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“Europe will be forged in crises, and will be the sum
of the solutions adopted for those crises.”
Jean Monnet

European re...
Outline
• The current state of the recovery in the euro area.
• Public support for various approaches to solving the crisi...
The current state of the recovery
in the euro area

• First signs of a (still subdued and fragile) pick-up in economic act...
The crisis in the euro area has been a
catalyst for significant policy initiatives
1. Strengthening fiscal discipline (Six...
However, several structural
vulnerabilities remain

• Further deleveraging in both the private and public sector;
• Effect...
A majority of Europeans continue to
support the single currency, the euro

Source: Eurobarometer

6
But support differs widely across countries
• Support for the euro is much higher in the euro area (62%) than in the
non-e...
Europeans are eager to see reforms
• Europeans find the current speed of building Europe to be about
average (3.2 on a sca...
Europeans are ready for enhanced
cooperation between EU member states, but
not for building a federation of nation states
...
Reinforcing a clear alignment of rights and
responsibilities among various actors
• To a large extent, the problems in the...
A more pro-active approach in
preventing imbalances/vulnerabilities
• Euro area/Baltic experience demonstrates that a cred...
Continuing to foster resilience

• Recent experience underlines that the limited set of policy options
in a currency union...
A more determined approach to
macroeconomic adjustment and crisis
resolution
• Front-loaded fiscal adjustment and orderly ...
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Ardo Hansson. European recovery in longer-term perspective – a view from a (small) euro area country

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Governor Ardo Hansson participated in a panel discussion at the seminar organised by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. 09.10.2013

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Ardo Hansson. European recovery in longer-term perspective – a view from a (small) euro area country

  1. 1. “Europe will be forged in crises, and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.” Jean Monnet European recovery in longer-term perspective – a view from a (small) euro area country Ardo Hansson October 9, 2013
  2. 2. Outline • The current state of the recovery in the euro area. • Public support for various approaches to solving the crisis and sustaining the recovery. • Institutional and economic policy changes for increasing the long-run viability of the euro area. - Reinforcing a clear alignment of rights and responsibilities among various actors; - Reducing policy complacency/adopting a more pro-active approach to preventing imbalances/vulnerabilities; - Continuing to foster resilience; - Adopting a more determined approach to adjustment and crisis resolution. 15.10.2013 2
  3. 3. The current state of the recovery in the euro area • First signs of a (still subdued and fragile) pick-up in economic activity. • Steady progress in reducing stress and fragmentation in financial markets (‘tail risks’ receding). • Clear progress in reducing macroeconomic imbalances – current account imbalances and fiscal deficits. • Inflation expectations well anchored throughout the period. 15.10.2013 3
  4. 4. The crisis in the euro area has been a catalyst for significant policy initiatives 1. Strengthening fiscal discipline (Six Pack, Two Pack, Fiscal Compact); 2. Preventing and managing the financial crisis (single supervision, single resolution mechanism, bail-in of creditors); 3. Creating institutions for offering financial assistance to member states (EFSF, EFSM, ESM); 4. Procedures for the identification, prevention and management of macroeconomic imbalances (Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure); 5. National level structural reforms 15.10.2013 4
  5. 5. However, several structural vulnerabilities remain • Further deleveraging in both the private and public sector; • Effectiveness of fiscal institutions and rules; • Further strengthening the financial sector; • Implementing structural reforms to increase resilience, flexibility and growth potential of the economies 5
  6. 6. A majority of Europeans continue to support the single currency, the euro Source: Eurobarometer 6
  7. 7. But support differs widely across countries • Support for the euro is much higher in the euro area (62%) than in the non-euro area countries (29%). Are you for or against a European economic and monetary union with one single currency, the euro 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% DK Source: Eurobarometer Against For 7
  8. 8. Europeans are eager to see reforms • Europeans find the current speed of building Europe to be about average (3.2 on a scale of 1 to 7), but think it should be faster (5.0). • Approximately 90% of Europeans agree that their country needs reforms to face the future. • Nearly 80% of Europeans agree that measures to reduce the public deficit and debt cannot be delayed in their country. 7 Current speed (1=standstill, 7=top speed) Desirable speed 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Source: Eurobarometer 8
  9. 9. Europeans are ready for enhanced cooperation between EU member states, but not for building a federation of nation states The EU should develop further into a federation of nation states A central supervision of the banking system at EU level (ie, banking union) A more responsible governance of the euro A stronger coordination of economic policy among all the EU member states A stronger coordination of economic policy among euro area member states EU Member States should work together more in tackling the crisis 0% Agree Disagree 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DK Source: Eurobarometer 9
  10. 10. Reinforcing a clear alignment of rights and responsibilities among various actors • To a large extent, the problems in the euro area stem from the fact that the division of responsibilities is/was not credible or clear: - - Insufficient differentiation between countries with strong versus weak fundamentals was partly related to the lack of credibility of the no bail-out principle; Investors (holders of bank bonds, large deposits) assumed that they would be bailed out if banks failed; A tendency for the authorities to slacken their reform efforts as soon as other players succeed in mitigating the problems (e.g. successful monetary policy measures might delay the reform efforts of national governments). • From this perspective, caution is needed with policy initiatives that might lead to the blurring of responsibilities (e.g. mutualization of public debts). 15.10.2013 10
  11. 11. A more pro-active approach in preventing imbalances/vulnerabilities • Euro area/Baltic experience demonstrates that a credible monetary arrangement such as a currency union/currency board can easily lead to policy complacency. • The need for a more pro-active approach comes from various reasons: - Heterogeneity among member countries, reinforced by several amplification mechanisms; - Inherent difficulties in distinguishing between trend growth and overheating; - The large share of bank-intermediated private capital flows; - A very high cost of correcting imbalances. 15.10.2013 11
  12. 12. Continuing to foster resilience • Recent experience underlines that the limited set of policy options in a currency union requires a high level of resilience of the economies of the member countries. • The resilience in the EU has been quite different (Baltic States versus several currently stressed euro area countries). • Resilience appears to be especially dependent on: - the underlying growth potential; - the level of indebtedness in the private and public sector; - the strength of the financial sector. 15.10.2013 12
  13. 13. A more determined approach to macroeconomic adjustment and crisis resolution • Front-loaded fiscal adjustment and orderly but rapid deleveraging. • The short-run negative impact on demand that accompanies such policies has led many to argue for more gradual adjustment. • However, the advantages of rapid adjustment have been downplayed: 1. Avoiding reform fatigue; 2. Avoiding significant increases in public and private sector indebtedness; 3. Faster closure of unviable activities/firms; 4. Avoiding a long period of uncertainty weighing on demand. 15.10.2013 13

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