Press

Europe's bear problem: The trouble with the EU's attempts to woo Russia

Katinka Barysch
25 February 2010
The Economist
The "underlying assumption", writes Katinka Barysch in a new paper for the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think-tank, is that EU capital, technology and training might make Russia "more Western-oriented, open and easier to deal with."

Police clash with strikers as EU seeks more cuts in budget crisis

25 February 2010
The Times
"The majority of Greek people support the Government in its effort to introduce reforms because there is a feeling that enough is enough and politicians should get to grips with reform and end corruption," said Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform. "I fear that by the summer, people will stop feeling as they do now that reform is necessary."

Five NATO states to urge removal of US nuclear arms in Europe

George Robertson
23 February 2010
The Guardian
"Denied the protection of NATO's nuclear weapons in Europe, Turkey would have additional reasons to worry about Iran's nuclear programme – and perhaps to develop nuclear weapons of its own. Newer NATO members in central Europe, who see in the nuclear weapons a symbol of US commitment to defend them, would be left feeling vulnerable," George Robertson, a former defence secretary and NATO secretary general, argued in an article he co-authored this month for the Centre for European Reform.

Eyeing Israel, EU condemns identity theft in Dubai assassination

Clara Marina O'Donnell
22 February 2010
Christian Science Monitor
"I think that this is going to be an easy one for EU states to address when it comes to speaking with one voice," says Clara Marina O'Donnell, an analyst at the Centre for European Reform think-tank in London. "The big member states still tend to have more strength and if you have a consensus you won't see the European states trying to split it. But more to the point, nation states are all quite sensitive when it comes to the idea of their passports’ integrity."

Lisbon pact failing to lift the EU on global stage

22 February 2010
New York Times
Supporters of the treaty argue that it was never going to deliver instant results. "It is difficult," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, "to write off what has not been built," referring the new European diplomatic corps. "Turf wars are a characteristic of bureaucracies since 10,000 years BC," he said. "Bureaucracies fight other bureaucracies. Everyone knew this would happen."

Conspiracy and the euro

16 February 2010
BBC News
As Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform points out, "people take bets on currencies - if they overreach themselves they go bust". ...Charles Grant says, however, he is certain that in the end Germany would act to prevent Greece defaulting. After all, it has signed up to a statement to "defend the stability of the euro". He says it is "understandable" at this stage that Germany wouldn't want to be too "explicit" about its plans, but who exactly will do the bail-out remains unclear.

Greece pressed to take action on economic woes

15 February 2010
International Herald Tribune
Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London, said that for the eurozone countries the Eurostat proposals constituted "a significant erosion of sovereignty. "But when they signed up to the eurozone, they effectively agreed to cede sovereignty over time", Mr Tilford said. "There was always going to have to be a greater measure of integration." Although the Greek situation was "the most egregious example," he added, "it is not as if there have been no other examples of governments massaging public finances."

Germany is part of Greece's woe, not just its remedy

15 February 2010
The Times
"It's very puzzling. They really seem to think that they’re in a great position," said Simon Tilford, chief economist for the Centre for European Reform, one of the most pointed commentators on the contradictions of the German position. "They're not, and it isn’t a model that others can all follow."

Greek statistician is caught in limelight

13 February 2010
International Herald Tribune
Mr Kontopirakis "alone is not guilty, but he should have spotted the discrepancy and spoken up at the time," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the London-based Centre for European Reform. He continued: "No doubt, there was political interference at the statistics office, but his argument is indefensible. This is the most egregious example of budgetary data that we have ever seen in the EU, and his position is extremely weak."

How Greece exposed the slippery slopes of Europe

13 February 2010
The Telegraph
Charles Grant, of the Centre for European Reform think-tank, said: "I think there will be a bail-out of some sort soon, with very strict controls on Greece." The cradle of civilisation will become effectively a colony of Brussels, or the International Monetary Fund, with massive public-sector cuts imposed on a resentful, and resistant, population.

Contemplating the future of the European Union

12 February 2010
New York Times
"Now is the time when Europe needs to speak as one voice," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "The crisis should lead to political unity, but it could just as easily lead to a divided Europe."

Fox aims to boost military ties with France

Clara Marina O'Donnell
12 February 2010
Financial Times
"Fox's speech will be viewed by European governments as positive.. , especially on engagement with France," said Clara O’Donnell of the Centre for European Reform. "But concerns about the EU's role as a bloc are still very much in his mind. The question... will be how much his concerns about the EU end up alienating France."

Europe vows to save Greece

12 February 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Yet greater coordination of economic policy will necessarily happen, says Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a London think tank. "There will be for Greece and possibly Spain a loss of fiscal sovereignty - a two-tier Europe with the weaker countries having to accept outside tutelage" from sounder euro members as the price of financial support.

EU leaders vow to help Greece, but say it is too early for financial rescue

12 February 2010
The Washington Post
"What they've basically done is say they will help Greece if it meets the terms of the plan to cut its deficit, but if it managed to do that, Greece wouldn't need any help," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. "I certainly think they will come up with something more substantial. But today demonstrates that we may need a full-blown crisis in Greece before they are prepared to put money on the table."

High expectations behind admonishment

11 February 2010
People's Daily, China
Jacques Delors, a three-term, ex-president of the European Commission (EC), said recently that the European Union (EU) would face a tough "choice" in the next few years, while Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, was more straightforward saying that Europe could possibly "fall apart" ['Is Europe doomed to fail as a power?' by Charles Grant, July 2009]. Their remarks have are in immense contrast compared to the elation brought by the entry into force of the "Lisbon Treaty"...

High expectations behind admonishment

11 February 2010
People's Daily, China
Jacques Delors, a three-term, ex-president of the European Commission (EC), said recently that the European Union (EU) would face a tough "choice" in the next few years, while Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, was more straightforward saying that Europe could possibly "fall apart" ['Is Europe doomed to fail as a power?' by Charles Grant, July 2009]. Their remarks have are in immense contrast compared to the elation brought by the entry into force of the "Lisbon Treaty"...

Should Europe lift its arms embargo on China?

10 February 2010
Time
Charles Grant, director of the London-based Centre for European Reform, published a paper last month arguing that Europeans need to agree on a single message in their dealings with China so that Beijing can't play a game of divide and conquer. At the same time, he said, the E.U. should "abandon the fiction of a 'strategic partnership,'" which cannot be meaningful with such divergent value systems, and focus on a limited number of issues on which China and the E.U. can find agreement.

Failure to reform fiscal rules could haunt euro zone

10 February 2010
Reuters
"Right now there is nothing to force adjustment on Germany, whose surpluses are the flipside of the Greek deficits," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. "I'm not sure we will see the changes that would prevent future crises. Countries with big trade surpluses first need to realise they are part of their problem."

Europe vows to aid Greece, but is unsure of how to help

10 February 2010
New York Times
"At this junction they will have to support Greece," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, said of Europe's politicians. "If you have encouraged the markets to believe that support is forthcoming and then it is not, we will see a backlash" in financial markets. Though Mr Tilford said the markets would ideally like to see some form of guarantee extended to Greek loans, he added that this would probably be too much for the government in Berlin.

Czech's in talks with host missile command centre

Tomas Valasek
10 February 2010
The Prague Post
"If Obama needed more evidence to back his shift, the failed test gives it to him," said Tomas Valasek, director of foreign policy and defence with the London-based Centre for European Reform.