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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: Viral V. Acharya, Sascha Steffen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The eurozone is mired in a recession. In 2013, the GDP of all 17 eurozone countries fell by 0.5% and the outlook for 2014 shows considerable risks across the region. To stabilise the common currency area and its (partly insolvent) financial system, a eurozone banking union is being established. An important part of the banking union is the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), which will transfer the oversight of Europe's largest banks to the European Central Bank (ECB). Before the ECB takes over this responsibility, it plans to conduct an Asset Quality Review (AQR) in 2014, which will identify the capital shortfalls of these banks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Steven Blockmans
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Concerns about the deterioration of democracy in Turkey are not new: the trials over the 2003 „ Sledgehammer ‟ alleged coup plan (2010-12) and over the ‟ Ergenekon ‟ secret organisation (2008-13) broke the military‟s influence over politics, but were widely criticised because of their reliance on secret witnesses and disputes over evidence. Ironically, their outcome has recently been challenged by Prime Minister Erdoğan himself, who has disowned the trials now that the judiciary has the AK Party in its sights. International concern was also stirred by the violent crackdown on the countrywide protests of May/June 2013. Unrest then was triggered by the planned redevelopment of Istanbul‟s Gezi Park in May 2013, but developed into a wider movement critical of government corruption, increasing restrictions on freedom of speech and concerns about the erosion of secularism. Protests simmered on through September, winding down in autumn and winter only to reignite in March of this year.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans, Weinian Hu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This CEPS Policy Brief is based on a larger study for the EEAS and European Commission, written by the same authors in the run-up of the Milan ASEM summit of 16-17 October 2014. The main idea of the study is to assess whether ASEM works and how, by verifying the factual evidence in detail. After all, ASEM has no institutions, no budget and no treaty, whilst dialogues and a loose improvement over time in Asia-Europe relations refer to process much more than genuine 'results'. The stocktaking covers all ASEM activities since the 2006 Helsinki summit. Summit and foreign ministers' declarations and ASEM calendar of activities (and interviews) are used to trace ASEM activities in the three ASEM pillars (political, economic, and peoples-to-peoples/cultural). All the 'regular' ASEM meetings at ministerial and other levels (many of which are only known to relatively few) have been mapped. Also the ASEM working methods, based on the 2000AECF framework and many subsequent initiatives, have been scrutinised, including whether they are actually implemented or not or partially. Such methods refer to how to work together in areas of cooperation (beyond the typical ASEM dialogue), organisation, coordination and ASEM visibility.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Singapore
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper first takes a step backwards with an attempt to situate the recent adoption of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union in the context of discussions on the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the 'Maastricht criteria', as fixed in the Maastricht Treaty for membership in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in a longer perspective of the sharing of competences for macroeconomic policy-making within the EU. It then presents the main features of the new so-called 'Fiscal Compact' and its relationship to the SGP and draws some conclusions as regards the importance and relevance of this new step in the process of economic policy coordination. It concludes that the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union does not seem to offer a definitive solution to the problem of finding the appropriate budgetary-monetary policy mix in EMU, which was already well identified in the Delors report in 1989 and regularly emphasised ever since and is now seriously aggravated due to the crisis in the eurozone. Furthermore, implementation of this Treaty may under certain circumstances contribute to an increase in the uncertainties as regards the distribution of the competences between the European Parliament and national parliaments and between the former and the Commission and the Council.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bernard Delbecque
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that it should be possible to complement Europe's Economic and Monetary Union with an insurance-type shock absorption mechanism to increase the resilience of member countries to economic shocks and reduce output volatility. Such a mechanism would neither require the establishment of a central authority, nor would it lead to permanent transfers between countries. For this mechanism to become a reality, however, it would be necessary to overcome certain technical problems linked to the difficulty of anticipating correctly the position of an economy in the business cycle.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Giovanni Faleg
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Let us take three assumptions: The demand for security provision continues to increase in Europe's fragile neighbourhood (notably following the 'Arab Spring'); Austerity restrictions have hit national defence budgets heavily; The balance of power is shifting 'from the West to the rest' and the Americans are pivoting eastwards. Under these circumstances, it is no surprise that the EU is struggling to establish itself as a credible and effective security actor. The final report of High Representative Catherine Ashton, released in preparation for the December 2013 European Council on Security and Defence, admits that Europe "faces rising security challenges within a changing strategic context while the financial crisis is increasingly affecting its security and defence capability". But these are not the true causes of CSDP inertia.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild, Nicholas Hernanz
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union, and its Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), is founded on a set of common principles of rule of law, democracy and human rights. This has been officially enshrined in the body of Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) which lists "respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities" as the shared values on which the Union is rooted. One of the current modalities of action to ensure that all member states of the EU respect Article 2 TEU is to filter their compliance with these values before they accede to the Union. The so-called 'Copenhagen criteria' have been established in 1993 to ensure that all new EU member states are in line with the Union's common principles before crossing the bridge towards membership.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Law, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Renda, Oliver Fritsch, Claudio M. Radaelli, Lorna Schrefler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the United Kingdom for the period 2005-2010. We coded 477 impact assessments for the UK and 251 for the European Commission, using a detailed scorecard - adjusted to reduce the bias evidenced by previous usages of this instrument.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The eurozone is caught in a 'diabolical loop' in which weak domestic banking systems damage sovereign fiscal positions and conversely, in which risky sovereign positions disproportionately threaten domestic banking stability. A European-level banking system could go a long way towards breaking this unfortunate loop and stabilising the eurozone. This would require a European safety net for cross-border banks.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Renda, Fabrizio Cafaggi
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Private governance is currently being evoked as a viable solution to many public policy goals. However, in some circumstances it has shown to produce more harm than good, and even disastrous consequences as in the case of the financial crisis that is raging in most advanced economies. Although the current track record of private regulatory schemes is mixed, policy guidance documents around the world still require that policy-makers give priority to self-and co-regulation, with little or no additional guidance being given to policymakers to devise when, and under what circumstances, these solutions can prove viable from a public policy perspective. With an array of examples from several policy fields, this paper approaches regulation as a public-private collaborative form and attempts to identify possible policy tools to be applied by public policy-makers to efficiently and effectively approach private governance as a solution, rather than a problem. We propose a six-step theoretical framework and argue that IA techniques should: i) define an integrated framework including both the possibility that private regulation can be used as an alternative or as a complement to public legislation; ii) involve private parties in public IAs in order to define the best strategy or strategies that would ensure achievement of the regulatory objectives; and iii) contemplate the deployment of indicators related to governance and activities of the regulators and their ability to coordinate and solve disputes with other regulators.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone. Or to paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, what Germany should fear most is simply its own fear.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Lukas Obholzer, Christine Reh
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Constitutional Affairs Committee is currently reviewing the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure to increase the effectiveness, transparency and inclusiveness of first-reading agreements under co-decision. This CEPS Policy Brief takes a stand as to which rules should be adopted to achieve these objectives. Given the steep rise of early agreements and Parliament's role as a guarantor of EU legitimacy, we place a premium on inclusiveness and transparency. The rules suggested are designed to maintain efficiency for technical proposals, facilitate effective decision-making on urgent files and increase the overall legitimacy of legislative decision-making in the EU.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: One of the major problems of the eurozone is the divergence of the competitive positions that have built up since the early 2000s. This divergence has led to major imbalances in the eurozone where the countries that have seen their competitive positions deteriorate (mainly the so - called ' PIIGS ' – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain ) have accumulated large current account deficits and thus external indebtedness, matched by current account surpluses of the countries that have improved their competitive positions (mainly Germany).
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Once again the European Council will meet in an emergency session at the end of June, with the eurozone economy in recession and actually plummeting in its Southern periphery. Further doubts are also growing on the sustainability of sovereign debts due to the vicious spiral of deteriorating bank balance sheets, ballooning potential liabilities from banking rescues and widening spreads on government borrowings. The sovereign debt crisis in the periphery has now turned into a fully fledged banking crisis that threatens to spread from Greece to Spain and tomorrow, who knows, to Italy, France and even Germany itself.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi, Alessandro Giovannini
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: What would be the cost if Greece were to exit from the eurozone? This much-debated question cannot be answered with a single number. The consequences of Greece's exit would depend decisively on the exact circumstances of events in the country itself as well as the general state of financial markets in the eurozone.
  • Topic: Debt, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Henk L.M. Kox
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In most EU member states, the business services industry has booked no productivity growth during the last two decades. The industry's performance in the other member states was weaker than that of its US counterparts. Exploring what may be causing this productivity stagnation, this policy brief reports that weak competition has contributed to the continuing malaise in European business services. The study analyzed the persistence (over time) of firm-level inefficiencies. The evidence further suggests that competition between small firms and large firms in business services is weak. Markets for business services work best in countries with flexible regulation on employment change and with low regulatory costs for firms that start up or close down a business. Countries that are more open to foreign competition perform better in terms of competitive selection and productivity.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Consuelo Pacchioli
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: As an alternative to measuring the extent of market integration, 'home-bias' indicates the degree to which economic agents 'over-prefer' to transact with domestic agents rather than agents from other EU countries. Such an exclusive preference is measured against a benchmark of (ideal) market integration and is called 'home-bias'.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: When entering a monetary union, member countries change the nature of their sovereign debt in a fundamental way, i.e. they cease to have control over the currency in which their debt is issued. As a result, financial markets can force these countries' sovereigns into default. In this sense, the status of member countries of a monetary union is downgraded to that of an emerging economy. This makes the monetary union fragile and vulnerable to changing market sentiments. It also makes it possible that self-fulfilling multiple equilibria arise.
  • Topic: Debt, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses public support for the euro in Germany. Drawing from the results of regular Eurobarometer surveys, it finds that the ongoing financial and sovereign debt crisis has reduced support for the euro among German citizens, but not dramatically so – at least not yet. In the 1990s, the German public was sceptical towards the euro. But since the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, a clear majority of citizens supports the euro – despite the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, on average, support for the euro is at a similar level in Germany as it is elsewhere in the euro area.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Felix Roth, Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., Lars Jonung
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of public support for the euro from 1990 to 2011, using a popularity function approach, focusing on the most recent period of the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Exploring a huge database of close to half a million observations covering the 12 original euro area member countries, we find that the ongoing crisis has only marginally reduced citizens' support for the euro – at least so far. This result is in stark contrast to the sharp fall in public trust in the European Central Bank. We conclude that the crisis has hardly dented popular support for the euro while the central bank supplying the single currency has lost sharply in public trust. Thus, the euro appears to have established a credibility of its own – separate from the institutional framework behind the euro.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Transport is the only sector in the EU in which greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Unless this trend can be reversed, the EU will have little chance of reaching its objectives in the context of global obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions between 80% and 95% by 2050 compared to 1990. Many different solutions exist, including, for example, new technology such as electrification of road transport, modal shift, optimising existing technologies and policy measures and more radical measures such as binding GHG emissions targets. While there is some merit to all of these approaches, this Policy Brief argues that current EU policy thinking is not (yet) bold enough to credibly tackle the GHG emissions challenge from transport.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Maja Kluger Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the growth of lobbying in the EU over the past two decades, the EU has taken a rather laissezfaire approach to regulating lobbying activity. While the European Parliament (EP) is in many ways more transparent and more accessible than many of the EU's national parliaments, the code of conduct for lobbyists and the Parliament's own rules of procedure are rather vague. As a result of the 'cash for laws' scandal, the EP President, Jerzy Buzek, has established a working group to draw up a new set of rules to govern the access and behaviour of lobbyists and to formulate a code of conduct for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The working group is currently considering seven proposals put forward by Jerzy Buzek, including a mandatory lobbying register for all EU institutions; a strengthening of MEPs' declarations of financial interests, with more frequent updates; a code of conduct for MEPs; a 'legislative footprint' for rapporteurs and tougher sanctions for non-compliance with these rules. While the reform proposal, as it stands now, offers a significant improvement of the Parliament's current rules, it does not go far enough, however.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Fabrizia Peirce, Jacopo Carmassi
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In recent weeks pressures on the euro and eurozone sovereign debtors have subsided. Buoyant growth in the global economy, increasingly benefiting also the European economy, has of course played an important role in calming financial markets. But even more important has been the perception that France and Germany are again working constructively for a strong economic Europe. More broadly, the acute turbulence in financial markets since the spring of 2010 may have finally convinced our political leaders, notably including the German political establishment, that the benefits of a stable currency far outweigh the costs that may have to be borne to make it work properly. The euro will only be trusted if the member states effectively coordinate their economic policies not only to ensure fiscal stability, but also to eliminate persistent divergences in productivity leading to unsustainable imbalances between national savings and investment (Schäuble, 2011).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: With the Commission's consultation period on the Single Market Act (European Commission, 2010) nearing its end, it is high time for the EU to get its act together. Priority should immediately be restored to the issue of the Single Market, and EU powers to deepen and widen the internal market, where economically justifiable, ought to be utilized to the full. This CEPS Policy Brief explains why.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On 1 January 2011, Hungary, the third member of the European Union to join the club in 2004, took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This represents the first presidency of a newer member state under Lisbon Treaty rules. After the new treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009, all rotating presidencies are, in a sense, first time presidencies. Their relative success now depends more on administrative ability than political leadership.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For the present UK government, full accession to the Schengen area, a passport- free travel area covering most of Europe, is a red line that it will not cross. Ireland shares a common travel area and land border with the UK and is also bound by this decision. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK, along with Ireland, is suffering serious economic and reputational costs as a result of its separate visa and border management policies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, Andrew Byrne
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In spite of the formal role laid out for the General Affairs Council (GAC) in the Treaties, it has been weakened since it was extracted from the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) and set up to function on its own. Its current uneven composition is leading to further marginalisation. Reforming the GAC can bring it to the centre of gravity of the Council proceedings and address a number of problems in the current institutional structure. For that to happen, however, countries holding the rotating Council presidency need to consider placing their head of state or government in the chair of the GAC meetings. Upgrading GAC in this way would streamline the diverse work of the Council, it would help in alleviatin g the heavy political burden that now falls on the understaffed President of the European Council and it would allow the institution of the rotating presidency to regain a higher political profile by creating out of national leaders a de facto Vice President of the European Council.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hans-Joachim Dübel
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: 'Blue' or Eurobonds guaranteed via joint and several liability by the eurozone member states have been proposed as an important tool to stabilise and structure the eurozone sovereign bond markets. But in this new Policy Brief, Hans-Joachim Dübel argues the case for a partial insurance of sovereign bonds by the European Stability Mechanism. Hans-Joachim Dübel is an independent financial sector consultant based in Berlin and founder of Finpolconsult.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Berlin
  • Author: Diego Valiante
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Eurozone debt crisis has now reached a turning point. This paper argues for a more organised intervention by the ECB to stop contagion through the creation of a quantitative easing programme, coupled with a political agreement among member states on a more federalist budget for the Eurozone.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The biggest threat for the eurozone is the contagion of the Greek sovereign debt crisis to the rest of the system. If the Greek crisis could be isolated, it would barely matter for the eurozone as a whole. After countless crisis meetings of the European Council, however, it has to be admitted that the European leaders have failed to isolate the Greek crisis and to stop the forces of contagion. The latest meeting of the heads of state or government of the euro area on July 21st is no exception.
  • Topic: Debt, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: I met Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa in the early 1970s as a new young professional in the Research Department of Banca d'Italia, where he was head of the monetary policy unit. Many of us newcomers, fresh from American graduate studies, were appalled by the Bank's monetary approach, replete with quantitative controls and administrative measures to channel funds to an insatiable Treasury.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: One positive effect of the euro crisis is that it has provoked Europe to engage in a profound debate on the form and degree of federalism it needs. Even if, until recently, many would have argued that Europe is not a federal state, the EU already has many elements of such a governance model in place, of which European citizens are hardly aware. Many competences are uniquely attributed to the EU. Legislation in several fields of EU competence can be adopted with a qualified majority of member states. Only in a few areas, such as taxation, is unanimity still required, even after the new Lisbon Treaty has come into effect. The same applies for changes to the EU Treaty itself.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Some eighteen months after the first Greek rescue (May 2010), there is little doubt that the multiple attempts at crisis management in the eurozone have failed to restore confidence. Indeed, following each round of emergency measures agreed by the eurozone summits, matters have turned for the worse (see Figure 1 for the widening spreads, over the German Bund, for sovereign borrowing in the eurozone). At the time of writing, contagion has spread beyond Spain and Italy to the core sovereigns, with France close to losing its triple A rating and even Germany experiencing partial failure in a Bund auction on November 23rd. Spreads are also opening up for Austria, Belgium, Finland and even the virtuous Netherlands. Meanwhile, the banking system Europe- wide is under increasing strain, with term funding all but closed for any bank with significant exposure to distressed sovereign debtors and the interbank market close to seizing up. Deposit withdrawals have surfaced in a number of large banks from the periphery. The euro has started to weaken in foreign exchange markets, narrowing the room for a distinction between eurozone debt crisis and euro-currency crisis from which some observers were until recently drawing comfort.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Juliet Lodge
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is no longer sensible to regard biometrics as having neutral socio-economic, legal and political impacts. Newer generation biometrics are fluid and include behavioural and emotional data that can be combined with other data. Therefore, a range of issues needs to be reviewed in light of the increasing privatisation of 'security' that escapes effective, democratic parliamentary and regulatory control and oversight at national, international and EU levels, argues Juliet Lodge, Professor and co-Director of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence at the University of Leeds, UK.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: What should be the future institutional configurations of the second generation of the EU's Integrated Border Management strategy for the common external borders? The Stockholm Programme endorsed by the European Council on December 2009 and the European Commission's action plan implementing it published in April 2010 have brought back to the EU policy agenda the feasibility of setting up a European system of border guards as a long-term policy vision. This Working Document examines the origins of this proposal and aims at thinking ahead by asserting that any future discussion and study in this context should be refocused by initially addressing two central questions: First, what kind of 'border guard' and what kinds of 'border controls' does the EU need in light of the current EU acquis on external border crossings and the Schengen Borders Code? Second, what would be the 'added value' of any new institutional arrangement at the current stage of European integration?
  • Topic: International Law, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antoinette Primatarova
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues against the view that Bulgaria's EU accession was premature and that the mechanism for cooperation and the verification of progress (CVM) is not delivering. The EU's continued leverage and the efficacy of the CVM are explained in a framework that goes beyond the dual-conditionality paradigm of incentives and sanctions, and beyond the unitary players model of EU–Bulgarian relations. In this framework, the CVM is viewed as an instrument for supportive reinforcement rather than for the imposition of sanctions. Furthermore, it is seen as targeting not just the government, but all Bulgarian stakeholders. The CVM is regarded as very effective at the level of public opinion and civil society, and as a mechanism that contributes to 'sandwiching' reform-reluctant Bulgarian governments between pressure from Brussels and domestic pressure for reforms. The CVM is also deemed useful for Bulgaria's further Europeanisation beyond the narrower pre-accession phase of 'EU-isation'. The paper suggests that eventual post-accession benchmarks might be appropriate in the process of further EU enlargement if properly understood as instruments for granting support and if discussed broadly with stakeholders beyond the executive. Concerning the efficiency/legitimacy dilemma, it is asserted that the CVM is an opportunity for increasing the EU's legitimacy.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Joanna Parkin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While the EU has no explicit legal competence in the sphere of religion and the management of relations with faith communities, religious concerns have taken on increasing importance within the legal and institutional framework and policy discourses of the European Union in the last years. This paper provides an overview of how religion and issues of religious diversity are being framed and addressed in EU law and policy by undertaking a critical analysis of the ways in which EU law and policy deal with, engage and understand religion at the policy level of the European Commission. Through an examination of EU legislation and both formal and informal policy initiatives in the fields of citizenship and fundamental rights, non-discrimination, immigration and integration, social inclusion and education and culture, this paper demonstrates that there is a complex and highly heterogeneous patchwork of EU normative approaches delineating the relationship between religion and the EU. These competing framings, very much rooted in the institutional structures of the Commission services, have important implications for discretionary power and sovereignty of the EU member states and for the coherence of European Union policies.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses whether the financial crisis has affected citizens' confidence in the free market economy and whether it has triggered citizens' demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulations. Using panel data, the paper confirms that citizens' confidence levels in the free market economy have decreased in most of the largest economies and demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulation has increased on both sides of the Atlantic. After analysing the determinants for citizens' confidence in the free market economy and demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulation before and after the financial crisis, the author concludes that citizens' net confidence loss in the free market economy seems to have been driven by rising unemployment rates, and citizens' demand for stronger state regulation seems to have been driven by the real economic downturn in GDP growth.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Braghiroli
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The last decades have witnessed a dramatic growth of internet-based communication. This phenomenon and its still partially unexplored potential have increasingly attracted the attention of a growing number of political entrepreneurs. This paper analyses to what extent it has characterised vertical communication between politicians and voters looking at a very particular group: the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth, Anna-Elisabeth Thum
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Using new international comparable data on intangible capital investment by business within a panel analysis from 1995-2005 in an EU-15 country sample, we detect a positive and significant relationship between intangible capital investment by business and labour productivity growth. This relationship is cross-sectional in nature and proves to be robust to a range of alterations. Our empirical analysis confirms previous findings that the inclusion of business intangible capital investment into the asset boundary of the national accounting framework increases the rate of change of output per worker more rapidly. In addition, intangible capital is able to explain a significant portion of the unexplained international variance in labour productivity growth and when incorporating business intangibles, capital deepening becomes an even more significant source of growth. The relationship is slightly stronger in the time period 1995-2000 and seems to be driven by the coordinated countries within the EU-15.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Lisbon Treaty, it is important to review the present arrangements for the institutional representation of the European Union in international organisations, and more broadly, in the processes of international negotiations and the way the EU acts as contracting party to conventions of international law.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Globalization, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Meeting Europe's 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is even more of a challenge for the financial sector than for the EU as a whole. Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is just the opposite of what the financial sector stood for, and how it continues to be perceived by the public. The huge regulatory agenda that is on the table should tame the financial sector, but whether it will help it to meet the Europe 2020 objectives is an open question (see European Commission, 2010a).
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Peadar ó Broin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Less than a year has passed since the Lisbon Treaty became part of EU law, thereby bringing to an end almost a decade of intergovernmental wrangling over EU institutional reform. Yet despite its protracted ratification process and pledges from national administrations and EU authorities that the Lisbon Treaty had closed the issue of treaty reform for the foreseeable future, a number of modifications to the EU treaties are currently in the pipeline. One such proposal, relating to the number of seats in the European Parliament, has already left the drawing board and is presently pending national ratification. But perhaps most significant are those proposals that could amount to major treaty reform in areas such as the Franco-German Declaration of Deauville, which proposes significant changes in the area of economic and monetary union and, possibly also institutional reform.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The survival of the eurozone hinges on the capacity of its leaders to improve its governance. This has become very clear since the eruption of the government debt crisis in the eurozone in 2009, which can be said to result from a failure of economic governance. In order to answer the question of how the economic governance of the eurozone should be reformed, we should first make a diagnosis of the crisis in which the eurozone has been mired since 2009.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Stefano Micossi, Richard Baldwin, Giuliano Amato, Pier Carlo Padoan
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Under current policies, the European Union will only be able to pull itself out of low growth and high unemployment very slowly – too slowly to exclude dangerous economic and political assaults on the Union's continuing cohesion and viability. What is needed is a substantial increase in the EU output growth rate, which has been persistently low for too long a time. With low growth, sovereign debt sustainability in a number of member states will remain uncertain, possibly leading to renewed strains in financial markets and rising spreads that will aggravate the costs of budgetary consolidation. The divergences in productivity and competitiveness and the current external imbalances they engendered can be unwound at an acceptable cost only if growth accelerates in the core and the periphery. On present trends, the adjustment burden might be unbearable for peripheral countries and generate strains that may eventually undermine the euro.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Fahrholz, Cezary Wójcik
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Roger Ailes, a former advisor to Ronald Reagan, recalls in his book an intriguing practice of the ancient Romans: when they finished building a bridge or an arch, they enforced accountability by placing the engineer in charge beneath the construction when the scaffolding was removed. If the edifice did not hold, he was the first to know. We do not follow such drastic practices these days in Europe, but with some European economies shaking and the Greek sovereign debt crisis still not over, the architecture of the euro area has been certainly come under severe stress. Unfortunately, the 28-29 October 2010 European Council Summit has not made this architecture much safer.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • 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: 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: 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