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  • Author: Clara Portela
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study analyses the use by the European Union of the novel concept of 'targeted sanctions' in the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy. It examines two sets of sanctions regimes featuring different degrees of efficacy: in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, the EU wielded measures in support of human rights and democracy objectives in the absence of a United Nations mandate, while it supplemented UN sanctions to stop nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea. The study highlights a number of facilitators of, or hindrances to, the efficacy of sanctions, such as the degree of support by regional powers or the presence of UN legitimation. It concludes that the EU sanctions regimes could be optimised by using more robust measures, designing them on the basis of ex ante assessments, enabling faster upgrades, monitoring their impact and adjusting them regularly and improving outreach efforts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, United Nations, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani, François-Loïc Henry
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Holding strategic oil stocks is at first sight an obvious tool to address potential disturbances in supplies. Rationally defining the desirable size of stocks and designing rules for their predictable use is an elusive task, however. A key conceptual difficulty arises in the distinction between commercial and strategic stocks, because a physical shortfall in the oil supply will inevitably lead to an increase in prices. But if strategic stocks are utilised when prices increase they become indistinguishable from commercial stocks. This paper reviews the legislation in force in the US and the EU on the use of strategic oil stocks as well as the emergency response systems of the International Energy Agency. It finds that such measures have been activated rarely and in dubious circumstances. Alternative approaches are proposed consisting of encouraging companies and major consumers to hold larger stocks and seeking a cooperative agreement with oil-producing countries for mutually beneficial stock management.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at resource nationalism and political instability as potential causes of disruption to global oil supplies. It points to depletion preferences and strategies as one form of resource nationalism. In most cases, resource nationalism appears to be motivated by rent maximisation. Hence, we see the adoption of more restrictive policies when prices rise. Conversely, when oil prices are low, increasing export volumes becomes more important. Restrictions on exports are common, especially for natural gas, which is sometimes reserved for national consumption. Export taxes are a tool used by some countries to extract revenue from oil producers. Domestic prices of gas and petroleum products are frequently much lower than international prices, also in some sense reducing availability for export. Political instability has a much more elusive impact on oil and gas exports, and historical experience points to contradictory potential outcomes. This paper concludes that political instability and resource nationalism are rarely associated with acute supply crises or shortfalls. Their effect is rather gradual and normally compensated by action in other parts of the system.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Nationalism, Oil, Politics, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Camille Grand, Ivan Safranchuk, David Calleo, Shen Dingli
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For several months following the election of November, 2008, most Americans took great pleasure in their charismatic new president. A series of soaring speeches, frank interviews and pragmatic initiatives made real changes for the better seem possible. Of course other presidents have begun with high hopes, only to be ensnared in multiple dilemmas inherited from their predecessors. By the summer of 2009, Obama's own prospects begin to seem more problematic. Disagreements have surfaced between the Presidency and the Congress and rumours proliferate about splits within the ad ministration's own ranks. Fear grows that the president – attempting simultaneously to overcome a severe financial crisis, address long- neglected needs of the domestic economy and win two intractable wars – has overreached himself.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores three areas in which the experience of the Great Depression might be relevant today: monetary policy, fiscal policy and the systemic stability of the banking system. We confirm the consensus on monetary policy: deflation must be avoided. With regard to fiscal policy, the picture is less clear. We cannot confirm a widespread opinion according to which fiscal policy did not work because it was not tried. We find that fiscal policy went to the limit of what was possible within the confines of sustainability, as they existed then. Our investigation of the US banking system shows a surprising resilience of the sector: commercial banking operations (deposit-taking and lending) remained profitable even during the worst years. This suggests one policy conclusion: At present the authorities in both the US and Europe have little choice but to make up for the losses on 'legacy' assets and wait for banks to earn back their capital. But to prevent future crises of this type, one should make sure that losses from the investment banking arms cannot impair commercial banking operations. At least a partial separation of commercial and investment banking thus seems justified by the greater stability of commercial banking operations.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Maria Gerhardt
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This CEPS Working Document explains the consumer bankruptcy procedures in the US and the five largest European countries: the UK, Germany, France and Spain, plus Italy (which has no special legal provisions for consumer insolvency). All these countries have quite different approaches; the paper therefore presents a short overview of the insolvency procedures and trends in bankruptcy numbers for each country.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: To what degree may the US be considered a normative power? The US foreign policy mainstream tends to reflect a varying blend of normative and hegemonic approaches. The US has been and continues to be simultaneously a guardian of international norms; a norm entrepreneur challenging prevailing norms as insufficient; a norm externaliser when it tries to advance norms for others that it is reluctant to apply to itself; and a norm blocker when it comes to issues that may threaten its position, or that exacerbate divisions among conflicting currents of American domestic thought. On balance (and despite exceptions), the US has sought to manage this normative-hegemonic interplay by accepting some limits on its power in exchange for greater legitimacy and acceptance of its leadership by others. The unresolved question today is whether the US and other key players are prepared to stick with this bargain. Closer examination of the US case also raises a considerable number of questions about the notion of the EU as a 'normative power'.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Law, International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Pessimism has been rampant in many EU-countries over the past decade, largely fed by lagging productivity growth in the EU since the late 1990s and a perception that the US has a superior economic model. This perception has led to the view that the only way to restore higher levels of productivity growth is by introducing deep structural reforms in the EU, making goods and labour markets more flexible. This paper presents the argument that such pessimism is excessive: a significant part of the productivity growth differential between the US and the EU is cyclical, and is already turning around. In addition, there are areas in which the EU is structurally better prepared than the US to face the challenges of globalisation.
  • Topic: Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cecilia Frale
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of the ongoing housing bust and oil price boom on the US and European economies. It finds that large house price movements (changes in construction investment) are useful to predict exceptionally bad and good times for the US economy, but not for most large European countries. In Europe housing market developments have led to extreme values of GDP, mainly in the UK, Spain and some Nordic countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Selen Sarisoy Guerin, Chris Napoli
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that there are significant potential economic gains to be obtained from an EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement. The evolution of trade between the US and Canada following the signing of CUSFTA in 1989 offers a good illustration of how trade might increase after an EU-Canada FTA, as the patterns and levels of protection between the EU and Canada today are very similar to the protection that existed between the US and Canada in 1989. Although many empirical studies fail to find support for 'trade diversion' created by NAFTA (or CUSFTA) at the expense of the EU and to the benefit of the US, there is some evidence of trade diversion when detailed regional trade is examined. If indeed trade diversion has occurred due to NAFTA, then an EU-Canada FTA is welfare-enhancing for Canada. For the EU, a potential FTA can level the playing field with the US and increase the competitiveness of European firms in the Canadian market.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Arno Behrens, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the financial resources needed to fight global climate change and the implications for the EU budget. The authors apply four different methodologies to estimate global financing requirements and attempt to determine the resources that will be needed at the EU level to meet the EU's climate change objectives. The study analyses current climate change spending of the EU budget, identifies shortcomings and indicates possibilities for correcting them. It also assesses the potential of the EU emissions trading scheme to raise additional resources to finance coordinated actions at the EU level aimed at fighting climate change. Finally, it provides three case studies of national public expenditure related to climate change in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Andrea Beccarini
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: With inflation increasing all over the world, central banks have to consider with some care how quickly to re-establish price stability. A key issue in this context is the short-run cost in terms of foregone output and higher unemployment. The aim of this paper is to determine the 'sacrifice ratio' for the Euro Area and for the United States. The main findings are: the cost of reducing inflation is in most cases higher in the US than in the EA. For example, reducing (headline) inflation by 1% point requires a decline of output of 1.4% in the EU, but 2.3% for the US. Considering core inflation, the sacrifice ratio in terms of output is somewhat higher for the Euro Area (around 4) compared to 3.2 for the US. However, the sacrifice ratios in terms of unemployment are always much larger for the US. Reducing headline inflation by 1% requires an increase in unemployment of little more than 1% in the EA, compared to 8% in the US.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of papers from a new project entitled “Who is a normative foreign policy actor? The European Union and its Global Partners”. The first paper – entitled Profiling Normative Foreign Policy: The European Union and its Global Partners, by Nathalie Tocci, CEPS Working Document No. 279, December 2007 – set out the conceptual framework for exploring this question. The present paper constitutes one of several case studies applying this framework to the behaviour of the European Union, whereas the others to follow concern China, India, Russia and the United States. A normative foreign policy is rigorously defined as one that is normative according to the goals set, the means employed and the results obtained. Each of these studies explores eight actual case examples of foreign policy behaviour, selected in order to illustrate four alternative paradigms of foreign policy behaviour – the normative, the realpolitik, the imperialistic and the status quo. For each of these four paradigms, there are two examples of EU foreign policy, one demonstrating intended consequences and the other, unintended effects. The fact that examples can be found that fit all of these different types shows the importance of 'conditioning factors', which relate to the internal interests and capabilities of the EU as a foreign policy actor as well as the external context in which other major actors may be at work.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Arno Behrens, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the financial resources needed to fight global climate change and the implications for the EU budget. The authors apply four different methodologies to estimate global financing requirements and attempt to determine the resources that will be needed at the EU level to meet the EU's climate change objectives. The study analyses current climate change spending of the EU budget, identifies shortcomings and indicates possibilities for correcting them. It also assesses the potential of the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) to raise additional resources to finance coordinated actions at the EU level aimed at fighting climate change. Finally, it provides three case studies of national public expenditure related to climate change in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Cecilia Frale, Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent surge in commodity prices and the European Central Bank's decision in June to raise interest rates to combat inflation have ignited a debate about the appropriateness of raising interest rates during a phase of weakening activity. In addition, it is relevant to examine the approaches to measuring the rate of inflation, to consider the advantages and drawbacks of these methods, and finally to throw new light on the possible influence of monetary policy on the fundamental trends in prices.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The downturn in the US housing market has attracted a lot of attention as it has sparked a global financial crisis. It is generally assumed that the eurozone does not face a similar problem. This paper shows that this assumption is wrong. The euro area average index of real housing prices has risen almost as much as that of the US and is now (as that of the US) about 40% above its 30-year average. This is similar to the overvaluation of Japanese real estate at the height of the Japanese bubble, which was then followed by over a decade of continuous decline. Over the last 30 years, the euro area index for real housing prices has tended to follow that of the US quite closely. The lag is now much shorter than in the 1970s or 1980s. The euro area market is thus likely to turn soon as well. One feature of housing price cycles that tends to be forgotten is their extraordinary length: many last for more than ten years. This persistence means that the downswing, which now seems to have started, is likely to last at least until the next decade. Within the euro area, there are large divergences: cases of 'froth' (Spain, for example) co-exist alongside cases of declining prices (Germany). These divergences have persisted for over a decade and have led to important macroeconomic disequilibria. The paper also develops an indicator of 'housing overhang', which shows by how much demand for new construction has to decline to bring the supply of housing back to normal levels. This indicator suggests that there is virtually no housing overhang in the eurozone on average and that it is of a manageable magnitude in the US. Spain and Ireland, however, face a massive housing overhang and thus probably a sharp deceleration of construction demand.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Fabrizio Tassinari
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the end of the cold war until 2004, the United States and the European Union held largely complementary views towards the European neighbourhood. Washington's foreign policy mantra was that of a Europe 'whole and free', where the dividing lines inherited from the cold war were to dissolve through the gradual inclusion of Central and Eastern Europe in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations. The EU concomitantly focused on its enlargement strategy, which ensured that the transition of the former communist countries would be benchmarked and monitored, in order to attain the ultimate goal of their full integration into the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Robert Springborg
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The social, political and economic power of moderate Middle East and North African Islamist movements has been growing for a generation or so. The question of how to deal with Islamists who reject violence, embrace democracy and outperform their competitors at the polls has therefore become a central concern not only of incumbent Middle East elites, but also of interested foreign actors such as the EU and US. Robert Springborg sees the need for the EU to clarify its policies towards the MENA region and Muslim democrats within it. The present lack of EU policies on engaging with moderate Islamists leads them to be at best curious about the EU and at worse to be suspicious of it. Engagement might itself help to contribute to policy formation in this important area, and serve as a vehicle to disseminate information about relevant EU policies.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries, North Africa