For decades now the EU has constantly been broadening its policy to promote economic and social cohesion. But all spending is now under scrutiny, and not only because they are about to lose a key net contributor in the form of the UK. A recent IW study reveals that more than EUR 20 billion could be saved every year if the cohesion funding were only granted to economically weaker Member States.
The European Union should provide for more jobs, eliminate inequalities, and solve problems relating to migration. These are the results of a survey conducted by Eurobarometer.
Whatever the French may choose to be their new head of state at the beginning of May, he or she is faced with major economic challenges. Especially in the areas of labor market and public finances further reforms are bitterly necessary.
The European Union looks back on 60 years of economic cooperation. The first attempts to political integration are even older, but failed in the French parliament. Currently, however, closer cooperation in security and defense policy is urgently needed.
The EU wants to drastically reduce the consumption of plastic bags and is hopeful that consumers will switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives. Until 27 November 2016, EU governments had to adopt measures to cut the consumption of plastic carrier bags and report them to the EU Commission as required by the EU Plastic Bag Directive. Germany has opted for a voluntary agreement. This sounds good, but there is more than one obstacle.
Battery storage could go mainstream with growing shares of power produced from wind and sun and electric cars becoming more common in the streets. A rapid growth of the role of rechargeable batteries would, however, also lead to a significantly higher demand for certain critical raw materials needed to build these batteries. If e-vehicles penetrate the market by 2035 global annual demand for lithium could be almost 4 times higher than its current production.
The German economy is operating profitably in foreign trade. But contrary to popular belief, the current account surplus does not adversely affect the European countries impacted by the financial crisis. Indeed, the economic ascent of the newly industrialised countries has resulted in especially great demand for products from Germany’s capital goods industry.
On 23 June, the UK will hold a referendum on whether the country will remain in the European Union. If the vote falls in favour of the Brexit, the British government will have to restructure its cooperation with the EU on the political and economic levels. Proponents of leaving the EU are hoping for a tailored agreement for the United Kingdom. However, this isn’t very realistic.
Berthold Busch / Jürgen Matthes
While addressing the migration of refugees is largely a humanitarian task, immigrants from the EU, India and China contribute substantially to securing a skilled workforce in Germany; this applies particularly to industrial occupations. That’s why the immigration of skilled workers from non-EU countries needs to be increased over the long term with the support of an immigration act.
Axel Plünnecke / Wido Geis
Unemployment often has a stronger impact on women than men, especially in southern Europe. Yet the situation gradually seems to be turning around, in spite of the euro and economic crisis. And in traditional industrialised countries such as Germany, women are the clear winners in the employment upturn.
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