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  • Author: Miroslav Beblavý
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the Slovak experience with euro adoption from the point of view of perceived versus actual inflation and with a focus on a specific set of non-tradable prices. It examines whether Slovak consumers experienced or perceived (or both) an unusual price jump at the time of euro adoption and the possible explanations for such a phenomenon.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Slovakia
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The war in the South Caucasus sent shockwaves throughout the post-Soviet world, European capitals and across the Atlantic, making more urgent the demand for a re-evaluation of policies towards Russia. The projection of hard power in Georgia generated a number of unintended consequences for the Russian state. The crisis and war unveiled many of Russia's weaknesses and vulnerabilities across four crucial dimensions: the military, the 'power vertical' and federalism, the economy and Russia's international position. This paper aims at reassessing Russia's military, political, economic and diplomatic might after the battle in the South Caucasus. The research concludes with proposals for a new Western strategy on Russia and the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood which would ensure an undivided and sustainable European order.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Andrey S. Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The paper first summarises Russia's present critique of the international security architecture and its aspiration to build something new and better. The author then presents a matrix of four models of international society as a framework within which to try and discern what Russia may be seeking. While it is clear that Russia objects to one of these models, that of a unipolar US-led world, its current foreign policy discourse and actions offer no clear guidance as to what its aims are in this regard, as there are confusions and contradictions in the different elements of official Russian discourse.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Arno Behrens, Arianna Checchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The aim of the paper is to identify and evaluate existing and potential EU energy supply risks on the basis of a sector-specific approach. Moving away from common generalisations on security of energy supply as well as from those studies that focus only on one sector, it brings together all types of fuel and analyses the risks related to each of them. The result is a comprehensive picture of the energy security challenges faced by the EU in the long-term. The paper can be seen as a tool to avoid overlapping, incoherence and contradictions in the process of assessing security of supply and aims to formulate a consistent and more unified European energy policy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild, Anaïs Faure Atger
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The upcoming Swedish presidency of the EU will be in charge of adopting the next multiannual programme on an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), during its tenure in the second half of 2009. As the successor of the 2004 Hague Programme, it has already been informally baptised as the Stockholm Programme and will present the EU's policy roadmap and legislative timetable over these policies for the next five years. It is therefore a critical time to reflect on the achievements and shortcomings affecting the role that the European Commission's Directorate-General of Justice, Freedom and Security (DG JFS) has played during the last five years in light of the degree of policy convergence achieved so far. This Working Document aims at putting forward a set of policy recommendations for the DG JFS to take into consideration as it develops and consolidates its future policy strategies, while duly ensuring the legitimacy and credibility of the EU's AFSJ within and outside Europe.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Mathias Roth
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past years, a series of bilateral disputes between EU member states and Moscow have significantly affected EU–Russian relations and exposed sharp internal divisions over the EU's approach towards Russia. Despite their potential for having a highly disruptive impact on EU foreign policy, the EU still lacks a consensus on how to handle bilateral disputes. This paper employs a case-study approach to provide an in-depth analysis of selected disputes and reviews several questions of importance for the coherence of EU policy towards Russia: What kinds of issues are at the centre of bilateral disputes? What strategies do member states adopt to resolve them? Under what circumstances are disputes raised to the EU level? The paper concludes that the scope of 'EU solidarity' in bilateral disputes remains deeply contested and draws on insights from the case studies to propose a set of guidelines for the EU's approach to bilateral disputes.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moscow
  • 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: Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: At the end of the 6th legislature, fears that enlargement would hamper the workings of the European Parliament have largely proved unfounded. Despite the influx of a large number of new members to Parliament, parties have remained cohesive, and legislative output has remained steady. Moreover, after an initial phase of adaptation, MEPs from new member states have been increasingly socialised into the EP structure. Challenges have arisen in a rather different field, however. In order to remain efficient in the face of increasing complexity, the EP has had to streamline its working procedures, moving more decisions to parliamentary committees and cutting down time for debate. This paper argues that measures to increase the efficiency of the EP, most notably the trend towards speeding up agreements with the Council (1st reading agreements) run the risk of undermining the EP's role as a forum of debate. Should bureaucratisation increasingly trump politicisation, the legitimacy of the EP will be undermined, and voters will become ever more alienated from its work. For the 7th legislature of the European Parliament therefore, it is crucial to balance efficiency of output with a more politicised policy style that is able to capture public interest.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a simple, basic model to compute the welfare consequences of the introduction of a tariff on the CO 2 content of imported goods in a country that already imposes a domestic carbon tax. The main finding is that the introduction of a carbon import tariff increases global welfare (and not just the welfare of the importing country) if there is no (or insufficient) pricing of carbon abroad. A higher domestic price of carbon justifies a higher import tariff. Moreover, a higher relative intensity of carbon abroad increases the desirability of high import tariff imposed by the home country because a border tax shifts production to the importing country, which in this case leads to lower environmental costs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The financial crisis had a significant impact on the levels of trust that citizens place in the system and its institutions. Recent data from Eurobarometer show a significant fall in confidence on the part of European citizens in the EU's institutions. For the first time since its creation, a majority of European citizens no longer trust the European Central Bank. However, confidence levels in national governments have actually risen, supporting a contrasting trend between confidence levels in European and national institutions. This decrease in confidence towards the ECB is flanked in the case of Germany by strong anti-capitalist sentiments and a sharp decline in support for the social market economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Anthoula Malkopoulou
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The malaise among Europe's voting citizens with regard to the European Parliament elections casts a shadow over the EU's commitment to political participation and democratic values. Not only do EU elections hold little political relevance next to national electoral cycles, but voters are also lost in the EU's labyrinth of accountability. Yet, what appears as an insurmountable obstacle to the legitimacy of Europe's decision-making mechanisms can be translated into an opportunity for voting system reforms. One way to address the problem of widespread abstention might be to legislate on the obligation to vote. This paper explores compulsory voting systems in a number of developed democracies worldwide and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of introducing such a measure in the EU.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Education
  • Political Geography: 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: Rob de Wijk, David M Anderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Even though kidnappings, killings, attacks on UN and NGO compounds, suicide bombings, and the assassinations of local judges and other public figures, and the many other features of lawlessness in the Horn of Africa have become so commonplace that they are rarely now reported by European news media, from September 2008 Somalia once again dominated the news agenda. In that month pirates operating from small ports and harbours along Somalia's eastern coast mounted a series of successful attacks against international shipping, first capturing a Ukrainian vessel with its cargo of heavy armaments bound for southern Sudan (via the Kenyan port of Mombasa), and then intercepting a number of container ships before mounting an attack on a passenger vessel that was repelled by the crew. Finally, in November, the pirates landed the prize of a fully-laden Saudi-owned oil tanker. By the end of the year the pirate gangs operating out of Eyl, Haradheere and other harbours along the desolate eastern coast of Puntland, were reckoned to be holding no fewer than 40 vessels for ransom, with more than 200 crew members in captivity.
  • Topic: Crime, International Law, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is at present an overlapping but inadequately coordinated combination of strategic trans-continental transport corridors or axes stretching across the Eurasian landmass, centred on or around Central Asia. There are three such initiatives - from the EU, China and the Asian Development Bank, and the Eurasian Economic Community. This paper reviews these several strategic transport maps, and makes proposals for their coordination and rationalisation. So far the EU Central Asia strategy has not paid much attention to these questions. However the EU's own initiatives (the Pan-European Axes and the TRACECA programme) are in need of updating and revision to take into account major investments being made by other parties. In particular the case is made for a 'Central Eurasian Corridor' for rail and road that would reach from Central Europe across Ukraine and Southern Russia into West Kazakhstan, and thence to the East Kazakh border with China, thus joining up with and completing the West China-West Europe corridor promoted by the Asian Development Bank. There should also be a North-South corridor that would cross over this Central Eurasian Corridor in West Kazakhstan and lead south to the Middle East and South Asia. These adaptations of existing plans could become an exemplary case of cooperation between Central Asia and all the major economic powers of the Eurasian landmass.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Bohdana Dimitrovova
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the dynamics affecting the development of civil society in Morocco within the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy. It explores cooperation mechanisms in three domains of civil society endeavour – women's rights, human rights and socio-economic rights. In each area, the paper examines the kinds of mechanisms and opportunities emerging for the promotion of civil society, and which forms of action and stances taken by civil society have been encouraged (or otherwise). The paper contends that the development of civil society has triggered different responses by the state and international community. While civil and political rights have preoccupied domestic and international actors, socio-economic rights have long been absent from their agendas. Yet it is argued here that shifting responsibility for issues in the socio-economic domain to civil society is highly problematic under the current circumstances of state building, and poses risks of further ruptures in Moroccan society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Human Rights, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Sébastien Peyrouse
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Agriculture constitutes one of the main sectors in the economies of Central Asia: cotton production and export, mainly in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and to a lesser extent in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan; a booming grain sector in Kazakhstan; and a long tradition of vegetable cultivation throughout the region. The agrarian question is a sensitive one since the population is still predominantly rural in four of the five republics (all except Kazakhstan) and because food safety is not ensured in the two poorest states (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). Land reform would be a priority for the growth of investment, increased productivity, and, consequently, the reduction of rural unemployment and poverty. However, pressed by the choice of cotton versus self-sufficiency in food production, the Central Asian states remain hesitant. They must also manage many structural problems, including high levels of corruption in the agrarian administrative organs, the opacity of decisionmaking structures for the export of production, quasi-slavery in some impoverished rural areas, child labour, and serious environmental problems related to the overuse of the soil.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Mats Braun
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is somewhat ironic that Czech eurosceptics managed to delay the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty at a time when they seem to be in decline as a political force. President Klaus and his allies are becoming increasingly isolated within Czech political circles and lack the support of any established political party other than the Communists. The twin pressures of domestic vote utilisation and socialisation at the EU level are making Czech eurorealists within the Civic Democratic Party less eurosceptic. It is still too early to speak of any complete change within the party, however, and any evidence of a reorientation of the party's EU policy remains ambiguous.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has damaged citizens' trust in public institutions, especially the confidence that European citizens invest in the European institutions. The results of major public opinion surveys show a severe decrease in citizens' trust in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis with a slight recovery nine month later. In particular, citizens' net trust in the European Central Bank hit an historical low point in the aftermath of the financial crisis with a majority of people distrusting that institution. A variety of other surveys also show that confidence levels in the free market economy have decreased in most of the largest economies and demand for stronger state regulation has increased on both sides of the Atlantic. The key question now is whether this loss of confidence is a temporary or permanent phenomenon, which would have important consequences for the economy and for the proper working of the European institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Raül Hernández i Sagrera
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the dynamics affecting the external dimensions of the EU's labour immigration policy. It assesses the role and functions of mobility partnerships as a mechanism for governing circular migration schemes that allow the temporary movement of individuals for employment purposes between EU member states and non-EU countries. The paper argues that given the actual origins, rationale, conditional nature and kinds of circular migration policies advocated by these partnerships, they should be considered 'security' partnerships for the participating EU member states and to a limited extent for the non-EU countries. At the same time, they could be regarded as 'insecurity' partnerships for the coherency and legitimacy of the EU's labour immigration policy, as well as the liberty and security of the third-country workers.
  • Topic: Migration, Labor Issues, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Europe