6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
 
 
 
Home > NEWGOV - ECONPOL Project >


Documents: New Approaches to Economic Governance in the EU (ECONPOL)
 

How effective are new approaches to economic governance? The re-launched Lisbon Strategy and the revised Pact
Waltraud Schelkle
NEWGOV Policy Brief no. 05, Winter 2007/2008
download document

Conference on ‘taking stock’ – EMU@10 Conference
Iain Begg
The initially planned ‘Taking stock’ conference of project no. 19a was substituted by participation in the EMU@10 conference, held in Brussels on the 26th and 27th of November 2007. The workshop/conference was organised by DG Ecfin of the European Commission, in conjunction with the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, and was opened by Commissioner Almunia. The conference, which was by invitation only, although a video link transmitted it to a wider audience, brought together leading experts on different facets of the economics of EMU and its governance. Consequently, it not only covered all the topics that had originally been envisaged as salient for the proposed ECONPOL conference on ‘taking stock’ but also covered many more topics. Moreover, the quality and range of participants was far greater than could have been assembled just for the proposed ‘taking stock’ conference. For these reasons, the judgement was made that the EMU@10 conference was an appropriate means of achieving the aims that had been set for the ECONPOL project and much more, and that participation in it was a prestigious means of achieving visibility for the ECONPOL research findings. The extended essay on Economic Governance in an Enlarged Euro Area written by Iain Begg and presented at the conference drew extensively on the research conducted under WP1 and WP4 of ECONPOL.
download document

Practitioner Workshop: EMU and the Labour Market
Iain Begg
The aim of the workshop was to bring together researchers involved in the integrated project on New Modes of Governance (NEWGOV), policy-makers and practitioners to explore different facets of labour market change since the establishment of EMU. It was held on the 16th of July 2008 at the premises of the European Trade Union Confederation in Brussels, and was attended by some 25 participants. The workshop contributed to the aims of the second main strand of research of NEWGOV sub-project 19a, which comprises theoretical and empirical analysis of the labour market under EMU.
download document

Conference Volume: The theory and practice of economic governance in EMU revisited - Special Issue of the Journal of Common Market Studies
Waltraud Schelkle (editor)
European integration is a fast changing subject and requires those who study it to do research very close to the present. While this makes the field both fascinating and relevant to policymakers’ concerns, it also makes it susceptible to academic fads and fashions. The scientific community in the field hardly ever finds the time to look back to evaluate self-critically whether the predictions made in the past and the policy advice put forward then have stood the test of time. The JCMS special issue asks commentators who made seminal contributions to our understanding of the theory and practice of economic governance in the 1980s and 1990s to revisit their analyses with the benefit of hindsight. The special issues includes articles by: Waltraud Schelkle, Willem H. Buiter, Paul de Grauwe, John Driffill, C.A.E. Goodhart, Christian Joerges, Kathleen R. Mcnamara, Jean Pisani-Ferry, and Fritz W. Scharpf. Link to: Journal of Common Market Studies special issue (edited by Waltraud Schelkle), vol.44/No.4, pp.669-864.
download document

Paper on “Coordinated wage adjustment in EMU: Is there a large-small divide?”
Waltraud Schelkle, Alison Johnston, Costanza Rodriguez d’Acri
The large-small divide has been considered important for monetary integration ever since McKinnon (1963) postulated that small open economies would be better candidates for an optimum currency area. Recently, this distinction was claimed to be relevant for the very operation of a monetary union. Notably Buti and Pench (2004), two senior civil servants in DG Ecfin when they are not academic scholars, claim that small countries are more likely to comply with the obligations of membership, such as the fiscal rules. In this paper, we want to explore whether arguments in this tradition also hold for wage coordination or whether this is a spurious correlation that holds for a few member states at best. The alternative hypothesis is that we have to look at the interaction between monetary policy, fiscal policy and wage coordination to understand how political economies adjust to EMU. This interaction changes in predictable but ambiguous ways and differently for traditionally inflationary and traditionally stable countries, so only comparative cases studies for sub-groups of countries can tell us which effects dominate. We illustrate this with a case of traditional low inflation countries. The paper was presented at the research workshop ‘The Labour Market and EMU’, Brussels 16 July 2008, see NEWGOV Deliverable 19a/D7.
download document

Macroeconomic and labour market governance – case studies of four countries: France, Germany, Sweden and the UK
Iain Begg
This work looks at different sides of the link between macroeconomic policy, the link between policy frameworks and the labour market and the performance of economies. In particular, this paper reports on work in four EU Member States: France, Germany, Sweden and the UK, two of which were in the first wave of membership of the euro area, while two have remained outside. Two main issues are explored in this paper, both of which reflect evolution in the modes of economic governance. The first is what has determined employment performance of the four countries studied, recognising that this performance is affected both by factors specific to the labour market and by broader macroeconomic effects. Second, the paper considers whether the inter-actions between labour market policies and macroeconomic policies have been mutually coherent. The paper was presented at the workshop on EMU and the labour market, ETUC, Brussels, 16th July 2008.
download document

Paper on “EU Fiscal Governance: Hard Law in the Shadow of Soft Law”
Waltraud Schelkle
A key element of economic governance in the European Union, the Stability and Growth Pact (Pact), underwent a major revision in March 2005. The many critics of this change claim that what was once a hard law institution for fiscal surveillance has now become so soft as to jeopardize its functioning. This Article examines, first, how exactly the fiscal rules have changed, using a framework which distinguishes hard law from soft law along a continuum in three dimensions of governance: obligation, delegation, and precision. Then it reviews the experience of the first round of surveillance after the revision which so far suggests that the revised Pact is more effectively constraining countries that are officially in “excessive deficit,” contrary to expectations. Finally, the Article offers an interpretation of why the revised Pact may work more effectively. This interpretation suggests that the weakening of obligation has been compensated by changes in the other two dimensions, delegation and precision, casting a shadow of soft law on the operation of the Excessive Deficit Procedure. The argument is based on a theory of precautionary commitment by democratically elected governments that combines credibility with flexibility. Fiscal governance after the Pact revisions is now arguably better equipped to address major contingencies of fiscal policymaking. Published in: The Columbia Journal of European Law vol.13, No.3, pp.705-731.
download document

Paper on “Is stability necessary for growth?”
Iain Begg
Over the last two decades, the emphasis in macroeconomic policy has shifted decisively to one that focuses on stability rather than active demand management. This was, arguably, needed to counter growing budget deficits and a propensity to inflation, but the chapter suggests that this policy position has been pushed too far. Too little attention to growth has adverse social consequences, because it entrenches high unemployment, leads to pressures to cut spending on social aims, and may lock countries into a vicious cycle. Although stability-orientated policies are rule-based and thus appear to be objective, the chapter points out that the policy approach does have distributive consequences, so that the normative dimension of stability cannot be ignored. Stability may be helpful for long-run growth and need not be incompatible with social solidarity, but it should be seen as part of a wider policy mix, not an end in itself. Forthcoming in: Magnusson, L. and Strath, B. eds European Solidarity.
download document

Paper on “Is there a convincing rationale for the Lisbon strategy?”
Iain Begg
The aim of this paper is to discuss the rationale for the Lisbon strategy and to examine whether, given that the economies of the EU member states manifestly face different reform challenges, it is sufficiently compelling to justify an elaborate process. This paper explores possible bases for such a rationale, which include policy learning, an external process as an incentivating mechanism (especially where entrenched interests constitute an obstacle to change), as well as more traditional spillover arguments. A key question that is explored is whether an external analysis, together with the procedures that have emerged under the open method of co-ordination, is conducive to economic reform or whether countries tend to know what needs to be done if only they could muster the political will to achieve it. Paper presented at EUSA biennial conference, Montreal, 19th May 2007.
download document

Paper on “Contested meanings of transparency in central banking”
Iain Begg
Over the last two decades, there have been far-reaching transformations in the ways central banks operate, especially in regard to how openly they communicate with other actors. Transparency in central banking has two quite distinct motivations. The first is to provide a means of holding the central bankers to account, while the second is about the efficiency of their policy-making. These two motivations for transparency reflect contestable norms about the choices central banks make. The paper discusses how transparency in central banking functions and explores how the underlying norms might be open to contestation. A typology showing the rationale for, and effects of, different forms of transparency is constructed and its implications assessed. Published in: Comparative European Politics (2007) 5, 36–52.
download document

Economic governance in EMU revisited: What have we learnt about commitment and credibility?
Waltraud Schelkle
European integration is a fast changing subject and requires those who study it to do research very close to the present. While this makes the field both fascinating and relevant to policymakers’ concerns, it also makes it susceptible to academic fads and fashions. The scientific community in the field hardly ever finds the time to look back to evaluate self-critically whether the predictions made in the past and the policy advice put forward then have stood the test of time. The JCMS special issue – of which this article is the introduction – asks commentators who made seminal contributions to our understanding of the theory and practice of economic governance in the 1980s and 1990s to revisit their analyses with the benefit of hindsight.
download document

Bringing Macroeconomics back into the Political Economy of Reform: The Lisbon Agenda and the ‘Fiscal Philosophy’ of EMU
Deborah Mabbett and Waltraud Schelkle
The Lisbon Strategy supports reform of member states’ tax-benefit systems while the ‘fiscal philosophy’ of the EMU postulates that governments should allow only automatic stabilisers, built into tax-benefit systems, to smooth aggregate income. We ask whether these two pillars of EU economic governance are compatible. By exploring how structural reforms affect fiscal stabilisation, we complement a political economy literature that asks whether fiscal consolidation fosters or hinders structural reforms. Using EUROMOD, a tax-benefit model for the EU-15, we identify the connections between specific tax and benefit reforms and the size of the stabilisers. We conclude that Lisbon-type reforms may worsen the stabilising capacity of tax-benefit systems. The article will appear in 2007 in Journal of Common Market Studies (in print).
download document

Workshop – Policy learning and experimentation in EU economic governance: Laboratory federalism in practice?
Waltraud Schelkle
The workshop aimed to further our theoretical and empirical insight into the working of laboratory federalism in three policy areas that are of particular relevance to EU economic governance: policy coordination through social partnership, tax policy and macroeconomic stabilisation. We were looking for the various, perhaps hidden, channels through which the EU may shape and induce policy innovation as well as the obstacles it faces in acting as an effective or unbiased reform lever. The answer that the workshop gave to this question was largely negative. EU membership and monetary union has led to some innovation in the role of social partnership, but this seems not to have had a lasting impact independent of the domestic setting. The workshop took place at the European Institute, London School for Economics and Political Science, 30 – 31 March 2006.
download document

Subsidiarity in Regional Policy
Iain Begg
Cohesion is one of only two areas, alongside the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in which the EU level of government/public administration plays a substantial role in formulating and delivering policy that requires significant public expenditure. Yet, although it accounts for around a third of the EU budget, cohesion policy expenditure is still a relatively small component of overall public expenditure in the Union at just under 1% of the EU total. A frequently-articulated argument against EU policy cohesion is that it is ineffective, with the implication that it ought to be re-thought and, conceivably, decentralised or renationalised. The ineffectiveness argument is as much (or more) one about whether economic development policies per se are worthwhile, than about whether the EU is the appropriate level to offer them. There is, though, a sub-text to this debate, which is that the approach adopted in EU cohesion policy is qualitatively worse than if it were left to national or regional/local levels of government. The paper is structured as follows. The first section explores the rationale for having an EU regional policy, distinguishing between constitutional, economic and political arguments. In the next section, the effectiveness of policy is reviewed, and the wider context of cohesion policy is discussed in section three. Section four considers how to apply a test for susbsidiarity in regional policy, then concluding comments complete the paper.
download document

Hard Law in the Shadow of Soft Law in EU Economic Governance
Waltraud Schelkle
Economic governance in the EU relies on rule-based policy coordination, in particular ‘hard law’ coordination under the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) for EMU members and ‘soft law’ coordination under the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPG) and the Employment Strategy. A key question for the evolving framework of economic governance is whether the reforms in March 2005 have rendered the SGP more similar to BEPG coordination in that the revised rules acknowledged the need for country-specific assessment and for negotiation over stability programmes rather than for more effective quasi-automatic sanctions. This paper will explore whether this move towards open method coordination is a move away from rule-based policy coordination, as many critics of the Pact reform maintain, or a move towards another form of rule-based policy coordination. Preliminary draft. Final version forthcoming in: Special issue of European Law Journal: G. de Burca and J. Scott (eds.) ‘Narrowing the Gap? Revisiting Law and New Approaches to Governance in the EU’
download document

Social Policy of the EU and National Welfare State Transformations – A Political Economy Perspective
Waltraud Schelkle and Deborah Mabbett
In this paper, we show that EU social policy is a novel combination of deregulatory and reregulatory forces, endorsing more generosity in some expenditure programmes and retrenchment in others. In both guises, it has a transformative effect which neither unambiguously undermines nor promotes national welfare states. The article discusses the three elements that make up the social policy of the EU: the creation of a single market based on the ‘four freedoms’ of opening national markets in goods, services, capital and labour; the discursive social policy strategy of the EU to promote reforms to create ‘more and better jobs’; and the commitments to the single currency and the SGP, which, in the present context, play the role of a lever for reforms to make the welfare state fiscally ‘sustainable’. This is followed by a discussion of the political economy of EU social policy, examining how the weakness of traditional social partnership at the EU level and the lack of budgetary resources interact with the regulatory and ideational thrust of the EU agenda and thus may distort welfare state transformations in practice. The last section concludes.
download document

How can we understand the framework of economic governance in the EU?
Waltraud Schelkle
Economic governance of the economic and monetary union amounts to a profound regime change that cannot be understood as a replication of a federal policy regime at the member state level. First of all, multi-level governance is distinctly different from what the economic theory of fiscal federalism presupposes. Moreover, it exhibits a peculiar institutionalisation of the four components that any macroeconomic policy regime of a mature political economy combines: monetary, fiscal and social policies, and the wage bargain. Lastly, the framework is based on conflicting assumptions about government’s role: With respect to macroeconomic policymaking, governments should follow ‘rules rather than discretion’ that tie their hands; as regards structural reforms, it calls for considerable government activism. These features make the framework unique and untested, possibly inconsistent. They suggest to interpret EU economic governance as driven by domestic reform agendas, rather than economic integration as a vehicle for an ‘ever closer political union’. Two pieces of evidence will be provided to support this interpretation: (i) the plethora of soft coordination processes; and (ii) the perception of the Lisbon Agenda and the actual record of reform. Paper delivered at the 35th Annual Conference and 10th Research Conference, "The European Union: Past and Future Enlargements", University of Zagreb, 5-7 September 2005
download document

Workshop programme 'The framework of economic governance in the EU'
Waltraud Schelkle
The workshop took place in Brussels, 22 March 2005.
download document

Lisbon as economic governance: fusion by dif-fusion?
Iain Begg
Economic governance can be interpreted as the means by which the various facets of public policy are reconciled and policies are conducted. The economic governance arrangements at present in the EU are an odd mix, ranging from virtually complete assignment of competence to the EU level for some functions or policy domains, to the strict preservation of national autonomy in others. There are also many areas in which competence is shared. Yet in several domains, these assignments only loosely reflect principles that might be deployed to justify their being located at one level of governance rather than another. Instead, they are more often the result of the stepwise progression of European integration and the various path dependencies that have influenced the policy architecture. To take forward any review of assignments among tiers of government in governance functions it is useful to bear in mind attributes that justify or oppose resort to the various options. From an economic perspective, these include spillovers, externalities, policy efficiency and various other factors, while from a political standpoint, preservation of national autonomy is often paramount. This chapter explores whether the fusion thesis can shed light on how ‘Lisbon’ has evolved and asks whether these new forms of governance represent an extension of, or departure from, the thesis, or whether – enriched by these two variants – the thesis has the dexterity to accommodate the ever changing topography of economic governance. The paper will appear as: Begg, Iain (2009, forthcoming) ‘Lisbon as economic governance: fusion by dif-fusion?’ in Diederichs, U., Faber, A., Tekin, F. and Umbach, G. eds. Europe Reloaded.
document only available in intranet section

Governance for sustainable development
Iain Begg
That there are shortcomings in the governance of sustainable development is undeniable and it is evident that there is a pervasive reluctance to confront some of the more intractable challenges. These notes review definitions, examine the governance of sustainable development and try to tease out ideas on policy developments that might enhance governance for sustainable development. The paper was presented at an event to present the ETUC/OSE report on the Social Situation 2008 at the European Parliament 15th May 2008. A longer version appeared as: Begg, Iain (2008) ‘Governance for sustainable development’ in Degryse, C, and Pochet, P. eds. Social developments in the European Union 2007 Brussels: ETUI-REHS.
document only available in intranet section

Fourth Annual Periodic Report
Iain Begg and Waltraud Schelkle
The deliverable provides a summary of the research activities carried out in the fourth project year. It feeds into the general annual project report of the NEWGOV project.
document only available in intranet section

Annual Periodic Report - Year 3
ain Begg, Waltraud Schelkle
The deliverable provides a summary of the research activities carried out in the third project year. It feeds into the general annual project report of the NEWGOV project.
document only available in intranet section

Annual Project Report
Iain Begg, Waltraud Schelkle
The deliverable provides a summary of the research activities carried out in the second project year. It feeds into the general annual project report of the NEWGOV project.
document only available in intranet section

Annual Project Report
Iain Begg, Waltraud Schelkle
The deliverable provides a summary of the research activities carried out in the first project year. It feeds into the general annual project report of the NEWGOV project.
document only available in intranet section

The United Kingdom and the Euro
Iain Begg
It is one of the ironies of EMU that the two countries which carried out the most extensive economic appraisals of the merits of joining the single currency – the UK and Sweden – are also those which have (so far) most emphatically rejected membership. Unlike other Member States that regard political aims as the primary goals of European integration, the UK approach has often been rooted in a narrower economic calculus of cost-benefit analysis: ‘unless the change makes us better-off, we oppose it’. Quite simply, the UK has not joined EMU because it has not managed to persuade itself that joining will boost its prosperity. At the same time, there are ramifications of the British opt-out that may give rise to calls for change as the number of Member States acceding to the single currency increases. For the UK, the worry is that it will be at least partly excluded from decisions that affect its interests, while for the euro area members, the concern is that a minority of non-participants could thwart change. This chapter starts by presenting the UK approach to deciding on euro membership and explains how the UK has adopted its own criteria for assessing the case for membership. Section II explains the UK macroeconomic framework and discusses how it differs from the EMU model. In the third section, the impact of the UK’s reluctance to join is assessed, both for the UK and for EMU itself. Concluding comments and a discussion of the likely evolution of the UK position complete the chapter. The chapter will appear in: Frédéric Allemand, Yann Echinard and Francesco Martucci (eds.) (2009), L’union économique et monétaire: un chantier à poursuivre, Les Editions Pédone (Paris).
document only available in intranet section

Belgium’s fiscal performance in EMU – an unlikely success story of the EU’s budgetary surveillance?
Waltraud Schelkle and Zsófia Barta
The paper tries to explore the puzzle of Belgium’s fiscal performance. First, in what ways was EMU instrumental to bring change (reduction of budget deficit and public debt) about? Second, is Belgium’s fiscal performance a success story of the EU’s fiscal surveillance, jointly exercised by the Council and the Commission? The paper proceeds as follows: It first outlines the story of Belgium’s fiscal consolidation since 1993. It then explores whether there is evidence for an explanation that relies on the effectiveness of external constraints-commitment device in contrast to one that seeks to find the answer in domestic budgetary institutions. Finally, it proposes an own tentative explanation that is based on the peculiar situation of Belgium’s federation and qualifies the perception of a success story.
document only available in intranet section

Monetary Union
Waltraud Schelkle
This paper presents selective answers to three questions: firstly, what did we think we know about the monetary union in Europe; secondly, what do we seem to know now and, most importantly, what should we know? The term monetary union and EMU will be used interchangeably since I touch only at the margin on the Single Market, for which the -E- stands. The chapter will appear in: Schelkle, Waltraud (forthcoming) ‘Monetary union’, in: Michelle Everson, Neill Nugent, William Paterson (eds): Studying the European Union: Current and Future Agendas, Palgrave.
document only available in intranet section

The contentious creation of the regulatory state in fiscal surveillance
Waltraud Schelkle
This paper analyzes how the EU regulatory state expands into fiscal surveillance and what conflicts arise in the process. That the EU should have gone down the route of regulating budgets is puzzling. In contrast to Majone’s original concept, the regulatory state is meant not to interfere with member states’ budgetary redistributive policies. Yet the revision of the Pact strengthened the regulatory content of fiscal surveillance by reformulating the policy problem, strengthening delegated monitoring by the Commission, with Eurostat rather than DG Ecfin at its helm, and by extending control through specialised information. The analysis implies that the revision of the Pact in March 2005 cannot simply be dismissed as a watering down of its fiscal rules. However, there are limitations to regulatory expansion. One limitation is the inherent tension between the requirements of control and the economic justification of fiscal rules, another that economic justifications remain ambiguous and contentious. This paper is a contribution to the forthcoming special issue in West-European Politics 4/2009 “Managing Conflicts of Interest in EU Regulatory Processes”, edited by Waltraud Schelkle with Deborah Mabbett.
document only available in intranet section

Paving the way for a strategy of sustainable development
Iain Begg
As Maria João Rodrigues notes governance has multiple dimensions in the context of the Lis-bon strategy (she lists ten distinct areas). In this chapter, the focus is on some of these areas, but also on aspects of governance that underpin or cut across some of these ten areas. In par-ticular, the chapter dicusses elements of the philosophy behind the strategy and of the overall design of the strategic initiatives of the EU. It then discusses the merits of a Lisbon Strategy euro area dimension and suggests ways forward. The chapter will appear as: Begg, Iain (2009, forthcoming) ‘Paving the way for a strategy of sustainable development’ in Rodrigues, M.-J. ed. Europe, Globalisation and the Lisbon Agenda. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
document only available in intranet section

Rethinking the EU’s Finances: the 2008/9 Budget Review
Iain Begg
After being stalled for several months while the Lisbon treaty remained to be agreed, the review of the EU budget scheduled for 2008/09 is now underway. It was, effectively, launched by the publication on the 12th of September 2007 of a consultation paper by the Commission (2007). This paper presents the main issues that the Commission would like to see covered by the review and invites any interested party to submit a response. The consultation is very open insofar as contributions may be posted on a dedicated web-site, and Commission members and officials have made a considerable effort to publicise it. The current Commission is keen – even determined - to complete the review before its mandate expires in 2009, leaving the in-coming Commission to prepare the next multi-annual budget deal for the period beyond 2013 on the basis of a new model for the budget. This division of labour also bears on what the review aims to achieve and it is being promoted as an opportunity to look beyond the negotiating points that have dominated the budget for the last twenty years and to ask instead what an EU budget ought to do ten or twenty years from now. The paper will appear as: Begg, Iain (2008) ‘Rethinking the EU’s Finances: the 2008/9 budget review’ in Ludlow, P. ed. Setting EU Priorities 2008 Ponte de Lima: European Strategy Forum.
document only available in intranet section

Monetary Policy Strategies
Iain Begg
The chapter sets out what appear to be the main features of the state-of-the art, delves into why they have arisen and explores emerging directions for monetary policy and unresolved debates. It shows that today’s strategies reflect evolving ideas about what monetary policy can, cannot and should do, and that in the EU, at least, there has been an intriguing iteration between institutional and constitutional changes and the development of strategies. There may not be a single model of best-practice, but it is clear that there are systematic preferences. The article will appear as: Begg, Iain (2008, forthcoming) “Monetary policy strategies” in Dyson, K. and Marcussen, M. (eds.), Changing Modes of Central Bank Governance: Internationalization and Europeanization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
document only available in intranet section

Funding the EU budget: a case for inaction?
Iain Begg
The way the EU budget is funded is often criticised, especially in the light of the increasingly complex devices used to limit net contributions. In addition to the formal UK rebate, there are reduced rates of take-up of different funding streams for certain other countries, all of which makes the funding side of the EU messy. Calls for the budget to be funded by a tax (or taxes) assigned to the EU level have repeatedly been articulated. However, the system has one over-arching attraction which is that it assures the EU of sufficient revenue to fulfil its spending commitments. This paper offers a critique and assessment of the current system for raising the revenue for the EU budget and considers the conceptual case for a move to a tax of Europe. It appraises the case for abandoning the current system in favour of a tax-funded one and concludes that although the case may be conceptually robust, political economy considerations suggest that change is unlikely for the foreseeable future. The article will appear as: Begg, Iain (2008, forthcoming) ‘Funding the EU budget: a case for inaction?’ Public Finance and Management Vol. 8.
document only available in intranet section

Economic Policy and Institutional Transparency: The ECB
Iain Begg
The aim of this chapter is to assess the role of the ECB in signalling its intentions to other economic agents and thus in shaping the environment in which savers and borrowers function. In terms of the overall aims of this book, central bank (CB) transparency can be regarded as a key element and in this sense it can be regarded as a horizontal facet of transparency insofar as it affects both sides of the capital formation process. The chapter adopts a normative approach to the assessment of ECB transparency, focusing on whether the current approach is optimal in how it affects the risk premia. It starts by discussing the changes in central banking practice, then goes on to explore the notion of transparency as applied to CBs and how it bears on the conduct of monetary policy. Section 2.4 explains and documents the ECB approach to transparency and how it compares with other CBs, then Section 2.5 examines some of the key debates about transparency and what they might imply for the ECB and the capital formation process. Concluding comments complete the chapter. The article will appear in: in L. Oxelheim and J. Forssbaeck eds. Corporate and institutional transparency for economic growth in Europe Oxford: Elsevier (2006).
document only available in intranet section

Real Convergence and EMU Enlargement: The Time Dimension of Fit With the Euro Area
Iain Begg
This article examines the time dimension of negotiating fit with EMU in the light of economic arguments for and against rapid accession and of the circumstances of the different new member states from east central Europe. It briefly reviews some of the key economic policy issues that arise in negotiating fit with EMU. It then looks at what might be called ‘Stage 2 adjustment’ – what Euro Area candidates need to do to become fit for Euro Area entry. The subsequent section concentrates on how countries can be expected to deal with problems of managing fit within Stage 3. Concluding comments complete the article. The article will appear in: Dyson, Kenneth (ed.) (2006) Enlarging the Euro Oxford: OUP.
document only available in intranet section

Report on Workshop 'The framework of economic governance in the EU'
Waltraud Schelkle
The workshop was organised within the framework of the project "New Approaches to Economic Governance in the EU (ECONPOL)" and was attended by a number of high-level experts from the Commission, academia and think tanks. The discussion largely concentrated on the conceptual framework of the project.
document only available in intranet section

Is there a convincing rationale for the Lisbon strategy?
Iain Begg
The aim of this paper is to discuss the rationale for the Lisbon strategy and to examine whether, given that the economies of the EU member states manifestly face different reform challenges, it is sufficiently compelling to justify an elaborate process. This paper explores possible bases for such a rationale, which include policy learning, an external process as an incentivating mechanism (especially where entrenched interests constitute an obstacle to change), as well as more traditional spillover arguments. A key question that is explored is whether an external analysis, together with the procedures that have emerged under the open method of co-ordination, is conducive to economic reform or whether countries tend to know what needs to be done if only they could muster the political will to achieve it. The paper presents conceptual tools for assessing why supply-side reforms are so difficult to enact in some polities and considers whether the Lisbon strategy is attuned to these difficulties. It concludes with comments on what the issues discussed in the body of the paper imply for economic governance structures in the EU.
document only available in intranet section

Top

Page updated: 28/07/08

Co-ordinated by the European University Institute