The downward trend of the German Real Estate Financing Index (DIFI) of ZEW and JLL continues in the first quarter of 2020. The index fell 3.7 points to a level of minus 18.9 after the surveyed experts again gave a worse assessment of the financing situation both for the past six months as well as for the coming six months. Only the sub-indicators for stationary retailers show a clear improvement, but still remain in negative territory.
Net Operating Balances Are No Indicator for European Added Value
04.03.2020 · ZEW (fhe/jno/thp)
European Integration and EU Policy
At the centre of the debate about the possible expansion and restructuring of the EU budget lies the distinction between net contributors and recipients among EU Member States. Even though the concept of net operating balances is by no means suitable for reflecting the added value of the EU as a whole or for its Member States, these annual indicators still receive much political attention. ZEW Mannheim, on behalf of the European Parliament and together with the European Policy Centre, discusses the main points of criticism regarding the net operating balance concept, and possible alternatives for it.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has submitted a draft proposal for the 10th Amendment to the German Competition Act (GWB) – the cornerstone of the social market economy. Otherwise referred to as the ‘GWB Digitalisation Act’, the amendment reflects how digitalisation is dramatically changing the way we do business. But one important step remains. After a long delay, the draft proposal has been published, and opinions from professional associations and the states will soon be heard. This is the second amendment aimed at integrating the special features of the digital economy into competition law. While the 9th amendment to the GWB integrated the terms ‘data’ and ‘platform’ into the GWB, the present draft shows how radically these concepts have altered our economy.
How satisfied are citizens with the distribution of power at European level? Can acceptance for the EU increase by making decision-making processes more transparent? These questions were discussed at the ZEW Lunch Debate on “Public Support and Institutional Reform – What Is the Right Way to Go?”, which took place on 20 February 2020 in Brussels at the State Representation of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union. A general consensus was that people wanted to have a say in Europe, including through their national governments.
Policymakers are increasingly relying on behavioural interventions with the aim of improving individual decisions. These interventions have become known as “nudges” following the similarly titled book written by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in 2008. Nudging methods are used, for example, to increase the willingness of individuals to pay taxes. But how effective are these measures in reality?
ZEW Mannheim mourns the death of Professor Horst Entorf, who died unexpectedly at the age of 64. Entorf was closely connected to ZEW for many years, supervising the doctoral theses of many researchers at the institute and frequently working on ZEW research projects.
Be it the euro crisis, Brexit, the rise of populist parties in the European Parliament, or growing divisions in Europe – European voters increasingly question how the EU is tackling such problems. But what is the reason for the loss of confidence in the EU’s problem-solving ability? One explanation for this could be the way the institutions operate. EU citizens are critical of the way decisions are taken at EU level. One must also ask whether the Commission’s exclusive right of legislative initiative in almost all policy areas is still sustainable. What is the public opinion on a bicameral system, consisting of the Council of the European Union and the EU Parliament? And regarding the European Court of Justice, does the public support the primacy of EU versus national norms? Finally, would the EU find greater acceptance in the Member States if an institutional reform were carried out?
DB Board Member Professor Sabina Jeschke Discusses Opportunities and Challenges of AI at ZEW
05.02.2020 · ZEW (chs)
We are currently experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, as the radical breakthrough of artificial intelligence (AI) has taken digitalisation to a new level. Intelligent systems are connecting with each other in real time, they are capable of dealing with everyday situations and even develop creativity. And this is only the beginning. This was the main message of the talk held by Professor Sabina Jeschke, member of the Management Board for Digitalization and Technology at Deutsche Bahn AG, at ZEW Mannheim as part of the event series “First-Hand Information on Economic Policy”.
ZEW Sponsors' Association for Science and Practice
At its extraordinary general meeting on 5 February 2020, the ZEW Sponsors’ Association, “Förderkreis Wissenschaft und Praxis am Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung e.V.”, decided to change its name. The association, which is dedicated to promoting the dialogue between science and practice, is now called “ZEW – Förderkreis Wissenschaft und Praxis e.V.”.
Franco-German Partnership for Economic Research and Knowledge Diffusion Sealed
24.01.2020 · ZEW (ybr)
Dates and News
University of Strasbourg
ZEW Mannheim and the University of Strasbourg, one of France’s universities of excellence, officially sealed their long-standing cooperation today. Professor Catherine Florentz, Vice-President for Research and Doctoral Education at the University of Strasbourg, ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach and ZEW Director Thomas Kohl signed the cooperation agreement in Strasbourg.