CEPS Commentaries

181 - 210 of 441
02 July 2012

The euro area summit has managed to surprise the markets once again. By moving banking supervision of the eurozone to the European Central Bank, a huge step towards a more federal banking model has been taken, explains CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo in this new Commentary. But will this move be enough to re-establish confidence, bolster the euro interbank market and further financial integration?

Mobi format

27 June 2012

Spain, needing a bailout for its banks, was granted a vague promise by EZ leaders for up to €100 billion. The details remain obscure, yet they matter enormously. This column argues that the so-called ‘subordination effect’ of fresh official lending could put Spain on the slippery road to ruin. It argues that if sovereign bonds must be bought, this should be done in the secondary market which, would be on an equal footing with private investors and thus avoid the subordination trap.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

25 June 2012

October 2011 saw the latest draft of Solvency II, the European Union’s code for regulation of the insurance industry. This commentary, a collective effort by a group of academics specializing in financial, banking and insurance institutions, argues that the latest proposals need to be drafted again, urgently.

12 June 2012

In this new CEPS Commentary, Jacopo Carmassi, Carmine Di Noia and Stefano Micossi present a rationale and detailed outline for the creation of a banking union in Europe.

12 June 2012

As the banking crisis in the eurozone becomes even more acute, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo exhorts the EU to not lose further precious time in creating a fully functional bank union, which would entail three main steps: creating a single supervisory authority, a common deposit protection and a harmonised bank resolution and liquidation system.

07 June 2012

The diabolical loop between the solvency of the banking system and the sovereign fiscal position is now apparent. In Greece it is the insolvency of the government that has sunk the banks, whereas in Spain the banks are sinking the government. What is common in both countries is that when savers see the banks and the sovereign propping each other up, they run away.  Unless the banks in both Greece and Spain are soon recapitalised, the ongoing gradual deposit flight might turn quickly into a classic run with incalculable consequences.

07 June 2012

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) represents nearly 40% of the EU budget and remains a highly controversial policy. This sizeable slice of the budget remains largely untargeted and inequalities in payment distribution persist. The 2013 CAP reform therefore represents a valuable opportunity to orient the agricultural sector towards 21st century objectives.

04 June 2012

At this point in the crisis, Daniel Gros writes that the common currency can only be saved if the governments of the troubled economies take determined action, supported by their citizens, to show that they attach overriding priority to their membership in the eurozone, even under difficult circumstances, and that they thus merit unreserved support from the rest of the member countries.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies

01 June 2012

If Greece leaves the eurozone, many expect that it that will be forced to default. This commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that need not be the case.

01 June 2012

Against the background of the continued crisis in the eurozone, CEPS Associate Senior Fellow Michael Emerson explores in this Commentary the costs and opportunities presented to the EU as a model of competent economic policy management and as a model of enlightened regional integration.

31 May 2012

This commentary observes that fear and panic are now the driving forces in the eurozone, splitting the area into two: pushing some into bad equilibria characterised by austerity and recession, and others into good equilibria allowing their governments to borrow at almost no cost. The responses adopted so far by the ECB and the European Commission reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the crisis and fail to assuage the existential fears undermining confidence in the eurozone. The author outlines three essential steps to be taken to unify the eurozone.

19 May 2012

Published on the eve of the NATO Summit in Chicago (May 20-21), this CEPS Commentary analyses the impact of the summit and the Smart Defence agenda on the European Union’s defence policy. Will the EU follow NATO and go ‘smart’? The authors point out that the NATO agenda provides indeed a unique chance for the EU to make unprecedented progress on pooling and sharing. They outline a three-part road map to rationalise the EU defence market and put the Union back on track as a credible and capable security provider.

14 May 2012


Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003 signalled the beginning of a new era for the former Soviet Union Republic. The triumphant new political elite, headed by President Mikheil Saakashvili, vowed to establish a democratic state characterised by respect for human rights, a corruption-free government and a functioning market economy seeking integration with Europe and eventual EU membership.  

11 May 2012

A new CEPS Commentary finds that the European Commission's proposals for ensuring prudential supervision of the banking sector in the EU, currently under consideration in the ECFIN Council, leave much to be desired. The author, Karel Lannoo, is CEO of CEPS and head of the Financial Markets research unit.

07 May 2012

The urge to be seen to be ‘doing something’ is leading Europe’s policy-makers to rely on the few instruments with which the EU can claim to foster growth. But, as Daniel Gros points out in this Commentary, they should recognise that today’s growth crisis is quite different than it has been in the past.

30 April 2012

In this Commentary, CEPS Associate Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson looks at whether the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) actually form a bloc, and concludes that they do not. Three of them form part of another group: IBSA (India, Brazil and the South Africa Dialogue Forum) and are more advanced as partners. However, what both BRICS and IBSA do is confront the European Union with discomforting questions about its role as global actor.

27 April 2012

With this new CEPS commentary, CEPS Associate Fellow Jorge Núñez Ferrer weighs in this week's debate on the 2013 EU budget, concluding that the discussion was unhelpful and mainly an exercise in political posturing and misinformation on the part of the member states.

12 April 2012

In this CEPS Commentary, Daniel Gros examines the different approaches taken by the Fed and the ECB to bring about economic recovery following the financial crisis and finds that there is a qualitative difference between the two with respect to the risk each is assuming that is more important than the mere size of their balance-sheet.

Daniel Gros is the Director of CEPS.

04 April 2012

Now that the EU and Ukraine have initialled the texts of an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, Michael Emerson urges the EU in this new CEPS Commentary to press ahead without delay or abstain from imposing any political conditionality in order to pre-empt Putin from realising his ambition to re-integrate the post-Soviet space.

Michael Emerson is Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.

30 March 2012

In this CEPS Commentary Alessandro Giovannini and Daniel Gros assess the decision taken at the informal Eurogroup meeting on the 30th of March to raise the lending ceiling of the European Stability Mechanism/European Financial Stability Facility, arguing that the size of the so-called 'firewall' will be insufficient, should larger member states like Spain or Italy require financial assistance.

23 March 2012

While acknowledging that the massive amounts of liquidity injected into the eurozone banking system by the ECB were absolutely necessary to save Europe’s banking system, Paul De Grauwe now criticizes these lender-of-last-resort operations as ill-designed, making it likely that the ECB will have to discontinue them in the not so distant future.

The author is Professor at the London School of Economics and Associate Senior Fellow at CEPS.

08 March 2012

All in all, this Commentary finds that the Fiscal Compact signed on 2 March 2012 by all member states of the EU (except the UK and the Czech Republic) may be long on good intentions but is rather short on substance. The main danger is that that it has been oversold and in no way constitutes a first step towards fiscal or political union.

07 March 2012

According to CEPS Director Daniel Gros, the real problem in Greece is no longer the fiscal deficit, but a combination of deposit flight and continuing excessive consumption in the private sector, which for more than a decade now has been accustomed to spending much more than it earns

02 March 2012

One of the pivotal criteria for judging the success or failure of Medvedev’s diplomacy is the progress made by Russia in its integration into international society. From this crucial viewpoint, he certainly widened the 'window of opportunity' for a more positive interaction with the West, although the movement in this direction has obviously not been linear. Author Andrey Makarychev assesses President Medvedev’s foreign policy legacy in this new CEPS Commentary.

02 March 2012

The overwhelming European attitude, from foreign ministries to the population as a whole, is to hope for European-Russian relations to become more normal, as between all other nations of the continent. And ‘normal’ means to be open, friendly, and appreciative of the same human and cultural values, common human rights standards, the legal order, and above all to be devoid of mutual threat perceptions. Michael Emerson takes a European view of the foreign and security policy of the Russian president.

Michael Emerson is Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.

17 February 2012

While acknowledging that Portugal is far from being in the same dire straits as Greece in terms of its levels of public debt and deficit, Daniel Gros points out in this Commentary that excess private consumption is Portugal’s real problem. And if this problem is not addressed, he warns that the eurozone might soon have another country in need of debt forgiveness.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

01 February 2012

In a new CEPS Commentary, Michael Emerson welcomes the nascent expression of opposition that is emerging in Moscow but concedes that Putin’s re-election is a safe bet, in light of the huge task ahead of converting the new momentum of people and ideas into an effective political force.

Michael Emerson is Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and former EU Ambassador to Moscow.

31 January 2012

This Commentary urges the European Parliament and EU Council to undertake a more thorough review of the draft Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV), which implements Basel III in EU law. With a view to streamlining and tightening the proposal, the author argues that the most important amendments to consider are the introduction of risk-weighting on sovereign exposures within the EU and the related application in the large exposures regime, a review of the generous risk-weighting afforded to real estate, and the full application of the leverage ratio.

13 January 2012

In their assessment of the state of the Eastern Partnership, as the Polish Presidency of the EU Council drew to a close at the end of 2011, two Russian policy specialists describe the initiative as an experimental EU project that, as demonstrated by other similar initiatives launched by the EU (Northern Dimension and the Barcelona Process), will most likely undergo serious institutional transmutation. For a variety of reasons, however, they found that none of the major actors was either willing or capable of making radical moves at this time.

12 January 2012

CEPS Director Daniel Gros explores in this Commentary why the crisis in the eurozone is going from bad to worse, despite the relative strength of the region’s fundamentals. He finds that the resources are there, but that Europe needs to summon up the political will to mobilise them.