OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Building a stronger and more integrated Europe

Europe’s economy is finally growing robustly. These positive developments provide an opportunity to renew efforts to meet the long-term challenges facing the European Union (EU). The EU’s record on reducing regional income disparities is mixed and this explains some of citizens’ discontent with the European project. Reforming cohesion policy by focusing spending more on items with long-term growth benefits and clear spillovers across borders, including human capital and infrastructure investment could further support income convergence. Higher co-funding rates and less burdensome administration of the cohesion and structural funds could encourage greater spending effectiveness. Sustained improvements in living standards are held back by weak productivity and investment in many countries. Reviving the single market project, by removing remaining barriers in services, energy, digital and transport can help to spur long-term growth. Deepening the single market and faster adoption of digital technologies will create new jobs but put at risk others, perhaps in lagging regions. The EU can help lagging regions catch up by reforming cohesion policy and facilitating firm creation through the removal of barriers across the single market. It can also support better those who lose out from globalisation and are displaced by technological change by making access to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund easier and broadening its scope not only to help workers displaced by globalisation or an economic crisis, but also due to other reasons such as automation.

This Working Paper relates to the 2018 OECD Economic Survey of the European Union.



Keywords: labour migration, productivity, EU single market, economic integration, inclusive growth, Europe
JEL: L98: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Industry Studies: Utilities and Transportation: Government Policy; F22: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Migration; F36: International Economics / International Finance / Financial Aspects of Economic Integration; L88: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Industry Studies: Services: Government Policy; L51: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy / Economics of Regulation; F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; G23: Financial Economics / Financial Institutions and Services / Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
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