CEPS Policy Briefs

211 - 240 of 324
06 October 2006

There is a tendency in some political discourse now to say that, because the Constitution that was meant to prepare for enlargement failed to be ratified, the enlargement process has now hit a roadblock called ‘absorption capacity’. An alternative narrative is that the Constitution proposed some useful but marginal systemic changes, but its ratification was badly mismanaged by some political leaders. In the meantime, the EU has not experienced gridlock, and its current major political issues have nothing to do with enlargement.

29 September 2006

The unresolved conflict in the Middle East remains poison for the international relations of the region and the world. It is urgent that the EU should follow up on UN Resolution 1701 and the deployment of member states’ troops to Lebanon with a strategic-diplomatic initiative aimed at the fundamental problem, namely the lack of an agreed resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The reasons for this are a mix of old and new; reasons which are rooted in the international, European and Middle Eastern domains.

25 September 2006

The indefinite prorogation of the WTO’s Doha trade talks in July suggests that the global appetite for multilateralism may now be seriously weakened. In this new Policy Brief, CEPS Senior Research Fellow David Kernohan and T. Huw Edwards of Loughborough University look at how a failed or significantly delayed Doha round (say till 2009 at the earliest) could affect the scope and structure of any eventual WTO deal. In particular, if a rise in regionalism in the interim is inevitable, they ask whether the EU should reassess its regional trade policy objectives?

26 July 2006

The recent spate of legal, legislative and other activity on both sides of the Atlantic related to the collection, storage, use and manipulation of personal data highlights the serious political differences that divide the EU and the US regarding the relationship of the individual and the state. This paper by two Professors of Law at Radboud University at Nijmegen asks what is ‘the political life of data’ that has so galvanised EU and US institutions?

20 July 2006

This paper attempts to map Russia’s policies towards the conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria. The first part discusses Russia’s role in the conflicts during the 1990s and gives some background information on the secessionist conflicts in Georgia and Moldova. The second part discusses policy trends in the Russian Federation that have inspired a new feeling of self-confidence. The third part analyses how the new Russian self-confidence is resulting in new pro-active policies towards the secessionist entities.

07 July 2006

The Doha trade round has reached a critical stage, after five years of stop-start negotiations. Many are pessimistic and feel that the international mood is insufficiently engaged to bring success. Nevertheless, our CEPS Task Force on trade considers that a deal is in fact closer than some might imagine, especially if sufficient political will can be generated at the ongoing WTO negotiations in Geneva and the forthcoming G8 summit in St Petersburg.

21 June 2006

The ongoing negotiations between the EU and Mercosur countries to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) have been overshadowed by the parallel WTO negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). Potentially, this agreement could have considerable impact on European agricultural markets. Aside from the outcome of the WTO talks, any change of doctrine within the EU in the direction of placing increased emphasis on bilateral agreements would probably mean that an EU–Mercosur FTA should be concluded before too long.

14 June 2006

Much has been achieved in upgrading and integrating the ‘governance’ of the European financial system in recent years. In parallel with the successful adoption of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), the EU managed to reform its regulatory structure, extending what was proposed by the Lamfalussy Committee for securities markets in early 2001 to banking and insurance. This paper by CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo explores what remains to be done.

04 June 2006

This study advocates that the EU support a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder initiative to achieve synergy from regional cooperation in the wider Black Sea area. The background for this initiative is first provided through an overview of the challenges, recent developments and EU interests in this region. Different models of regionalism have been promoted by the EU in the European periphery, and these are schematised with a focus on their respective advantages and disadvantages.

23 May 2006

Acknowledging that the French and Dutch no-votes were a huge blow to the Constitutional Treaty and that there is no plan for putting the Constitution into force, Richard E. Baldwin, Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, asks in this paper: What is the EU’s next step? While conceding that the full answer to this question is unknowable at this point, he asserts that any answer must surely take into account the ‘trail to failure’ – the sequence of events that led up to the Constitution.

22 May 2006

The 10th anniversary of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and Russia, which falls on 1 December 2007, is already prompting thoughts on whether and how to replace it. This raises basic issues about the form, purpose and content of bilateral treaties in the context of an integrating Europe. This Policy Brief looks at the relative merits of 6 possible scenarios:
1. Retire the PCA without replacement
2. Extend the status quo
3. Extend the status quo, adding a Political Declaration on Strategic Partnership

15 May 2006

The accession stories of Bulgaria and Romania are an excellent illustration of the EU being caught unawares when making important (legal and political) commitments to two future members while taking in good faith the commitments pledged by the same members-to-be.

11 May 2006

In its recent White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the European Commission has promised a “fundamentally new approach”. The policy is meant to narrow the communication gap looming between the European Union and its citizens and ultimately to map a way towards the development of a European public sphere. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to critically evaluate the proposals emanating from the White Paper and to advance several suggestions aimed at helping the current initiative to have a more tangible and long-term effect than its many predecessors.

26 April 2006

Following the amendments put forward by the European Parliament in February, a good compromise is in sight to move forward on the Commission’s proposal for a Services Directive, which is intended to serve as a cornerstone of the ailing Lisbon strategy to revive growth and jobs in the EU. In this new CEPS Policy Brief, Stefano Micossi, Director General of Assonime, reviews the Commission’s proposal and the Parliament’s position, against the background of the present situation without the directive.

03 March 2006

In August 2005, President Saakashvili of Georgia and President Yushchenko of Ukraine met at Borjomi, Georgia, and decided to launch an initiative to promote democracy among a community of like-minded states of Central and Eastern Europe. This led to a meeting in Kyiv on 2 December 2005, of a wider group of countries of the Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea region, which adopted a declaration announcing the creation of a Community of Democratic Choice (CDC) as a governmental and non-governmental forum to promote the strengthening of democracy, human rights and civil society.

02 March 2006

Following a long period of stagnation, Japan is growing again. The key to this success story is Koizumi’s relentless focus on structural reform, with two objectives: breaking the structural trap of political constituencies defending old and unproductive economic sectors; and adopting a two-pronged macro-micro approach to make reform unavoidable.

01 March 2006

The Bush administration’s announcement of an ‘Advanced Energy Initiative’ poses challenges for the international climate change agenda as well as the US domestic energy policy agenda. The proposal is politically significant because it has altered the terms of reference in the domestic discourse about US energy and climate policy. However, while it proposes proportionately large increases in the funding levels of some programmes, it also suggests only marginal changes in several current programmes and proposes reductions or even the elimination of others.

01 March 2006

In this new CEPS Policy Brief, the author, the Director General of DG External Relations at the European Commission, explores the utility of the EU’s newest foreign policy tool, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Describing the ENP as a virtuous circle, Landaburu characterises the policy as one based on shared values and enlightened self-interest. He argues that by increasing the prosperity, stability and security of the EU’s neighbours and by projecting the EU’s prosperity, stability and security beyond its borders, it increases its own.

01 March 2006

Turkey, which officially started negotiations for EU membership in October 2005, currently has a lower per capita income than that of any of the EU-25 countries – about at the level of Romania and Macedonia. With the right institutions and policies, Willem Buiter, Professor of European Political Economy at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science, argues that Turkey could become a true tiger economy. But with the institutions and policies of the second half of the 20th century, it could end up a mangy cat instead of a tiger.

01 February 2006

After seven long years of difficult negotiations, the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) finally got through the European Parliament in September 2005, and was formally approved by the Council of Ministers in October. This new legislation transposes the complex, risk-sensitive Basel II framework designed by the Basel Committee into EU law which will apply to all credit institutions and investment firms operating in the 25 member states from January 2007 onwards for the simple approach and from January 2008, for the more advanced approach to measuring credit and operational risks.

01 February 2006

More than half way into the decade, it is clear that the EU will fall short of reaching its ambitious goal to make the EU the ‘most competitive economy’ by 2010. This contribution looks at an aspect that is often forgotten: namely the link between skills and employment, a central element in the Lisbon goal. It shows that the key problem of Europe in terms of employment is not so much the structure of its labour markets, but the insufficient skill levels of its population.

01 February 2006

This Policy Brief investigates whether the Constitution’s coming into force would make a decisive difference compared to the status quo. In the first part the authors therefore take a closer look at concrete institutional aspects to illustrate how the EU is currently performing. At the same time they ask whether the Constitutional provisions would have changed the Union’s efficiency decisively for the better.

01 January 2006

In this CEPS Policy Brief, Keith C. Smith, Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., argues that the recent ‘gas war’ between Ukraine and Russia does not reflect a policy change in Moscow, but rather represents a continuation of Russia’s use of its energy power to influence the foreign and security policies of its neighbours since 1990.

01 December 2005

Drawing on data now available as a result of the Freedom of Information Act in the UK, economist Richard E. Baldwin reveals in this new CEPS Policy Brief some astonishing statistics demonstrating just how radically skewed the CAP payments are towards the largest farm owners. He argues that the CAP’s digressive features should be reformed as part of the newly expanded EU budget plan and that the new EU10 member states, which suffer the greatest injustice under the EU’s agriculture payments scheme, are the obvious ones to push for it.

01 December 2005

This policy brief provides an overview of the magnitude and importance of food aid as a development tool, and looks at whether the efficiency problem is intrinsic to food aid, or whether it arises from donor-country policies that tend to misuse food aid – in some cases for purposes for which it is demonstrably not effective – for example to support domestic farm prices, to promote commercial agricultural exports, to maintain a viable maritime industry or even to advance geo-strategic aims.

01 November 2005

Pending clarification of further enlargement prospects for the whole of the Western Balkans, Michael Emerson argues in this paper that there is every reason to consolidate the positive recent developments with further initiatives of strategic importance to the region. He explores two outstanding candidates for this purpose: 1) enlargement of the existing Customs Union of the EU and Turkey to include the whole of the Western Balkans, and 2) a South-East European Schengen Agreement for the free movement of people.

01 November 2005

The EU and the US have found themselves supporting two polar views on which strategy is the most effective in achieving stabilisation of greenhouse (GHG) emissions: ‘market pull’ vs ‘technology push’. As an advocate of the latter, the US asserts that the principal emphasis should be on technology development, financed through typical public R&D programmes. In supporting the ‘market-pull’ approach, the EU argues that technological change is an incremental process emanating primarily from business and industry, induced by government incentives.

01 November 2005

Within the United States, the locations of carbon-intensive industries have important implications for climate policy. This paper examines the state-level and regional patterns in the distributions of key industries – coal, oil & gas and autos – and their implications for US climate policy-making. It concludes that the coal industry has a disproportionate impact on climate policy because of the distorting effect of the role of a few key coal states in national elections.

01 October 2005

The debate on banking supervision over the last decade has largely focused on capital requirements and solvency of financial institutions. The interaction between solvency and liquidity has been much less debated. In this new Policy Brief, CEPS Chief Executive Karel Lannoo and Jean-Pierre Casey, CEPS Research Fellow, discuss the approach to be taken with regard to control of liquidity in the EU.