Is international democracy promotion in the European neighbourhood running out of steam? What is the impact of factors such as corrupt state capture, energy resources, the financial crisis and radical Islam on democratisation in the region?
A new CEPS Policy Brief by Ineke Gubbels-van Hal (Royal Haskoning NL) and CEPS Senior Fellow Jacques Pelkmans finds that the current ‘silence’ over the EU chemicals regulation REACH is misleading and is, in fact, more the calm before the storm. Their analysis of the Regulation’s main properties and ensuing obligations reveals that its implementation suffers from considerable problems.
This study attempts to assess the extent to which the financial crisis has damaged citizens’ trust in public institutions, especially the confidence that European citizens invest in the European institutions. The results of major public opinion surveys show a severe decrease in citizens’ trust in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis with a slight recovery nine month later. In particular, citizens’ net trust in the European Central Bank hit an historical low point in...
To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, CEPS Director Daniel Gros offers his views on the economic consequences of German unification for Europe’s economy. He finds that those who predicted that unification would drastically alter the balance of economic power in Europe seemed for a time vindicated, but that twenty years later it appears that the status quo ante has been re-established.
It is assumed that flexible mechanisms will play a crucial role in facilitating a positive outcome in the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009.
After weeks of intense speculation, it is now known that Herman Van Rompuy will be the European Council President, and Catherine Ashton will be the EU’s foreign affairs chief. The question of precisely what powers these two individuals will exercise under the new Treaty of Lisbon, however, remains largely unanswered, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem.
The obstacles that surrounded the Czech ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty should not be understood as proof of the strength of Czech euroscepticism, argues Mats Braun of the Institute of International Relations in Prague, but rather as an attempt by an ever-shrinking part of the elite, led by President Klaus, to make a final imprint on the future of Europe.
Even more spectacular than the recent decline of the dollar against major world currencies has been the long-run decline of the US currency: since 1960 the dollar has lost two-thirds of its value against major world currencies. At the same time, however, at least since the early 1990s, the US has been seen to produce superior economic results, i.e. a higher productivity growth than most of Europe and Japan with more or less the same rates of inflation.
The European Union has been a pioneer in combating global climate change through its emissions trading system (ETS), which puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions by assigning emissions allowances that can be traded within the EU. But most other large countries do not price carbon, thereby placing EU industry at a disadvantage.
A new CEPS report warns that a lukewarm integration of climate objectives into the new EU budget and the continuation of a rather uninspiring set of budgetary actions will only damage the image of the EU institutions and send the wrong signal to EU citizens and international partners.

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