Past events

CEPS and EconPol Europe Lunch Debate September 2020

Equality of Opportunity: What Role for Educational Policies?

9 September, 12.30-13.30, Online Event

Equality of opportunity is a widely shared ideal in Western societies. While most people are willing to reward hard work and effort, they strongly oppose outcome differences due to pre-determined circumstances, such as race, parental background or gender. Against this backdrop and in light of increasing social tensions during the Covid-19 crisis, it is of foremost importance to develop a policy agenda that levels the playing field and puts people in a position to pursue their life goals independently of their background characteristics.

In this panel debate, Sara Baiocco (EconPol Europe, CEPS), Arnaud Lefranc (CY Cergy Paris Université) and Larissa Zierow (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute) will discuss the role of educational policies throughout the life cycle, from early childhood to adult learning, in such an agenda. Which features of current educational systems and of social investment policies are the biggest inhibitors to equal opportunities? What are the most promising policy changes on our way forward? How does the Covid-19 crisis affect educational opportunities and what can we learn from the policy responses in the different EU member states?

Arnaud Lefranc and Larissa Zierow will share insights from their work on the IMCHILD research project. Sara Baiocco will complement the discussion with her experience working on adult learning policies.

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CEPS-EconPol Europe Lunch Debate July 2020

Tax Incentives for Research and Development: Is There an Optimal Policy Mix?

10 July 2020, Online Event

Using the tax system to support research and development has become a very popular policy tool. Many countries are implementing incentives such as tax credits, patent boxes and direct subsidies to stimulate new R&D. But is there really a causal relationship between these policies and the R&D spending done by the businesses receiving the incentives? And if so, is this R&D productive, and does it have an impact on the wider economy?

For our last joint lunch debate with CEPS before the summer break. we presented the latest research into this area. İrem Güçeri (EconPol Europe, Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford), Ruzica Rakic (DG Research & Innovation, European Commission) and journalist Jennifer Baker discussed the question: is there an optimal policy mix for incentivizing R&D?

VIDEO: Panelist and co-author of the research İrem Güçeri explains the background to her work: Supporting Firm Innovation in R&D: What is the Optimal Policy Mix? 

POLICY REPORT: Supporting Firm Innovation and R&D: What is the Optimal Policy Mix?

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CEPS and EconPol Europe Lunch Debate

Eurozone After the Coronavirus Pandemic: What are the Likely Scenarios?

12.30-13.30, 5 June 2020, Online Event

The European debt crisis has brought about permanent changes in the Eurozone. The no-bailout rule was - de facto - removed, new institutions such as the European Stability Mechanism and the banking union were designed and partially implemented, new monitoring and surveillance schemes such as the macroeconomic imbalance procedure were introduced. In this way, the functioning of the Eurozone has been irreversibly transformed. Now, a new and even more devastating crisis has hit the Eurozone in the form of Covid19 and the resulting economic impact. 

Will we observe the substantive, if not also formal, infringement of well established principles such as those preventing the ECB from monetizing government deficits, the member states from mutualizing their debt and the Eurozone from becoming a transfer union? To what extent will this infringement be necessary and sufficient to avoid the Eurozone’s implosion? And is it going to be purely temporary or is likely to be long lasting? Given the political dynamics that are under way in the EU member states, will there be enough consensus in support of these policy shifts in both Eurozone’s core and peripheral countries, or will they cause political turmoil? 

In the first online version of our series of joint CEPS and EconPol lunch debates, moderator Jennifer Baker ( will put these questions, and more, to Luigi Bonatti (EconPol Europe, Università di Trento), Daniel Gros (EconPol Europe, CEPS) and Nicola Rossi (Università degli Studi di Roma).

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Policy Research Live

The European Recovery Fund: An Effective Policy Measure to Deal with Covid-19 Consequences?

20 May 2020, Online Event

The economic crisis caused by Covid-19 is on course to become more serious than the 2008 financial crisis. Eurozone member states face several challenges in order to stabilize the economy, not least the short-term financial aid required during the shutdown and the subsequent support needed to get the economy back on its feet.

The Eurozone has little room for manoeuvre with the limitations of monetary policy and high levels of national debt. It’s crucial to ensure that added value is created by policy at a European level, with a robust infrastructure to ensure no member state is left behind.

In the first of our series of Policy Research Live online debates, EconPol Europe welcomed our speaker Clemens Fuest (ifo) and network member Antonia Díaz (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) to discuss the policy options available for the Eurozone and asked: is a European Recovery Fund an effective policy measure to deal with Covid-19 consequences?




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EconPol Session on Closing Tax Loopholes, CEPS Ideas Lab

5-6 March 2020, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium

Recent proposals of the OECD and the EU have taken a tougher stance on aggressive tax planning by multinationals. The dependence on physical presence for the establishment of a taxable nexus, which is a main feature of the existing tax framework, poses a great challenge for the taxation of cross-border transactions of, but not only, digital businesses. This EconPol Europe Lab Session will discuss the opportunities and risks of recent policy initiatives such as the European Commission’s Digital Services Tax proposals. Can these proposals deliver what they promise – do they close the current loopholes in the tax system? What are the costs to competition and economic welfare in general and can such proposals find support amongst all member states?

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