Külgazdaság Vol. 9-10/2020

EMU 2.0 – Responsibility versus solidarity?


Deepening of the Economic Monetary Union is the key issue for the European integration. During the debates on EMU 2.0, two approaches have emerged. These take different positions in terms of the interaction of solidarity and responsibility, and of risk sharing and risk reduction. In fact, Solidarity and Responsibility of the Member States are two sides of the same coin. The new synthesis of these two points of view allows substantive progression. At the heart of the EMU reform there can be deeper economic and financial union, resilient structures, the increase of risk sharing and the reduction of inherited risk. Successful integration can be achieved by inclusive, highly explained, understood and adopted reforms. All this is not only possible through “large packages” of the EMU 2.0 reform. At the same time, it is necessary to clarify the critical mass of these measures (“small package”). Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: F02, F15, F17, F43, F55.

Scramble(s) for Africa – Some issues of global economic integration and marginalisation


The paper compares the recent scramble for Africa in general and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular with the previous ones led by the great powers. The comparative approach focuses on the identification of similarities and differences with the aim of providing a nuanced view on the scrambles for the resources of the continent. Its major conclusion is that the increasing influence of great powers over time has nothing particularly new in it and behind similar interests can be identified. Sub-Saharan Africa is still dependent on external markets, and the economic powerhouses of the world still regard it both as a resource base and a market for their own products. Despite the scrambles that took place in different time periods, the involvement of the great powers could not reverse the marginalisation of Sub-Saharan Africa in the global economy. The core countries of the world economy may transform the trade pattern of the region to a certain extent, but the room of manoeuvre still remains quite limited for the less powerful open economies of the continent. Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: F54; N17; O10.

Risks of the Hungarian economic structure


Foreign trade relations play a decisive role in Hungary’s economy, as a result of which trends taking place in the world economy may have a significant impact on its economic performance. Consequently, the position of industries in global value chains and the structure of input-output relations are relevant factors in terms of Hungary’s economy. The objective of this study is to analyze the dependence of domestic sectors on inputs and outputs on the basis of which the risks inherent in foreign trade relations for the stable operation of the economy can be identified. According to the results, besides the automotive industry other domestic sectors such as the manufacture of computers, electronic and optical goods and the manufacture of machinery and equipment n. e. c. also have strong cross-border exposure to global value chains. The majority of these industries have strong ties to the German economy, however, some of them also significantly depend on other countries, such as China, Italy, Austria or Denmark. Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: C67, O25.

The Crisis Calls for Rethinking Economic Policy

Some thoughts inspired by Stephanie Kelton’s book The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy Public Affairs, 2020, New York


The global scale of the COVID-19 pandemic renders traditional tools of macroeconomics illsuited for handling the crisis. A growing consensus unfolded that it is time to rethink economic policy. There is a need for prompt and large fiscal and monetary intervention. The heterodoxeconomics represented by modern monetary theory (MMT) offers a novel approach to assess and meet these needs. MMT calls for countries that can print their own currency to ignore debt-to- GDP ratios, rely on the central bank to backstop public debt, and continue to run deficit spending unless and until unemployment and inflation return to normal. Proper use of this approach requires a clear understanding of the functioning of the monetary and banking system. Godleytype stock-flow consistent macroeconomic accounting helps to navigate with these and other real economic and ecological constraints. Stephanie Kelton’s book The Deficit Myth does a good job by discussing these important topics from a new perspective, in a manner that was simultaneously shocking and yet compelling. Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: E12, E52, E62.

Is the progressive turnover tax to be sanctioned?


The article provides an explanation for the case law on the EU Member States’ progressive taxation, levied on turnover in the light of the harmonised EU law. The introduction of special sectoral taxes has become an important measure of local tax policies, which in part generate significant budget revenues but, more importantly, they are also designed to protect the position of weaker domestic competitors. This policy raises the suspicion of illegal state aid, but now this debate seems to be settled after a number of judgements decided by the Court of Justice of the EU in favour of the Member States. These judgments came as a general surprise to experts in the Member States concerned because the covert, yet effective state aid provided to domestic competitors seems obvious for those who live here. However, the EU’s existing ‘legal toolbox’ has proved to be insufficient to stop the Member States from following a policy of illegal state aid. The law requires clarity, and the practices that can be observed in the case of the apparently selective sectoral taxes can be hardly disguised. In this sense, even the judicial bodies of the EU, living to some extent in an ivory tower, cannot be blamed either. Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: F02, H27, K34.

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