CEPS Commentaries


181 - 210 of 417
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.

03 November 2011

Contrary to the high hopes being attached to the proffer of Chinese assistance at the G20 in Cannes this week, CEPS Director Daniel Gros warns in this Commentary that a large inflow of funds from China and other 'investors' could in fact do more harm than good. In his view, the incoming capital would strengthen the euro and thus make a recovery in the periphery even more difficult.

28 October 2011

In his latest Commentary, Michael Emerson surveys the dramatic events in this autumn’s political landscape in the European neighbourhood and finds the most astonishing feature is the contradictory trend between the East’s slide backwards towards authoritarianism, while the Arab world proceeds with its anti-authoritarian revolution.

Michael Emerson is Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.

27 October 2011

Eurozone leaders agreed this morning on the rough outline of a package of measures designed to end the crisis in the eurozone. This commentary argues that a central pillar of the package will not work. The so-called ‘first-loss insurance’ of eurozone sovereign debt relies on an incomplete analysis of the underlying problem and the proposed solution.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

24 October 2011

Unlike the banking crisis of 2008; when governments had significantly lower debt burdens, governments today cannot recapitalize banks without triggering downgrades and renewed fears of sovereign default. In order to stop this downward spiral in the eurozone, a credible floor has to be put in place on the prices of government bonds. This CEPS Commentary argues that the European Central Bank is the only institution capable of imposing such a floor and breaking this vicious circle.

21 October 2011

This paper proposes to tackle the sovereign debt and banking crises with a comprehensive multi-pillar mechanism that involves cash and synthetic solutions aimed at enhancing the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), but without necessitating any structural transformation. In this framework, the public and the private sectors would collaborate to design the necessary tools (a blend of cash and guarantees) that are capable of convincing the market.

19 October 2011

In this Commentary, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński looks at seemingly different recent political developments in Poland and Slovakia, but draws a common lesson: any new party entering the political scene needs some time to consolidate internally before it enters the government. Both the Slovak and the Czech governments have suffered recent instability due to their political backing by newly emerging actors. He warns that Poland should not make the same mistake.
Piotr Maciej Kaczyński is a Research Fellow at CEPS.
 

19 October 2011

This CEPS Commentary finds that banking supervisors and regulators attach too much importance to the current capital ratios, despite the multi-indicators approach encouraged by Basel III. Drawing on the recent experience of the Belgian-French bank Dexia, the author shows that reliance on this single capital indicator can be very costly.

13 October 2011

The European Union should move quickly to enact an American-style ‘TARP’ in the eurozone to strengthen the financial sector and maintain lending, argues CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo.

12 October 2011

In his latest Commentary, Daniel Gros allows that the eurozone might just be stepping back from the brink. He attributes this welcome development to the inclusion of a key component that has been missing so far in any proposed framework to resolve the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, namely a liquidity backstop for the eurozone’s fiscal authority.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
 

04 October 2011

In all likelihood, the European Commission’s proposed tax on financial services, the financial transaction tax (FTT), will raise sizeable tax revenues, which explains its political appeal in the current context. However, the tax fails to address the key factors that contributed to the global financial crisis. In the absence of global or even EU-wide cooperation, many of the transactions subject to a tax will relocate to non-cooperating countries, thereby reducing revenue prospects and the effectiveness of supervision.

03 October 2011

 In this CEPS Commentary, Michael Emerson argues that the case for Palestinian statehood is as strong as that of Israel, on the basis of the four criteria contained in the Montevideo Convention of 1932 on the rights and duties of states. In the wake of the US threat to veto any resolution before the US Security Council to grant statehood to Palestine, he observes that no other single move of US diplomacy could do more to wipe out President Obama’s diplomatic advances towards the Arab world or to reinvigorate Islamic fundamentalist tendencies in the Muslim world at large.

28 September 2011

In light of the continued difficulties experienced by the Greek government to implement the promises it gave to its creditors and convince its own population of the need for further rounds of tough reforms in combination with investors’ doubts that the country will ever be able to grow out of its public debt, this CEPS Commentary reiterates the authors’ earlier proposal to take advantage of the low prices of Greek debt to implement a market-based approach to debt reduction.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS. Thomas Mayer is Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank.

08 September 2011

With the completion of the latest rescue package for Greece – which relieved the country of short-term liquidity problems and eased the borrowing terms, but which made only a small dent in the overall debt burden – this Commentary explores the question whether Greece can now ’grow solvent’? The prognosis is not encouraging: given the country’s unfavourable demographic prospects and the small size of its tradable sector, Greece will face a huge task in growing out of its debt burden.

05 September 2011

Under extreme pressure from the financial markets and from Germany, member countries of the eurozone feel obliged to introduce balanced budget clauses into their constitutions. In this new Commentary, CEPS Senior Associate Research Fellow Paul De Grauwe explains why the balanced budget rule is a bad idea.
 

18 August 2011

Investors are anticipating the unravelling of the 21 July 2011 ‘solution’. In this new CEPS Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros and Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank, Thomas Mayer argue that the EFSF cannot work as intended but if it were registered as a bank the generalised breakdown of confidence could be stopped while leaving the management of public debt under the supervision of the finance ministers.