CEPS Policy Briefs


121 - 150 of 317
25 November 2009

After weeks of intense speculation, the question of who will fill the new EU positions of European Council President and High Representative for EU foreign policy has now been answered: Herman Van Rompuy will take office as European Council President on 1 January 2010; and Catherine Ashton will be appointed the EU’s foreign affairs chief on 1 December 2009. The question of precisely what powers these two individuals will exercise under the new Treaty of Lisbon, however, remains largely unanswered, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem.

13 November 2009

If EU leaders are looking for ways to make the Eastern Partnership successful, there are worse places to start than Moldova. Recent elections brought to power a four-party Alliance for European Integration, making the country the only post-Soviet state (aside from the Baltics) in the last ten years where the transfer of power took place via elections. Moreover, in terms of trade, its dependence on the EU is also greater than that of any other post-Soviet state and its support for European integration is the highest in the region.

05 November 2009

This CEPS Policy Brief discusses the milestones of the new EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) and the difficulties of its implementation. In a reader-friendly, non-technical fashion, the authors sketch out the main properties and ensuing obligations of REACH and survey its present status.

27 October 2009

Most of the media attention given to the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty in the Czech Republic has been devoted to the antics of the President, Václav Klaus. The process is being delayed, however, not only by the President’s reservations and requests for a Czech (quasi)opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, but also by the pending review of the Treaty by the Czech Constitutional Court (CCC), which is looking into the Lisbon Treaty for the second time; having delivered its first decision in autumn 2008.

20 August 2009

The European Union is currently engaged in formulating a new five-year strategy for the development of the next phase of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), to replace The Hague Programme of 2004, which expires at the end of this year. In June 2009, the European Commission published its views on the new so-called ‘Stockholm Programme’, which will be adopted under the Swedish Presidency in December, in its Communication “An area of Freedom, Security and Justice serving the citizen: Wider freedom in a safer environment”.

07 August 2009

The European Council meeting of June charged the European Commission with responsibility for drafting “by early autumn 2009 at the latest” the proposals to implement a new framework for EU financial supervision, as called for by the de Larosière Committee.

16 July 2009

Even though the financial crisis might have started in the US, CEPS Director Daniel Gros finds in a new CEPS Policy Brief that even more combustible material had accumulated in Europe, and that therefore that it likely that the cost will be higher here and the recovery slower than on the other side of the Atlantic. This conclusion is based on a careful analysis of two indicators of looming financial instability: credit expansion (or leverage) and asset price bubbles.

14 July 2009

This CEPS Policy Brief is a collective work by a group of CEPS researchers aimed at providing an action plan for the next European Commission. Priorities have been set in four selected policy fields where concrete action is needed immediately: reform of financial sector regulation and oversight, climate change and energy policy, Justice and Home Affairs and the Common Foreign and Security Policy. These fields are crucial to fostering a recovery of the EU economy and allowing the EU to become a real actor on the international scene.

01 July 2009

After months of pretending that the economic turmoil is not likely to affect Russia, the government recently went public on the multiple ramifications of the crisis. It seems that virtually no sector or policy of the Russian state will escape unaffected. This Policy Brief raises several questions in regard to Russia’s foreign policy at a time of economic difficulties. Will it fall victim to the crisis or will the crisis re-energise Russia’s assertiveness?

30 June 2009

This paper explores the question of whether there is a trade-off between maintaining price stability and financial stability (much in the same way as there can be a trade-off between price stability and output stability when supply shocks occur) and if so, which of the two objectives should take precedence. The authors analyse how such a trade-off can arise and further examine the issue of how to define and monitor financial stability and assess which policy instruments the ECB could deploy to maintain financial stability.

23 June 2009

In an effort to address the financing gap for clean energy projects in developing countries, the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF) was set up in late 2008 as an innovative financing instrument aimed at leveraging private investments with public funds. The purpose of this CEPS Policy Brief is to give an update on GEEREF with a special focus on its financing and possible impacts of the financial crisis. The paper concludes that the strength of GEEREF is not its current financial volume but the innovative nature of the instrument.

12 June 2009

In his latest Policy Brief, Daniel Gros gives a new angle on why the existence of current account ‘imbalances’ should provoke the greatest financial crisis in living history if the raison d’être of a financial system is to deal with imbalances (between savers and investors). He argues that one has to take into account the way current account deficits are financed and how flow imbalances accumulated into large stock disequilibria.

15 May 2009

This policy brief builds on results arising from the mitigation and policy appraisal research domains of the ADAM project (Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European Climate Policy). Funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK, ADAM is an integrated research project running from 2006 to 2009 that will lead to a better understanding of the trade-offs and conflicts that exist between adaptation and mitigation policies.

24 April 2009

Energy security is a topic that is of increasing importance to policy-makers and yet is a relatively under-researched area. Although macroeconomists have noted that there may be external costs associated with energy security measures, there is no definitive methodology for calculating or assessing these externalities. This paper presents an overview of the theoretical externalities and develops estimates for the size of the external costs of energy arising from energy insecurity. In particular, the research centres on the costs of electricity production and oil.

23 April 2009

The consequences of the post-electoral impasse in which Moldova finds itself after the parliamentary elections on 5 April 2009 are immense for the EU’s relations with Moldova and for the success of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). Despite many problems, Moldova is considered one of the ‘frontrunners’ as regards ENP implementation and is poised to negotiate an Association Agreement and a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement in the coming months.

15 March 2009

Energy security is of increasing importance in today’s world, yet little research has been carried out on the costs or benefits of energy security policies. This paper looks at the period after the 1970s to estimate the cost premium of electricity generation due to energy security policies. The cost premium is estimated for France, Germany, Italy and Spain for the period 1980-2000 by estimating actual versus hypothetical lowest cost generation mixes.

14 March 2009

This Policy Brief looks at a concrete proposal on how to use markets to secure against risks in European gas supplies. Its aim is to come up with a crisis response mechanism to gas disruptions, which is still missing in the current Directive 2004/67/EC concerning measures to safeguard security of natural gas supply.

10 March 2009

This policy brief highlights the main findings of the project on Adequacy and Sustainability of Old-Age Income in the EU (AIM), which was financed by the EU’s 6th Framework Programme and directed by CEPS.

19 January 2009

The January 2009 interruptions of gas supplies from Russia to the EU via Ukraine, following the earlier 2006 crisis, has confirmed the absolutely intolerable situation in which a commodity of strategic importance for European industry and households has become uncertain and erratic, in breach of long-term supply contracts, as a result of disorderly commercial and political relations between Russia and Ukraine.

28 November 2008

The annual climate change conference (COP14/CMP4) will take place in Poznań, 1–12 December 2008. This Policy Brief aims at providing a brief assessment of where we are on the road from Bali to Copenhagen, thinking ahead of Poznań in relation to the current negotiating environment and exploring the possible nature of an agreed outcome to be reached in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

20 November 2008

This Policy Brief focuses on three issues that are especially important in the long-term development of the climate regime: (a) the challenge of the fragmentation of negotiations and governance systems; (b) the challenge of steering and evaluating novel types of privatised and market-based governance mechanisms; and (c) the challenge of designing architectures for global adaptation governance.

20 November 2008

Bubbles and crashes are an endemic feature of financial markets in capitalist countries. Thus, as a result of deregulation, the balance sheets of universal banks became fully exposed to these bubbles and crashes, undermining the stability of the banking system. The Basel approach to stabilise the banking system has as an implicit assumption that financial markets are efficient, allowing us to model the risks universal banks take and to compute the required capital ratios that will minimise this risk.

23 October 2008

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on ratification and to provide policy-makers with an assessment of the options before them. Before proceeding to outline those options this paper sets out four key assumptions upon which the arguments made are based. It also outlines the importance of securing a clarification of the constitutional position via a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Lisbon Treaty and the desirability of finding EU agreement on the right of all 27 member states to permanent representation on the European Commission.

15 October 2008

The time is not only ripe but pressing for the EU and the states of the Western Balkans to recalibrate and reinforce the current pre-accession strategy. Trade policy should be moved beyond existing free trade commitments for all the Western Balkans to enter the customs union of the EU and Turkey. Eurozone doctrine should be adapted to realities.

03 October 2008

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is seen as key to the achievement of EU and global climate change targets, yet there appears to be no obvious budget for its demonstration phase. In this new Policy Brief, CEPS Senior Researcher Christian Egenhofer makes the case for public support...

02 October 2008

The European Parliament elections taking place on 4-7 June 2009 will provide a unique opportunity for addressing the role and potential of the EU on policies related to an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). These policies lay at the heart of every citizen’s expectations. This Policy Brief presents ten key issues and policy recommendations for the political parties and their campaign manifestos, in relation to borders, asylum, immigration, data protection and criminal justice.

23 September 2008

This paper, which draws on a longer, more analytical Working Document by the same author (No. 304/September 2008), explores the question of whether central banks should target stock prices so as to prevent bubbles and crashes from occurring. It analyses how ‘leaning against the wind’ strategies, which aim to reduce the volatility of stock prices, can help in reducing volatility of output and inflation. Its finds, however, that a critical element in the success in such a strategy is the degree of credibility of the inflation-targeting regime.

11 September 2008

The intersection between the Commission Communication on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe, another on a Policy Plan on Asylum and the various drafts of the French Presidency’s European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, raises a number of questions: First, what are the nature, context and key issues of the Pact? Does it present anything really new to the current state of affairs in EU law and policy? Second, does the EU really need a pact on immigration and asylum, given the already ongoing processes of Europeanisation surrounding these policy domains?

09 September 2008

This paper argues that the main challenge currently facing the EU is a community deficit: the low valuation the majority of its citizens accord the evolving collectivity. To deal with this community deficit, the author, Amitai Etzioni, warns that the EU must either introduce strong measures of community building or else significantly scale back its plans for collective action.

28 August 2008

This paper by a noted expert on Islam, Olivier Roy, declares that the success of Osama Bin Laden is not to have established a modern and efficient Islamist political organisation, but to have invented a narrative that could allow rebels without a cause to connect with a cause. Instead of looking vertically through Muslim history and theology to explain Al Qaeda’s violence, he argues that it should be connected to the general phenomenon of radical violence among youth.