Will western leaders cut and run as the costs of the Ukraine war mount?

03 April 2022
The Guardian
Europe should stop spending up to €800m per day on purchasing Russian gas,” a new paper from the Centre for European Reform argues. “In 2021 … Russia exported more than 49% of its oil and 74% of its gas to Europe.” Halting all such purchases voluntarily, it said, might be the most effective sanction Europe could impose. “The political will to take such a radical step is still absent.” And, sadly, likely to remain so.

Emmanuel Macron’s scorecard: has the French president rescued a faltering economy?

03 April 2022
The Sunday Times
“There are going to be some difficult decisions made in his second term about reducing the budget deficit,” said John Springford at the Centre for European Reform....“It has been OK overall when compared to growth in other countries in the eurozone,” said John Springford of the Centre for European Reform. “But growth rates don’t really indicate much because we are all bouncing back from a sharp shock. Most economies had very high growth rates in 2021.”

The EU must triple down on green investment

John Springford, Christian Odendahl
31 March 2022
Christian Odendahl and John Springford from the Centre for European Reform argue for more public investment in climate-friendly technologies. “Climate investment has always been a matter of national security. Russia’s war on Ukraine has simply brought this to everyone’s attention,” they write, arguing for more taxes on polluters and on windfall profits, as well as for national and European borrowing.

Peace talks may be little more than Russian tactics, analysts say

30 March 2022
Today Online
Russia did not stop fighting after the annexation of Crimea in 2015, but actively supported the separatists in the Donbas, said Mr Ian Bond, a former British diplomat in Russia and head of foreign policy for the Center for European Reform. “I’m a skeptic about the Russians giving up on the war,” he said. “We’ve seen this movie before in 2014 and 2015. I view this as only a pause.”

This crisis could be the making of Europe's carbon market

30 March 2022
Financial Times
Elisabetta Cornago at the Centre for European Reform advocates bringing forward a centralised social aid fund proposed in a future ETS on heating and road transport.

Ask CER - Episode 4: Phasing out Russian gas, UK-EU relations and Hungary's response to the war

30 March 2022
You asked, we answered: the fourth episode of our ‘Ask CER’ podcast series.

Why leaders won't tell Europeans to put on a sweater to beat Putin

30 March 2022
Avoiding the issue of reducing consumption is doing Europeans a disservice, said Elisabetta Cornago, an energy policy researcher at the Centre for European Reform. “It's failing to actually help consumers make the link between their energy bills, the energy insecurity that we are potentially facing and the war in Ukraine.”
A mix of clear messaging and financial incentives could make voluntary energy-saving “palatable” to consumers, she added. “It might be better to do this than reach a point where you need to actually restrain consumption.” 

Why Russia's invasion of Ukraine could spark a NATO defense spending spree

30 March 2022
"The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call for a lot of Germans, for politicians, and for voters, who previously I think, would have been skeptical that military power could still be an important tool of influence in Europe today," said Sophia Besch, senior research fellow at the Centre for European reform, in an interview with CNBC.

Poland embraces West amid Ukraine crisis after years of drifting away

26 March 2022
The Washington Post
Camino Mortera-Martinez, head of the Brussels office of the Center for European Reform, said she worries that the Ukraine crisis will effectively grant Poland a “get out of jail free pass.”She believes the European Commission will unfreeze the money “not because Poland needs it, but because it does not want to risk the unity of the bloc at this moment.”

Tripling down on green

Christian Odendahl, John Springford
25 March 2022
Financial Times
The Centre for European Reform argues not for a doubling but a tripling down on green investments in Europe, including by fresh joint borrowing modelled on the Recovery and Resilience Facility “to focus on energy that is green and secure, that is on projects that can rapidly reduce the need for imported fossil fuels.

European lawmakers reach deal on sweeping new digital-competition law

24 March 2022
The Wall Street Journal
“This will be the first comprehensive attempt at making digital markets more competitive,” said Zach Meyers, a senior research fellow with the Centre for European Reform think tank. “And when you look at what the UK and the US and other countries are doing, even if they’re not replicating the DMA, they’re certainly inspired and influenced by it.”

China is winning the cyberwar

24 March 2022
The American Conservative
Sanctions are very much in vogue, so I asked Ian Bond of the Centre for European Reform, if the US should sanction China for its cyber provocations. He said it depends: “Intrusions for espionage purposes [commercial or against the state] are annoying, but part of the normal business of states.” Offensive action, on the other hand, such as “strikes that cripple critical national infrastructure, might rise to the level of an act of war if they cause casualties,” Bond added.

TRT World: NATO leaders meet in Brussels to discuss conflict response

24 March 2022
An emergency summit of NATO leaders is taking place in Brussels. They’re expected to discuss ways of bolstering the alliance’s support for Ukraine, while also looking to put more pressure on Russia. Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the CER weighs in on possible outcomes.

Necesitamos balas. Y un plan para no usarlas

24 March 2022
El Periodico
A medida que la guerra se alarga, nosotros, los europeos, vamos entendiendo cada vez menos. Sin apoyo social, no hay unidad europea.

OBR report suggests Brexit means UK 'missed out' on global trade recovery

23 March 2022
The National
Cited as evidence for this statement [that UK good exports to the EU were down by 18 per cent on 2019 levels] is a report from John Springford, the deputy director of the Centre for European Reform in London. Entitled “The Cost of Brexit: December 2021”, the report found a weak overall UK goods export performance compared to if the UK had stayed in the EU.

EPI drops card plans after member banks pull the plug

23 March 2022
The interchange and scheme fee component is typically set by Visa and Mastercard, which compete with each other to offer the best revenue incentives for their customer banks. Hence, if the EPI succeeds, banks will likely lose revenue, said Zach Meyers, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform. This set-up has created several challenges for the EPI, Meyers told VIXIO.

Amid protests, Europe limited in curbing high energy prices

23 March 2022
“The main problem is that these measures [energy tax cuts] to keep energy prices low will also suppress incentives for energy efficiency, for investment in green energy generation, and for electrifying sectors that currently rely on fossil fuels — so they could make the long-term pain of adjustment harder,” Cornago said.

The data provisions in the EU's upcoming Big Tech law

22 March 2022
"Most of the studies leading up to the DMA recognize that gatekeepers' privileged access to data is a key reason why they have entrenched market power. There are legitimate concerns, too, that gatekeepers are withholding information from their business users to keep the market opaque," Zach Meyers, a research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, said.

Sanctioning Russia: A co-operative endeavour, not a competitive sport

22 March 2022
The West surprised many with its decisive response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, imposing an unprecedented set of economic sanctions on Russia.

UK economy feeling the pain a year on from Brexit

22 March 2022
International Banker
“A loss of 4-5% of GDP is a big deal,” wrote John Springford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform (CER), in a research note, agreeing with the OBR’s prediction. “Governments everywhere would leap on a policy that would raise GDP by 5%.”