On 5 May, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that the European Central Bank’s Public Asset Purchasing Programme could be incompatible with the German Constitution. Waltraud Schelkle writes there is a deep sense of irony in the ruling: the German Court questions the legal foundations of the ECB’s independence but is actually prevented from succeeding by the constitutional fortifications of the ECB’s […]
The European Central Bank was established 20 years ago today on 1 June 1998. To mark the anniversary, we asked five academics to give their views on the lessons learned from two decades of the ECB, and their predictions on what might lie in store for both the ECB and the euro over the next 20 years.
Paul De […]
Krugman’s argument that the Eurozone is not an optimum currency area could easily be applied to the US
In a recent conference, the distinguished economist Paul Krugman repeated the oft-heard critique that the eurozone is not an optimal currency area. Waltraud Schelkle disagrees with this characterisation, and argues that no country or group of countries represents an optimal currency area – one region or country always loses out from a single monetary policy. But countries can use […]
A double bind: Cameron urges non-discrimination in one policy area, while wanting to discriminate in another
The UK government has entered the final stages of its negotiations with the EU. The issues of immigration control and the refugee crisis seem to overshadow the debate. Yet, as Waltraud Schelkle points out, the “Dear Donald — Yours David” letter of Prime Minister Cameron to European Council President Tusk reveals that the other leading issue is financial integration in a European Union with […]
One of the arguments frequently made against the euro is that the Eurozone represents a ‘non-optimal’ currency area. This derives from the notion that the variations between regions within the Eurozone are simply too large for them to share a single currency without encountering problems. Waltraud Schelkle assesses this argument by comparing the experience of the Eurozone with that […]
One of the most widespread arguments about the Eurozone crisis is that countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy have been hamstrung by their lack of monetary sovereignty and the ability to devalue their own currency. Deborah Mabbett and Waltraud Schelkle assess this perspective by comparing the experiences of Greece with Hungary, which does not use the euro, and […]
The second Greek rescue programme was not merely late, but also insufficient, making a third programme inevitable.
Last week the IMF published a review of the financial assistance given to Greece during its debt crisis. One of the key limitations identified in the report was that debt relief for the country was provided far later than it should have been. Waltraud Schelkle writes on the fallout from the report, which generated angry responses from both the European […]
Germany has prescribed austerity and restraint for Europe, while at the same time undertaking extensive fiscal stimulus packages at home.
The eurozone crisis is one of the most significant challenges EU policymakers have yet faced. Waltraud Schelkle examines Germany’s reaction to the crisis, finding that while Germany proposed economic self-restraint in 2008, it also embarked on a policy of domestic fiscal stimulus to the welfare system and car industry that amounted to 3 per cent of GDP. She argues that […]
A return to the Deutschmark or a core monetary union would impoverish Europe’s economies. Instead, Eurobonds could offer a viable solution to preserve unity in diversity.
An overstretched EU-level monetary policy and differences in real interest rates within the Eurozone have led to a vicious circle of asset bubbles in some Eurozone countries and slow growth in others. The introduction of Eurobonds, together with fiscal innovation at the member state level, can help to ensure income convergence with stability, argue Anke Hassel and Waltraud Schelkle. An influential […]