Euro Crisis Comment Roundup III

by Shane Fitzgerald

This post rounds up some interesting reports and analyses of the European economy and the Eurozone crisis that have been published in the last week or two.

Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2011, prepared jointly by DG ECFIN and DG TAXUD of the European Commission, analysed recent trends in tax revenues and tax reforms across the EU. It focused on tax structure, discussing elements of a ‘good’ tax system and identifying tax policy challenges faced by Eurozone states including: “i) the potential need to address severe fiscal consolidation challenges also on the revenue side of the budget, ii) the potential to make the tax structure more growth friendly and iii) ways to improve the design of individual types of taxes.”

The European Central Bank published a new Occasional Paper, The Size and Composition of Government Debt in the Euro Area. Its findings have several policy implications.

Eurostat continued to publish its regular Euroindicators, most recently on topics including industrial production, inflation, the euro area external trade deficit, the EU27 current account deficit, and euro area construction output. Meanwhile, Eurobarometer continued its series of EU-wide surveys with reports on the Social Climate (asking people to evaluate their personal circumstances and the general situation in their country) and Perceptions of Climate Change.

Turning to the Eurozone crisis, the Notre Europe think tank hosted an interesting debate on the future of the EU’s ‘community method’, while Bruegel considered current plans for enhancing the EFSF, concluding that “the idea that one can leverage the EFSF without the ECB is a fantasy”. Picking up on the increasing wariness of non-Euro Member States towards the EU’s crisis resolution plans, the Centre for European Reform (on their nice new website) published articles on why Eurozone ‘Outs’ Must Stick Up for the Single Market and on the Triangle of Suspicion between Britain, the City and the EU.

Ajai Chopra, Deputy Director of the European Department of the International Monetary Fund gave an important presentation to an Irish economics conference titled Strengthening the Financial Stability Framework of the EU.

A special hearing of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee heard from a number of speakers on Monday including the outgoing ECB Board Member Dr Juergen Stark, who is delivering an address to the IIEA in November. His remarks can be read here.

The Financial Times continued its ‘A-List’ series of blogs with posts on the Euro crisis from Jim O’Neill, Roger Altman, Wolfgang Munchau, George Soros, Mohamed El-Erian, Ian Bremmer and Gavyn Davies.

Finally, the always worthwhile VoxEU website continues to breed many of the most-discussed policy ideas for getting to grips with Europe’s debt problems. The site editors have corralled all of these onto a page called  Eurozone Crisis: Phase II.

Plenty of food for thought ahead of yet another highly hyped summit this weekend.

This article was first published by the Institute of International and European Affairs. Access the original here.