The European Political Economy Project

The European Political Economy Project

Contact Details: 
EuPEP | European Studies Centre | St Antony's College | Oxford | OX2 6JF
Tel. 01865 274537

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The European Political Economy Project is a broad new initiative which aims to support the development of European economic institutions, by shedding light on the way these institutions, including macroeconomic policy frameworks, interact with markets and respond to domestic and global socio-political pressures. By promoting a better understanding of market and political constraints on institutions, it seeks to contribute to improving policy formulation and execution.

The project was established in October 2019 at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford. It will be led by Charles Enoch, (ESC Fellow 2019-21), with the cooperation of Tim Vlandis (Governing Body Fellow); the Events Co-ordinator is Jessica Dancy (ESC).

The project's main activities will be to carry out research, hold seminars and workshops, and publish findings in outlets that range from academic articles and books to policy briefings and op-ed pieces in the international press. In addition to events hosted at St Antony’s College, bringing together academics, officials, interest groups, and market participants, we plan to co-host workshops with other institutions, and provide policy findings to relevant agencies. The project's activities will be closely aligned with the core agenda of the ESC and will exploit synergies with the multi-disciplinary expertise in the rest of the ESC. 

Project rationale
There have been important advances in European economic institutions since the global financial crisis, but it is by now clear that the fall-out from the crisis was deeper and more extensive than imagined. Some valuable reforms have taken place to strengthen financial markets; and EU architecture is making progress toward completion. In the ESC, The Political Economy of Financial Markets (PEFM), a programme focused more specifically on strengthening financial institutions in the wake of the global and euro area crises, was established by the late Max Watson in 2012 with a five-year time horizon, and drew its operations to a close in June 2019.

Despite the progress, other backlashes are creating new stresses. These include populism and protectionism, in the face of low growth and immigration pressures. Brexit is the most extreme withdrawal of support from the European Project but separatist/nationalist movements in Spain, Italy and Central Europe also threaten European institutions. The stalling of support for EU enlargement, unrest on Europe’s Eastern flank, and a more hostile international environment, mean that security issues have become prominent to a degree unimaginable a decade ago. Despite some tentative financial peace, Europe looks more fragile in other respects than it did a decade ago. Hence the job of bringing together expert communities to help solve policy problems and improve underlying institutional structures remains unfinished, more complex (even!) than perceived in the wake of the global financial crisis, and more urgent than ever.

Mission statement 
The European Political Economy Project aims to help strengthen the institutional design of European economic policy frameworks to support sustainable crisis-free growth. It will do so by deepening understanding of the interaction of these frameworks with markets and with domestic and global socio-political pressures.

The work of EuPEP is overseen by the ESC Management Committee.

In addition, EuPEP Oxford draws on the work of a number of Associates as contributors to its programme.

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