This archive contains all documents published by cep over the last few years:
cepAdhoc: Incisive comment on current EU policy issues.
cepPolicyBrief: Concise 4-page reviews of EU proposals (Regulations, Directives, Green Papers, White Papers, Communications) – including a brief summary and economic and legal assessments.
cepInput: Impulse to current discussions of EU policies.
cepStudy: Comprehensive examination of EU policy proposals affecting the economy.
The updated cepDefault-Index makes clear that the euro crisis has not been averted. The Index shows that, with the exception of Ireland, the crisis countries in receipt of financial assistance have not succeeded in halting the decline in creditworthiness. Italy’s creditworthiness has been deteriorating continuously since 2009. The reforms implemented so far are insufficient.
Moreover the creditworthiness of France is under threat. Even if the French situation is not yet as dramatic as in the southern European countries, it still requires an urgent course correction. A drop in France's creditworthiness could place the entire Euro rescue package in doubt therefore the trend in French creditworthiness is of significant importance for the future development of the Euro Zone.
The Fiscal Compact of 2 March 2012 obliges the Contracting Parties to introduce a debt brake into national law. Amongst other things, it provides for a correction mechanism obliging the Contracting Parties directly in case of default. Thus the budgetary discipline of Contracting Parties is to be strengthened. The Commission proposes seven principles which the Contracting Parties should take into in shaping national laws.
South-Europe’s creditworthiness keeps eroding as demonstrated by the latest assessment of the cepDefault Index. Italy’s erosion consolidated in 2011; as regards Greece, the negative trend did not only continue but declined even further; Spain is somewhat crumbling but – apart from the banking crisis – not doing too badly.
In Portugal, however, the vigorous structural reforms now bear fruit – an upward trend is soon to emerge. It is very likely that Portugal will regain its full creditworthiness in 2015.
All other South-European countries need to improve their competitiveness through structural reforms too.
The Commission intends to intensify the surveillance of national EU budget policy and to develop the deficit procedure. Moreover, euro states are to be obliged to transpose European budget requirements stipulated under the Stability and Growth Pact into national law. Moreover, national budgets must be based on independent macroeconomic forecasts in future.
The EU Heads of State and Government (apart from Great Britain and the Czech Republic) entered into an agreement to improve the budgetary discipline of the Contracting Parties. The Contracting Parties undertake to transpose a debt brake into their national legal systems and to facilitate the imposition of sanctions in the deficit procedure.
On the one hand, the Commission wishes conduct enhanced surveillance of euro countries, which might need to request financial assistance in future. On the other hand, the Commission wishes to see the tasks assigned by the bail-out package enshrined in secondary EU legislation.
The Commission presents three options for the implementation of Eurobonds and puts up for discussion the related pros and cons. With regard to the pros it mentions in particular the alleviation of the current debt crisis, the stabilisation of the banking system and the increased liquidity of the government bonds market. With regard to the cons it mentions the reduced incentives for budgetary discipline. For instance, Member States can run up debts at the expense of the budgetary discipline of other Member States, without this having an affect on their financing costs.
As a reaction to serious tension on the financial market, on 21. July 2011, the heads of states and governments of the euro zone decided to amend the existing EFSF. The objective of the amendments is to increase the operative volume of the EFSF and to provide it with new legal instruments.