The European Territorial Cooperation programme (Interreg) is a long-standing instrument of EU cohesion policy aimed at encouraging economic growth in border areas. According to a report from the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the cooperation programmes financed through Interreg had clear strategies for tackling existing cross-border challenges. However, several weaknesses in the implementation of the Interreg programmes and in their monitoring limited the potential to unlock the capacity of the adjacent regions they covered.Interreg’s total budget for the 2014-2020 programme period was €10.1 billion. Over €6 billion was used to finance projects associated with internal borders.
Michael Weinold via The Conversation | The shortage of semiconductor chips has exposed the vulnerability of European high-tech manufacturers that rely heavily on chip imports from Asia. The automotive sector alone, traditionally a European high-tech stronghold, is expected to take a US$110 billion (£79 billion) hit over the coming years as a result. In 2020, high-tech products represented approximately 20% of total exports from the European Union by value, with…
Up to half of European adults have now had at least one shot of the available Covid-19 vaccines, infection rates have fallen dramatically, and lockdowns are gradually easing across the continent. Vaccination success will allow Europe’s economic recovery to catch up with the US and China, says Robeco’s strategist Peter van der Welle.
The three countries most affected by the coronavirus crisis will be Italy, Spain and France, with falls in GDP of 11.2%, 10.9% and 10.6% respectively this year. For the region as a whole, GDP will contract by 8.7% in 2020 compared to the 7.7% previously expected. By 2021 it expects GDP to grow by 6.1%. In the second half of next year, the Commission sees a two speed recovery happening in the EU, with the existing divergences in the area becoming even more pronounced.
via The Conversation | Recent data of recession in Italy and deceleration in the last quarter in German have sounded the alarm, although France and Spain have slightly increased their growth. It is certain that many risks exist, almost all geopolitical, which, if they came to pass, would have a negative impact on economic activity. And it is also hard to glimpse anything that would allow faster growth.
Benoit Coeure, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board, believes the renminbi will eventually become a major international currency. He also warns about the bitcoin bubble, reminding that the bitcoin is not a currency but a speculative investment.
On Thursday, ex-President of the ECB, Jean Claude Trichet warned that the political and economic authorities would have little room to manoeuvre in the face of a new crisis after the central banks exhaust their QE.
LONDON | Barclays analysts | We believe this week’s data on inflation and economic activity have provided more arguments to step up ECB’s asset purchase programmes by including EGBs on 22 January, which is our baseline scenario. Inflation entered negative territory in December and is likely to stay negative for a few months before a weaker euro improves the inflation and growth outlook.
By Suki Mann and Thibault Colle (UBS) | We effectively have four-weeks of business left in 2014 and the path is clear for corporate bond markets to record some more upside in performance. That isn’t as welcome as it might at first look. Because we do actually need something for next year. We’re already sitting on excellent returns for 2014 of 7.7% in IG and 5.6% in HY; and with that, record low yields in IG (1.42%) and spread levels not seen since before the crisis (iBoxx IG at B+101bp). Supply in HY is at a record level (€72bn YTD) and we now have the second best year for issuance ever in IG non-financials (€201.6bn) after Tuesday’s deals from BskyB and RCI are accounted for.
MADRID | The Corner | Markets were sad on Monday until Mario Draghi emerged and spoke his magic words. It seems markets feel more secure every time the president of the ECB takes the lead and assures everything will be alright. Investors felt more confident after his intervention at the European Parliament’s Economic and Financial Committee. However, despite his speech regarding new potential actions in monetary policy, he also highlighted the need of deep structural reforms by the Members States. According to market watchers at Link Securities, sooner or later, “such reforms will have to be faced by Italy or France’s government, because it is necessary to make them competitive and able to grow again.”