In the Press - The EU is in trouble and Ursula Von der Leyen is the wrong person to rescue it

18 February 2020
The Spectator
Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform warns that France and Germany are increasingly operating unilaterally, each pursuing its national interest. “Germany,” he points out, “did not consult its EU partners over its support for the Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline, although it will increase the EU’s dependency on Russian energy and cause tensions with the US.”

In the Press - What if Trump wins? Europeans fear a more permanent shift against them

18 February 2020
The New York Times
European leadership remains weak and divided, noted Sophia Besch, an analyst in the Berlin office of the Centre for European Reform. “We talk a lot about US leadership but not enough about European leadership,” she said.

In the Press - How Hungary's sledging hill with no snow may reshape EU budgets

16 February 2020
The Telegraph
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, the EU policy special at the Centre for European Reform in Brussels says that the Commission’s ‘conditionality’ proposal will survive in some form - but it is not yet clear exactly what will remain, once the haggling over the budget heats up.“The risk is that ‘rule of law’ conditionality will become a bargaining chip in the negotiating end-game, traded away for other concessions rather than being treated on its merits,” she warned in a discussion paper last month.

In the Press - Brexit boost: How Boris Johnson could sign US trade deal ‘promise’ before November

16 February 2020
The Express
Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform said: “I think the chances of a real proper free trade agreement between the UK and the US in the next year or two are absolutely minimal.”He continued: “I’m very sceptical that you could move quickly.

In the Press - 'Global Britain' goes missing at Munich security summit

16 February 2020
The Financial Times
Sophia Besch, a defence and security specialist at the Centre for European Reform think-tank, said Britain was still trying to figure out what global Britain meant. “Maybe the thinking was that there wasn’t a new high level message,” she said. “But in the debates on China and technology, a high-level UK voice would have been valuable.”

In the Press - How Hungary's sledging hill with no snow may reshape EU budgets

16 February 2020
The Telegraph
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, the EU policy special at the Centre for European Reform in Brussels says that the Commission’s ‘conditionality’ proposal will survive in some form - but it is not yet clear exactly what will remain, once the haggling over the budget heats up.“The risk is that ‘rule of law’ conditionality will become a bargaining chip in the negotiating end-game, traded away for other concessions rather than being treated on its merits,” she warned in a discussion paper last month.

In the Press - Why traditional freeports won’t work in the UK

11 February 2020
Financial Times
Sam Lowe, at the Centre for European Reform, says the case for establishing freeports is often much clearer in developing countries, where the environment for doing business may be more difficult, with higher tariffs and bigger bureaucratic obstacles. “You can see value in countries that have real rule of law and governance issues, an unwieldy business system, lots of patronage . . . You can make a much better argument for them in a developing context.”

In the Press - Merkel succession crisis in Germany leaves Europe leaderless, too

11 February 2020
The New York Times
Nor has Germany been prepared “to suffer economic pain for political and foreign-policy gains," said Christian Odendahl, a German economist with the Centre for European Reform in Berlin. “And this is now a Germany feeling economically insecure about its future.”

In the Press - Merkel succession crisis in Germany leaves Europe leaderless, too

11 February 2020
The New York Times
“We’ve been living off our past glories and achievements for a while, and slow to adapt to digitalization and AI and even the ‘Green Deal,’” said Sophia Besch, of the Berlin office of the Centre for European Reform.

In the Press - Freeports plan for ‘left-behind’ regions divides opinion

10 February 2020
Financial Times
“It could pull in industry from elsewhere [in the world] — but more likely from elsewhere in the UK,” said Sam Lowe, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, adding: “You can argue it’s good for rebalancing, but only if you assume it comes from London rather than areas that are struggling to get by.”