The mixed blessings of globalisation in Africa

In this blog post Thieß Petersen from Bertelsmann Stiftung asks to what extent African countries have benefited from globalisation. In Africa the share of the overall population living in poverty decreased from 54 per cent to only 41 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Furthermore, African economies are reporting high current account deficits, which indicates low international competitiveness. Considered in this way, African countries have been left behind by globalization.

Path in the sand. Copyright: Antonio Cinotti on flick. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Path in the sand. Copyright: Antonio Cinotti on flick. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Global Trade and Europe

Podcast. Copyright by Silveira Neto on flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Podcast. Copyright by Silveira Neto on flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This podcast of Bruegel's series "The Sound of Economics" focuses on trade multilateralism. André Sapir explains the benefits of multilateral trade agreements. Arancha González, executive director of the International Trade Center, makes a strong case against protectionsism. Petra Pinzler, journalist and author, highlights the weaknesses in some narrow economic thinking about trade, and Guntram Wolff, Bruegel’s director, discusses Europe’s place in the multilateral trade system.

The future of Europe: Comparing public and elite attitudes

Based on a major survey across 10 EU countries, this report published by Chatham House shows a lack of consensus among the elite over the future of EU integration - and a pronounced divide within the public on issues of identity. This unique survey conducted between December 2016 and February 2017makes clear that EU politics has moved from a period in which it was mediating between an integrationist political class and an occasionally sceptical public to one in which there is a more mixed picture among both groups.

EU Cookies. Copyright: Samantha on flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

EU Cookies. Copyright: Samantha on flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

To be European in a global world

While Europeans generally appear to be united by a development model trying to reconcile economic efficiency, social cohesion, and protection of the environment in a democratic framework, some rather highlight their differences and reject the European project. Can we not, on the contrary, consolidate the construction of Europe by reaffirming our common identity? In this synthesis of a Round Table organized by the Jacques Delors Institute, in partnership with the Gulbenkian Foundation, Luc Vincent presents the main analysis and recommendations formulated during this round table.

2016/03 Gasometer Oberhausen. Copyright: Stefan Laps on flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

2016/03 Gasometer Oberhausen. Copyright: Stefan Laps on flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Globalisation and the welfare state

A new focus paper published by Bertelsmann Stiftung's GED projectsuggests that the complementarity between openness to trade and a strong welfare state weakened over time. While trade – the key driver of globalisation – improves net welfare, it comes with increased vulnerability to external shocks, decline of certain sectors of the economy, etc. In order to insure against these side-effects, a strong welfare state is needed. However, while globalisation is accelerating, the welfare state stagnates.

Globalization.  Photo copyright: Woplu on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Globalization.  Photo copyright: Woplu on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

EU-India FTA - Two Unequal Partners?

Taj Mahal. Copyright: Nathan Jones on flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Taj Mahal. Copyright: Nathan Jones on flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Talks between India and the EU about a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have been going on for some while now and have been anything but easy so far. There are many hurdles to take before both sides will be able to agree to a deal. This study, published by the Global Economic Dynamics Project, examines the economic effects such an agreement could potentially have.

French elections: at best a a Pyrrhic victory for the French economy

In this new blogpost CASE economist Iakov Frizis analysis the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the french presidential elections and the upcoming political and economic challenges.

French flags. Picture copyrighs: Quinn Dombrowski on flick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

French flags. Picture copyrighs: Quinn Dombrowski on flick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Europeans rediscover enthusiasm for globalisation

New research by  Uuriintuya Batsaikhan and Zsolt Darvas.
The general political mood on both sides of the Atlantic seems to suggest declining public support for globalisation, but people in the EU increasingly see globalisation as an opportunity for economic growth. This shift in public opinion coincides with improved economic conditions.

"Globalisation as an opportunity for economic growth". Blue: EU north (Finland, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom) Red: EU west (Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg) Orange: EU south (Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal) Green: EU east 11 (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia Slovakia) Pink: France.

Source: Eurobarometer. Question: Please tell me to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Globalisation is an opportunity for economic growth”. Share of those respondents who replied “Totally agree” and “Tend to agree” among those who answered this question. Average of the May and November survey results for each year.

Vision Europe representative at FEMISE Annual Conference

Hugo de Seabra, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Project Manager for Vision Europe, presented at the FEMISE (Forum Euro-Méditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences Economiques) annual Conference, on 29 April, the Vision Europe 2016 conclusions and recommendations following the publication “Improving the Responses to the Migration and Refugees Crisis in Europe”, dedicating special attention to the Conference Declaration “Building Common Ground: Towards strategic migration and refugee policies in Europe”.

Speakers at FEMISE Annual Conference. 29-30 April 2017, Casablanca. Copyright: FEMISE

Speakers at FEMISE Annual Conference. 29-30 April 2017, Casablanca. Copyright: FEMISE

The FEMISE annual conference “Migration and Refugees’ Crisis in the EU – Med: Dawn of an Era of Shared Responsibility?” was held in Casablanca from 29 to 30 April 2017.

Trump Trade: More bark than bite?

In this policy paper, Elvire Fabry, senior research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute, analyses the factors that will prevail in Washington’s initiatives et outlines two scenarios allowing to decipher the way in which these various parameters might be played out:
• An aggressive economic nationalism;
• A protectionist megaphone with limited disruption.

Times Square, USA. Picture copyright: cgc76 on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Times Square, USA. Picture copyright: cgc76 on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Follow-up Conference in Berlin

60 representatives from academia, civil society, politics and administration continued the discussions started in Lisbon. Following an invitation by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the round table started with an input by Matthias Ruete, Director General at DG Migration and Home Affairs, who emphasized the interconnectedness of national and European policies. Germany’s past and future role for a proactive, efficient and fair asylum policy was then discussed by high-level panelists.

From left to right: Eric Thode (Director, Bertelsmann Stiftung), Aart De Geus (CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung), Michael Tetzlaff (Head of Directorate, Directorate for Migration, Refugees, European Harmonisation, Federal Ministry of the Interior), Matthias Ruete (Director-General of Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission), Thomas Oppermann (Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group), Katharina Lumpp (Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Germany), and Ulrich Kober (Director, Bertelsmann Stiftung).

From left to right: Eric Thode (Director, Bertelsmann Stiftung), Aart De Geus (CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung), Michael Tetzlaff (Head of Directorate, Directorate for Migration, Refugees, European Harmonisation, Federal Ministry of the Interior), Matthias Ruete (Director-General of Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission), Thomas Oppermann (Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group), Katharina Lumpp (Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Germany), and Ulrich Kober (Director, Bertelsmann Stiftung).

The Treaty of Rome at 60

The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome presents an opportunity to reflect on the progress of European integration so far, and to discuss what the future will bring for Europe. Bruegel explores these topics in their special edition of The Sound of Economics.

Brussels - 20. Image copyright: Matt May on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Brussels - 20. Image copyright: Matt May on flickr (CC BY 2.0)