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Edited by Sybe de Vries, Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger

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Edited by Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural

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Edited by Neil Longley

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David Milman

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Ugo Mattei and Alessandra Quarta

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Alexander Styhre

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Khaled R. Bashir

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Ewald Nowotny, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald and Helene Schuberth

How should we improve economic structures to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth in the European Union (EU)? This introductory chapter sketches important issues raised in the remainder of the book. It highlights strategies to facilitate Europe’s return to balanced growth and convergence, while also revisiting the transition experience of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) countries. Structural policies are seen as key to stimulating growth, ensuring monetary transmission and helping to create fiscal space. Ideally, reforms should also make public administration more efficient and include a supportive macroeconomic policy mix. Consequently, the European Commission has raised the idea of providing financial incentives for structural reforms. Moreover, institutional reform of Economic and Monetary Union is crucial for the resilience of the euro area. The chapter confirms that structural convergence among EU member states – in particular in the CESEE region – is well under way. During the transition process, many CESEE countries followed the advice of institutions that favoured a shock therapy as opposed to a gradual approach more in line with the European social model. Some of the reforms may have gone too far, which might explain why we have recently seen some policy reversals. So, future-oriented structural reforms require comprehensive packaging of reforms to reap the benefits intended.

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Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural

In this introductory chapter, Michael and Vural frame the challenge confronting the Cyprus peace process around a series of nagging questions that have eluded progress for over four decades: can third parties (the United Nations, the European Union and others) realistically broker peace, reconciliation and unification in Cyprus? Was 2015–17 really the last chance for a (reunified) resolution to the Cyprus problem? If not, what is the way forward? What of the future? How, will Cyprus and its conflict unfold 10–20 years from now in a post-negotiated situation (whether a unitary, federated, two-state or status quo solution prevails)? What are the means of creating a dialogue under all, or any, of these circumstances? Coming in the midst of the 2015–17 Cyprus talks, the chapter notes the difficulty of ‘shadowing’ ongoing developments while endeavouring to analyse and assess how an imagined solution would affect, and/or deter, the politics of change and continuity.