Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 2/2017



Political opposition to globalization is rising in industrialized countries. We analyze the impact of the so-called third wave of globalization on income, poverty, unemployment, inequality and life expectancy. The effects are in general positive for well-being, but unemployment is rather high in Europe and inequality is rising in many industrialized countries. Further differences exist according to region, occupation and skills, and the impact of globalization concurs with that of technology, policy change and migration. Political opposition against globalization is therefore rising in many countries. To regain the support of citizens in Europe and other industrialized countries, we call – partly in line with other authors and organizations – for responsible globalization and for Europe to take the lead in shaping globalization at a time when the US is retreating and China may want to shape and even finance globalization if it follows its priorities. We propose seven principles for responsible globalization to which all countries should subscribe, and sixteen game changers which may be used by partners to different degrees and according to own priorities. Such a strategy might help increase the mutual benefits of globalization and prevent the cost of re-nationalization and new borders and fences. 

Policy Brief 1/2017



New challenges can only be overcome internationally. If small countries want to play a role, the European level needs to be consolidated. However, if common solutions are poorly communicated or if there is too much interference in national priorities and individual living conditions, they will be rejected as edicts from Brussels and a return to national solutions will be demanded. In extreme cases, this can lead to exits from the EU; even if this fails to contribute to solving the problem and actually further reduces the available options and the prospects of success.

We highlight that Europe-wide regulations can actually lead to a greater scope of action at the national level. Innovative, problem-specific solutions can be developed based on national priorities due to the fact that international restrictions and leakage effects are eliminated. We demonstrate this in the case of tax regimes, fiscal and climate policy, and for globalization. Best practice examples of European policy which provided funds not feasible at the national level, but at the same time increased the options at the regional or national level and which were more efficient, can be found in the EU’s regional and research policies. From these, we derive principles for overcoming the contradiction which currently prevails between the need for common rules and the desire for decentralized solutions on the regional or national levels.