CEPS Commentaries


31 - 60 of 376
13 December 2013

The recent decision by Baroness Ashton to end the mandate of a number of European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and her proposal to integrate these posts within the European External Action Service have raised concerns among member states. In the view of Erwan Fouéré, these developments underline the urgency of a more comprehensive and strategic discussion between Baroness Ashton and the member states on the future role of EUSRs in the EU's expanding foreign policy tool box.

Erwan Fouéré is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS.

10 December 2013

Germany has been an attractive target for external-deficit countries in Europe and beyond, but beating up on Germany alone appears to be the wrong way to get results. This CEPS Commentary by Daniel Gros argues that the discussion of Germany’s surplus confuses the issues in two ways. First, he points out that although the German economy and its surplus loom large in the context of Europe, an adjustment by Germany alone would only modestly benefit the eurozone periphery.

05 December 2013

The latest round of climate negotiations that took place in Warsaw (Conference of Parties, COP19) finally resulted in a decision to agree on a timeframe for the new agreement due in COP21 in Paris in 2015, and on ways to enhance the levels of ambition in pre-2020 mitigation pledges.

04 December 2013

Drawing on his direct participation in the latest round of climate talks in Warsaw, Andrei Marcu looks at the results of the 19th COP through the lens of three basic questions, with a view to understanding how much progress was made and where we stand two years ahead of Paris.

03 December 2013

In assessing the third Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit at Vilnius on November 28-29th, this CEPS Commentary concludes that the event fell far short of its initial ambition to define the geopolitical finalité of EU-EaP relations by projecting a path towards future accession to the EU for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Steven Blockmans is CEPS Senior Research Fellow and Head of the EU Foreign Policy unit. Hrant Kostanyan is a Research Fellow at CEPS.

29 November 2013

This Commentary briefly examines each of Prime Minister Cameron's headline proposals to limit EU citizens’ access to social benefits. Are these proposals in breach of the UK’s obligations under EU law? The paper also makes some general comments about the end of the transitional arrangements for Bulgarian and Romanian work-seekers, and ‘benefits tourism’ in general.

28 November 2013

In surveying the strategic realignment now underway in Central Europe among the four members of the Visegrad Group, Michal Simecka observes in a new CEPS Commentary that it is hard to think of another point in modern history that permitted a scenario of Germany and its eastern neighbours working together to constructively shape Europe.

Michal Simecka is a Visiting Researcher at CEPS.

14 November 2013

In this CEPS Commentary Daniel Gros argues that the purpose of the euro was to create fully integrated financial markets; but, since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, markets have increasingly separated along national lines. So the future of the eurozone depends crucially on whether that trend continues or is reversed and Europe’s financial markets in the end become fully integrated. But either outcome would be preferable to something in between – neither fish nor fowl. Unfortunately, that is where the eurozone appears to be headed.

04 November 2013

EU diplomats are still struggling to keep abreast of events in Egypt. A reconstruction of the police state – bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE – is the exact opposite of what the EU tried to achieve under the Presidency of Mohamed Morsi, namely long-term stability based on respect for democracy and the rule of law. It is therefore perhaps surprising that the EU has so far not imposed any sanctions against members of the military regime led by General al-Sisi. Instead, it is trying to build an inclusive political dialogue to restore a democratic process.

23 October 2013

On 11 October 2013, the CEOs of 10 large European energy utilities issued a warning that the European energy infrastructure is “in jeopardy” and called for an end to support for renewables on grounds that wind and solar were mature technologies that no longer required such support.

04 October 2013

The recent slight improvement in the GDP growth rates in the eurozone has led European policy-makers to proclaim victory and assert that the austerity programmes imposed within the eurozone are paying off. But is this really the case? In this Commentary Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji argue that the improvement in the eurozone business cycle is the result of the ECB’s announcement of its Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) programme, and that austerity has left a legacy of unsustainable debt that will test the political resilience of the debtor countries.

01 October 2013

As the stalemate in Syria drags on, territorial divisions in the country are becoming more entrenched and the civil war is spreading to Syria’s neighbours; aggravating long-standing sectarian divisions in the whole region. In the view of Steven Blockmans, a lasting agreement cannot be reached in the Middle East if world powers stick to infamous 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement in which France and the UK secretly dealt with what came to be called the ‘Syria Question’.

20 September 2013

In the final days before the German federal elections, some observers are asking whether a change in government would portend a shift in the country’s consistently strong support of the euro. Even if a more eurosceptic government is elected to office, this commentary finds it highly unlikely that the German public would radically change its stance.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

17 September 2013

This new Commentary by Michael Emerson and Hrant Kostanyan shows how the pressure exerted by President Putin on Armenia to withdraw from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement it had negotiated with the EU and to join the Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia customs union is but the most recent in a long series of ongoing moves by Russia to destroy the Eastern Partnership.

13 September 2013

On the fifth anniversary of the start of the financial crisis, Karel Lannoo looks at the regulatory steps that have been taken to date, and argues that the EU should apply the same logic of reinforced integration at the federal level that informed the Single Supervisory Mechanism to the bank resolution systems and deposit guarantee schemes.

Karel Lannoo is Chief Executive Officer and Senior Research Fellow at CEPS.

09 September 2013

In this new commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that the weakening of European demand triggered by austerity is the real cause behind the recent deterioration of emerging markets’ current accounts. As a consequence, unless the US resumes its role as consumer of last resort, the latest bout of financial-market jitters will weaken the global economy again.

04 September 2013

As the US and its allies France and Turkey dither over whether or not to punish Assad for having used sarin gas to kill his own people, the crucial question is: What response might the outside world legally take without the authority of the UN Security Council, which remains blocked by two veto-wielding members, Russia and China? Sadly, international law provides no clear-cut answers to this dilemma.

30 August 2013

In his presentation of the new Fiscal Stability Treaty, which came into force in January 2013, Jørgen Mortensen questions the extent to which the new inter-governmental agreement can be expected to solve the fundamental problem of consistency between budgetary and monetary policy.

Jørgen Mortensen is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and a Fellow at CASE – Centre for Social and Economic Research, Warsaw.

28 August 2013

The Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU (January-June 2013) faced numerous challenges, not least of which was to negotiate the financial framework for the period 2014-2020 and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy with the European Parliament, as well as the pressure to advance the banking agenda. Moreover, the fact that it was the start of a new Trio Presidency, the small size of the Irish administration and its fragile financial situation gave rise to some doubts as to how much it could achieve.

16 August 2013

In this Commentary Daniel Gros argues that austerity has been unavoidably associated with a high cost in terms of a long recession and high unemployment. But the main aim was achieved as the peripheral euro area countries have now reached a sustainable external position.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies. This Commentary was first published by Project Syndicate on 14 August 2013, and disseminated to newspapers and journals worldwide.

29 July 2013

As Europeans speed down the road to Dubrovnik, Croatia's treasured jewel of the Adriatic coast, Michael Emerson discusses in a seasonal commentary one topical issue: What to do now over the 9 km of Bosnian coastline that separates north and south Croatia? Several options are under consideration, one of which would mean a very expensive bridge and dubious use of EU structural funds.

Michael Emerson is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS.

12 July 2013

In offering his diagnosis of Europe’s ailing banking sector, Daniel Gros finds that it is undercapitalised, too large and populated by too many players without a viable long-term business model. In his view, it is the combination of the last two factors that is the most worrying and he warns that any major problem could overburden public budgets, making the sector, with total liabilities over 250% of GDP, possibly  “too big to be saved”.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

01 July 2013

The Dutch government set out the results of its review of EU competences on June 21st, under the slogan “European where necessary, national where possible”, claiming that the EU does not adequately respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. It published a list of 54 points for corrective action, which Michael Emerson assesses in this new CEPS Commentary.

01 July 2013

The ministers of finance and the economy of the eurozone have now agreed on the main features of a new ESM instrument for the direct recapitalisation of euro area banks (Eurogroup, 2013) and on a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions (Council of the European Union, 2013).

28 June 2013

To become a prosperous country devoid of institutional preconditions for corruption, Croatia will have to define its own goals, persevere in reaching them and introduce some sort of internal monitoring. True political will, democratisation, government accountability and appropriate policies are crucial, particularly for the institutions and mechanisms that monitor government accountability and citizen participation.

26 June 2013

CEPS Senior Research Fellow Andrea Renda persuasively shows in this new CEPS Commentary the extent to which the global economy has become heavily reliant on the Internet, but observes that this phenomenon is becoming increasingly insidious. It is efficient, no doubt: but he asks whether it is also secure?

14 June 2013

In her examination of the capital controls that have been in place in Cyprus since March 27th, Leonor Coutinho asks how soon can they be lifted and whether the recapitalisation plans will be sufficiently convincing to allow the Cypriot banking sector to regain the trust of the public.

The author is Senior Researcher at Europrism Research in Cyprus and a Special Scientist at the University of Cyprus.

14 June 2013

When examining youth unemployment in the broader context of its contribution to total unemployment in Europe, Daniel Gros finds in this new Commentary that the problem reveals a completely different picture from the one usually presented.  Extreme figures on youth unemployment in the periphery hide the fact that the number of actually unemployed is rather small given that most youth in countries like Spain or Greece are not even looking for a job.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

10 June 2013

After the presidential elections on June 14th, the Iranian regime will continue its catch-me-if-you-can game with the international community until it has reached the nuclear threshold. Paradoxically, the key to a solution on the nuclear issue might just lie in discussions on a WMD-free Middle East, but only after Iran has obtained nuclear military capability.

03 June 2013

Recent opinion polls suggest that most Icelanders are against joining the EU. By the same token, however, a majority of those polled are in favour of continuing accession talks.  These results show that Iceland’s relationship with the EU is a deeply divisive issue within the country. Although no date for the referendum has been set, the new centre-right coalition may thus want to settle this matter as soon as possible.