CEPS Commentaries


211 - 240 of 417
11 August 2011

In his latest Commentary, Karel Lannoo expresses frustration over the inconsistency between the latest Eurobarometer survey indicating is a clear indication of public support for EU institutions to more aggressively take the lead in resolving the economic crisis and the timidity of those institutions, with the possible exception of the ECB, to do so.

08 August 2011

The first act of the eurozone debt drama was about whether any European Union member country could ever become insolvent. It ended when the highest EU authority, the European Council, officially recognised in late July that Greece does need a reduction in its debt obligations. But that acknowledgement of reality does not end the drama. The second act will be about restoring growth prospects for the EU periphery, which will pose an even more difficult challenge.

27 July 2011

In this CEPS Commentary, Michael Emerson surveys recent developments in the case against Julia Temoshenko in Ukraine and its implications for the country’s relations with the EU.

22 July 2011

In the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s European Council’s decision to effectively transform the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) into a European Monetary Fund, this CEPS Commentary explores whether the EFSF has enough resources to become a credible deterrent against a recurrence of the recent turbulences in the euro area sovereign debt markets. The authors argue that an increase in lending capacity of the EFSF, which has been agreed politically but has not yet been fully ratified, is urgently needed.

22 July 2011

In his evaluation of the results from the 2nd EU bank stress test published 15 July 2011, CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo finds clear improvement compared to the first test, thanks in part to the new institutional set-up. He notes, however, that much works remains to be done on the substantive side to further calibrate the results and extend it to a broader sample of the EU banking sector.

12 July 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Director compares the developments in Greece today with those that took place in Argentina in the decade leading up to its messy default in 2001-02, following its decision a decade earlier to peg its currency to the dollar. He sadly concludes that the Greek experience – so far, at least – looks like a replay of the Argentine drama.

01 July 2011

Since the onset of the debt crisis in late 2009, the comparisons between Greece and Argentina have multiplied, with an emphasis more on the similarities than the differences. This is not surprising given the stunning parallels. This Commentary draws a systematic comparison between the two countries over the decade before the crisis and the management of the crisis. Overall it suggests that there may be little left for Greece to do to avoid a repeat of the Argentine default, but on a larger scale.

01 July 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson finds that the huge political transition taking place in the Arab world approaches in importance that which erupted in Central and Eastern Europe two decades ago and comparable certainly in the power of cross-border revolutionary contagion. He offers a schema of regime types and conceivable regime dynamics that can be drawn up on the basis of what has already transpired in each of the countries affected, and what other regions of the world have experienced in their regimes’ transitions.

23 June 2011

Protests continue in Greece as its leaders debate the latest suggestions for dealing with its crippling debt. One proposal is for Greece to privatise several of its assets. This Commentary argues that privatisation is a mirage. If solvency is the problem, privatisation will only make matters worse, especially if it has to be done at distressed prices.
Daniel Gros is the Director of CEPS.
 

23 June 2011

Pointing out that disorderly default or further bailouts are not the only solution to the Greek debt crisis, Daniel Gros and Thomas Mayer argue in this CEPS commentary that a sounder and less messy approach would be to take advantage of the current low prices of Greek debt to go for a market-based debt reduction.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS. Thomas Mayer is Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank.
 

16 June 2011

At the inaugural meeting of the CEPS Task Force on Aligning the EU Budget to the Europe 2020 Competitiveness and Growth Objectives on May 17th, a consensus was reached that achieving the goals of Europe 2020 requires better targeting and concentration of EU spending programmes and an expansion of non-budgetary instruments. This Open Letter to EU leaders calls for serious reform of policies and a redistribution of funds towards areas of long-term sustainable growth and competitiveness.

08 June 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson critiques the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy recently published by the European Commission and the High Representative and arrives at the following main conclusions:
- The Arab spring has pushed the EU institutions into advocating a ‘more for more’ concept, confirming the view that the European Neighbourhood Policy has not been offering sufficient net benefits for its attempted conditionality to work.

27 May 2011

All of Russia is now absorbed in the burning question of who will stand for President in 2012. Kremlinologists at home and abroad are desperately trying to read the meaning of indirect remarks and hints from the President and Prime Minister. Michael Emerson writes in this Commentary that it would be condescending if not insulting for the Russian people for Medvedev and Putin to settle the matter in a private conversation, after which one of them announces that he will back the other. In his view, the ideal solution would surely be for both Medvedev and Putin to stand for President.

26 May 2011

At the G8 meeting in Deauville, May 26-27, the leaders of the world’s major economies are called upon in a new CEPS Commentary by Rym Ayadi to make a major commitment to support the Tunisian people’s quest for inclusive and sustainable economic and social development, following the Jasmine Revolution early this year.

13 May 2011

Proclaiming that Ireland is not Argentina, Daniel Gros shows in this Commentary how the Irish government can avoid the fate of Argentina, which defaulted in 2001, by mobilizing the significant private foreign assets held by the country’s institutions, primarily pensions and life insurance companies.
The author is the Director of CEPS.
 

12 May 2011

This Commentary argues that the current crisis in the eurozone periphery is really about foreign debt, not sovereign debt and that the single-minded concentration of the EU and the IMF on fiscal adjustment in the EU periphery is misguided. For Greece, fiscal adjustment is undeniably the key issue. For Portugal, however, the key problem is the private sector’s continuing external deficit. Ireland is different again, as it has very little foreign debt and will soon run a current-account surplus.

29 March 2011

After numerous delays, the European Commission’s second Raw Materials Communication has now been published. Initially foreseen for November 2010 under the guidance of Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Tajani, the document finally saw the light of day in February 2011, after having been more or less appropriated by the cabinet of President Barroso.

18 March 2011

The economic philosophy behind the Competitiveness Pact now before the European Council can be summarized by two hypotheses:
1. If we fix (relative?) wages, no external imbalances can arise since relative costs determine export performance.
2. Higher productivity always means more ‘competitiveness’, and is thus always useful to reduce divergences.
On first sight, this Commentary finds that both theses seem to make sense, but on closer inspection, neither corresponds to reality.

18 March 2011

Europe now must decide which countries and banks have access to funding, and at what cost. Drawing on the timeless wisdom of William Shakespeare, Daniel Gros warns that those countries now struggling under a mountain of debt should have realized earlier that excessive reliance on borrowing invites excessive consumption and wasteful investment. But the leaders of Germany and the other creditor countries should also be aware that a lender can lose both its capital and its friends.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
 

16 March 2011

At the European Council on 11 March 2011, EU leaders agreed to the outlines of a new mechanism to deal with eurozone debt problems after the current mechanism expires in 2013. This Commentary argues that this mechanism is a continuation of the leaders’ preference for ‘tough talk and soft conditions’ and warns that the package is merely the next step down the slippery slope of EU taxpayers sharing the burden with Greek taxpayers.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.
 

09 March 2011

Europe’s leaders have promised to find by the end of this month (March 2011) a comprehensive package, not only to end the euro crisis, but also to preserve the stability of the euro for the future. In the view of CEPS Director Daniel Gros, they are unlikely to succeed, unfortunately, because most of the elements of the package on the table so far at least deal with the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the crisis.

11 February 2011

Various forms of common ‘European bonds’, or more precisely eurobonds, have been proposed recently as a way out of the current euro crisis, with proponents stressing the promise of lower borrowing costs. While acknowledging that the proposal is tempting and even quite promising in theory, this Commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros finds it seems mostly to be wishful thinking.

10 February 2011

In this new Commentary, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo surveys the radical shift in bank capital requirements confirmed by the new Basel III Accord, with its focus on more and better quality capital, especially for the large banks. He finds, however, that the new framework is becoming very complex, and asks the big question that emerges: how does one determine when a bank is effectively Basel III-compliant, as some will soon start to claim.

07 February 2011

Michael Emerson asks in this latest CEPS Commentary: What next after the heady days of revolutionary euphoria in Tunis and Cairo? He observes that “now is that poignant moment of total uncertainty over the future, except for the certainty that the status quo cannot last much longer”. Inevitably, next comes the long haul of struggling democratic transitions, or other scenarios. He outlines four regime options for consideration by the various parties in the region.

25 January 2011

This Commentary argues that the EU should build up a world-class diplomatic corps, capable of becoming a major actor in global affairs. It is a collective effort by a group of EU policy analysts based at research institutes in Brussels and Leuven. It draws upon the findings and policy recommendations put forward in their new book Upgrading the EU’s Role as Global Actor – Institutions, Law and the Restructuring of European Diplomacy.

19 January 2011

The hangover from the rich countries' housing bust is likely to depress growth and keep unemployment high in 2011 – and for much of the next decade. But, as CEPS Director Daniel Gros explains in this new Commentary, the dream of homeownership is very much alive – and is a powerful economic force – in the emerging world.

19 January 2011

For the second time in a decade, central banks around the world have responded to the collapse of an asset bubble by moving aggressively to ease monetary policy, a tactic explicitly justified by the need to avoid a Japanese-style ‘lost decade’. The problem, however; as argued in this Commentary, is that Japan never lost a decade…
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.
 

19 January 2011

This Commentary presents preliminary key messages and recommendations of the CEPS Task Force on “The Strategic Energy Technology Plan: From Concept to Practice”, Taking the form of an ‘open letter”, it aims to express the views of the Task Force members in the run-up to the meeting of the Energy and Innovation European Council on 4 February 2011. It argues that a successful innovation policy needs an efficient Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan.

14 January 2011

To help both the United States and Europe grapple with their rising levels of government debt and large budget deficits, this Commentary suggests that EU policy-makers might be well advised to consider an innovative albeit quirky approach devised by Slovakia to deal with the problem, in which the personal prosperity of top national officials is based not only on wage developments in the economy, but also on the country’s fiscal prudence.

06 January 2011

In response to the horrific clan-based criminality, human trafficking and corruption that is rampant throughout Kosovo, Michael Emerson and Jan Wouters explore the options available to the EU in its self-appointed role as the leading force for the political transformation and economic integration of the whole of the Western Balkans into modern Europe and its values.