The pandemic due to Covid-19 virus has led to some changes in European competition law. The European temporary framework on state aid has raised the maximum amount previously forbidden and widened the hypotheses subject to exemption. This allows a greater role for the public powers, above all, with the aim of saving businesses and jobs.
How far can the role of the public be pushed? In Italy, the bailout of Alitalia and of the former Ilva steel plant in Taranto have raised new questions about what the role of public powers in economy should be. The idea of a new protagonism of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has made its way. The state played a leading role in subsidizing commercial and entrepreneurial activities closed due to Covid-19 virus. What possibilities do these phenomena pave the way?
“Stay home: if you can.” In March 2020, this warning was painted in capital letters on the façade of a building looking down on Long Street, in central Cape Town. The second part of the message is open to interpretation. Two basic ideas come to mind. Stay home, if you have a home and if you manage to.
Covid-19 unveiled the inadequacy of contemporary housing systems. Homelessness became visible as it never had been, unaffordability turned into a common concern, and more than ever personal well-being depended on the habitability of dwellings.
Legislatures have responded to this dramatic situation with a range of interventions, from eviction moratoria to rent increase freezes. In some cases, legislative undertakings countered pre-pandemic patterns. Often measures were driven by the heightening tension among property and housing needs in cities, whereby the latter seemingly demanded a reframing of the interests at stake. Addressing this task is the future of public law.
What is the future of the European fiscal rules in the post Covid Era? For years, EU member states, especially those that adopt the euro as their currency, have had to deal with stringent public finance constraints linked to the Stability and Growth Pact. However, the pandemic crisis has changed this scenario. In March 2020, the Council triggered the General Escape Clause provided by the Stability and Growth Pact, in order to allow States to counter the effects caused by the pandemic. However, the interventions implemented have led to a considerable increase in the public debts of the EU member states. In this scenario, a return to the previous rules appears unlikely. So what will be the future of the European fiscal policy?
What is the role of the European Central Bank in the system of the European Economic Constitution? European Union has got a Central Bank but hasn’t a unitary government of the economy. After the 2008 crisis, the problem gradually emerged.
The European Central Bank has taken a completely new role. The Central Bank has adopted an innovative monetary policy. In 2015, during exceptional circumstances, the ECB decided to purchase the public debt of Member States (the so-called Public Sector Purchase Program). Both the European Union Court of Justice and the German Constitutional Court have ruled on this decision. In 2020, Bundesverfassungsgericht clarified that ECB’s acts had been ultra vires. It specified that it happened in exceptional circumstances.
What will be the role of the European Central Bank during and after the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus?