Brussels flat voice

03 February 2011
Die Welt
However, the Briton (Catherine Ashton) has some genuine strength. In a small circle, she can convince and generate consensus. "She is simply good with people. And she can explains things in a way that everyone understands", says Charles Grant from the British think-tank CER.

Security: A German military overhaul

31 January 2011
Financial Times
On the tactical front, the Bundeswehr invested heavily in tanks and armoured brigades. "Their role was to absorb the first wave of Russian tanks advancing across Europe, and halt them, in order to give the US time to come to the rescue," says Tomas Valasek, of the Centre for European Reform in London. "Germany has been saddled with the burden of the past in this regard, and it is right to change it".

German military capability could advance

Tomas Valasek
31 January 2011
Financial Times
Germany has a critical role to play if the EU – either as a bloc or as a looser collection of states – is to play a bigger security role in the world. "In defence capability, there is a huge gap between the French and British on the one hand and the rest of the EU on the other," says Tomas Valasek of the Centre for European Reform. "The only country sitting in that gap is Germany." If it moves closer to France and Britain in terms of deployability, that makes "a big difference" to European capabilities.

Is it the end for the euro?

31 January 2011
Management Today
"The adjustments facing Greece, Ireland or Portugal were always a tall order," argued Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Centre for European Reform, in an analysis of the euro's woes. "Now that borrowing costs have ballooned, those adjustments are impossible. Under no plausible economic growth forecasts will these economies be able to pay back their debts."

Germany – the new mini-superpower

30 January 2011
The Christian Science Monitor
"The Germans aren't particularly Keynesian," says Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think-tank. "They want to save and build, cut budgets, force austerity. The problem is how do states that are already immobilized cut their way to growth? Having said that, German elites are still committed to Europe. But they feel misunderstood right now as others in Europe complain." Whether Merkel's Germany is simply changing the model and habits of Europe, or is drifting away, is a question the best and brightest theorise about.

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.

In Davos, is Spain the new Greece?

26 January 2011
The Wall Street Journal
For the first time, says Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform in London, the EU has a single nation in the driving seat: Germany. Paris has taken a back seat following years of Franco-German leadership. Also, the European Commission, the EU's Brussels-based executive arm, has been weakened. That has imposed German thinking on the eurozone, Mr Grant says.

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."

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.

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."

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.

Britons want European Union to assert itself on the global stage

26 December 2010
The Guardian
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said institutions such as the European commission, the Council of Ministers and the European parliament had always been unpopular because they were "inherently unlovable. But it is encouraging that that the British people do appear to realise that one middle-sized European country can actually achieve more in many areas of policy if it acts with its neighbours than if it tries to go it alone", said Grant.

How Europe’s new goals will pay off

24 December 2010
"The problems are without precedent," says Centre for European Reform's Charles Grant, who predicts five years of "ghastly mess" for Europe, fraught with further political and financial tensions over debt, before the continent's economic renaissance emerges.