United Kingdom
United Kingdom

No man is an island Arrow

The signs are clear: In the event of an electoral victory, Prime Minister Cameron’s government plans to begin renegotiating the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union in 2015 and to hold a referendum in 2017. The possibility that the UK may leave the EU can no longer be ruled out. more

Income
Income

Biased inequality perceptions Arrow

Whereas US-Americans are not very concerned about their large income inequalities, Germans view considerably smaller differences much more critically. This is not surprising given that Europeans tend to be considerably more pessimistic about how equal their societies actually are. more

Low interest rates
Low interest rates

Smooth turnaround allows for earlier exit Arrow

The European Central Bank (ECB) was right to push down interest rates to all-time lows and to use unconventional instruments when the euro debt crisis was at its peak. However, the lasting ultra-low interest rates have begun to induce financial stability risks and put savers and financial institutions under increasing pressure. Moreover, it is now the task of governments to tackle the roots of the multiple crises that cumulated in recent years by means of significant structural reforms in many policy fields. more

Income distribution
Income distribution

A common misconception Arrow

Many nationalities are convinced that the structure of their society is considerably less equitable than it really is. As a rule, people underestimate the size of the middle class and overestimate the proportion of low wage-earners. Only the USA has considerably less evenly distributed incomes than its citizens suspect, as a study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) reveals. more

The EU’s eastward enlargement
The EU’s eastward enlargement

The results are positive Arrow

Ten years ago, the European Union (EU) expanded to include eight Central and Eastern European countries – as well as Malta and Cyprus – as new members. Those countries had already been experiencing more rapid per-capita economic growth than the old member states, but after they joined the EU that growth accelerated still further. more

Eurozone Banks
Eurozone Banks

In the run-up to the Stress Test Arrow

Before the European Central Bank (ECB) becomes the supreme bank supervisor of the European Banking Union in November 2014, it will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the 128 largest system-relevant banks in the Eurozone. To prevent a further crisis of confidence if banks fail the stress test, the ECB should communicate strategies for any banks that do fail. more

Minimum wage
Minimum wage

A law in need of revision Arrow

By introducing a statutory minimum wage on January 1, 2015, the government is engaged in massive interference in wage formation. This poses a challenge for the labour market, particularly in eastern Germany. International experience has shown that a gradual approach would have mitigated risks to the labour market. more