adopted development goals (the so-called Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals), in which poverty eradication and global inclusive sustainable prosperity were set as priorities. In this framework, EU development cooperation is one of the most important tools in the accomplishment of these goals.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Millennium Development Goals, International Development
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The analysis serves as the Final Report for the DG TAXUD Project 2015/CC/131, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, which is a follow up to the reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In this report, estimates of the VAT Gap and the Policy Gap for the year 2014 are presented, as well as revised estimates for the years 2010–2013 “due to the transmission” of Eurostat national accounts from the ESA95 to the ESA10. This update covers Croatia, which was not included in the previous updates. While it was hoped that the update would also cover Cyprus, it has not been possible due to incomplete national accounts data. The VAT Gap is a measure of VAT compliance and enforcement that provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, as well as miscalculations. It is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), which is expressed in the report in bothabsolute and relative terms. The VTTL is the theoretical tax liability according to tax law, and is estimated using a “top-down” approach.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Croatia, European Union
  • Author: Elena Jarocinska, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the distributional effects of the Polish old-age pension reform introduced in 1999. Following a benchmark Mincer earnings equation, and using a newly developed microsimulation model we project future pension benefits for males born in years 1969–1979. We find that inequality of predicted first pension benefits measured by the Gini coefficient increases from 0.119 to 0.165 for cohorts of men retiring between 2036 and 2046. The observed increased inequality of pension benefits is due to the decreasing share of initial capital that is based on a more generous DB formula in the total accumulated pension capital. At the same time, inequality in replacements rates decreases due to a stronger link between contributions paid through the entire working life and pension benefits.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Inequality, Social Policy, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The European Central Bank (ECB) recently became engaged in macro-prudential policies and the micro-prudential supervision of the largest Euro area banks. These new tasks should help complete financial integration, and make the Euro area more resilient to financial instability risks. However, the multiplicity of mandates and instruments involves a risk of their inconsistency which could compromise the ECB’s core price-stability mandate as well as its independence. The experience of central banks during the recent global financial crisis confirms that such risks are not purely hypothetical.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Banks, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek, Andrzej Rzońca, Andrzej Halesiak
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Growth in the European Union since the outbreak of the global financial crisis is slower (1) than before the crisis, (2) than the trend would indicate, (3) than forecast and (4) than in the United States. The factors driving its weakness lie more on the supply side than the demand side. The loss of potential output after the crisis was exacerbated by inequalities from before the crisis; fiscal stimulus from 2007-2009, increasing public expenditure despite the lack of fiscal space; excessive liquidity support for banks; and inflexibility of the market for goods at the moment the crisis broke out. The problems with growth may deepen and become permanent if social support for anti-market parties continues to grow. Extremist parties are supported by divergence among the countries of the “old” EU and the slowdown of convergence in the new member states, as well as tendencies related to inequality, in particular the reduction of households’ mobility between income groups. The 144th mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings consist of the main paper "On Economic Growth in Europe, or, The Uncertain Growth Prospects of Western Countries" by Andrzej Rzońca and Aleksander Łaszek and the commentary "Economic Growth in Western Europe: The Investment Perspective" by Andrzej Halesiak.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Investment, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Western Europe, European Union
  • Author: Gábor Oblath
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The publication "Economic policy and macroeconomic developments in Hungary, 2010–2015" discusses the factors responsible for Hungary’s growth performance. In the 143rd mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings Gábor Oblath argues that that the factors essentially responsible for Hungary’s growth performance over the last five or six years were mainly exogenous to Hungarian government policy. The acceleration of economic growth observed in 2014 was due to, in particular, exceptionally large transfers from EU funds, which have nothing to do with the government’s so called “unorthodox” economic policy. By contrast, the decline in the quality of the institutional environment of the economy is a direct consequence of both the spirit and the methods of the economic policy pursued.
  • Topic: Government, Economic growth, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Jarek Neneman, Tomasz Michalik
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Since 2009, despite constant growth in the tax base and only slight variations in effective rates, the trend in VAT revenue in Poland has been reversed, and inflows have become less stable. The ongoing decline in VAT collection and the increase in the uncertainty related to the main component of budget revenues is a very important problem, which in the light of growing budget spending may threaten the stability of public finances. In the new mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings three experts: Grzegorz Poniatowski, dr. Jarosław Neneman and Tomasz Michalik examine the structure and the causes of the VAT gap as well as the legal context and possible methods of improving VAT compliance at national and European level.
  • Topic: Budget, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Barbara Nowakowska, Piotr Noceń, Michał Surowski, Michał Popiołek
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the publication, Barabara Nowakowska and Piotr Noceń discuss 'Poland’s Private Equity Market: Current Conditions and Development Prospects', and Michał Surowski and Michał Popiołek describe 'Private Equity From a Bank’s Perspective'.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Financial Markets, Economic growth, Banks, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Gilles Lepesant
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: One week before the third Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29, 2013, Ukraine suspended the preparation of an association agreement with the European Union, which had been under negotiation since 2007. When the agreement was finally signed in June 2014, President Yanukovych had fled the country under people’s pressure, and the integrity of Ukraine was challenged in the East by separatists and their Russian allies. These events came paradoxically at a time when the country's cohesion seemed stronger than in the 1990s. Far from being divided into two parts, Ukraine consists of the pieces of broken empires that all have good reasons to join in the state, as recent as this one may be. Indeed, its geography, electoral or economic, does not show a split between two blocks, but various lines of division that do not necessarily herald the breaking up of the state. Since the independence, this diversity had never been translated into new institutions: for several reasons, the reshaping of the centralized regime inherited from the Soviet era was deemed untimely by the country’s political forces. Presented as a priority by the members of the Parliament elected in 2014, the reform of territorial government is being implemented while Ukraine’s driving regions are either paralyzed or threatened by war.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Sovereignty, War, Territorial Disputes, Europeanization, Memory, Borders, State
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Mehmet Ünlü, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, Zerrin Cengiz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Full membership to the European Union (EU) has been a major foreign policy aspiration for any government leading Turkey in the past three decades. Accordingly, Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999 and accession negotiations started in 2005. Despite this positive momentum, Turkey is pretty far from full membership perspective as of mid-2015. A decade after the start of the accession negotiations, both sides seem quite busy with their internal problems and the official negotiation process is left into limbo. Although the current political climate does not offer an optimistic look, Turkey’s full membership aspirations are still present. It is clear that Turkey’s membership is different from any previous accession especially due to the size and the demography of the country. However, it should be noted that Turkey deserves a fair treatment and evaluation from the Union if the membership criteria are fully met. Here we face the question of how to tackle socio-cultural prejudice and discrimination with regards to Turkey’s accession process.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates of the VAT Gap for 26 EU Member States for 2013, as well as revised estimates for the period 2009-2012. It is a follow-up to the report “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member Statess, published in September 2013 (hereafter: 2013 Report), and to the report “2012 Update Report to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States” , published in October 2014 (hereafter: 2014 Report). As in previous reports, it was not possible to include estimates for Croatia and Cyprus, due to as-yet-incomplete national account statistics for the two countries. The VAT Gap is an indicator of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures, as it provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies as well as miscalculations. As the VAT Gap in this study is based on a top-down approach, it does not readily lend itself to be deconstructed according to industrial sectors or other criteria (territorial, professional), and can be best used as a diagnostic tool in the context of its evolution over time. As discussed in previous reports, the VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT actually collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), in absolute or percentage terms. The VTTL is an estimated amount of VAT that is theoretically collectable based on the VAT legislation and ancillary regulations. This report calculates, for each country the VTTL on the basis of national accounts, by mapping information on standard, reduced rates and exemptions onto data available on final and intermediate consumption, as well as gross fixed capital formation, from national accounts and use tables. Thus, the quality of the VAT Gap estimates depends on the accuracy and completeness of national accounts data and use tables. The year 2013 saw a continuing overall unfavourable economic environment, as the GDP of the European Union was nearly stagnant. This contributed to a slowdown of nominal final consumption and of other economic aggregates that form the basis of the Value Added Tax. Six countries applied changes to standard or reduced rates in 2013, marking a relatively stable policy environment. During 2013, the overall VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL) for the EU-26 Member States grew by about 1.2 percent, while collected VAT revenues rose by 1.1 percent. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU-26 saw an increase in absolute values of about Euro 2.8 billion, to reach Euro 168 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap stayed constant at 15.2 percent. The median VAT Gap rose by 1.6 percentage point, to reach 13.9 percent. In 2013, Member States’ estimated VAT Gaps ranged from the low of 4 percent in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, to the high of 41 percent in Romania. Overall, 15 Member States decreased their VAT Gap, with the largest improvements noted in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia. 11 Member States saw an increase in the VAT Gap, generally of small magnitudes, with the largest deteriorations in Estonia and Italy. This report also provides new and expanded evidence on the Policy Gap for the EU-26. The Policy Gap is an indicator of the additional VAT revenue that a Member State could theoretically collect if it applied standard rate to all consumption of goods and services supplied for consideration. We provide here estimates of the Policy Gap adjusted to take into account items that could not easily be taxed even in an “ideal” system (imputed rents, public goods, financial services). The results moderate views of the relative importance of reduced rates and exemptions in reducing the revenue potential of VAT, and suggest that better enforcement remains a key component of any strategy of improvement of the VAT system. The results of this report and the underlying data were presented to Member States in advance of publication and discussed on several occasions with the representatives of Member States. Deviating approaches and views of Member States are noted in the relevant country section in Chapter 3. The authors are grateful for the constructive cooperation and helpful input of Member States.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Monika Blaszkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The design of the euro area Quantitative Easing (QE) programme raises the question of whether insufficient liquidity in the bond markets will reduce the impact of the programme and lead to market volatility. While estimates suggests that scarcity of around €102 billion may arise over the life of the programme, to date the QE programme has met its monthly targets and bond market volatility has been managed. Questions also arise in respect of the fact that risk is not fully shared on up to €738.4 billion to be purchased over the life of the programme. Partial risk sharing raises the spectre of defaulting central banks exiting the euro system, and existing members being unwilling to bear associated costs, and thus the future of the euro area. However, estimations suggest that, at present, all national central banks should be able to bare losses stemming from sovereign debt purchases under the current round of QE. This report was prepared within a research project entitled Sovereign bond purchases and risk sharing arrangements: Implications for euro-area monetary policy, which received funding from the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Andres Võrk, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska, Elena Jarocinska, Niku Määttänen, Robert Gál, Theo Nijman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Life expectancies are rapidly increasing and uncertain in all countries in Europe. To keep pension systems affordable, policy reforms are to be implemented which will encourage individuals to work longer. In this paper we analyze the impact of working and living longer on pension incomes in five European countries and assess the impact of these policy reforms on the financial well-being of the elderly. The paper shows the diversity of the policy measures taken in these countries. Furthermore, we analyze the financial incentives for working longer and postponing claiming pension benefits and we assess the attractiveness of these options. Lastly, we study how increases in life expectancies and survival probabilities affect pension incomes.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands, European Union
  • Author: Marek Radzikowski, Mieczysław Groszek
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The present document is an attempt at a comprehensive analysis of direct and indirect burdens imposed upon banks in 2015. The idea to present such factors — which are often extremely varied in nature — in a single study was born out of the fact that these factors are often considered separately, on the basis of various criteria, which causes them to be split into different groups. This approach results in a fairly common tendency for fragmentary assessment of their impact and, more importantly, in the adoption of piecemeal regulations which fail to take into account the full impact of the actions taken in different areas. This applies in equal measures to supervisory authorities, regulators, analysts, policymakers and the media, which means that, in a somewhat oversimplified sense, the above statement is applicable to the public at large. This situation can be most succinctly characterised in the manner presented below. In the aftermath of the crisis, banks require a new set of instruments to regulate the functioning thereof. This is because they are to become more stable, safe, less risk-prone and more customer-friendly. Each of these areas requires a separate set of regulatory instruments, along with the respective subgroups thereof. Oftentimes they are not synchronised with each other and are usually aimed at the implementation of a specific, particular goal to an excessive extent. In addition, there are also “special tasks” such as the reform of the Credit and Saving Unions (SKOK).
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Andrzej Reich, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: It is widely believed that the creation of the banking union initiated the integration of the EU banking market. The process is traced back to June 2012 (EU Summit decided to create the banking union), 4 November 2013 (effective date of the Banking Union Regulation), or 4 November 2014 (operational launch of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, SSM). However, the integration of the EU banking market began much earlier and the creation of the banking union should be considered the final rather than the initial step in the process.
  • Topic: Finance, Financial Markets, Regional Integration, Banks, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Małgorzata Pawłowska
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the past decades, the banking sector has come to be known in literature as the banking industry as it was geared to increasing profits, banks were growing, and banking products developed dynamically. It was believed that competition in the banking sector makes banks more efficient and stimulates financial innovation opening new markets. The financial crisis of 2007–2008 has sparked the interest of researchers and politicians in competition in the banking sector and its impact on the stability of the financial sector and overall economic growth. However, researchers cannot agree whether more competition improves or hinders stability. The paper is comprised of three sections and a summary. The first section discusses the concept of competition in the banking sector as well as measures of competition. The second section is a review of literature on competition in the banking sector and its determinants. The third section presents the results of research on competition in the EU, including my own research as well as other research. The paper concludes with a short summary. This publication was presented by Małgorzata Pawłowska during the 134th mBank-CASE Seminar "The global financial crisis: changes in competition in the banking sector in Europe, the role of regulation and intervention by governments and central banks".
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Finance, Economy, Global Financial Crisis, Banks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Pagé, Jacques Rupnik, Céline Bayou, Edith Lhomel, Catherine Samary
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Le lecteur ne s’étonnera pas de ce que, en 2014, le conflit en Ukraine soit au cœur des préoccupations des pays d'Europe centrale, orientale et de l'Eurasie, même si ses incidences sont diversement ressenties selon les régions considérées. Les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale sont divisés dans leur appréhension politique des événements, et leurs économies ne sont pas directement concernées par les retombées du conflit en Ukraine. On pouvait craindre en revanche qu’elles subissent l’atonie de la zone euro, et son incapacité à retrouver des taux de croissance stimulant la demande extérieure. Cependant – et c’est là une heureuse surprise –, plusieurs d’entre elles ont trouvé la parade en tirant parti des fonds que l’Union européenne leur destine généreusement pour relancer leur demande domestique. Et les effets positifs de cette tactique portent des fruits spectaculaires, d’autant qu’elle se combine avec les incidences de la faible hausse des prix sur le pouvoir d’achat des consommateurs. Il y a là des enseignements à tirer pour la politique économique de l’Europe Occidentale ! Les pays de l’espace eurasiatique sont eux directement aux prises avec les développements du conflit ukrainien. Les incidences en sont multiples : les sanctions et contre-sanctions entre la Russie et l’Union européenne influent grandement sur les économies périphériques, de grands projets comme le gazoduc South Stream sont annulés, les relations des pays d’Asie centrale et du Caucase avec l’Union européenne sont observées avec vigilance par la Russie… La crise ukrainienne, c’est un fait, porte son ombre sur le grand projet de Vladimir Poutine d’instauration d’une Union économique eurasiatique.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy, War, Diaspora, Finance, Europeanization, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Moldova, Eastern Europe, Poland, Lithuania, Kosovo, Estonia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Central Europe, Slovenia, Slovakia, European Union
  • Author: Francesco Ragazzi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The French government recently announced a plan to “combat radicalization” and a series of measures to prevent recourse to violence. Although the term is not entirely new in the French political parlance, it marks a departure from a counterterrorism policy justified mainly by a judicial approach and enforced in great part through administrative measures. France is thus moving closer to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which both began to develop such policies in the mid-2000s. Yet what exactly does it mean to “combat radicalization”? What explains the French government’s change of approach? And what can be learned from a decade of experience in these two European countries? This study shows that the concept of radicalization serves as an effective discourse to legitimize the extension of police action beyond its usual purview, by becoming involved in areas of diversity management such as education, religion, and social policy. The study traces the dissemination of the discourse through European institutions and, using the notion of “policed multiculturalism,” analyzes the effects of its legal, administrative and preventive forms.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Crime, Terrorism, Multiculturalism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Western Europe, European Union
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Pagé, Anne De Tinguy, Jacques Sapir, Julien Vercueil, Hélène Clément-Pitiot, Matthieu Combe, Vitaly Denysyuk, Raphaël Jozan
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Dans le Tableau de bord d’Europe centrale et orientale et d’Eurasie de 2009, nous écrivions que les pays de l’Europe centrale et orientale étaient « touchés mais pas coulés » par la crise mondiale. Quatre ans après, ce diagnostic est toujours valable. Si l’Union européenne reste pour eux un idéal et si l’adhésion à cette union demeure un projet clairement balisé pour les Etats qui n’en sont pas encore membres, celle-ci, engluée dans ses contradictions, paraît trop souvent absente, silencieuse. Aux populations qui lui demandent un meilleur niveau de vie et plus de justice sociale, elle répond par des exigences de réformes et d’austérité et alimente ainsi dangereusement leurs désenchantements. Savoir leur répondre, c’est le défi majeur de l’Union européenne aujourd’hui. Les pays de l’Eurasie, s’ils sont moins directement touchés par la crise de la zone euro et conservent, en conséquence, une croissance nettement plus élevée, ont d’autres préoccupations. Fortement sollicités par la Russie qui entend consolider sa zone d’influence avec la concrétisation de l’Union économique eurasiatique, ils sont aussi l’objet de l’attraction qu’exerce sur eux l’Union européenne – comme en témoignent éloquemment les évènements survenus en Ukraine – et, de plus en plus, la Chine. Cet espace est donc actuellement dans une recomposition qui conditionne les possibilités de son développement.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets, Nationalism, Natural Resources, European Union, Finance, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: Poland, Lithuania, Kosovo, Estonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Western Europe, Slovenia, Slovakia, European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Elsa Tulmets
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: After joining the European Union in 2004 or 2007, all Central and Eastern European countries have expressed their will to transfer their experience of democratization, transition to market economy and introduction of the rule of law to other regions in transition. They have influenced in particular the launching of an EU policy towards the East, which was so far rather absent, and of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2003. The rhetoric developed is particularly strong and visible, but what about the implementation of the aid policies to transition? Which reality does the political discourse entail, both in its bilateral and multilateral dimensions? Central and Eastern European countries do not represent a homogeneous bloc of countries and have constructed their foreign policy discourse on older ideological traditions and different geographical priorities. Despite the commitment of a group of actors from civil society and reforms in the field of development policy, the scarce means at disposal would need to be better mobilized in order to meet expectations. In the context of the economic crisis, the search for a concensus on interests to protect and means to mobilize, like through the Visegrad Group and other formats like the Weimar Triangle, appears to be a meaningful option to follow in order to reinforce the coherence of foreign policy actions implemented.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics, Europeanization, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, Central Europe, European Union
  • Author: Evelyne Ritaine
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The political determination of the Mediterranean border of the European Union seen from the perspective of the Southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta) illustrates the symbolic and political importance for these nations of maintaining control of the border. It has a significant impact on the types of controls that are enacted and the interplay between national and European decisions. Placing this question on the agenda brings to light a Mediterranean perspective regarding the exterior borders of the European Union that is largely determined by the conditions of integration of the different countries into the Schengen area. This new border regime is the result of complex political games and is seen as a security issue. The actual set of controls seems to be less planned and legal-rational than simply erratic and the result of tensions between internal tactics, nation state strategies and attempts at bringing within the ring of EU.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, European Union, Regulation, Borders, State
  • Political Geography: Greece, Balkans, Spain, North Africa, Italy, Western Europe, Mediterranean, European Union, Malta
  • Author: Ceren Sözeri, Dilek Kurban
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Media policy in Turkey has shaped the media-state relationship since the establishment of the first newspaper in the late Ottoman period. While regulations were often employed as an effective disciplinary tool against the press in processes of state formation and modernization, opponent journalists have constantly been suppressed by state and non-state actors who claimed to act in the name of ‘state interests’. The coup d’état in 1980 and the concomitant economic liberalisation changed the ownership structure of the media sector with the entry of new investors. Following the abolishment of state monopoly on broadcasting in the 1990s, big conglomerates expanding through vertical and horizontal mergers have dominated all fields of the media. The high concentrated market structure in the media was made possible due to the inadequacy of legal barriers to crossmergers, as well as the lack of measures that would prevent media conglomerates from participating in public tenders in other sectors of the economy. The shortcomings of the regulatory framework to promote press freedom and diversity in the media has encouraged big corporations to regard themselves as legitimate political actors that can bargain with the government. Media ownership was restructured following the economic crisis in 2001. Big media groups, which had investments in the financial and banking sectors, were particularly affected by the crisis; some being completely wiped out of the market, while others were seized by the state. Shortly after the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi- AK Parti) came to power in 2002, the mainstream media was reconfigured ideologically as either ‘opponent’ or ‘proponent’ to the government. Notwithstanding the limited positive effects of the EU accession process on media freedom, there are dozens of ECtHR judgments regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press waiting to be executed by the Turkish state. Journalists who are powerless vis-à-vis the owners and political power are particularly affected by the political polarisation in the media. The structural obstacles to unionization and the lack of solidarity in the profession lead to labour exploitation, low quality content and violations of media ethics. The lack of a strong pro-democracy social movement; the ideological conservatism of the judiciary; the institutional weakness of the parliament; and the lack of democracy within political parties render the government – and future governments – too powerful vis-à-vis the society and the media. On a positive note, however, there is a growing awareness on the need for social monitoring of the media. In the absence of a widely accepted and established selfregulatory framework, various non-governmental organizations and activist groups started to watch the media in order to expand the culture of diversity and to reduce discrimination, racism and hate speech. MEDIADEM is a European research project which seeks to understand and explain the factors that promote or conversely prevent the development of policies supporting free and independent media.
  • Topic: Democracy, Media, Freedom of Expression, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Enis Erdem Aydın, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report contains the results of a survey conducted on 6-14th December 2010 by KA Research that has been evaluated by TESEV Foreign Policy Programme. Based on a sample size of 1,000, the survey aims to understand the perception of foreign policy in Turkey. A first of its kind for TESEV, the survey includes striking findings that may be of interest to decision-makers in Turkey and those following Turkey around the world. This report finds many results for the opinion on the foreign policy vision of Turkey concerning the Turkish government, the US government, the EU and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, United States of America, European Union