The corona pandemic has created a health and economic crisis without modern parallel. As it hit affected countries ill-prepared and spread quickly within the EU, member states had to adopt more interventionist approaches than ever before – particularly in the areas of fiscal and monetary policy, labor markets and redistribution, and industrial policy. EU member states started controversial discussions about how to support those that were hit particularly hard. This debate has become a litmus test for solidarity in the world's richest bloc of nations.
The decisions and measures taken in each country and at the European level will set the course for economic development in the coming years and shape the countries' long-term prospects for decades to come. This EEAG policy brief is a supplement to the group's usual annual report. The authors examine the various effects of the crisis, how Europe can react effectively and how political measures should evolve as the pandemic subsides. In addition, the authors analyze how an efficient supranational insurance mechanism might look like.
In the 1930s, countries fought destructive trade conflicts – now we have a similar situation, but the conflicts are taking place in the tax system. These conflicts arise out of the twin impacts of globalization and digitalization. Once upon a time, there was an implicit understanding of fairness in taxation, meaning how countries tax within their borders and how the tax burden is distributed. More specifically, companies and individuals were taxed based on their residence and consumption in the destination country. Such an approach worked while these events were mostly perceived as national. However, the world has changed, and in an increasingly globalized, digitalized, and mobile world, these understandings no longer appear to work smoothly, efficiently, and uncontentiously.