Can cutting down on sugar subsidies lead to healthier trade competition and trimmer prices? The 2005 European Union market reforms aim to thin EU farmers’ sugar subsidies and cut out obsolete sugar mills. Sugar Policy Reform in the European Union and in World Sugar Markets maps out how this might work.(327 words)
On 1 January, Germany took over the presidencies of the European Union and the G8. The last time our country had this dual-chair role was in 1999. Our basic goal this year is to address global challenges and to tap fully the opportunities of globalisation.
The interests and concerns of the EU and the G8 are by no means identical, but there are several areas where we can take the opportunity of our dual presidency to build useful synergies.(1451 words)
The budget deficit for the OECD area as a whole probably peaked at around 7.5% of GDP in 2010. That’s the equivalent of some US$3.3 trillion. A decrease to around 6.1% of GDP is expected in 2011, which will still be high by historical standards. But while the need to restore public finances is a global challenge, the state of government balance sheets varies widely. Economic starting points, causes of deficits and budgetary strategies also vary. Some countries have started down the road of austerity, others are maintaining stimulus and plan to rein in their deficits from 2011.
In December 2010 we asked finance ministers from a broad selection of countries facing different fiscal challenges–France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa–to answer this question: “What actions is your government taking to bolster public finances, while upholding growth and services?”(3389 words)
Is the German Wirtschaftswunder back? The tide has obviously turned for the better in what for most of the post-war period was indeed Europe's “wonder economy”: after years of very slow growth at the beginning of the decade, the EU’s largest economy has been experiencing a strong upswing since 2005. The reforms of recent years, notably on the labour market, are showing positive results with the unemployment rate falling to a seven-year low of around 7.5%.(1300 words)
Where are we in the current economic crisis?