Ask CER - Episode 5: Europe's defence muscle, Russian-Western relations, central bank digital currencies and the EU's green transition

13 July 2022

In this week’s Centre for European Reform podcast, our media co-ordinator Rosie Giorgi put our listeners’ questions to the CER’s experts. She spoke to senior research fellows Zach Meyers, Luigi Scazzieri and Elisabetta Cornago, and the CER’s foreign policy director, Ian Bond.

They discussed what central bank digital currencies might look like in practice; how the EU measures up against its global defence peers; relations between Russia and the West in the post-Cold War years; how close we are to implementing an EU carbon border adjustment mechanism; and the inclusion of nuclear and gas energy in the EU's taxonomy for sustainable investments.

Running order
01:32 - What is a central bank digital currency (CBDC)?
05:17 - Centralised vs. decentralised payment systems
08:24 - How CBDCs might fit into the digital payments landscape
10:08How does Europe’s defence spending compare against China, Russia and the USA’s
14:30 - Potential obstacles to Europe successfully implementing its higher defence spending pledges
17:22 - The war in Ukraine: the situation in eastern Ukraine and EU support moving forward
21:40How Western relations with Russia got so bad, in the context of the post-Cold War foreign and security policy arrangements 
26:31 - Did Western capitals get their approach to Russia wrong in the 1990s?
30:00 - What’s the status of the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism?
34:50 - How did nuclear and gas make it into the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments? And will this impact the taxonomy’s credibility on a global scale?

Other links
The Economist article mentioned
Our other podcast episode on the taxonomy

Music by Edward Hipkins.