CEPS Commentaries

181 - 210 of 432
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.

22 December 2011

In his assessment of the recent agreements struck during the COP 17 negotiations in Durban, November 29th to December 9th, Andrei Marcu concludes in this new CEPS Commentary that global climate change is approaching a new crossroads.

22 December 2011

In this Commentary, Michael Emerson continues the exercise he initiated in June of monitoring developments of the Arab Revolutions at six-month intervals. The scoreboard so far shows three outright regime changes (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya), with two more in the pipeline: Yemen experiencing a slow regime change of uncertain destination, and with Syria into its eight month of bloody repression.

08 December 2011

Even if the best possible agreement is struck by the European Council meeting in Brussels December 7th-8th, the crisis will not suddenly be over. But this Commentary suggests a formula whereby it could at least be contained, thus giving countries such as Italy or Spain the time they need to show that they can get their deficits under control and turn their economies around.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels.

02 December 2011

With European governments cutting back on spending, many are asking whether this could make matters worse. In the UK for instance, recent OECD estimates suggest that ‘austerity’ will lead to another recession, which in turn may lead to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than before. As the debate heats up, this new commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros provides some cool economic logic.

02 December 2011

This Commentary surveys the latest round of stress tests administered to EU banks by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and finds their exclusive focus on a single measure of capital, the Tier 1 capital ratio of Basel III, short-sighted. While the first two stress tests underestimated the capital needs in the European banking system, the third test risks overestimating the picture in some cases.

01 December 2011

In his latest Commentary, Michael Emerson finds that nowhere is the competition over the primacy of norms in international relations sharper than that revealed by the UN’s response to the murderous repression by the Syrian authorities of their civilian population.

Michael Emerson is Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.

16 November 2011

CEPS Senior Fellow Paul De Grauwe expresses astonishment in this new Commentary at the continued insistence in both Brussels and Frankfurt on budgetary austerity as the necessary and sufficient response to stop the government debt crisis in the eurozone. In his view, the austerity programmes should be softened and spread over a longer period of time, allowing the automatic stabilisers in the national budgets to prevent the economies from spiralling downwards.

08 November 2011

This contribution by CEPS Director Daniel Gros lays the blame for Italy’s poor growth, which presently poses an existential threat to the entire eurozone, squarely on the country’s abysmal record on such governance factors as corruption and the rule of law. Reversing this political decline will take years of national commitment – of which he sees little sign.