On this page you can find all challenges sheets from which you will select the topic of your research. Get a quick overview and click on the links to download the full material (external links open in a new window).


Promoting Investment and Innovation


In the increasingly competitive global economy, technological innovation has become an increasingly important source not just of new products and services for consumers, but of new businesses and industries. New technologies disrupt existing industries and may displace jobs. Ultimately, highly skilled workforces that are given the tools and opportunities to be more productive drive greater wealth, better job opportunities and more competitive economies. Modern infrastructure, strong educational systems and business environments that support investment, research and development can help spur innovation. Read more here

demographics and aging population


Demographic trends can have profound implications for an economy. Increasing numbers of retired people put pressure on government services like healthcare and pensions plans. With fewer people of working age to support retirees, policy makers may be forced to cut benefits or raise taxes. Aging populations can also lead to slower growth due to the shrinking labor force. Today in Europe there are four people of working age for each retired person. By 2050, there will only be two. Read more here.

banking Union and Financial stability


A well-functioning banking system is crucial to the success of the economy. Banks handle payment systems, provide growing firms with credit and help people save money. But banks may make poor lending decisions and can pose risks to economic stability and government budgets. Given that economies are interconnected, problems in in one country’s banks can spread to others. What can be done to ensure that banks help the economy grow without creating large risks for taxpayers? Read more here.

Globalization and Migration


Recent decades have seen increasing global economic integration. The EU’s single market, Schengen and EMU are examples of reforms that have liberalized flows of goods, services, people and capital within Europe. But Europe is also increasingly integrated into the global economy. Increased trade, investment and migration have many benefits, and on aggregate tend to boost growth and living standards. But globalization can also threaten specific interests and groups. How can euro area countries take advantage of new opportunities while adapting to global competition? Read more here.

What Role Does Fiscal Policy Play in Promoting Economic Growth?


Fiscal policy is an important economic tool at the disposal of governments. During recessions, increasing public spending and cutting taxes can provide a powerful boost to the economy. Likewise, if an economy is overheating, cutting spending and raising taxes will depress output. But borrowing to fund spending can be risky. If debts and deficits get too big, they can lead to debt and financial crises. Read more here.

tackling high unemployment


High unemployment rates can arise due to recessions or structural factors like regulations or tax policy. Either way, high unemployment hurts growth and living standards. Unemployment rates in several euro area countries have been slow to recover following the global financial crisis. How did unemployment get so high in these countries in the first place? Why aren’t labor markets improving more rapidly? What can be done to promote job growth? Read more here.

living with a single monetary policy


The euro area is unique in that it is a currency union without a corresponding fiscal union. Sharing a single currency helps the single market by lowering transaction costs and preventing competitive devaluations. But EMU also means that countries cannot always depend on monetary policy to help them adjust to shocks, and the appropriate policy stance for one country might be inappropriate in another. Read more here.

how to overcome slow growth?


Promoting growth is the main goal of economic policy makers. High growth rates lift the standards of living, help reduce unemployment rates, improve the fiscal situation and create opportunities for future generations. But growth rates across much of the industralized world, including Europe, have slowed in recent years. What can policy makers do to increase growth? Read more here.

Inequality and social spending


After World War II, many countries adopted policies that aimed to reduce poverty and inequality by providing universal social welfare benefits like health care, unemployment insurance, and more. For a time, these programs succeeded as many countries enjoyed both rising living standards and a narrowing of inequalities. But in recent years inequality has become an issue in many countries, and many social welfare programs have come to be viewed as unaffordable and in need of reform. What conditions should social welfare systems meet to withstand the challenges of the 21st century global economy? Read more here.