Recent Publications

Luis Simón

Over the past two decades, discussions on EU-NATO relations have been closely associated with crisis-management operations and transnational threats. But that is yesterday’s world. The return of great-power competition is eliciting a shift in European security and transatlantic relations toward deterrence and defense. As such the conceptual framework that has so far underpinned debates on EU-NATO relations has been, by and large, rendered obsolete. 

 The return of great-power competition and growing uncertainty about the United States’commitment to Europe have led to renewed calls to turn the EU into an autonomous pole in global politics. Some even toy with the notion of European equidistance in a global context that is increasingly defined by Sino-American competition. At the same time, the EU’s need to give its global role a security and a transatlantic anchor underlines the potential of a more structured EU-NATO dialogue. 

Great-power competition also has important implications for capability development. A key challenge is to ensure that the EU’s new defense initiatives help reinforce NATO’s ongoing efforts in deterrence and defense. One way to do that would be to give the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy the authority to bring together the industrial and politico-strategic aspects of the union’s defense policy, and thus act as an effective bridge between the EU and NATO. 

The last three years have witnessed a steady flow of self-congratulatory remarks about unprecedented progress in the relationship between the European Union and NATO. Their joint statements in 2016 and 2018 provided a compass for greater cooperation between them. But it is important to put this in perspective and ensure that the relationship keeps apace with a rapidly changing— and worsening—geostrategic environment. Discussions on EU-NATO cooperation remain stuck on a 1990s wavelength, taking crisis management and transnational challenges as their key referents. As NATO leaders meet in London and the EU undergoes a leadership transition, they should revamp their dialogue around the increasingly important theme of great-power competition.

Arthur Cockfield
Walter Hellerstein
Marie Lamensch

Digital commerce – the use of computer networks to facilitate transactions involving the production, distribution, sale, and delivery of goods and services – has grown from merely streamlining relations between consumer and business to a much more robust phenomenon embracing efficient business processes within a firm and between firms. Inevitably, the related taxation issues have grown as well. 

This latest edition of the preeminent text on the taxation of digital transactions revises, updates and expands the book’s coverage. It includes a detailed and up-to-date analysis of income tax and VAT developments regarding digital commerce under the OECD and G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) reforms. It explores the implications of digital commerce for US state sales and use tax regimes resulting from the 2018 US Supreme Court decision in Wayfair. It discusses cross-border tax in the United States while continuing to focus on tax developments throughout the world. 

Analysing the practical tax consequences of digital commerce from a multijurisdictional perspective, and using examples to illustrate the application of different taxes to digital commerce transactions, the book offers in-depth treatment of such topics as the following: 

  • how tax rules governing cross-border digital commerce are increasingly applied to all cross- border activities; 
  • how tax rules and institutional processes have evolved to confront challenges posed by digital commerce; 
  • how an emerging ‘tax war’ is developing whereby different countries are unilaterally imposing new tax rules on cross-border digital commerce; 
  • how technology enhances tax and cross-border tax information exchanges; 
  • how technology reduces both compliance and enforcement costs; 
  • cross-border consumption tax issues raised by cloud computing; and 
  • different approaches to the legal design of VAT place of taxation rules. 

The authors offer insightful views on the likely development of new approaches to taxing cross-border digital commerce. 

This edition, while building on the analysis of the relationship between traditional tax laws and the Internet in the first edition and its predecessors, contains a more explicit and systematic consideration of digital commerce issues and the ongoing policy responses to them. Tax professionals and academics everywhere will welcome the important contribution it makes towards the design of cross-border tax rules that are both conceptually sound and practical in application. 

‘A tour de force … much larger and richer than its predecessors … a massive contribution to the growing literature on the taxation of e-commerce.’ 

– Rita de la Feria, British Tax Review 

‘Provides important understandings for ongoing policy discussions … I would warmly recommend.’ 

– P. Rendahl, World Journal of VAT/GST Law

Johan Bjerkem
Marta Pilati
Claire Dhéret
Marco Giuli
Stefan Šipka

Executive summary

Industry in Europe is faced with an unprecedented number of new challenges and megatrends, from a slowdown in global trade to digital disruption and climate change. In a fast-changing world, industry remains the backbone of the European economy, delivering high-quality jobs, innovation and world-class companies. Thus, to stay ahead of the curve and retain its competitive edge, the EU must embrace change and renew its industrial strategy.

There is growing momentum for a revived EU industrial strategy. EU leaders have called on the European Commission to present a new “long-term vision” for the EU’s industrial future by the end of 2019. Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has pledged

to put forward a new industrial strategy as part of a “European Green Deal”. Several member states have also been vocal on the need for a gear change in the EU’s approach, including the much-debated calls from France and Germany to modernise EU competition policy and support the creation of ‘European champions’, as well
as others underlining the well-functioning of the Single Market as the basis for competitiveness.

European industry is therefore set to become a priority for the upcoming Commission, with important cross-cutting implications for major portfolios such as “The European Green Deal”, “A Europe fit for the Digital Age”, “An Economy that Works for People” and “A Stronger Europe in the World”. It is important, however, that a renewed industrial strategy recognises all of these diverse goals and can be translated into a concrete, actionable plan at the EU level, with a clear governance structure.

This Issue Paper argues that in renewing its industrial strategy, the EU should put in place an ‘Industry Action

Plan’, complete with new policy tools and concrete industrial initiatives. Beyond mainstreaming industrial competitiveness across policy areas, an Action Plan should provide a more holistic and policy-oriented approach, with a vision towards 2030 that focuses on competitiveness, sustainability and strategic autonomy.

Firstly, to ensure that the European industry remains competitive, the EU should aim to play a stronger role
in global value chains, with a higher value-added. Secondly, the EU must create the conditions for the European industry, as well as the products and services it provides, to become sustainable and thus contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and climate-neutrality in alignment with the United Nation’s Paris Agreement. European industry should become fully climate-neutral by 2050 and seize the opportunity to become a global leader in sustainable and circular business models. Finally, an Industry Action Plan should contribute to achieving greater strategic autonomy for Europe by better responding to distorted competition and levering market power, and moving towards more technological sovereignty. Europe should mobilise all the tools at its disposal to become a global leader in developing digital technologies that address the societal, environmental and health challenges of today.

This Paper includes a list of recommendations centred around five policy strands: (1) making the Single Market (including competition policy) work, (2) improving innovation policy and achieving technological sovereignty, (3) acting strategically and enforcing reciprocity, (4) ensuring a fair and inclusive industrial transition, and (5) climate-proofing industry with a 2050 climate neutrality roadmap.

Alexandra Berger

For the next Multiannual Financial Framework, the Commission has proposed a new mega instrument in the area of external action that will make migration a key focus of the EU’s development cooperation. The nexus between migration and development will thus take centre stage in the EU’s engagement with third countries. In this context, it is interesting to look at current policies combining external migration governance with development cooperation. While the EU seems to assume that policies concerning migration and development cooperation are coherent, a closer look reveals that this is not always the case. Particularly concerning aid conditionality and the emphasis on short-term versus long-term goals, development cooperation and migration policies have different objectives, at times leading to incoherence in the EU’s external policies. 

Ilke Adam
Eve Hepburn

Abstract: 

The study of intergovernmental relations (IGR) is a classical research area in scholarship on federalism and territorial politics. However, it has largely ignored the relatively new, and recently decentralized area of immigrant integration. The aim of this Special Issue is twofold. First, it aims to analyse how governments in multi-level states coordinate on immigrant integration. Second, it wishes to explain the dynamics that shape the features of intergovernmental relations. In doing so, we focus on four multi-level states; two of which are federal (Belgium and Canada) and two that are decentralized (Italy and Spain). Whilst we engage with the established literature on intergovernmental relations to formulate hypotheses about the nature and dynamics of intergovernmental relations, we also formulate less explored hypotheses. Our overarching argument is that the scholarship on IGR benefits from in-depth comparative case studies comparing IGR not just across countries, but also across policy areas and over time.

URL: 
Routledge

Adam, I. and Hepburn, E. (2019) ‘Intergovernmental Relations on Immigrant Integration in Multi-Level States. A Comparative Assessment’, Regional and Federal Studies, 29 (5) : 563-589.  

Ilke Adam

This article considers the features of intergovernmental relations (IGR) on immigrant integration in Belgium and critically examines the dynamics that shape them. The characteristics of IGR on immigrant integration in Belgium are shown to vary over time and differ across regions and sub-policy areas (immigrant reception policies and anti-discrimination). The comparative case study indicates that the primary traditional theses of the international comparative IGR literature, namely classical institutionalism and party politics, do not provide insights into the nature and mechanisms of IGR on immigrant integration in Belgium. Less established variables like European integration and sub-state claims for distinctiveness constitute key explanatory variables. While European integration explains the increase of IGR over time, notwithstanding the appearance of party incongruence, sub-state claims for distinctiveness enlighten the more conflictual nature of IGR with Flanders, even in cases of more party congruence than for Francophone authorities.

URL:
Tandfonline

Adam, I. (2019) ‘Defying the Traditional Theses. Intergovernmental Relations on Immigrant Integration in Belgium’, Regional and Federal Studies, 29 (5) : 591-612. 

Tomas Wyns
Gauri Khandekar

Europe’s energy transition will require higher quantities of metals. Indeed, non-ferrous metals represent the building blocks of every conceivable climate technology including batteries, clean mobility, energy-efficient buildings, solar panels, and wind turbines.

The climate transition will challenge Europe’s industries to decarbonise in only one business cycle. The European non-ferrous metals industry has already made significant step changes since 1990, resulting in high levels of electrification and circularity. The sector’s further progress must now be supported by an EU industrial policy, which enables it to meet EU 2050 climate-neutrality objectives while thriving against global competition.

This study was commissioned by the non-ferrous metals industry and represents its consolidated contribution to the EU’s 2050 climate-neutral strategy. The study provides a comprehensive assessment of the EU’s industrial metals ecosystem, including the sector’s potential in the transition to climate-neutrality, and the challenges and constraints that will be faced along the way.

Alexander Mattelaer

NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangements often get bad press. This is remarkable given the fact that they have demonstrably contributed to (a) countering the proliferation of nuclear arsenals in Europe, (b) fostering alliance cohesion by giving non-nuclear weapon states a voice on the nuclear posture of the alliance, and (c) making nuclear deterrence more effective militarily by offering a wider array of force options. When the relative merits of extended nuclear deterrence are unknown, public support thereof is likely to suffer. In order to enrich the debate about NATO’s nuclear policy, this Security Policy Brief articulates the threefold logic of nuclear-sharing.

Richard Higgott

Professor Higgot’s report looks at the challenges facing traditional understandings of globalisation and the US-led global order in the face of the increasing pressures coming from what we call "civilisation states" or "state-civilizations" – most notably China and India — as they seek to reshape the contemporary international order in both ideational and material terms.” It sets out an applied and empirical investigation of the limitations that policymakers face and the options available to them to restructure the global order. The report shows that there are no simple answers or easy choices. It suggests that if we are to avoid a new ‘clash of civilizations’ we need to establish a framework and practices necessary for genuine negotiated global dialogue.

Femke Vyncke
Leo Van Hove
Malaika Brengman

Vyncke, F., Van Hove, L. and M. Brengman, Cultural congruence of websites: conscious, unconscious, or coincidental? - The case of Honda Cars, Information Research, Vol. 24, Nr. 3, September 2019, paper 832.

Introduction. This paper analyses the cross-cultural Website design strategy of a division of a single multinational company, namely Honda Cars.
Method. We conducted a content analysis of sixty-one Honda Cars Websites, each targeted at a different country.
Analysis. We perform t-tests and compute Pearson correlations to verify and quantify the cultural convergence of the Honda Cars Websites. We use novel regression analyses to explain the deviations between the culture reflected in the Websites and the culture of the country the sites are targeted at.
Results. We find that the sites of Honda Cars are by and large culturally congruent – for all the dimensions of national culture originally proposed by Hofstede and Hall. The templates that some regional offices of Honda Cars provided to their branches thus do not appear to have overly constrained local developers in creating a culturally sensitive site. Finally, the sites show a higher degree of localisation when the Internet penetration in the country is high and a lower localisation degree when the country has an extreme score on a specific cultural dimension.
Conclusions. Our results suggest that the observed cultural congruence is partly deliberate and partly accidental.

Read more >>>