Press

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.

China's strident tone raises concerns among Western governments

31 January 2010
The Washington Post
The unease over China's new tone is shared by Europeans as well. 'How should Europe respond to China's strident rise?' is the title of a new paper from the Centre for European Reform. Just two years earlier, its author, institute director Charles Grant, had predicted that China and the European Union would shape the new world order. "There is a real rethink going on about China in Europe," Grant said in an interview from Davos.

Still free lessons for Bulgaria or the Eurozone as a sanctuary

30 January 2010
EU inside
Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform in London asked a very interesting question: "It is very difficult to see which government, no matter how talented or wise it is, how it will succeed to reform the political and social structures which prevent economic reforms, budget consolidation, the increase of productivity.

L'Echo de Davos: Nicolas Sarkozy provoque le Tout-Davos

27 January 2010
La Croix
Charles Grant, fin connaisseur de l'UE, salue "le plus éloquent dirigeant européen du moment". Bien sûr, le discours a "des relents populistes" mais il est " intellectuellement cohérent", souligne-t-il, pour aussitôt rappeler l'incohérence avec certains faits. "Sarkozy dénonce le protectionnisme mais défend les usines en France comme Renault à Flins".

EU sees dreams of power wane as 'G-2' rises

27 January 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"The EU's attempts to be a coherent international actor seem to be decreasingly effective," says Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a pro-EU London think-tank. ...China and Russia see the world in totally realist, zero-sum terms," says Mr Grant, adding: "If we want China to take us seriously we have to have hard power," or the ability to twist arms through economic, military or other means.

Europe and an inscrutable China

21 January 2010
The Economist
Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform, a London based think-tank, says he and others who felt China was about to embrace multilateralism were guilty of "wishful thinking".

Haiti quake response exposes EU frailties

20 January 2010
EU Business
"Haiti is a terrible tragedy. Nobody cares about inter-institutional infighting in the outside world, they just want to see what Europe's going to do," said Hugo Brady, analyst at the Centre for European Reform think-tank. ...Brady said: "There is really going to be a big institutional mess while people rumble around for two years. It's a bit of a land grab at the beginning."

The Greek tragedy deserves a global audience

19 January 2010
Financial Times
Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform in London argued on these pages that it must be bailed out, instead. There are two other possibilities: Greece toughs it out; or Greece just defaults.

Bulgarian drops candidacy for European Commission

19 January 2010
International Herald Tribune
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London, said that Ms Jeleva's departure proves that the Parliament "has a real role to play for weeding out unacceptable commissioners." He added that Mr Barroso could not be blamed for accepting her candidacy, despite warnings that she faced a difficult confirmation hearing. "He doesn't have an intelligence service at his disposal," he said. "He has to accept what national capitals tell him. But it is very embarrassing for Bulgaria and for its prime minister."

A Greek crisis may well become Germany's problem

18 January 2010
The Times
"I just think they can't do it, and their growth prospects are worse than the Government is predicting," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think-tank, said. "They need to make cuts, but the country has shown little or no ability to do it" — either to cut the pension costs and early retirement extracted by the unions, to cut waste in hospitals and defence or to curb rampant tax evasion in the private sector. Even if Greece made the cuts, that would push it into a slump and deflation; crippling for such a highly indebted country.

Greece faces EU grilling

17 January 2010
EU Business
Some analysts are meanwhile questioning whether leaving Greece to default - another prospect aired in past weeks - would be all that beneficial. "Greece is just the starkest example of the problems facing economies that have lost competitiveness within the eurozone and now have weak public finances and poor growth prospects," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, wrote in the Financial Times on Friday. "Greece's problems cannot be solved by it alone," he argued.

Ukraine the loser as Viktors battle for Tymoshenko alliance

Tomas Valasek
16 January 2010
Irish Times
"Ukraine has gone from being a darling of the EU to a complete and utter nightmare," says Tomas Valasek at the Centre for European Reform think-tank. "A few years ago most EU states were convinced it should be in the European Union within a few years. All that has changed."

UK anxiety over influence in Europe after crisis

15 January 2010
BBC News
"The crisis has made people question whether there is something wrong with the Anglo-Saxon model," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform. His pro-European think-tank was the co-organiser of a conference in central London on Thursday to discuss the UK's role in the EU as the financial crisis recedes from memory.

Barnier wasn't dull but wasn't dangerous

Philip Whyte
15 January 2010
The Wall Street Journal
European officials say they are conscious of the potential to do damage by loading one regulation atop another. But in a new paper, Philip Whyte of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think-tank, says "little attention is being paid to the overall impact of all the proposed changes".

Chaotic Greek economy spells trouble for eurozone

15 January 2010
Radio Free Europe
Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London, says that the case in particular of Greece poses a significant challenge to the eurozone. "On the one hand, they can't let Greece get away with pursuing unsustainable policies; on the other hand, at the same time they can't be too tough with the Greek government, because there is only so much the Greek government can do, there is already risk of social instability in Greece," Tilford says.

Europe cannot afford to let Greece default

15 January 2010
Financial Times
The eurozone cannot afford to make an example of crisis-hit Greece. Claims by officials and politicians in the currency bloc's fiscally more robust economies - including Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's finance minister - that the Greeks will have to find their own way out of the crisis, are not credible.