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Dossier

De politieke economie van macro-economische onbalansen in de eurozone

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Macroeconomic imbalances Eurozone, Euro crisis, Excessive imbalance procedure, Reform EMU
Auteurs Dr. Peter Rodenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The introduction of the euro led to large macroeconomic imbalances between Euro countries. Under pressure from the euro crisis, the European Commission adopted EU regulations 1174/2011 and 1176/2011 in 2011 with the aim of reducing these macroeconomic imbalances. These measures include the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure to identify macroeconomic imbalances and, if necessary, to prompt Member States to take corrective action. This article provides an overview of this recent EU policy for countering imbalances and provides a political-economic analysis of the macroeconomic imbalances in Europe and its consequences. In particular, it focuses on the conflicting interests of the euro-area countries with current account surpluses and deficits. This article also analyses the possibilities offered by the 2019 European election for European policy makers to strengthen this policy. The article concludes that the surplus countries, despite the apparent advantage of trade balance surpluses, do have an interest in reducing imbalances in the EU but fail to translate this into actual policy. The Commission’s role in reducing imbalances is likely to remain limited, even after the 2019 European elections.


Dr. Peter Rodenburg
Peter Rodenburg is Universitair docent bij de afdeling Europese studies van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Dossier

De Europese vakbeweging en de vormgeving van sociaal beleid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Social Europe, European Union, Social policy, Trade unions, ETUC
Auteurs Drs. Saskia Boumans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The European project currently faces not only an economic crisis, but a moral one as well. The economic growth model of social justice combined with market-oriented policies, also referred to as the European social model has lost much of its meaning after ten years of austerity and financial calamities. In 2012 ECB President Draghi says in the Wall Street Journal that the European social model is “gone”, a thing of the past. While only a couple of years later the European Pillar of Social Rights is put in place. What is happening with ‘Social Europe’? And how do trade unions, as a historical motor of social policy in the member states, relate to the European social model, especially since the financial crisis. This article deals with the position of trade unions vis-à-vis European social policy and the European institutions. The European social model, economic governance and the collective bargaining system are discussed as examples of post-crisis European social policy. It will be argued that although the European Commission gives institutional space to social policy and to a role for trade unions, it has always been subordinate to economic integration. And moreover that the recent economic crisis is used at the European level to obtain almost complete control over social policy in the member states.


Drs. Saskia Boumans
Drs. Saskia Boumans werkt als promovendus bij AIAS-HSI (UvA) aan een onderzoek naar werkgeversorganisaties in collectieve onderhandelingen, en heeft de afgelopen vijftien jaar voor de vakbeweging gewerkt.
Dossier

De aanpak van belastingontwijking door de EU: gerichte maatregelen zonder structurele verandering.

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Tax, EU/European Union, Corporate taxation, Tax avoidance, Tax policy
Auteurs Indra Römgens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the outgoing European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the European Union (EU) has made more progress in tackling tax avoidance and evasion in the last five years than in the twenty years before that. This article argues that although several targeted measures have indeed been adopted, such as automatic exchange of tax rulings and limitations on interest deductions, this has not led to a structural change in EU corporate tax policies, nor in underlying power relations. The article discusses the politics of a number of recent policy developments related to tax avoidance and evasion by transnational corporations. It argues that the adoption of targeted measures, and the simultaneous stalling of more comprehensive approaches – in terms of tax transparency or a common consolidated corporate tax base – can be explained by recent tax controversies, international politics, and the dynamics within and between EU institutions. Particular attention is paid to the role of the European Parliament that is formally limited, but still houses progressive forces that have continuously pushed for a clampdown on tax avoidance. Finally, the article pleads for more transparent EU decision-making, specifically concerning discussions with and within the Council, in order to improve the democratic legitimacy of EU corporate tax policies and processes.


Indra Römgens
MSc Indra Römgens is Promovendus aan de Roskilde Universiteit in Denemarken en de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.
Dossier

Access_open Uitdijende financiële macht: de monetaire orde van de ECB

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Auteurs Rodrigo Fernandez, Reijer Hendrikse en David Hollanders
Auteursinformatie

Rodrigo Fernandez
Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez is postdoc aan de KU Leuven en senior onderzoeker bij SOMO.

Reijer Hendrikse
Dr. Reijer Hendrikse is Postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

David Hollanders
Dr. David Hollanders is redactiesecretaris van Beleid en Maatschappij.
Dossier

De schuldencrisis in de eurozone: oorzaken, aanpak en implicaties

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Eurozone crisis, Financialization, Bail-outs, Austerity, Banking union, Quantitative easing
Auteurs Dr. Henk Overbeek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Ten years ago, now, the Eurozone began to shake on its foundations. This article traces the genesis of the crisis and the present state of affairs. As to the causes of the global financial crisis in 2008, I argue that contrary to common understanding, the financial crisis had its deeper causes in a decades old tendency towards crisis in the real economy, produced by the continuous overaccumulation of capital which can only return profits by undertaking speculative short-term investments (a phenomenon known as ‘financialisation’). I then trace how the global financial crisis morphed into a crisis of public deficits and debt in 2010-2011, particularly in the Eurozone. Three factors are shown to be responsible: financialization, design faults in the European monetary union, and the neo-mercantilist strategy of especially Germany and the Netherlands. The paper next looks at the five main traits of the policy responses in the Eurozone: bailing out governments and banks through creating emergency funds; imposition of austerity and budget discipline for member state governments; attempting to create and complete a Eurozone banking union; subsequently the European Central Bank engaged on an unprecedented scale in ‘quantitative easing’; and finally, institutional reform in an attempt to repair the most pressing design faults of the EMU. The paper concludes that the underlying structural factors leading up to the crisis have only been addressed incompletely: the overaccumulation of capital continues, the completion of the banking union is in an impasse, quantitative easing has mostly just intensified financialization by pushing up asset prizes, and institutional reform has taken the form of a fundamentally undemocratic attempt at monetary and political union by stealth. The broader legitimacy of the European project has been substantially undermined, and Europe is not in a better position than eight years ago in case of a new global crisis.


Dr. Henk Overbeek
Henk Overbeek is Emeritus Hoogleraar Internationale betrekkingen aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschap en Politicologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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