Europe praises choice of Liu for Nobel

08 October 2010
Los Angeles Times
"Europe still wants a closer, tighter commercial relationship with China," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London. "The Chinese think we're obsessed with human rights when in fact we're not. Southern Europe — Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal — are not too concerned about pressing China on human rights." Even in Northern Europe, he said, "human rights is seen as something you mention occasionally but shouldn't let intrude in your commercial relationships."

Panel wants EU regional payouts centralised in Brussels

08 October 2010
Simon Tilford of the UK-based Centre for European Reform think-tank declared himself skeptical about better-off regions getting money, even if they are relatively poorer in their own countries. "National regional policies need to be rethought, ... I don't see the case for depriving poor countries of needed funds when rich nations have failed to redistribute wealth within their own territories."

Bosnia and Herzegovina still divided 15 years after war

Tomas Valasek
07 October 2010
Tomas Valasek, of the London-based Centre for European Reform, said the war in Bosnia has continued by other means, such as politics. "When I return to Mostar I'm surprised by how little healing as taken place. Speaking to the locals you realise there is a great deal of animosity. For example in the Croat part of Mostar there is an unusually tall church tower and locals say it was built to compete with the minarets [on the mosques] in the Muslim side of the city," he told CNN.

EU risks making a bad situation worse

04 October 2010
New York Times
"Poor economic growth prospects, not high deficits, lie at the heart of the eurozone crisis," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think tank. ... "The eurozone can only avoid permanent crisis by convincing investors that growth will be strong enough for the hard-hit members of the currency union to service their debts," Tilford wrote in an essay entitled 'How to save the euro.' "As things stand, it is hard to see how they can grow their way out of trouble."

Why Germany is now happy to punch its weight

Tomas Valasek
03 October 2010
Tomas Valasek, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, says in recent times Germany has often shocked its partners by forcefully pressing its demands, leading to all kinds of "recalculations" within both the EU and NATO.

NATO document addresses nuclear disarmament

Tomas Valasek
30 September 2010
New York Times
"NATO can hold on to nuclear weapons and at the same time support calls for disarmament," said Tomas Valasek, a security expert at the Centre for European Reform in London who was an adviser to Mrs Albright.

EU unveils deficit sanctions as unions protest

30 September 2010
Sydney Morning Herald
"Unless there is a rethink, the eurozone risks permanent crisis, with chronically weak economic growth across the region as a whole and politically destabilising deflation in the struggling member states," Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Centre for European Reform, said in an essay.

EU economic reforms fall short on growth

30 September 2010
Financial Times
The European Commission announced proposals for reform of eurozone governance on Wednesday, calling for closer monitoring of member states’ public finances and tougher penalties for alleged fiscal ill-discipline.

Union protests put pressure on EU leaders

29 September 2010
"Poor economic-growth prospects, rather than fiscal ill-discipline, lie at the heart of the currency union's problems," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think tank. "But the EU's inadequate policy response ignores this and risks condemning the eurozone to permanent crisis."

Austerity protests may curb eurozone reform

28 September 2010
"The danger of social protest is real but more subtle," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform think tank. "I don't think it will lead governments to fall, but it is changing the intellectual climate in Europe to make further moves toward market liberalisation less likely, and hence the long-term stability and survival of the euro less likely ... Social protests reflect a shift in the Zeitgeist (mood of the age) that will damage economic efficiency and productivity and lead to slower growth in Europe," Grant said.

EU faces threat to migration principle

28 September 2010
Financial Times
"Free movement is a bit like the euro," warns Hugo Brady, a fellow at the Centre for European Reform, a think tank, recalling the single currency's recent troubles. "It's a thing the EU created and then forgot about, thinking it would never be problematic thereafter. … Free movement is such an accepted part of Europe today that Brussels policymakers don't even think of people relocating from one EU country to another as migration ... But to the man in the street, what the EU calls 'free movement' is in fact intercontinental migration."

How to fix the eurozone

Katinka Barysch
27 September 2010
International Herald Tribune
A recent European Union meeting to review blueprints for better management of the euro got overshadowed by a noisy row over France’s decision to send scores of Roma – or gypsies – back to Bulgaria and Romania.

Britain: Back from the dead

25 September 2010
"One thing you won't find in Britain is European jingoism, the idea that Europe has all the answers," says Simon Tilford, economist at the Centre for European Reform in London.

To cut or not to cut?

22 September 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"They're [the European Commission] acknowledging reality," said Simon Tilford, an economist at the CER. "This really does lend a lie to these claims that somehow fiscal retrenchment will be growth-positive." Mr Tilford and other economists say the commission's argument for austerity is in fact an exercise in magical thinking. Cutting deficits at a time when the economy is expanding strongly and demand for credit is high could help growth, because lower deficits will prevent the government from crowding out private investment.

Why the single currency has dropped off the Lib Dem's agenda

20 September 2010
The Guardian
Simon Tilford, the chief economist at the CER, thinks similarly [current policy and regime in the eurozone is unsustainable]. Another supporter of the idea of a single currency, Tilford published a scathing critique last week of the current state of the eurozone, warning that it could easily break up. Like Flassbeck, Tilford is concerned about the deflationary bias of policy. "The eurozone can only avoid permanent crisis by convincing investors that growth will be strong enough for the hard-hit members of the currency union to service their debts," he said.

Brand new constitution a must for Turkey's EU membership

Katinka Barysch
19 September 2010
Today's Zaman
Deputy Director of the CER, Katinka Barysch, said although the constitutional amendments were mostly an improvement, they were not enough to turn Turkey into a fully functioning democracy. "For that Turkey will indeed need a new constitution, one that rests on a broad social and political consensus. And it needs effective, impartial implementation of its constitution and laws. This is still a long process," she said...

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.