• Why the Commission President is wrong to go wide but not deep

    Why the Commission President is wrong to go wide but not deep0

    In his annual address to the European Parliament, European Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker set out a blueprint for his final two years in office, covering a wide range of policy areas. On his call for deeper and more inclusive integration for all Member States, I say we are rolling the ball back to the starting point: the avant-garde option remains the only plausible route to closer political unity in the continent.

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  • The 500 Euro banknote nightmare

    The 500 Euro banknote nightmare4

    On May 4th 2016, the European Central Bank has decided to permanently end the production of the €500 banknote by the end of 2018. On the other hand, the circulating €500 banknotes will still remain legal tender and retain their value even after 2018. What’s behind such decision and what are the consequences for the European citizens? Is it feasible for us to have a €500 banknote in our wallet and exchange it within the European Monetary Union? Well, it might depend…

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  • Waltraud Schelkle: “Eurozone must build risk-sharing mechanisms”

    Waltraud Schelkle: “Eurozone must build risk-sharing mechanisms”0

    Joseph Stiglitz can certainly not be counted among the friends of the Euro. His new book, The Euro and Its Threat to the Future of Europe, provides ammunition for Eurosceptics, on whichever side of the political spectrum: a harsh critique of the Single Currency, unrealistic policy proposals on how to save it (e.g. a fiscal federation), the conclusion that an “amicable divorce” would be best. In this interview, Waltraud Schelkle, Associate Professor in Political Economy at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, provides an alternative read of the euro area crisis.

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  • Ain’t no Atlas strong enough to support the Italian banking system on its shoulders

    Ain’t no Atlas strong enough to support the Italian banking system on its shoulders0

    As a whole, Italian banks have non-performing loans (NPL) worth 198bn euros. Add in so-called “sofferenze”, i.e. debt at risk of non payment, and the total amount rises to 360bn euros. The Italian government has strong-armed the banks into setting up a fund – called “Atlante” – that will act as a backstop for banks that are trying to raise capital and cannot find buyers for their new share issues. Unlike the myth it echoes though, Atlante is not strong enough. And, with Mr Renzi, Italy’s PM, putting his legitimacy at stake with the referendum coming up in October, the government might not have the ability and time to do anything better.

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  • Brave New Euro

    Brave New Euro0

    The European Union (EU) should further integrate fiscally and politically in spite of the many challenges it faces. Nationalist movements across the continent threaten the existence of the EU. The Euro, once the pinnacle of the European project, has been dealt a couple of blows. We cowardly lay blame on refugees, populists and a coin; they will never disappear. It’s not the fault of the Euro. It’s (the lack of) political will, stupid!

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