Publication Archive

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 shows that the creditworthiness of the individual crisis countries is developing in different directions. The same applies to the core Eurozone countries.

In the group of crisis countries, Ireland and Spain make a positive impression as the creditworthiness of both countries is increasing. Unlike Greece, which is still a long way from regaining its creditworthiness. In Italy too, the erosion of creditworthiness continues.

In the group of core countries, Belgium and Finland are showing a reduction in creditworthiness for the first time. In France, a clear reversal of the downward trend in creditworthiness is still not apparent.

The cepDefault-Index 2014 is divided into two sections: The creditworthiness trends for Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain are presented with detailed explanations.  The creditworthiness trends for the remaining euro and EU countries, as well as other economies such as Switzerland, South Korea and the USA, are set out in the Annex.


The Commission intends to govern economic policy reforms of Member States more strongly. It wants to introduce a „Convergence and Competitiveness Instrument“ that commits Member States to the implementation of reforms for financial support in turn. Moreover the Commission wants to establish „ex ante coordination for major economic policy reforms“ in EU law.


The four Presidents of the European Council, the Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank (ECB) have proposed measures to improve the stability of the Euro Zone.


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.