SEJ Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

Italy Calls For A Bretton Woods For The Eurozone

Paolo Pini

French President Francois Hollande has announced that he will ignore the European budget constraints; his intention is to defer the return of the deficit/GDP ratio to below 3% for two years. This could signal the end of Fiscal Compact austerity. The French decision only highlights the critical state of the overall system (and the widespread […]

A Sovereign Wealth Fund For The Eurozone?

Henning Meyer

Social Europe Journal has just published its latest Research Essay “Public Capital in the 21st Century” by Giacomo Corneo. The main argument of the paper is that the state should become a kind of investment state in order to make sure that high returns on capital do not further increase inequality but benefit the wider public. […]

Why The ECB Needs To Finance The European Investment Plan

Ronald Janssen

The incoming Commission, as reported here, seems to be critical of the idea of funding its 300 billion European Investment plan by an additional capital increase of the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is right to be sceptical. Indeed, the experience with the Growth Compact of June 2012 is a bit sobering. Whereas the 10 […]

Labour Mobility Within The EU: The Real Picture

John Hurley

General and labour mobility across borders within the EU decreased sharply during the immediate crisis period in 2008–2010. There is consistent evidence of a rebound in mobility since 2011, but mobility rates remain lower than before the crisis. In spite of EU policies facilitating free movement, European and national data suggest that the level of […]

Getting The Germany Argument Right

Simon Wren-Lewis

As the Eurozone experiences a prolonged demand-deficient recession, and given Germany’s pivotal role in making that happen, it is important to get the argument against current German policy right. It seems to me there are two wrong directions to take here. The first is to argue that Germany needs to undertake fiscal expansion because it […]

Business Austria And The ‘Lowflation’ Trap

Ronald Janssen

A remarkable proposal…. In Europe, wage bargaining does not take place on isolated islands. What happens in one part of Europe tends to spill over to other parts. And so it can be expected that the deep wage cuts which workers of Euro Area deficit countries are suffering will sooner or later be used to […]

Is The New Belgian Government Creating New Jobs?

Frank Roels

By reducing labour costs, we will increase the number of jobs. This prophecy has been repeated since the crises, not only by journalists and politicians, but also by at least one economist in each university department. The new Belgian government is now putting this theory into practice. The plans are to reduce labour costs by more […]

The Untold Story Of The Eurozone Crisis

Simon Wren-Lewis

Everyone knows that the Eurozone suffered a crisis from 2010 to 2012, as periphery countries could no longer sell their debt. A superficial analysis puts this down to profligate governments, but look more closely and it becomes clear that the formation of the Euro itself led to an excessive monetary stimulus in these periphery countries. […]

Why Austerity Is Contagious

Ronald Janssen

Austerity is contagious: The case of France France is finding itself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, with 54% of companies reporting in the third quarter 2014 that they find activity constrained by a lack of customers, the main problem is clearly on the side of demand. On the other […]

Why The Eurozone Suffers From A Germany Problem

Simon Wren-Lewis

When, almost a year ago, Paul Krugman wrote six posts within three days laying into the stance of Germany on the Eurozone’s macroeconomic problems, even I thought that maybe this was a bit too strong, although there was nothing in what he wrote that I disagreed with. Yet as Germany’s stance proved unyielding in the face of […]

Europe Is Back At Square One

Javier Lopez

Europe is back at square one. On the verge of a third recession in five years, the relentless tide is even crashing against the insurmountable walls of the German factory powerhouse. Stagnation yet again in the Eurozone – this time accompanied by a certain whiff of Japanese-style deflation. Once more the markets are getting nervous: a volatile […]

Will The Juncker Commission Continue To Entrench Neoliberal Policies?

Lukas Oberndorfer

A few days ago, the designated European Commission finally showed its true colours: It wants to make sure that its economic policy recommendations become enforceable. Deregulation of rent setting systems, adjusting the retirement age to account for life expectancy and increased flexibility in wage-setting mechanisms were mere recommendations in 2014. That is supposed to change […]