Show menu

Patrick Bisciari

  • Dinsdag 8/2/2022
    Bisciari / Gelade / Melyn

    This article analyses the Recovery and Resilience Plans submitted by the four big euro area countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) and Belgium. These Plans describe the investments and reforms that they intend to carry out with a view to strengthening their economies. A s required, the five countries considered will use the EU grants mainly to finance green and digital investment. Italy, Spain and France also intend to spend about 1/3 of the grants on other projects such as labour market, education and skills; R&D and innovation; cohesion; health;... In exchange for a higher share of grants, Italy and Spain have committed to more comprehensive reforms designed to effectively address their imbalances and structural weaknesses than Germany, France and Belgium. Italy and Spain have already implemented substantial reforms in 2021 before the first instalment of grants was requested. Others will follow as soon as in 2022. Going forward, actual implementation will be key. In Belgium, the EU grants should be an opportunity to help push through structural reforms supporting the green and digital transitions and enhancing the growth potential.

  • Vrijdag 14/1/2022
    Bisciari / Gelade / Melyn

    Economists regard COVID-19 as a global and exogenous shock. In response, the EU set up a recovery plan consisting of grants and favourable loans to Member States over 2021-2026. The pandemic affected countries dependent on tourism more than the other countries. The recovery plan therefore involves an aspect of solidarity by providing grants and by taking into account both the initial vulnerability and the economic damage caused by COVID-19 in the Recovery and Resilience Facility allocation criteria for the grants. Thanks to these criteria, Italy and Spain are the main beneficiaries in terms of grants. Together with loans, this will boost their economic activity over the medium term more than in Germany, France and Belgium.

    In exchange for EU grants and loans, all countries must submit Recovery and Resilience Plans describing the investments and reforms that they intend to carry out with a view to strengthening their economies. Belgium was expected to receive only € 5.9 billion worth of grants. This amount might even be substantially lower once the effective GDP losses for 2020 and 2020-2021 are known in spring 2022. Nevertheless, as a small open economy, Belgian GDP might benefit more from the Recovery and Resilience Plans implemented in Germany, France, Italy and Spain than from its own plan.

  • Woensdag 1/7/2020

    Economic convergence has been one of the explicit goals of the EU from its very beginning. The prospect of higher living standards has undeniably been a major attraction of EU membership. Conversely, economic divergence may undermine support for the European project and complicate the common monetary policy in the euro area. In this policy note, we first summarise the key findings of an analysis of national and regional convergence across the EU. In particular, we show that initially poorer European countries and regions have, in general and over the longer term, made progress in catching-up with the income levels of their richer peers, even though convergence has not been a smooth process. The relative performance of countries and regions in the EU is also illustrated. We then shed some light on the extent to which the Covid-19 crisis and the ensuing recovery might impact the functioning of the EU “convergence machine”, before drawing some implications in terms of economic policy.