Mobile Moans by The Economist. A crucial reform for the eurozone, in its present economic quicksand, requires changing conditions throughout EU nations to facilitate labor mobility and cross-border migration by job-seeking Europeans. The free movement of workers was supposed to be a safety valve to ease economic adjustment in the eurozone once national currency devaluation was eliminated as a policy tool. But it has not functioned well. In theory, job migration throughout the EU is easy, but  there are strong practical disincentives: the absence of pension portability, transaction costs involved in selling a house and buying another, obstacles to transferring professional qualifications.  (April 27)

On April 20, The European Institute welcomed The Honorable Vítor Constâncio, Vice President of the European Central Bank (ECB), to a discussion of the current challenges to European monetary policy.  Noting the ECB’s ability to adapt policies to shifting economic conditions as its significant strength, Vice President Constâncio forecast his institution’s continued success in reacting to the debt crisis and encouraged Eurozone member-states to become more proactive. The discussion was moderated by Stephen Gallagher, Managing Director and Head of Research for Société Générale in the Americas.

On April 20, The European Institute hosted Klaus Regling, Chief Executive of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) for a discussion on the European debt crisis. Created barely two years ago, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) has proven to be pivotal in the Eurozone’s efforts to safeguard financial stability and build a sustainable firewall to contain the effects of pressing sovereign debt among some member states. Mr. Regling assessed the progress made to date on Europe’s important reforms of economic and financial governance and the key challenges that still remain in achieving an effective resolution of the debt crisis. The discussion was moderated by Clay Lowery, Vice President of Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC.

Click here to read Mr. Regling's presentation

Greece has had to bear the brunt of not only economic hardship but also relentless international criticism that the nation has a bloated public sector and an unsustainable social welfare system and is also beset by rampant systematic corruption and tax evasion.

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Rate Expectations: What Can and Cannot be Done about Rating Agencies by Nicolas Véron from the Bruegel think-tank. Credit-rating agencies’ actions have often been controversial recently, prompting debate about their role, including tighter regulation. A more effective approach, says Veron, currently at the Peterson Institute, would be better-standardized public disclosures on risk factors by issuers, thus improving credit-risk assessments. Recommended by European Affairs. (11/2)