Cyprus: The next blunder

Charles Wyplosz 18 March 2013

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The decision to tax all Cypriot bank deposits has attracted massive attention (Spiegel 2013) – and rightly so. It is a huge blunder:

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Topics:  EU institutions Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  EU, Eurozone crisis, Cyprus

Migration states and welfare states: Why is America different from Europe?

Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka 01 September 2014

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European welfare and migration policies are strikingly different from states within the US. Over the last half century, Europe ended up with 85% of all unskilled migrants to developed countries, whereas the US retains its innovative edge by attracting 55% of the world-educated migrants.

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Topics:  Migration Welfare state and social Europe

Tags:  migration, welfare generosity, EU, US, skilled migrants

Smaller is better: Disintegrated nations in an integrated Europe

Edoardo Campanella 12 August 2014

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Throughout the course of history, there are few regions in the world whose map has changed as frequently and abruptly as that of Europe. Nowadays, political forces – less violent and bloody than in the past, but equally destructive – are slowly and imperceptibly eroding the borders of several countries. Tensions within states – not enmities among competing powers – are remodelling the political geography of Europe.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Global governance Politics and economics

Tags:  EU, regionalism, independence, Eurozone crisis, Catalonia, Scotland, separatism, secessionism, Flanders

Tax harmonisation in Europe: Moving forward

Agnès Benassy-Quéré, Alain Trannoy, Guntram Wolff 22 July 2014

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The issue of tax harmonisation has been repeatedly debated in the EU since the European Economic Community was established. Substantial tax harmonisation exists in the area of indirect taxation, and proposals regarding corporations are on the table, such as the project of Common Consolidated Corporate Income Tax (CCCTB, see European Commission 2011a). According to widely accepted economic theory (Zodrow and Mieszkowski 1986), tax harmonisation is a way to curb tax competition that leads to either the under-provision of public goods or to burden-shifting from mobile to immobile tax bases.

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Topics:  EU policies Financial markets Taxation

Tags:  EU, tax, multinationals, tax competition, tax avoidance, banking union, tax harmonisation, corporation tax, Tiebout competition, financial activity tax

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Review of the debate on economic blogs

David Saha 20 July 2014

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A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR 2013) for the European Commission models the effects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in a computable general equilibrium model. An ambitious deal, consisting of tariff barriers being lowered to zero, non-tariff barriers lowered by 25%, and public procurement barriers reduced by 50%, would lead to an increase in EU GDP by 0.5% by 2027. Growth effects for the rest of the world will be positive, on average, 0.14% of GDP due to increased demand from the EU and US.

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Topics:  Global governance International trade

Tags:  US, EU, TTIP

Why the US and EU are failing to set information free

Susan Ariel Aaronson 14 July 2014

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Tim Berners-Lee, the architect of the World Wide Web, taught us that the internet we have is a function of the choices we (users, companies, policymakers, etc.) make about information flows. For example, in 1995, Berners-Lee chose not to patent his work on the World Wide Web because he feared patenting it could limit its universality and openness. He continues to advocate this. In March 2014, he called for an online bill of rights and created a new organisation to ensure that the web would remain the “web we want” – open, free, and neutral.

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Topics:  EU policies Global governance International trade

Tags:  US, EU, WTO, information technology, trade, technology, internet, Human rights, national security, Information, free trade agreements, data protection, privacy

An ever closer union?

Bruno Maçães 09 July 2014

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The debate on the future of the European Union is now in full swing. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this debate is the way it harks back to a short clause in the EU's founding document. In the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the signatories pledged to work towards “an ever closer union”. It was never entirely clear what this meant, but that has not stopped many in the UK, the Netherlands, and other countries from arguing that this original ambition is also what is fundamentally wrong with the EU. A review by the Dutch government concluded that the “time for an ever closer union is up”.

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Topics:  EU institutions EU policies

Tags:  EU, integration

A way out of the Ukrainian quagmire

Thorvaldur Gylfason, Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Per Magnus Wijkman 14 June 2014

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At the Vilnius Summit in November 2013, President Yanukovich chose not to sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU that Ukraine had spent five years negotiating.1 His decision was dictated both by Ukraine’s failure to fulfil the political conditions for signature set by the EU and by strong pressure by Russia on Ukraine to join the Eurasian Customs Union instead.2 His refusal to sign unleashed events in Ukraine that within six months led to the President’s flight to Russia, the installation of a new pr

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Topics:  EU policies Europe's nations and regions International trade

Tags:  Russia, EU, civil war, free trade agreements, Ukraine, diplomacy

The problem with TTIP

L Alan Winters 22 May 2014

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Much attention has been focused on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that the EU is currently negotiating with the US. Most economists cheer this development, but I regret it – it is a pity that it has emerged.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  US, EU, trade agreements, TPP, TTIP

How unequal is the European Parliament’s representation?

Anish Tailor, Nicolas Véron 21 May 2014

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This week’s European Parliament election (22–25 May) has several unprecedented features. Most importantly, the main pan-European parties are fielding lead candidates for European Commission President. Turning the election into a presidential horse race was intended to increase electoral participation and enhance the Parliament’s democratic legitimacy, even though it remains to be seen whether voters will actually see things this way.

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Topics:  EU institutions Politics and economics

Tags:  elections, democracy, EU, Inequality, voting, European parliament, treaty change

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