Press

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."

Greek debt crisis hangs over Brussels economic summit

Philip Whyte
09 February 2010
Financial Times
"The broad thrust of the agenda remains as valid today as it was back then [in 2000]," said Philip Whyte of the Centre for European Reform think-tank. "A decade on, many EU countries still suffer from low employment and low productivity. So residual barriers to intra-European trade need to be dismantled and more must be done to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation."

Germany is chastised for stance on nuclear arms

George Robertson
08 February 2010
New York Times
In a report to be published Tuesday by the Centre for European Reform, in London, George Robertson, who served as NATO secretary general from 1999 to 2004, says Germany cannot remove the missiles and still expect to enjoy the protection of US nuclear forces. "For Germany to want to remain under the nuclear umbrella while exporting to others the obligation of maintaining it, is irresponsible," the report says. It is highly unusual for a NATO country’s government to announce that it wants to remove US nuclear weapons from its soil.

New military doctrine draws NATO criticism

Tomas Valasek
08 February 2010
The Moscow Times
Tomas Valasek, of the Centre for European Reform think-tank, said NATO would continue to try to forge greater co-operation on shared security concerns, even though progress had been limited. He said Russia had been consistent in its view of NATO as a threat and in looking for ways to divide the alliance and halt its enlargement, while NATO was "torn between seeing Russia as it is and seeing it as we would like it to be." ..."Even the vaunted northern corridor [supply route], hasn't really gone anywhere," Valasek said. "There's been one shipment that's come through, that's all.

Greece's financial crisis puts the future of the euro in question

07 February 2010
The Observer
But according to Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, the commission wants to keep the fund at arm's length because it would give the Americans a say in single currency affairs, a blow to European pride. Grant says this is regrettable: "The IMF is very experienced in these matters; it is professional and is not subject to political pressure. There is a political point as well. If the commission sets conditions that lead to hospitals being closed, there will be demos against Brussels.

US, Germany say Iran not ready for nuclear deal

Tomas Valasek
06 February 2010
Reuters
Tomas Valasek, director of foreign policy and defence, Centre for European Reform, said if the needs of Iran's research reactor were to dictate the process there would be no agreement. "That's a deal breaker, because of course the whole idea behind the deal is let's get all of the stuff out so that we win more time so that the Israelis don't feel itchy and don't bomb Iran in the next few weeks," he said.

Europe's debt crisis intensifies

05 February 2010
Business Week
"The risk of contagion now is very very serious. By the end of next week, if things haven't calmed down or if they have actually intensified further, then it will be a matter of a short while before some steps are being taken," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, said. ...But Tilford said those worries are now swamped by worries of contagion within the euro zone. "We could get into the position where we have a serious crisis in Spain which might not be containable because Spain's a bigger economy," he said.

Disunity, economic woes dog EU image drive

05 February 2010
Reuters
"There has been a lot of rhetoric about the 'European project' (to strengthen the EU) but to a large extent governments have had their heads in the sand and not addressed the tough underlying problems," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think-tank in London, said. "There is an insularity and provincialism which is very worrying."

Euro debt crisis is political test for bloc

05 February 2010
New York Times
"The challenges facing the euro zone are very serious," said Simon Tilford, chief economist for the Centre for European Reform in London. "For countries that have become pretty uncompetitive in the euro zone and have weak public finances, the current environment is very dangerous." ..."The southerners can do their best to cut costs and be competitive," Mr Tilford said. "But they need the others to create more domestic demand and be less export dependent."

Why Obama won't bother to attend the EU summit

04 February 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a London based think-tank, said this president does not have the attachment to the old continent of many of his predecessors. "Obama is very unemotional about the EU," he said. The key to getting him to attend E.U. summits is to provide practical solutions to problems. "He's not going to take the EU seriously unless the EU delivers," he said.

'West Bank first' approach has failed

Clara Marina O'Donnell
04 February 2010
European Voice
The EU must convince the US to abandon a policy whose flawed logic condemns it to failure.

Collaborations take a jolt

Clara Marina O'Donnell
03 February 2010
Financial Times
"There is very little in recent years that has gone well," says Clara O'Donnell of the Centre for European Reform. "The difficulties of the A400 M transport programme have been especially serious and have undermined the enthusiasm of the UK for joint procurement programmes."

Eurozone: Risk of contagion seen from 'Greek disease' as EU ponders options

03 February 2010
Radio Free Europe
Analyst Simon Tilford, the chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London, says its hard to gauge the overall impact of a default on debt by a eurozone member. "There is a risk at some point of Greece defaulting on its sovereign debt," Tilford says. "I think there is a very real risk of that. Then, it's very difficult, really, to say what would happen."

Obama to skip European Union summit in Madrid

02 February 2010
New York Times
Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based research centre, said that the Obama snub "is a useful wake-up call for the EU" He said the European Union must realize "that no one will court them or have summits with them because Europe is a nice idea. They need to deliver." Mr Obama sees Europe as an important ally, but "Obama clearly has no emotional identification with Europe," Mr Grant said.

Europa pierde peso en la escena mundial

02 February 2010
El Pais
La realidad es que en materia económica la verdadera angustia de Obama es la política financiera del Gobierno de Pekín, al que podría acusar de "manipulador monetario", como ha señalado Charles Grant, director del Centre for European Reform, (CER). En unos de sus trabajos recientes, el CER ha advertido de que "la Administración Obama se ha fijado como objetivo sellar una relación más estrecha con China, suscitando los temores de Europa de ver que este G-2 reduce más su influencia en el mundo".

Obama summit no-show not a snub: EU's Ashton

02 February 2010
EU Business
Hugo Brady, researcher at the London-based Centre for European Reform, recalls Obama's first taste of an EU-US summit in Prague last April when the Czechs were holding out on ratifying the EU's reforming Lisbon Treaty.

China reacts fast and furious to US deal

02 February 2010
National Post
"Over the past year, China's behaviour has changed," said Charles Grant, director of the London-based Centre for European Reform. "Relatively hard-line and nationalist elements in the leadership appear to have sidelined those with liberal and international instincts. "China's foreign policy has become more assertive." ..."The current [Chinese] leadership, led by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, is due to hand over to the 'fifth generation' of leaders in 2012," Mr Grant said. "There is much manoeuvring for position.

Most EU hopefuls face long wait to membership

Katinka Barysch
01 February 2010
Reuters
Accession is unlikely for years for all but Croatia and Iceland. "Stefan Fuele actually has some low-hanging fruit," said Katinka Barysch from the Centre for European Reform think-tank. "He starts his job by getting Croatia in fairly quickly. He's got Iceland. Fantastic. He gets two countries in. All the other countries are simply too far away from being ready."

Arms to Taiwan, and a course correction in Asia?

01 February 2010
Foreign Policy
As this excellent Washington Post analysis by John Pomfret describes, China's pique at the Taiwan arms sales is of a piece with its growing chest-thumping. The article cites a new study by the Centre for European Reform, How should Europe respond to China's strident rise? and includes a bracing quote from author Charles Grant about China's treatment of European overtures: "The Europeans have competed to be China's favored friend, but then they get put in the doghouse one by one."

China laat niet op zijn kop zitten

01 February 2010
De Standaard
Charles Grant in een artikel voor het Centre for European Reform – Grant merkt daarbij op dat ook de Europese Unie haar naïeve optimisme over een geleidelijke 'verwestersing' van China mag opbergen en zich dringend moet bezinnen over een nieuwe aanpak.