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  • 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
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The recent wave of financial innovation, particularly innovation related to the application of information and communication technologies, poses a serious challenge to the financial industry’s business model in both its banking and non-banking components. It has already revolutionised financial services and, most likely, will continue to do so in the future. If not responded to adequately and timely by regulators, it may create new risks to financial stability, as occurred before the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. However, financial innovation will not seriously affect the process of monetary policymaking and is unlikely to undermine the ability of central banks to perform their price stability mission.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Economic Growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The analysis serves as the Final Report for the DG TAXUD Project 2015/CC/131, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, which is a follow up to the reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In this report, estimates of the VAT Gap and the Policy Gap for the year 2014 are presented, as well as revised estimates for the years 2010–2013 “due to the transmission” of Eurostat national accounts from the ESA95 to the ESA10. This update covers Croatia, which was not included in the previous updates. While it was hoped that the update would also cover Cyprus, it has not been possible due to incomplete national accounts data. The VAT Gap is a measure of VAT compliance and enforcement that provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, as well as miscalculations. It is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), which is expressed in the report in bothabsolute and relative terms. The VTTL is the theoretical tax liability according to tax law, and is estimated using a “top-down” approach.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Croatia, European Union
  • Author: Elena Jarocinska, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the distributional effects of the Polish old-age pension reform introduced in 1999. Following a benchmark Mincer earnings equation, and using a newly developed microsimulation model we project future pension benefits for males born in years 1969–1979. We find that inequality of predicted first pension benefits measured by the Gini coefficient increases from 0.119 to 0.165 for cohorts of men retiring between 2036 and 2046. The observed increased inequality of pension benefits is due to the decreasing share of initial capital that is based on a more generous DB formula in the total accumulated pension capital. At the same time, inequality in replacements rates decreases due to a stronger link between contributions paid through the entire working life and pension benefits.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Inequality, Social Policy, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The European Central Bank (ECB) recently became engaged in macro-prudential policies and the micro-prudential supervision of the largest Euro area banks. These new tasks should help complete financial integration, and make the Euro area more resilient to financial instability risks. However, the multiplicity of mandates and instruments involves a risk of their inconsistency which could compromise the ECB’s core price-stability mandate as well as its independence. The experience of central banks during the recent global financial crisis confirms that such risks are not purely hypothetical.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic Growth, Banks, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Barbara Nowakowska, Piotr Noceń, Michał Surowski, Michał Popiołek
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the publication, Barabara Nowakowska and Piotr Noceń discuss 'Poland’s Private Equity Market: Current Conditions and Development Prospects', and Michał Surowski and Michał Popiołek describe 'Private Equity From a Bank’s Perspective'.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Banks, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates of the VAT Gap for 26 EU Member States for 2013, as well as revised estimates for the period 2009-2012. It is a follow-up to the report “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member Statess, published in September 2013 (hereafter: 2013 Report), and to the report “2012 Update Report to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States” , published in October 2014 (hereafter: 2014 Report). As in previous reports, it was not possible to include estimates for Croatia and Cyprus, due to as-yet-incomplete national account statistics for the two countries. The VAT Gap is an indicator of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures, as it provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies as well as miscalculations. As the VAT Gap in this study is based on a top-down approach, it does not readily lend itself to be deconstructed according to industrial sectors or other criteria (territorial, professional), and can be best used as a diagnostic tool in the context of its evolution over time. As discussed in previous reports, the VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT actually collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), in absolute or percentage terms. The VTTL is an estimated amount of VAT that is theoretically collectable based on the VAT legislation and ancillary regulations. This report calculates, for each country the VTTL on the basis of national accounts, by mapping information on standard, reduced rates and exemptions onto data available on final and intermediate consumption, as well as gross fixed capital formation, from national accounts and use tables. Thus, the quality of the VAT Gap estimates depends on the accuracy and completeness of national accounts data and use tables. The year 2013 saw a continuing overall unfavourable economic environment, as the GDP of the European Union was nearly stagnant. This contributed to a slowdown of nominal final consumption and of other economic aggregates that form the basis of the Value Added Tax. Six countries applied changes to standard or reduced rates in 2013, marking a relatively stable policy environment. During 2013, the overall VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL) for the EU-26 Member States grew by about 1.2 percent, while collected VAT revenues rose by 1.1 percent. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU-26 saw an increase in absolute values of about Euro 2.8 billion, to reach Euro 168 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap stayed constant at 15.2 percent. The median VAT Gap rose by 1.6 percentage point, to reach 13.9 percent. In 2013, Member States’ estimated VAT Gaps ranged from the low of 4 percent in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, to the high of 41 percent in Romania. Overall, 15 Member States decreased their VAT Gap, with the largest improvements noted in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia. 11 Member States saw an increase in the VAT Gap, generally of small magnitudes, with the largest deteriorations in Estonia and Italy. This report also provides new and expanded evidence on the Policy Gap for the EU-26. The Policy Gap is an indicator of the additional VAT revenue that a Member State could theoretically collect if it applied standard rate to all consumption of goods and services supplied for consideration. We provide here estimates of the Policy Gap adjusted to take into account items that could not easily be taxed even in an “ideal” system (imputed rents, public goods, financial services). The results moderate views of the relative importance of reduced rates and exemptions in reducing the revenue potential of VAT, and suggest that better enforcement remains a key component of any strategy of improvement of the VAT system. The results of this report and the underlying data were presented to Member States in advance of publication and discussed on several occasions with the representatives of Member States. Deviating approaches and views of Member States are noted in the relevant country section in Chapter 3. The authors are grateful for the constructive cooperation and helpful input of Member States.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Andres Võrk, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska, Elena Jarocinska, Niku Määttänen, Robert Gál, Theo Nijman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Life expectancies are rapidly increasing and uncertain in all countries in Europe. To keep pension systems affordable, policy reforms are to be implemented which will encourage individuals to work longer. In this paper we analyze the impact of working and living longer on pension incomes in five European countries and assess the impact of these policy reforms on the financial well-being of the elderly. The paper shows the diversity of the policy measures taken in these countries. Furthermore, we analyze the financial incentives for working longer and postponing claiming pension benefits and we assess the attractiveness of these options. Lastly, we study how increases in life expectancies and survival probabilities affect pension incomes.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands, European Union
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Matthias Luecke
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Migration from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries has only become a large and important phenomenon over the last twenty years. At its heart, labour migration reflects entrepreneurial decisions by individuals and families looking to improve their lives while facing complex challenges and opportunities. In the past, the language of "migration management" was sometimes used to suggest that migrants and migration needed to be “managed” to achieve government objectives. By contrast, in adopting a migrant-centered perspective, our project aimed to understand, first, EaP migrants’ incentives and the effects of migration on migrants and their families, on non-migrants in the country of origin, and on residents of the destination country. Second, we investigated how labour migration is shaped by and interacts with a wide range of government policies and which policy interventions can enhance the benefits of migration for the affected groups.
  • Topic: Demographics, Markets, Migration, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Innovation, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, European Union
  • Author: Krzysztof Szczygielski, M. Teoman Pamukcu, Sinan Tandogan, Wojciech Grabowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Mediterranean and EU member countries consider enhancing innovation and R&D an important policy objective. In order to improve economic competitiveness and increase their citizens’ welfare, these countries have been formulating and implementing innovation policies. In recent years, the volume of resources allocated to such policies has considerably increased and the number of instruments used in this framework has widened. Nevertheless, a relatively limited number of studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of innovation policies in these countries and formulate proposals for those aspects of policies that are in contradiction with the aims.
  • Topic: Government, Economy, Social Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Poland, Mediterranean, European Union