Research Topics

EconPol’s cross-border cooperation on fiscal and economic issues aims to promote growth, prosperity and social cohesion in Europe. In particular, we provide research-based contributions to the successful development of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Our tasks consist of joint interdisciplinary research in the following areas:

Sustainable growth

Sustainable growth and best practice
The economic policies of EU member states pursue the goal of boosting their citizens’ prosperity and creating sustainable and inclusive growth. However, economic and fiscal policy approaches vary significantly in the individual countries. This broad range of policies offers an opportunity to comparatively evaluate different policy approaches and to learn from successful policies.
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EU policies & budgets

EU policy reform and the EU budget
The EU’s most important economic project is the European internal market. Other recognised goals include ensuring respect of the fundamental freedoms and deepening economic integration. The extent to which a functioning internal market requires the coordination or harmonisation of national policies, however, is debatable. The EU is also expected to bring together the interests of member states in the fields of foreign and security policy, migration policy and international environmental policy. Against this background, various indications suggest that the structure of the EU budget is focused on backward-looking and redistributive spending, where it is not clear that value is being created and that there is a sufficient contribution to tackling the challenges ahead. The revenue side of the EU budget is also controversial. The distribution of the budget burden is often criticised as unfair, amid calls for new types of own-resources funding or even EU taxes. In addition, budget adjustments are now required to accommodate Britain’s imminent exit from the EU.
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Capital markets & regulation

Capital markets and financial sector regulation
Both the financial crisis of 2008 and the debt crisis in the years to follow were largely due to malfunctions and regulatory deficits in the financial sector. As a result, financial sector reform, and banking regulation in particular, lie at the heart of the reform agenda of European and international economic policy. With the establishment of the European Banking Union, policy in Europe has taken important steps to improve the framework of the financial sector. Despite these reforms, the banking sector in Europe remains prone to crises. In many countries, the banking sector is perceived to be too large. Core components of the banking unions, and notably the bail-in rules, have not yet been put into practice and are disputed by some member countries.
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Governance & macroeconomic policies

Governance and macroeconomic policy in the European Monetary Union
The debt crisis in the euro area has highlighted the need to reform the EMU’s institutional architecture. Although important reforms have been adopted, it is unclear whether they are sufficient to guarantee the stable development of public finances, the banking sector and the economy as a whole. The division of responsibility between monetary and fiscal policy is often the subject of conflict. The coordination and supervision of economic and fiscal policy in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact is not effective enough, and rule violations go unpunished.
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