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  • Author: Jan J. Michałek, Przemyslaw Wozniak
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The trade war between the U.S. and China began in March 2018. The American side raised import duties on aluminum and steel from China, which were later extended to other countries, including Canada, Mexico and the EU member states. This drew a negative reaction from those countries and bilateral negotiations with the U.S. In June 2018 America, referring to Section 301 of its 1974 Trade Act, raised tariffs to 25% on 818 groups of products imported from China, arguing that the tariff increase was a response to years of theft of American intellectual property and dishonest trade practices, which has caused the U.S. trade deficit. Will this trade war mean the collapse of the multilateral trading system and a transition to bilateral relationships? What are the possibilities for increasing tariffs in light of World Trade Organization rules? Can the conflict be resolved using the WTO dispute-resolution mechanism? What are the consequences of the trade war for American consumers and producers, and for suppliers from other countries? How high will tariffs climb as a result of a global trade war? How far can trade volumes and GDP fall if the worst-case scenario comes to pass? Professor Jan J. Michałek and Dr. Przemysław Woźniak give answers to these questions in the mBank-CASE Seminar Proceeding No. 161.
  • Topic: Globalization, European Union, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Jerzy Wilkin, Joanna Konieczna-Sałamatin, Mirosława Marody, Maja Sawicka, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Jan J. Michałek, Andrzej Halesiak, Stanisława Golinowska, Irena Topińska, Anna Fornalczyk, Richard Woodward, Grzegorz Gorzelak, Andrzej Kwieciński, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Anna Malinowska, Wiesława Kozek, Magdalena Kąkol, Maciej Nowicki, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Andrzej Cylwik, Tomasz Komornicki, Urszula Sztanderska, Jacek Liwiński, Dorota Ilczuk, Anna Karpińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Mateusz Szczurek, Stanisław Gomułka, Paweł Wojciechowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report is the result of the joint work of a number of experts from various fields who have been - for many years – analysing the multidimensional effects of EU institutions and cooperation with Member States pursuant to European values and mechanisms. The authors summarise the benefits of Poland’s membership in the EU based on facts; however, they do not hide their own views and reflections. They also demonstrate the barriers and challenges to further European integration. This report was prepared by CASE, one of the oldest independent think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, utilising its nearly 30 years of experience in providing objective analyses and recommendations with respect to socioeconomic topics. It is both an expression of concern about Poland’s future in the EU, as well as the authors’ contribution to the debate on further European integration.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Energy Policy, Labor Issues, Economic Growth, Regional Integration, Social Policy, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Janusz Lewandowski
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: "Many brilliant prophecies have appeared for the future of the EU and our entire planet. I believe that Europe, in its own style, will draw pragmatic conclusions from the crisis, not revolutionary ones; conclusions that will allow us to continue enjoying a Europe without borders. Brussels will demonstrate its usefulness; it will react ably and flexibly. First of all, contrary to the deceitful statements of members of the Polish government, the EU warned of the threats already in 2021. Secondly, already in mid-March EU assistance programs were ready, i.e. earlier than the PiS government’s “shield” program. The conclusion from the crisis will be a strengthening of all the preventive mechanisms that allow us to recognize threats and react in time of need. Research programs will be more strongly directed toward diagnosing and treating infectious diseases. Europe will gain greater self-sufficiency in the area of medical equipment and drugs, and the EU – greater competencies in the area of the health service, thus far entrusted to the member states. The 2021-27 budget must be reconstructed, to supplement the priority of the Green Deal with economic stimulus programs. In this way structural funds, which have the greatest multiplier effect for investment and the labor market, may return to favor. So once again: an addition, as a conclusion from the crisis, and not a reinvention of the EU," writes Dr. Janusz Lewandowski, the author of the 162nd mBank-CASE seminar Proceeding.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, European Union, Economic Growth, Banks, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Anna Malinowska, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Jan Hagemejer
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report, prepared by a team of economists from CASE, is a continuation of the 2018 analysis The significance of the tobacco product manufacturing to Poland’s economy commissioned by JTI Polska Sp. z o.o. The purpose of the research whose results are presented in this report is to assess the economic significance, challenges and development prospects of the tobacco product manufacturing, trade and distribution sector in Poland. In the report we analyze a cross-section of the tobacco industry and its significance for the economy as a whole. We also present the significant barriers to the sector’s growth, i.e. the illicit market, costs of compliance and regulatory uncertainty, and we also model the long-term macroeconomic effects of potential changes in the industry. To the best of our knowledge, at the moment this is the most comprehensive economic study of the sector.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Manufacturing, Trade, Tobacco
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The euro is the second most important global currency after the US dollar. However, its international role has not increased since its inception in 1999. The private sector prefers using the US dollar rather than the euro because the financial market for US dollar-denominated assets is larger and deeper; network externalities and inertia also play a role. Increasing the attractiveness of the euro outside the euro area requires, among others, a proactive role for the European Central Bank and completing the Banking Union and Capital Market Union.
  • Topic: European Union, Economic Growth, Central Bank, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Study contains Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2018, fast estimates using a simplified methodology for 2019, the year immediately preceding the analysis, and includes revised estimates for 2014-2017. It also includes the updated and extended results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). As a novelty, the econometric analysis to forecast potential impacts of the coronavirus crisis and resulting recession on the evolution of the VAT Gap in 2020 is reported. In 2018, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw a slight decrease in the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but the economic conditions for increasing tax compliance remained favourable. We estimate that the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) in 2018 increased by 3.6 percent whereas VAT revenue increased by 4.2 percent, leading to a decline in the VAT Gap in both relative and nominal terms. In relative terms, the EU-wide Gap dropped to 11 percent and EUR 140 billion. Fast estimates show that the VAT Gap will likely continue to decline in 2019. Of the EU-28, the smallest Gaps were observed in Sweden (0.7 percent), Croatia (3.5 percent), and Finland (3.6 percent), the largest – in Romania (33.8 percent), Greece (30.1 percent), and Lithuania (25.9 percent). Overall, half of the EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 9.2 percent. In nominal terms, the largest Gaps were recorded in Italy (EUR 35.4 billion), the United Kingdom (EUR 23.5 billion), and Germany (EUR 22 billion). The Policy Gap and its components remained stable. For the EU overall, the average Policy Gap level was 44.24 percent. Of this, in 2018, 10.07 percentage points were due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap) and 34.17 were due to the application of exemptions without the right to deduct. The results of the econometric analysis show that the VAT Gap is influenced by a group of factors relating to the current economic conditions, institutional environment, and economic structure as well as to the measures and actions of tax administrations. Out of a broad set of tested variables, GDP growth and general government balance appeared to explain a substantial set of VAT Gap variation across time and countries. Within the control of tax administrations, share of IT expenditure proved to have the highest statistical significance in explaining the size of the VAT Gap. In addition, the VAT Gap appeared to be inter-related with the values of risky imports of goods, indicating the role of fraud in driving the overall share of the VAT Gap. Since the COVID-19 recession will likely have a dire impact on the EU economies, the VAT Gap in 2020 is forecasted to increase. If the EU economy contracts by 7.4 percent in 2020 and the general government deficit jumps as forecasted in the Spring Forecast of the European Commission, the Gap could increase by 4.1 percentage points year-over year up to 13.7 percent and EUR 164 billion in 2020. The hike in 2020 could be more pronounced than the gradual decrease of the Gap observed over the three preceding years. Moreover, a return to the VAT Gap levels observed in 2018 and 2019 will take time and require significant action from tax administrations. This Report has been written for the European Commission, DG TAXUD, for the project TAXUD/2019/AO-14, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, and is a follow-up to the seven reports published between 2013 and 2019.
  • Topic: European Union, Fiscal Policy, VAT, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher Hartwell, Kateryna Karunska, Krzysztof Głowacki, Maria Krell
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The rule of law, by securing civil and economic rights, directly contributes to social prosperity and is one of our societies’ greatest achievements. In the European Union (EU), the rule of law is enshrined in the Treaties of its founding and is recognised not just as a necessary condition of a liberal democratic society, but also as an important requirement for a stable, effective, and sustainable market economy. In fact, it was the stability and equality of opportunity provided by the rule of law that enabled the post-war Wirtschaftswunder in Germany and the post-Communist resuscitation of the economy in Poland. But the rule of law is a living concept that is constantly evolving – both in its formal, de jure dimension, embodied in legislation, and its de facto dimension, or its reception by society. In Poland, in particular, according to the EU, the rule of law has been heavily challenged by government since 2015 and has evolved amid continued pressure exerted on the institutions which execute laws. More recently, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the perception of the rule of law and its boundaries throughout the EU and beyond (Marzocchi, 2020). Against this background, this study examines the rule of law as a determinant of economic development in Germany and Poland from both the de jure and de facto perspectives.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Rule of Law, Trade, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Report has been prepared for the European Commission, DG TAXUD under contract TAXUD/2017/DE/329, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States” and serves as a follow-up to the six reports published between 2013 and 2018. This Study contains new estimates of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap for 2017, as well as updated estimates for 2013-2016. As a novelty in this series of reports, so called “fast VAT Gap estimates” are also presented the year immediately preceding the analysis, namely for 2018. In addition, the study reports the results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). It also scrutinises the Policy Gap in 2017 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. In 2017, growth in the European Union (EU) continued to accelerate with a combined real GDP growth of 2.5 percent, providing a sound environment for an increase in VAT collections. As a result, VAT revenue increased in all Member States (MS). An increase in the base was the main, but not the only, source for growth. Increase in compliance contributed to an approximate 1.1% increase in VAT revenue. In nominal terms, in 2017, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell to EUR 137.5 billion, down from EUR 145.4 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 11.2 percent in 2017 and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2013-2017. Fast estimates for 2018 indicate that the downward trend will continue and that VAT Gap will likely fall below EUR 130 billion in 2018. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap as percentage of the VTTL decreased in 25 countries and increased in three. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap occurred in Malta, Poland, and Cyprus. The smallest Gaps were observed in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Luxembourg (0.7 percent), and Sweden (1.5 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.5 percent), Greece (33.6 percent), and Lithuania (25.3 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 10.1 percent (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1). The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.5 percent, out of which 9.6 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates instead of standard rates (the Rate Gap). The countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.8 percent) and Estonia (3 percent). On the other side of spectrum are Cyprus (29.6 percent), Malta (16.5 percent), and Poland (14.6 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap – a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap – is, on average, 13 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis repeated after the 2017 Study confirmed the earlier results. We observe that the dispersion of tax rates and unemployment rate have a positive impact on the VAT Gap. Regarding the variables in hands of the administration, on the extended times series compared to the previous year, our results suggest that the nature of the expenditure of the administration, in particular IT expenditure, is more important that the amount of the overall resources.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic Growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.EuroPACE combines the best practices from the US PACE market with project partners’ substantial experience in improving energy efficiency in European buildings. EuroPACE is a three-year project that intends to assess market readiness, deploy a pilot programme in Spain and scale across Europe to four leader cities. A two-phase research (firstly – legal & fiscal readiness, and secondly – market demand) has been carried to assess the overall readiness for adaptation of this model across the European Union (EU). This document is the second phase of the EuroPACE readiness assessment developed to identify European countries most suited for EuroPACE implementation. It complements the legal and fiscal assessment by focusing on the “demand dimension” by analysing local needs for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in residential building renovation of seven selected countries. Based on the results of legal and fiscal analysis of the EU28 MS, in October 2018 the Steering Committee Group of the EuroPACE Horizon2020 (H2020) project chose seven countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Romania, for the second phase of evaluation. These countries were selected based on the scoring outlined in D2.1 and two additional considerations developed by the Steering Committee Group. First, a diverse geo-graphical distribution of the countries was an important element for the selection of these seven countries. Secondly, the knowledge and expertise of the Steering Committee Group about the national potential market opportunity was taken into consideration during the selection process. While in Austria a similar mechanism has already been tested but was unsuccessful, the country still has been chosen for further analysis. In Belgium, despite being a federal state, there is a strong local and regional interest in new financial mechanisms designed to upscale residential retrofits across the country. In the Netherlands, asset-based financial instruments are currently being discussed at the national level, which opens a window of opportunity for EuroPACE to be tested in the country. As for Italy, although the property-taxation system is far from stable, potential synergies with successful programmes like Ecobonus or Sismabonus should be explored. In Poland, nearly 70% of the 6-million residential buildings need significant energy efficiency overhaul; these buildings contribute to some of the worst air quality across the EU leading to approximately 47 thousand premature deaths annually. Portugal, given its Mediterranean climate, proves a great potential not only for EE, but also prosumer RES development, given that current incentives are far from sufficient. Romania has been chosen mainly because of its highest home-ownership rate across the EU and the most institutionalised property-related taxation, possibly setting a stable base for EuroPACE being collected alongside existing charges.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, European Union
  • Author: Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative financial mechanism inspired by an American building improvement initiative called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). The innovative character of the EuroPACE mechanism is that financing through EuroPACE is linked to the taxes paid on a property. In other words, the financing lent by a private investor is repaid through property taxes and other charges related to the buildings. EuroPACE is therefore in line with the EC’s objectives of (1) putting EE first, (2) contributing to the EU’s global leadership, and (3) empowering consumers to enable MS to reach their energy and climate targets for 2030. Last but not least, EuroPACE could contribute to the democratisation of the energy supply by offering cash-flow positive, decentralised EE solutions. The EuroPACE mechanism engages several stakeholders in the process: local government, investors, equipment installers, and homeowners. To establish the EuroPACE programme, several conditions must be satisfied, each of which are relevant for different stakeholder at different stages of the implementation. For the purpose of this report, we divided these criteria into two categories: key criteria, which make the implementation possible, and complementary criteria, which make the implementation easier. For the time being, it is a pure hypothesis to be tested with potential EuroPACE implementation. One ought to remember that residential on-tax financing is a concept in its infancy in the EU. Therefore, the methodology to evaluate the readiness of a country to implement on-tax financing is complex and consists of six stages:Identification of fiscal and regulatory conditions; Data collection; Weighting; Grading; Country SWOT analysis; Qualitative assessment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Economy, Tax Systems, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union