Economics and institutions in Europe

The research group EIE (Economics and Institutions in Europe) deals with issues related to the acceleration of the process of institutional completion in the EU. The ECB and the European Commission (EC) have recalled repeatedly that it is necessary for the common organs and governments of member states to do more for making the economic and monetary integration stronger and more resilient to future, possible crises. Strengthened fiscal policy coordination, a mildly expansionary fiscal stance and the markedly expansionary turn of the ECB have managed to stabilize financial markets. Yet the situation is far from satisfactory and the process of integration is striving to survive more than flourish, contrary to the promises and expectations of the time before the crisis. Even its economic advantages are jeopardized and challenged.

Thematic research areas

The inclusion of institutionally different countries in an economic and monetary union lacking a common government appears prominent in the explanation of economic, political and social distress. Hence, the main sets of questions that require further research are the following:

  • The construction of the EMU in general and the Eurozone in particular and its compatibility with the institutional, structural and development variety of member countries.
  • The institutional variety of EMU member countries, both within and outside the Eurozone, and its consequences.
  • Possible ways to assess and measure the variety and streamline it with European integration and in particular the common currency.
  • Institutional and policy changes necessary to guarantee positive outcomes from the cohabitation of common goals and national variety.

Our primary goal is to understand the intimate connection between the internal (structural and institutional) problems of the Eurozone and the consequences for both Eurozone member and non-member states. In consideration of the above, the two main sets of questions should be rephrased and analyzed more precisely:

  • The EU seems to adopt greater and more precise differentiation among member countries and placing increasing pressure on them to comply with EU rules and decisions. Those willing to proceed with the implementation of EMU will be provided with greater support and resources, while the others will benefit less. Support may be linked more intimately to progress and better respect of agreements in various policy areas.
  • The variety of EMU member countries, both within and outside the Eurozone, continues to be a prominent feature and will be so in the future. This is bound to have important economic, political and social consequences, including different operational mechanisms of national markets. Given the existing institutional and governance architecture of the EMU and its present evolution, it is important to assess whether and how the EMU can effectively respond to the problems descending from the uneasy cohabitation of national institutional variety with economic integration and monetary union.

Composition of the research group is as follows