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Repair and Prepare: Strengthening Europe

The Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Jacques Delors Centre join forces to present in-depth analyses and far-sighted ideas for a stronger European economy.

Prepare for the worst

Amid a severe health, social and economic crisis, banks again take centre stage on the political agenda. This policy paper explains why decisionmakers are worried about a looming banking crisis, sets out the existing European bank crisis management framework and makes proposals for addressing its shortcomings in readiness for a possibly systemic banking crisis. Instead of taking the supposedly easy way out and bailing out banks again, now is the right time to prepare for the worst in Europe’s bank crisis management framework.

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Time to come home

When restarting work on reforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Eurogroup should heed the lessons of the pandemic: The ESM has become politically unviable while there is apparently a lot more flexibility within the EU treaties than previously thought. Therefore, this policy brief argues that the old reform plans should be put to one side and the ESM should be reinvented inside the EU legal order if it is to remain relevant. Such a reinvention would create a coherent crisis management framework that would be politically sustainable in the long run.

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A European approach to regulating AI

The European Commission’s AI strategy was released just a few short weeks before the global pandemic hit Europe. In her policy brief, Maarja Kask argues that AI can only be expected to help us through this pandemic and on a path of economic recovery if the upcoming legislation resolves the issues evident in the white paper. Not only does the Commission need to explain what it means when it talks about AI, but also be clear about its investment plan. The member states will also need to pull their weight when it comes to funding for the strategy to succeed.

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Building EU green bonds that deserve their name

The EU should seize the day: It should issue parts of the Recovery Instrument debt as green bonds and thereby boost that burgeoning market. But it is important to manage expectations: Issuing green bonds alone will not ‚green‘ recovery spending. This will depend on the criteria for climate-friendly spending in the legal texts governing the Recovery Instrument – and these so far lack teeth. So, there is a substantial risk that EU green bonds will set the wrong precedent now if backed by weak criteria. This would pre-empt future legislative work on the final EU green bond standard. If the criteria for climatefriendly spending are not strengthened, the Commission should scale back its ambition and should only issue green bonds for measures that fully match the criteria set out in the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

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Repair and Prepare: Strengthening Europe

This project delivers ideas and analyses for a stronger European economy. It covers three areas: We outline a reform agenda for the Eurozone that addresses key economic, political, and legal aspects; we propose improvements to make the European Single Market fit for the future; and we address the prospects for and determinants of sustained growth and prosperity in a Social Europe.

Economic and Monetary Union

We set out ideas on how to make the Eurozone more stable and less prone to crisis. This includes proposals to complete the Banking Union, strengthen economic coordination among member states, and improve the Eurozone’s crisis management capacity.

The European Single Market

We identify an array of traditional and new growth factors for a modern, innovative European Single Market. We analyse how Europe can better facilitate public and private investment, innovation and mobility and suggest policy proposals for how best to equip the Single Market for the digital age. The negotiations on Brexit and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) serve as critical inputs and will shape Single Market reform over the years ahead.

Social Europe

The legacy of the euro crisis and the challenges posed by demographic, structural and technological change put social issues at the heart of rethinking Europe’s economy. We suggest innovative solutions for addressing economic transformation processes and reducing social divisions in Europe. We also investigate how best to strengthen fair participation in the economy and how best to improve the Europe-wide employment and educational opportunities of EU citizens.

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Heidi Marleen Bräuer

Head of Communications at the Jacques Delors Centre (Maternal leave)

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Prof. Dr. Henrik Enderlein

Prof. Dr. Henrik Enderlein

Director of Jacques Delors Centre, President at Hertie School

Phone: +49 (0)30 467 2609 05
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Dr. Katharina Gnath

Senior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Phone: +49 (0)5241 81 81183
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Lucas Guttenberg

Lucas Guttenberg

Deputy Director at the Jacques Delors Centre

Phone: +49 (0)30 467 260 903
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Natascha Hainbach

Natascha Hainbach

Junior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Phone: +49 (0)5241 81 81843
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Linda Hewitt

Press and public relations officer at the Jacques Delors Centre

Phone: +49 (0)30 – 467 260 905
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Maarja Kask

Maarja Kask

Policy Fellow at the Jacques Delors centre

Phone: + 49 (0)30 259 219 217
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Carolin Köster

Carolin Köster

Administrative Assistant at the Jacques Delors Centre

Phone: +49 (0)30 – 467 260 901
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Nils Redeker

Nils Redeker

Policy Fellow at the Jacques Delors Centre

Phone: +49 (0)30 467 260 907
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Jasmin Ruhnke

Jasmin Ruhnke

Senior Project Assistant

Phone: +49 5241 81-81120
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Pola Schneemelcher

Pola Schneemelcher

Affiliate Policy Fellow at the Jacques Delors Centre

Phone: +49 (0)30 467 260 909
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Philipp Schulz

Junior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Phone: +49 (0)30 275 788 154
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