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Economists Recommend Policies to Encourage a Sense of European Identity

European policymakers need to do more to encourage citizens to identify with Europe. Pan-European political consciousness could be encouraged by having citizens vote for European party lists rather than national party lists in the European elections. An EU Citizens’ Assembly should serve as a platform to discuss specific political issues and propose potential solutions. Europe could also raise its profile overseas through shared EU embassies and consulates. These are some of the main policy recommendations from a new study conducted jointly by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, and the ifo Institute, Munich for the EconPol Europe research network. The authors of the study also suggested the establishment of a European public broadcaster to provide more accurate and neutral information about the EU. There need to be more debates on European issues and international exchanges for groups that have so far had little opportunity to visit other EU countries and who generally do not strongly identify with Europe. Ideally, the European Union should introduce new programmes such as “Erasmus for Pensioners” or a work exchange programme (“European Waltz”) allowing workers to spend several months working in another European country.
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EU tax avoidance standards are inadequate and need reform, finds EconPol study

A report by EconPol Europe, the European network for economic and fiscal policy research, has found that the measures included in the recently legislated Anti-Tax Avoidance Package (ATAP), which aim to reduce profit shifting activities by multinational enterprises (MNEs), are not likely to solve the perceived problems at reasonable costs and that a reform of the key principles of the international tax systems is required.
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How to Boost Productivity in the EU

Advances in total factor productivity (TFP) are important for sustaining economic growth in modern economies, in particular in the face of a declining working-age population. In a new EconPol Europe policy brief we identify investment in research and development, good governance, the capital intensity, a high share of information technology in the total capital stock, and the number of industrial robots per employee as conducive to TFP growth. Based on the empirical results, policies that are beneficial for capital formation in general, investment in computer technology, research and development as well as the use of industrial robots could boost TFP in Europe.
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Germany’s Current Account Surplus Falls Slightly

Germany’s current account surplus has fallen slightly. In the current year, it is expected to decline to 7.8 percent of annual economic performance after 7.9 percent in 2017, as calculated by the ifo Institute for the research network EconPol Europe. The EU considers a maximum of six percent as sustainable in the long term. “The decline is attributable to three factors: the surplus in goods exports is unlikely to increase, income from foreign assets is set to decline slightly and, in addition, annual economic output, including inflation, will rise sharply – by 3.7 percent”, observes ifo researcher Christian Grimme.
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Germans Take Critical View of European Unemployment Insurance

The majority of German voters do not support the concept of European unemployment insurance. 57 percent of Germans oppose the idea, while just 18 percent support the reform proposal. A sovereign insolvency procedure, by contrast, garnered the support of 48 percent of survey participants, according to a new study for the research network EconPol Europe published on Thursday to mark the EconPol panel discussion at the Munich Economic Summit.
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