EconPol Opinions

Catalonia's Lessons for a European Fiscal Union

Catalonia’s Lessons for a European Fiscal Union

Friedrich Heinemann

Spanish cohesion is currently facing a severe test in the chaotic conflict surrounding the referendum on Catalan independence. Of particular importance is the fiscal dimension of the issue. A highly influential argument of the independence movement has pointed to the financial burden placed on the region combined with Catalonia’s limited budgetary autonomy. This is an experience that Europe should pay close attention to, given the ambitious reform proposals currently discussed for the EU and the euro area many of which point to greater centralisation.

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The Commission's View on Strenthening the Euro Area: Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

The Commission’s Views on Strengthening the Euro Area - Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

Daniel Gros

Juncker’s proposals on the euro area are lacking in substance and coherence. His starting point was that the euro should be considered the currency of the Union, not just the currency of some Member States. From a formal point of view this is correct, as the euro is indeed designated in the European Treaties as the currency of the Union. The countries that are not part of the euro area are considered to have a temporary derogation. Network member David Gros, Director of CEPS, says that the reality is,  however, different and explains why small, concrete steps aimed at strengthening financial stability would have been more useful. 

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Smart Tax Competition and the UK’s Withdrawal from the EU

Smart Tax Competition and the UK’s Withdrawal from the EU

Clemens Fuest

Britain’s upcoming exit from the EU has led to a debate on the strategy British economic policy could take after Brexit. According to ifo President Clemens Fuest, tax competition in Europe can be expected to intensify. This competition, however, is not likely to result in a general reduction in headline tax rates, but in the creation of targeted tax incentives aimed at specific activities.

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