Press

Dispute grows over France's removal of Roma camps

16 September 2010
New York Times
When the laws on free movement were conceived, "it was assumed that this would be about highly qualified, multi-lingual, economically mobile work force moving across borders — not about Roma," said Hugo Brady, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform. It is tempting for politicians like Mr Sarkozy, whose fortunes are flagging, to play the immigrant card, but that also risks raising public passions, Mr Brady said, possibly undercutting support for European institutions among a public that is already skeptical about integration.

Ministers seek to amplify Europe's voice on global stage

15 September 2010
New York Times
"We have to recognise that we have less credibility than we did a few years ago as a global player," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a research institute in London. "Nobody sees us as a rising power. The eurozone crisis damaged us as a soft power, as has our over-representation in international bodies. Military spending cuts reduce our credibility."...Mr Grant argues that the Union's influence is partly dependent on its economic health and that resolving the eurozone crisis is an essential.

Demanding value from universities

13 September 2010
New York Times
A 2006 report [The future of European universities] by the Centre for European Reform, encouraged European universities to become more competitive, more entrepreneurial and, although it did not say so explicitly, more American. The authors stated that tuition in Europe is a must, but they also recommended paying faculty on the basis of merit; lobbying aggressively with state and private funding sources, like alumni; and developing alliances with corporate benefactors.

A weakened Russia seeks European ties

10 September 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"Russia's world view focuses more on power than on rules," which largely guide the EU's behaviour, Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform said.

Can Russia be great?

Katinka Barysch
08 September 2010
Project Syndicate
But, as Katinka Barysch of the Centre for European Reform argues, Russian leaders' concept of modernisation is overly statist, particularly given that public institutions function so badly. "An innovative economy needs open markets, venture capital, free thinking entrepreneurs, fast bankruptcy courts and solid protection of intellectual property," she argues. Instead there are "wide-spread monopolies, ubiquitous corruption, stifling state interferences, weak and contradictory laws."

Economic crisis triggers loss of trust in members of EU

04 September 2010
The Times
Hugo Brady, of the Centre for European Reform, said: "I have never known the EU not to be in some kind of crisis but trust in politicians is extremely low and it is probably coming home to people that Europe is in decline."

The strategic consequences of the euro crisis

01 September 2010
Europe's world
The euro crisis will be with us for many years. The underlying causes, such as southern Europe's lack of competitiveness, cannot be remedied overnight; Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain face years of low growth, severe curbs on public spending and perhaps social unrest.

Can Montenegro shake off crime hub image?

31 August 2010
BBC
"The rules for membership are now being applied more strictly, with greater attention to detail," says Charles Grant, from the Centre for European Reform. "But there is a risk of a vicious cycle whereby without the beacon of EU membership modernisers start losing out to conservatives."

The euro's success requires liberalisation

Philip Whyte
26 August 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Critics of the euro zone have long claimed that it suffers from structural flaws that threaten its long-term survival. The Greek sovereign-debt crisis has done much to vindicate these misgivings.

Kosovo independence ruling watched around the world

Tomas Valasek
25 August 2010
Voice of America
"Basically, what the court's ruling means is whether secession is legal or not, is largely a political question. It comes down to whether enough countries recognise the entity that has seceded," said Valasek with the Centre for European Reform in London.

The downsides of German growth

18 August 2010
The Prague Post
"It is wrong to argue that Germany is the growth engine of the European economy, which is what we have seen argued in recent days," said Simon Tilford, chief economist with the Centre for European Reform.. "It is right to argue that it is a drag." This year's German trade surplus topped $ 77 billion through May, about 60 percent of that occurring within Europe.

Cameron's first 100 days

Philip Whyte
17 August 2010
Politics.co.uk
"The question," Whyte says, "is whether this is the calm before the storm". Two ominous-looking clouds are gathering on the horizon: financial regulation and the EU budget... London is the largest financial centre in Europe. So ministers face a "difficult balancing act", according to Whyte, in which they want to clamp down on banks while avoiding damaging London's competitiveness. The hedge funds directive was a case in point. Then, Osborne accepted defeat. It may not always end the same way.

Der Härtetest kommt erst noch

Philip Whyte
16 August 2010
Handelsblatt
Deutschlands Wachstum im zweiten Quartal war außergewöhnlich. Das Wachstumstempo beizubehalten wird aber sehr schwierig, sagt Philip Whyte, vom Londoner Think-Tank Centre for European Reform.

EU must co-ordinate its defence needs

Clara Marina O'Donnell
15 August 2010
The Guardian
Most European countries are making drastic cuts to their defence spending. Several, including Britain, are contemplating giving up significant chunks of their military equipment.

Cameron's EU budget calls undermined

Philip Whyte
13 August 2010
Politics.co.uk
Philip Whyte, senior research fellow at Centre for European Reform, warned that the arguments justifying Britain's ongoing rebate were being increasingly undermined, however. "This is a perennial issue on which the UK finds itself alone. The UK has a rebate under the EU budget. But the UK's position is becoming increasingly unstable." Mr Whyte warned that reforms of the common agricultural policy meant less and less of the EU budget was being spent on agriculture, the basis of Britain's rebate.

Stonehenge visitor centre, Berlin palace among projects put on hold thanks to big deficits

12 August 2010
Chicago Tribune
Economist Simon Tilford at the CER said the cumulative impact of several years of predicted weak growth "will be considerable over the next decade, 15 years," especially in physical infrastructure and education. "What I fear is that the cuts will be made in the wrong places," he said, and hurt "many of the things that make Europe a good place to do business and have a high standard of living."

Will new diplomatic service help EU to speak with one voice?

Clara Marina O'Donnell
24 July 2010
Radio Free Europe
"For the EU to be able to be a very effective actor abroad, it needs all of its member states to agree on the issue at stake -- be it what to do in Georgia or what to do with Russia," Clara O'Donnell, an analyst with the CER, explains. "And, secondly, it needs the member states to be willing to let the EU to speak on their behalf.

Europe's stress test ignoring default scenario

23 July 2010
Marketplace
But Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform says Europe's stress tests are ignoring one scenario that seems very real "the ability of the banks to cope with a sizable restructuring slash default in Greece and/or other eurozone member states". He says national defaults remains likely, but that isn't being tested.

As Germany's economy rebounds, anxiety prevails

23 July 2010
NPR
"If German wages are falling, falling by 1.5 percent, the Greeks and the Italians, etc., have to make sure that their wages fall by even more than that. Now, that spells slump or at least very, very weak growth. Very weak growth or slump is lethal for economies as indebted as these economies, because slump, deflation implies increases in the real value of debt." [Simon Tilford] warns that another giant obstacle to Germany's speedy recovery is what he calls the country's dangerous over-reliance on exports. ...

Tests of EU banks are a whitewash, some critics say

22 July 2010
Los Angeles Times
"It doesn't test the banks for what investors are fearful of," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "Stress tests are the way to go, but of course the tests have to be tough enough.... I don't think these tests are of particularly enormous value."