Stopping the transatlantic rift

Tomas Valasek
26 January 2011
International Herald Tribune
You might call it the Obama paradox: Atlanticists on both sides of the ocean were certain that this president, inaugurated two years ago, would renew the transatlantic alliance.

To rule the eurozone

23 January 2011
"Decisions on whether the economies of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain survive or collapse — indeed, decisions about the future of the euro itself — are made in Berlin more than ever", says Charles Grant, director of the London-based Centre for European Reform (CER). "Everything depends on Germany now Europe is dancing to Germany's tune. Germany has the largest and strongest economy, the deepest pockets, and the most solid AAA credit rating of any major European economy. Even Europe's No. 2, France, is judged by bond markets to be a potential problem.

The EU's Hungary headache - and a whiff of double standards

20 January 2011
The Guardian
Charles Grant, director of the CER, said the EU could suspend relations with member states that flouted European law, as happened briefly in 2000 when Jörg Haider's far-right Freedom party joined the Austrian government. But suspension was a "nuclear option", he said, and unlikely to happen. "Like many people I am very disturbed by developments in Hungary. But 'rogue state' is not a phrase I would use. Hungary has not stopped being a democracy", Grant said.

Dollar's dominance challenged

19 January 2011
The Prague Post
Still, some world leaders and analysts have questioned whether Sarkozy's war against the dollar should be a priority. "It suggests that the US policy has enabled the United States to pursue policies that were destabilising to the EU economies, and so this would impose discipline on the Americans", said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. "It's misleading about the underlying causes for the crisis. It's hard to see how this will have a major impact on helping solve problems."

German economy steams ahead

Philip Whyte
13 January 2011
Wall Street Journal
"It's hard to see how those markets are going to be particularly buoyant ones", says Philip Whyte, economist at the London-based Centre for European Reform. "There's an element of optical illusion about Germany's rebound."

Domestic demand spurs growth in Germany

13 January 2011
Financial Times
"It is very hard to talk about a rebalancing of the German economy when growth has been driven almost exclusively by a recovery in business investment, stock building and net exports", said Simon Tilford at the Centre for European Reform, a London think-tank. "That is not to say that it is not going to happen, but I think people have got ahead of themselves."

Europe fears motives of Chinese super-creditor

13 January 2011
The Telegraph
Charles Grant, head of the Centre for European Reform and author of a book on EU-China relations, said China's top goal is to secure an end to the EU arms embargo, imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. It rankles as humiliating treatment for a global superpower that has since changed profoundly. Mr Grant said Britain, France and Germany are all wary of giving ground, cleaving closely to US policy. Washington views China's growing military might as a strategic threat to the Pacific region.

Greece blasts EU 'hypocrisy' for opposing Turkey wall plans

10 January 2011
EU Observer
"Greece is the perfect example of what happens when you let a country in without it being fully prepared", Hugo Brady from the London-based Centre for European Reform told this website. Romania and Bulgaria were admitted in the EU too early, he said, with member states now wanting to make sure the same mistake is not repeated with the Schengen zone, especially since both countries are on key migration routes from Turkey and Ukraine.

EU aims to seal deal with Beijing

Katinka Barysch
07 January 2011
Wall Street Journal
"If Spain can no longer access the bond market, will the Chinese lend enough to Spain to get it out of this crisis? I very much doubt it", says Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think tank. "Nor would the EU want one of its members to become beholden to China." "They're doing it out of self-interest [the Sinopec deal] but dressing it up as a goodwill gesture towards a troubled continent", she says.

Absent Baroness Ashton leaves Britain without a voice

06 January 2011
The Telegraph
Hugo Brady, senior research fellow at the Centre European Reform, said the commission needed to change its rules to allow Lady Ashton to send a deputy to meetings. "If it doesn't work it will reflect badly on the commission as well", he said.

The EU rotating presidency shrinks

Katinka Barysch
04 January 2011
The Wall Street Journal
"In a way, the Germans had the presidency," says Katinka Barysch of the Centre for European Reform in London. - "The euro crisis accentuated the existing trend" of weaker and weaker presidencies, says Ms Barysch.

Save and secure?

Clara Marina O'Donnell
03 January 2011
At a bilateral summit in London on November 2 last year, Britain and France embarked on what their leaders described as a "new chapter" in defence co-operation.