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Euro Area Macroeconomics: where do we stand twenty years later ?

Catherine Mathieu () and Henri Sterdyniak ()

No 2018-44, Documents de Travail de l'OFCE from Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE)

Abstract: For almost 20 years, euro area countries have been sharing a single currency. The drawbacks of the euro area framework were highlighted by the widening of imbalances prior to the 2007 financial crisis, and thereafter by the huge impact of the financial crisis, the public debt crisis in Southern countries, and the great recession. Prior to and after the crisis, EU institutions and Member States have not been able to implement either a common economic strategy, or satisfactory economic policy coordination. This did lead neither to a burst of the euro area, nor to a substantial change in its functioning. Euro area institutions were adapted, through the European Stability Mechanism, the fiscal treaty,the “first semester”, the European Central Bank’s support to MS, the banking union. Theseadaptations were painful. In mid-2018, the economic situation had clearly improved at the euro area level. However, the following question remains unsolved: can the functioning of the euro area be improved, accounting for divergent situations, interests and views in MS? Section 2 recalls proposals from EU institutions and from MS. Section 3 presents and discusses several economists’ viewpoints and proposals to improve the euro area policy framework. Some economists rely on financial markets to control domestic economic policies, some are in favour of the introduction of a euro zone budget and minister of finance, some are in favour of moving towards a federal EU with increased democracy, some make original proposals to cut publicdebts, and last some advocate better economic policy coordination.

Keywords: Fiscal policy; policy coordination; EMU governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 N14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-mac
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