European Integration

European Research at ZEW

Until today, the European integration project delivers great political and economic benefits to Europeans. Events such as the euro debt crisis and Brexit, however, have raised the question to which extent the EU and its current structures are still fit for the future. ZEW wants to contribute its research and knowledge to the understanding of different reform options. For example, we develop models for an appropriate and intelligent harmonisation of European tax policies. Moreover, ZEW researchers are asking, how the eurozone could be made crisis-proof. A further key topic on our research agenda is the European budget and how it should be structured in the future so that it creates a genuine European added value on fields such as climate protection, migration policy, and security.

Prof. Achim Wambach, PhD

ZEW President

“Europe is the answer for many of the current economic challenges; European added value can only be developed together.”

ZEW Publication

Germany Risks Losing Its Attractiveness in International Tax Competition

27.02.2023 More about the report

Still Large Discretion for Debt Financing of Almost All Types of Government Expenditure

27.04.2023 Read more

Climate Policy Dominant Theme in ECB Speeches Alongside Price Stability

11.10.2022 Read more

Are Fiscal Interests Slowing the Reduction of ECB Assets?

04.04.2023 Read more

Friedrich Heinemann on European Research at ZEW

“The EU must develop in such a way that it convincingly demonstrates its benefit to all Member States and their citizens over and over again.”


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European Fiscal Institutions

Europe introduced the euro in 1999 as its common currency. This step towards monetary integration was initially associated with only minor adjustments in fiscal institutions. As of now, though, the euro sovereign debt crisis has revealed the weaknesses of this constellation; to date, the fiscal institutions of the eurozone remain incomplete. A key question of our research in this field is: how can fiscal responsibility and European solidarity be brought into balance?

MannheimTaxation: Europe's Tax System of the Future

What does the tax policy of the future look like? What can our research contribute to the European and global tax integration? And how can we make the tax system ready for the economic and social challenges of our time? A joint initiative of ZEW and the University of Mannheim, The Leibniz Science Campus MannheimTaxation, deals with these questions. MannheimTaxation research is interdisciplinary, spanning the fields of economics, business administration, law, and political science.

Mannheim Tax Index

The Mannheim Tax Index is an indicator for the effective tax levels of companies, as taxation is deemed to be an important location factor. More precisely, it benchmarks countries and regions from a tax perspective, taking into account taxes on profits and invested capital as well as the most important regulations in determining the taxable base.

Our calculation of tax attractiveness in Europe
Expertises // 04.04.2023

The Effectiveness and Distributional Consequences of Excess Profit Taxes or Windfall Taxes in Light of the Commission's Recommendation to Member States

This study analyses the design and functioning of windfall profit taxes for energy suppliers in the EU. Based on profit data from 2021, the estimated revenue gains from the solidarity contribution amount to 4.4 bn EUR for the selected sample of firms. Applying the revenue cap to power prices of 2022 suggests a tax revenue of 106 bn EUR. The actual tax revenue might diverge substantially from these numbers due to different energy price levels during the application period. The revenue can be redistributed according to the Member States' priorities to face hardship of the energy crisis. Despite efficiency in theory, investment distortions might arise if investors expect the tax instrument to be extended to other sectors.

Growth, Productivity and Innovation in Europe

Europe can only be successful in pursuing its ambitious goals in areas such as social policy, ecology and international development if it has a sound economic basis. Against this background, ZEW aims to contribute its research and knowledge of the subject to a better understanding of the determinants of innovation, start-up processes, and entrepreneurship. ZEW thus positions itself as a policy advisor on innovation and technology issues at the national and European level.


Growth Welfare Innovation and Productivity

The main objective of GROWINPRO is twofold. On the one hand, we will offer an in-depth analysis of the causes underlying the productivity puzzle and the associated economic stagnation addressing the whole interaction among innovation, productivity, and growth in a world undergoing a 'IV Industrial Revolution', wherein globalization exacerbated the diverging patterns of value distribution among countries and social groups. On the other hand, we will develop a coherent policy toolkit to escape the low-growth trap facing at the same time important societal challenges. It will thoroughly study the effects of monetary, fiscal and mission-oriented policies in stimulating productivity and output growth.

ZEW policy brief // 18.10.2018

New Perspectives in European Innovation Policy

Innovation is essential for economic growth, and governments must encourage firms to increase their investments in innovation. Europe is losing ground to its main Asian competitors when it comes to R&D investment, and is barely keeping pace with the U.S. Moreover, the rate of return on innovation has become significantly weaker in Europe. This has been caused by its relative lack of innovative SMEs, the slow diffusion of innovation, and the increasingly competitive innovation marketplace. In this light, scholars and policy makers are arguing for a new approach to European innovation policy that puts more weight on the development of disruptive innovation and on the diffusion of new technologies throughout the market.