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  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Much has been achieved in upgrading and integrating the 'governance' of the European financial system in recent years. In parallel with the successful adoption of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), the EU managed to reform its regulatory structure, extending what was proposed by the Lamfalussy Committee for securities markets in early 2001 to banking and insurance. The EU thus created permanent committees of securities, banking and insurance supervisors (the 'Level 3 Committees' – CESR, CEBS and CEIOPS). This rapid reform demonstrated that national authorities were capable of overcoming domestic biases, adapting the supervisory structure, and instituting a much greater degree of supervisory cooperation than had existed previously.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the spring of 2004, the European Commission approved a draft Directive on Services in the Internal Market and sent it to the Council and the European Parliament. The proposal is the cornerstone of the ailing Lisbon strategy to revive growth and jobs in the European Union: services account for 70% of GDP and employment in advanced countries, and their performance is a main determinant of overall productivity and employment growth. In the European Union, the markets for services are still organised along national lines, cross border trade remains relatively underdeveloped and competition is scarce. The productivity gap with the United States is largely explained by these obstacles.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Joe Kruger
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Emissions trading is a market-based mechanism designed to allow firms to choose the most cost effective strategy to meet environmental standards. The success of SO2 and NOx emissions trading systems in the United States and the launch of the ambitious European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) underscore the value of emissions trading as a tool for environmental policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul J. G. Tang, Richard Nahuis
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Kyoto Protocol binds the level of greenhouse gas emissions in participating countries. It does, however, not dictate how the countries are to achieve this level. The economic costs of reaching emission targets are generally evaluated to be low. For example, evaluations with applied general-equilibrium models estimate the costs to be in the range of 0.2% to 0.5% of GDP, when international trade in emissions rights among governments is allowed for. We argue that important costs are overlooked since governments are inclined to choose highly distorting tax schemes.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: More than half way into the decade, it is clear that the ambitious goal to make the EU the 'most competitive economy' by 2010 will be missed. This contribution shows that investing more in education would be the key in terms of employment, a central element in the Lisbon goal. Improving the skills of the EU's population would have, inter alia, a direct impact on the employment rate. Reaching the Lisbon goal of an employment rate of 70% would be possible even without labour market reforms if the average level of qualification of the EU were to reach the benchmarks in this area (which in turn are very close to the values reached by the best performing member states).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following seven years of painstaking and demanding negotiations, European bankers and regulators breathed a sigh of relief when the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) finally got through the European Parliament on 28 September 2005, and was formally approved by the Council of Ministers of the 25 EU member states on 11 October 2005. The new CRD will finally apply the complex, risk-sensitive Basel II capital adequacy rules to some 8,000 European banks and some 2,000 investments firms in two stages, the first in January 2007 and the second one year later.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard E. Baldwin
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Thanks to the British Freedom of Information Act, the list of all CAP payments to English farms is public. It shows that the CAP is a dooH niboR scheme (that's Robin Hood spelled backwards). Table 1 records the CAP receipts for some of Britain's richest royalty. Why do royalty get paid? The CAP makes payments to farm owners, not to farmers, and about 40% of EU farmland is not farmed by its owner.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo, Jean-Pierre Casey
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The debate on banking supervision over the last decade has largely focused on capital requirements and solvency of financial institutions. The interaction between solvency and liquidity has been much less debated. Traditionally, it was assumed that once solvency was under control, liquidity should pose no problem. Banks with sufficient capital should be able to obtain extra liquidity from the central bank against adequate collateral if needed. Furthermore, the aim of the New Basel Accord to create a better alignment of regulatory capital with the risk to which banks are exposed, and the stronger focus on diversification, should eventually reduce mismatches between solvency and effective liquidity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After almost seven years of hard work to produce a new substantive piece of legislation updating the current banking regulation for European credit institutions and investment firms – the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) – it looks like its timely adoption is still uncertain. The main problem is the dissatisfaction of Parliament with its limited role in comitology and in the Lamfalussy process, which has led it to suspend 'temporarily' the comitology provisions of the CRD, casting doubt over the future ability to amend the legislation. The European Constitution addresses Parliament's concern about ensuring democratic accountability in the comitology process in Art. 36. The pause for reflection on the Constitution prompted by the no-votes in the French and Dutch referenda has re-ignited the issue and is forcing EU institutions to seek a new inter-institutional agreement on this issue.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: With increasing Congressional support for funding climate change technology programmes, as reflected in passage of the Hagel/Pryor amendment to the energy policy bill in June 2005, issues about the climate change budget are becoming more salient. In this Policy Brief, Congressional and Presidential actions on several recent budgets are examined for the four principal areas of the climate change budget: technology, science, international and tax credits. The emphasis is on energy technology in particular, because of its salience in current policy discussions and its relative size in financial terms. Highlights of the findings include the following: Congress imposed substantial (63.3%) increases over the administration's climate change technology proposals for 2004 and then small increases for FY2005. For 2006, the administration has proposed reductions compared with the Congressionally-enacted levels in the technology component – reductions in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms (-4.1% and -5.6%, respectively). The administration has also proposed cuts for fiscal 2006 in the science and international programmes (-2.9 and -19.0% in real terms). These and other differences in Presidential and Congressional approaches to funding climate change programs provide further evidence that the Presidential-Congressional divide on climate policy is continuing to widen. There is an emerging bi-partisan Congressional coalition in favour of increased spending on a wide range of climate change programmes. This shift will affect EU-US relations on climate change issues for the remainder of the current administration until 2008, and beyond as well.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe