CEPS Commentaries

211 - 240 of 376
21 October 2010

In this review of the Commission’s Communication on the budget review, published on 19 October 2010, Jorge Núñez Ferrer finds that the proposals in general are healthy and commendable, but that the document has weaknesses, notably in its failure to address actual policies in any depth, especially agriculture, or to demonstrate any commitment to budgetary austerity. The latter oversight may prove particularly problematic in today’s atmosphere.

21 October 2010

This Commentary takes a close look at the recently leaked Commission’s Communication on the future of the CAP. The author finds it a carefully drafted document containing the usual CAP rhetoric punctuated by some apparently strong deviations from past doctrine. But once the objectives and policy proposals are reduced to their basic components, he discovers that much of the fizz disappears.
Dr Jorge Núñez Ferrer, Associate Research Fellow at CEPS, has written widely on the CAP and the EU budget.

18 October 2010

Drawing on the findings of a major research project investigating the relative contribution of ‘stakeholder value’ vs ‘shareholder value’ institutions to the economy, CEPS Senior Fellow Rym Ayadi argues, in a new CEPS Commentary, on behalf of the merits of diversity in banking models.

13 October 2010

In a new CEPS Commentary, Cinzia Alcidi, LUISS Research Fellow at CEPS, takes exception with the conventional wisdom explaining the continuous divergence in the cost of labour – a key indicator of competitiveness – since the start of EMU among the member countries of the eurozone.

06 October 2010

Any strategy by the EU towards making a meaningful contribution to the global effort of reducing GHG emissions needs to address the core of the problem: ‘coal’, or, more accurately, abundant coal. The failure in the United States, a rich economy with only a moderate dependency on coal, to introduce even a moderate carbon tax, means that it certain that no commitment will be forthcoming for the next generation from China, which is still much poorer and depends even more heavily on indigenous coal (and produces twice as much as the US).

04 October 2010

This commentary points to the IMF as a prime example of the over-representation of Europeans in international fora, which has the effect of actually diminishing Europe’s influence. The representatives are often instructed to defend (frequently divergent) national interests and the net effect is that common European interests are not represented at all. The author argues that the only sensible long-term solution is to pool the IMF quotas of all eurozone countries.

01 October 2010

Against the background of the EU’s disappointing performance as an external actor in recent international gatherings (UN General Assembly, the climate talks and the IMF), Michael Emerson and Jan Wouters exhort the EU to urgently face up to new realities and undertake a comprehensive and strategic review of how it should position itself in the multilateral system, especially regarding the distribution of roles between the EU itself and the member states.

23 September 2010

The constitutional package that was approved by Turkey’s electorate in the September 12th referendum can decidedly be considered a step forward towards the drafting of a new civilian constitution, which is sorely needed for a rapidly changing, vibrant and dynamic Turkey. Nevertheless, the referendum was bitterly fought between the governing AKP and the opposition parties – CHP and the ultra nationalist MHP – both of which launched a ‘no’ campaign and some 42% of the population voted against it.

23 September 2010

It is well known that China accumulates vast quantities of foreign exchange reserves as part of its strategy for ‘steering’ the yuan exchange rate, and that it prevents the US, Japan or the European Central Bank from retaliating by prohibiting foreigners from investing in any significant yuan assets. One solution that would not break any international commitments would be for the US and Japan to declare that they will henceforth only allow the sale of their public debt to countries whose public debt US and Japanese residents are also allowed to buy and hold.

06 September 2010

Two years after the world economy suffered a nervous breakdown in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, global financial markets remain unsettled, and the recovery that started so vigorously in 2009 seems to be stalling. In this Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros considers the reasons for this slowdown and the mismatch between the skills available in the existing work force and the requirements of a modern export-oriented manufacturing sector.

This Commentary was first published as an article on the Project Syndicate website on 3 September 2010.

05 August 2010

When President Medvedev took office in 2008, it was widely expected that former President Putin would take back the reins by 2012, at the latest. The change in the constitution in December 2008 to extend the presidential term to six years was widely seen as a strengthening of President Putin’s tenure in the future. Against all expectations, however, it is Medvedev who is increasingly distinguishing himself from his former mentor by proposing an independent political project for Russia, which has at its heart the ‘modernisation’ of the country.

30 July 2010

In this commentary, CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo argues that the stress test recently conducted on 91 European banks had shortcomings with regard to its scope, indicators, and methodology, but he salutes it as the setting of a precedent which will encourage further integration of the European system of financial supervision.

22 July 2010

In this Commentary, CEPS Senior Fellow Jacques Pelkmans is mystified to explain why Mario Monti’s recent report, A new strategy for the single market, has not provoked much reaction, neither among stakeholders in the ‘Brussels circuit’ nor in the member states. In his view, the report should have stimulated lively debate on its highly strategic reflections and active discussions and positioning on the numerous concrete proposals.

12 July 2010

In his latest Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros continues to champion the publication of stress tests for all systematically significant banks, given their persistent state of undercapitalisation and high degree of interconnectedness. In light of the European Central Bank’s' exposure to the most troubled eurozone countries, he also suggests that it too needs to be tested in the interest of macroeconomic stability.

08 July 2010

In his latest commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that Europe cannot escape the crisis in its financial markets until it fixes its banks. Indeed, the markets will remain on edge until the vast undercapitalisation of the banking system is dealt with decisively.

02 July 2010

In this commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that the current emphasis on wage divergences in the eurozone and the proposition that governments “must do something about competitiveness” risks leading to an excessively activist approach to economic policy coordination, with governments and EU institutions constantly trying to influence wage-setting in the private sector. This might work – at least partly – in the current crisis, but it will not prevent problems in the future unless divergences in domestic demand are also addressed.

08 June 2010

The future of Ukraine’s gas transit pipeline is back on the agenda, and it is time for the European Union to come up with constructive ideas on what to do. Ukrainian President Yanukovich has signalled his interest in the idea of a tripartite Ukrainian-Russian-European consortium for the gas pipeline; the basic mechanism for which is clear enough, although many details would need to be negotiated, such as the distribution of shares between Ukrainian, European and Russian partners. The main question is whether it is worthwhile for the EU to pick up the issue and make a proposal.

08 June 2010

It is routine for countries to send their heads of state to participate in important celebrations in neighbouring states, but there was nothing routine about the Latvian and Estonian presidents going to Moscow to take part in Victory Day events on May 9.

27 May 2010

Assessing the validity of the European Council of Ministers’ recent decision to create a $1 trillion rescue package for financially imperiled countries, CEPS Director Daniel Gros concludes that the eurozone cannot stabilise in political and economic terms in the absence of a solid framework for crisis resolution and an ability to deal with sovereign default by a member state.

11 May 2010

In updating their latest Commentary following the newly created €600 billion European Stabilisation Mechanism, Daniel Gros and Thomas Mayer propose that this new initiative should be transformed into an institution that could play a key role in the euro area’s evolving fiscal policy and in organising the smooth insolvency of member states where an austerity programme fails.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies. Thomas Mayer is Chief Economist with Deutsche Bank London.


10 May 2010

On January 15th of this year, Russia became the last of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe to ratify Protocol 14 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which will now allow the long-awaited reform of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to begin. This commentary explores two basic questions: Why did Russia not ratify Protocol 14 for such a long time? And why has it now decided to ratify it after four years of delay?

06 May 2010

This Commentary warns that a self-defeating deflationary dynamics threatens to envelop the whole eurozone, in which the austerity being imposed by financial markets today makes recovery more difficult, thereby also making it harder to correct government deficits and debts. In the author’s view, this process can only be stopped by agreeing quickly on mutual financial support.
Paul De Grauwe is Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Business Economics at the University of Leuven and Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.

05 May 2010

One of Viktor Yanukovich first actions after his election as President of Ukraine in February of this year was to negotiate a headline-grabbing but highly dubious deal with Russia, in which Ukraine extended the lease of the Russian Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol for 25 to 30 years in exchange for a 10-year discount off the price of gas. This CEPS Commentary finds the deal highly questionable on political, strategic and economic grounds.
The author, Michael Emerson, is Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and head of the EU Foreign, Security and Neighbourhood Policies research unit.

30 April 2010

In this short Commentary, Daniel Gros draws lessons for the Greek fiscal crisis from episodes in the United States history in the 18th and 19th centuries when the federal government was faced with the dilemma of bailing out insolvent states. In those cases, no widespread contagion ensued, leading him to conclude that a default within a federation does not necessarily have to trigger catastrophic political consequences.

29 April 2010

The Greek government has promised that it will cut its deficit by about 10-12% of GDP. In their review of past episodes of fiscal adjustments in the EU, CEPS researchers Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros find such a huge adjustment is possible but it will probably take at least five years, and might still leave the country in a highly unstable position.

28 April 2010

Once upon a time, official economic statistics were largely the work implements of economists, econometricians and government officials. Today they are first and foremost fodder for the financial markets, that is, for mass consumption: they move prices and have the same if not an even bigger market impact as corporate information releases. As a consequence, this commentary by Alberto Giovannini argues that there should be a regime that constrains public sector data releases and subjects them to the highest standards, with the explicit view of protecting investors and market integrity.

27 April 2010

In his latest Commentary, Daniel Gros raises the fundamental question of what would happen if the proposed €45 billion aid package can't bring the Greek tragedy to a happy ending. While acknowledging that the Greek economy would collapse, he finds that the impact on the rest of the single currency zone should be minor and that the institutions of the euro area would probably be strengthened as a result of increase intolerance towards deficit violations and reduced inaccurate reporting.

This Commentary was updated 7 May 2010.

27 April 2010

 In this Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros takes a look at the quality of Greece’s official fiscal adjustment programme and concludes that a substantial part of the projected revenue increases are unlikely to materialise and that the hard choices and unavoidable cuts have been postponed. In his view, it is not a credible instrument in the longer-run perspective, which is what is needed given that the required long-term adjustment is a reduction in the deficit worth over 10% of GDP.



20 April 2010

Turks see the issue of genocide recognition as a matter of national pride and international prestige. This commentary finds, however, that their government has failed to accept that what most hurts Turkey's standing in the world is not international recognition of the Armenian genocide, but rather the country’s inability to face up to its history.

15 April 2010

After two months of heated debate, the basic conditions for the joint IMF/EU rescue operation for Greece have now been decided. In this latest Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros takes a closer look at the figures and shows that the magnitude of the funds under discussion can at best tide the country through a rough patch. The key issue that will remain for years to come is whether Greece is willing to undertake the huge domestic effort required to achieve a sustainable fiscal position.