OECD Economic Surveys: European Union

2072-506X (online)
2072-5078 (print)
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OECD's periodic reviews of the European Union's economy. Each review examines recent economic developments, policies, and prospects, and provides a series of recommendations.
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OECD Economic Surveys: European Union 2016

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10 June 2016
9789264256309 (EPUB) ; 9789264256286 (PDF) ;9789264256217(print)

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This 2016 OECD Economic Survey of the European Union examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapter cover: Priorities for completing the Single Market.

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  • Basic statistics of the European Union, 2015

    This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of European Union were reviewed by the Committee on 3 May 2016. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 23 May 2016.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Jan Stráský and Álvaro Pina under the supervision of Pierre Beynet. Research assistance was provided by Desney Wilkinson-Erb and Secretarial assistance was provided by Sylvie Ricordeau.The previous Survey of the European Union was issued in April 2014.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary

    Building connected capital markets will reduce the over-reliance of European firms on bank lending at a time when the banking sector is still fragile in many countries. Diversifying both the domestic and cross-border sources of financing will lead to efficiency gains and help companies to expand, while allowing for a better sharing of risk among investors. Bank lending could be complemented by alternative financing, including securitisation, covered bonds, venture capital and private placements.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    Europe has made important progress in harnessing and reinforcing its policies and institutions to recover from a double-dip recession and improve crisis management. Very supportive monetary policy has helped growth to pick up gradually over the past three years (, Panel A), and contributed to reduce tensions in sovereign debt markets (, Panel B). The effect of fiscal policy on demand has turned broadly neutral. Important building blocks of banking union, on both supervision and resolution fronts, have come into operation, improving the resilience of the European financial system. Confidence in the European project has recovered from its lows in 2013, although it is still well below what it was before the crisis ().

  • Progress in structural reform
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapter

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    • Priorities for completing the single market

      The EU Single Market remains far from completed: progress in goods and services market integration has stalled, financial markets are still fragmented along national lines and the barriers to labour mobility remain high. Restrictive regulation within countries and regulatory heterogeneity across them hamper the internal market, reducing trade and investment flows. Network sectors, such as energy and transportation, are insufficiently interconnected and open to competition, and inefficient as a result. Reinvigorating the single market is one of the key tools to strengthen the recovery of the European Union and restore faster growth of income per capita.To support the recovery, structural reforms that yield short-run as well as long-run gains should be prioritised. Policies enhancing labour and capital mobility are especially relevant, as they provide channels of adjustment to country-specific shocks and reinforce the effectiveness of stabilisation policies. Policies enhancing capital mobility include improved securitisation, better collection and sharing of credit information regarding smaller firms and the convergence of insolvency regimes. Labour mobility within the European Union would profit from reduced administrative and regulatory burden, such as faster recognition of professional qualifications and better portability of social and pension rights. Product markets reforms also have the potential to deliver benefits swiftly, not least by unlocking investment. Regulatory burdens could be alleviated by better impact assessment for legislative proposals and ex post evaluation of policies. Product market reforms in network sectors should include harmonisation of regulations and technical specifications, with the target of establishing single EU regulators.

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