CEPS Working Documents

31 - 60 of 272
22 February 2013

This paper first aims at assessing the economic and political importance of Mercosur for the EU’s interests in the short and medium run – say for the one or two coming decades or so. As Mercosur’s size is largely determined by Brazil’s size, this paper focuses on Brazil – although the paper assumes that, from Brazil’s perspective, a Brazil–EU preferential trade agreement (PTA) is a non-starter. It then aims at positioning the Mercosur–EU (MEU) PTA in the context of the EU’s current trade policy.

21 February 2013

This study analyses the current picture and prospects for EU–Brazil relations in the political and security arenas. As actors experiencing relevant changes, albeit in different directions in their respective international status quo, the EU and Brazil have found some common ground for convergence at the macro level on some structural issues, such as the normative framework of a changing global order, the striving for a multipolar world and the relevance and desirability of multilateralism.

13 February 2013

This paper reviews the multiple forms of European continental regionalism, which takes the overall shape of a complex set of concentric circles, with a substructure of a core group within the EU based on the euro and Schengen areas, and several rings of neighbours outside, including the European Economic Area, the regions of the EU’s neighbourhood policy and finally some pan-European organisations. While all world regions have their own unique features, the European case offers some important lessons that should be of interest to other world regions.

13 February 2013

Brazil has a dual identity as a Latin American country and one of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The regional and global dimensions of Brasilia’s foreign policy have been closely intertwined. Inspired by the idea of development and autonomy in the last ten years, Brazil has assumed a stronger regional leadership role. The result has been the emergence of a South American space, with Mercosur and Unasur as the main integration schemes.

13 February 2013

In the five-year period 2005-09, Brazil has dramatically reduced carbon emissions by around 25% and at the same time has kept a stable economic growth rate of 3.5% annually. This combination of economic growth and emissions reduction is unique in the world. The driver was a dramatic reduction in deforestation in the Amazonian forest and the Cerrado Savannah.

13 February 2013

The issue of “trade and exchange rate misalignments” is being discussed at the G20, IMF and WTO, following an initiative by Brazil. The main purpose of this paper is to apply the methodology developed by the authors to exam the impacts of misalignment on tariffs in order to analyse the impacts of misalignments on the trade relations between two customs unions – the EU and Mercosur, as well as to explain how tariff barriers are affected.

13 February 2013

The structure of the world economy has been changing quickly during the last decade. The emerging global economy is much more fragmented than in the past and characterised by different global actors, each one with specific features and roles. In this setting, both Brazil and the European Union play role. This paper, without pretending to provide a full analysis of the European and Brazilian economies, offers a description of their main international economic features to understand their current and future role in the global order.

01 October 2012

Private governance is currently being evoked as a viable solution to many public policy goals, although the current track record of private regulatory schemes is mixed. Policy guidance documents around the world still require that policy-makers give priority to self- and co-regulation, with little or no additional guidance being given to policy-makers to devise when, and under what circumstances, these solutions can prove viable from a public policy perspective.

21 September 2012

This paper analyses the interplay between shale gas and the EU internal gas market. Drawing on data presented in the 2012 International Energy Agency’s report on shale gas and additional scenario analyses performed by the Joint Research Centre, the paper is based on the assumption that shale gas will not fundamentally change the EU’s dependence on foreign gas supplies. It argues that attention should be shifted away from hyping shale gas to completing the internal gas market. Two main reasons are given for this.

12 September 2012

This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone.

16 July 2012

This Working Document by Daniel Gros presents a simple model that incorporates two types of sovereign default cost: first, a lump-sum cost due to the fact that the country does not service its debt fully and is recognised as being in default status, by ratings agencies, for example. Second, a cost that increases with the size of the losses (or haircut) imposed on creditors whose resistance to a haircut increases with the proportional loss inflicted upon them.

22 June 2012

This paper tests the hypothesis that government bond markets in the eurozone are more fragile and more susceptible to self-fulfilling liquidity crises than in stand-alone countries. We find evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was the result of negative self-fulfilling market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.

06 June 2012

The rising generation of Russian foreign policy experts and commentators, especially outside Moscow, is increasingly sceptical about the key premises of Russian diplomacy and see more failures than achievements in Russia’s relations with its closest partners, including the EU and neighbouring states. This is the conclusion that stems from a series of interviews and focus groups carried out with young Russian professionals about Russia’s current foreign policies.

10 May 2012

The eurozone is caught in a ‘diabolical loop’ in which weak domestic banking systems damage sovereign fiscal positions and conversely, in which risky sovereign positions disproportionately threaten domestic banking stability. A European-level banking system could go a long way towards breaking this unfortunate loop and stabilising the eurozone. This would require a European safety net for cross-border banks.

09 March 2012

Despite the continuous efforts of developing countries and the international community to reduce energy poverty, some 2.7 billion people around the world still rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating and 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. Over 80% of the energy poor live in rural areas and roughly two thirds in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

26 January 2012

This Working Document examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the UK between 2005 and 2010. The findings suggest that impact assessment is not merely a perfunctory activity in the European Union and the UK. Quality has improved steadily over the years, arguably as a result of learning and regulatory oversight.

20 January 2012

This paper finds evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios, and was the result of negative market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.

13 January 2012

Ukraine has long been castigated for its noncommittal attitude to cooperation with the EU, this being part of its ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy. Such a policy was widely attributed to the failings of domestic elites, which delay reform for fear of losing rents and power. This CEPS Working Document suggests, however, that the recent setback in EU-Ukraine relations highlights more complex reasons behind this. First, it asserts that a pro-European vector is not a self-evident choice for Ukraine, which is economically interdependent with both Russia and the EU.

15 December 2011

It is widely assumed in Germany, and elsewhere, that German citizens have turned against the centrepiece of the process of deeper European integration: the euro.  The German Allensbach Institute, which conducts public opinion poll research, showed that levels of trust in the euro started to decline in April 2010, and more recently, other publications claim that an overwhelming majority of German citizens have lost trust in the euro.

15 December 2011

This paper analyses the evolution of public support for the euro from 1990 to 2011, using a popularity function approach, focusing on the most recent period of the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Exploring a huge database of close to half a million observations covering the 12 original euro area member countries, we find that the ongoing crisis has only marginally reduced citizens’ support for the euro – at least so far. This result is in stark contrast to the sharp fall in public trust in the European Central Bank.

06 December 2011

This Working Document looks at which OECD countries deliberately attempt to reproduce social stratification through educational policies, and which countries put greater emphasis on intervening in the stratification process.

The research findings challenge a one-policy-fits-all approach that advocates education policy reforms designed to increase equal opportunities in education. The authors argue that the context of each country needs to be considered before the implementation of such policies.

26 October 2011

This paper examines two questions related to the sustainability of the major neoliberal, economic and social reforms in the new EU member states, namely the flat income tax and private pension pillars. First, we look at the relationship between the political consensus/controversy at the time major policy reforms were passed and the future sustainability of these reforms after a change of government.

19 July 2011

 Conceptually, Global Matrix advances in a systematic and structured inter-disciplinary (matrix) framework a research agenda for examining the stance of major world actors on the key policy dimensions to world politics (political ideologies, economics, migration, climate change, security and world view); drawing out evidence of cross-cutting linkages (between sectors and among major actors); and evaluating the evolution and adequacy of existing multilateral institutions in relation to the emerging multi-polarity, and formulating recommendations.

17 June 2011

This paper looks at restrictions of passage, accidents and oil transportation norms as causes of interruption in oil supplies. The key ‘chokepoints’ are discussed in detail: the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb, the Canals of Suez and Panama, the Turkish Straits and the entrance to the Baltic Sea. It is concluded that in most cases the danger of closure can only be temporary; nevertheless, investment in bypasses and alternatives is highly desirable, and in the case of the Turkish Straits, has not been forthcoming.

10 June 2011

Holding strategic oil stocks is at first sight an obvious tool to address potential disturbances in supplies. Rationally defining the desirable size of stocks and designing rules for their predictable use is an elusive task, however. A key conceptual difficulty arises in the distinction between commercial and strategic stocks, because a physical shortfall in the oil supply will inevitably lead to an increase in prices. But if strategic stocks are utilised when prices increase they become indistinguishable from commercial stocks.

09 June 2011

The paper offers a systematic analysis of the impact of international or civil wars and violent non-state groups on global oil and gas supplies. Statistical evidence points to the fact that international wars are becoming increasingly rare, while civil wars remain frequent. The paper discusses the cases of the Iraq-Iran war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, showing the limits to the damage that belligerents were able to inflict on oil installations and illustrating how the world was able to compensate for this damage.

31 May 2011

The paper discusses the link between security of oil supplies and the functioning of international oil markets. It is argued that wide and frequent variations in price are in themselves a source of insecurity for individual consumers and national economies alike. Furthermore, the impossibility of predicting future prices discourages investment and increases the fragility of the system. The paper puts forward several policy proposals to reduce excessive price fluctuations and improve security of supply at reliable prices.

30 May 2011

This paper looks at resource nationalism and political instability as potential causes of disruption to global oil supplies. It points to depletion preferences and strategies as one form of resource nationalism. In most cases, resource nationalism appears to be motivated by rent maximisation. Hence, we see the adoption of more restrictive policies when prices rise. Conversely, when oil prices are low, increasing export volumes becomes more important. Restrictions on exports are common, especially for natural gas, which is sometimes reserved for national consumption.

16 May 2011

Climate change tends to negatively affect the power sector, inter alia, by causing cooling problems in power plants and impairing the water supply required for hydro-power generation. In future, when global warming is expected to increase, autonomous adaptation to climate change via international electricity markets inducing reallocations of power generation may not be sufficient to prevent supply disruptions.

05 May 2011

As an alternative to measuring the extent of market integration, ‘home-bias’ indicates the degree to which economic agents ‘over-prefer’ to transact with domestic agents rather than agents from other EU countries. Such an exclusive preference is measured against a benchmark of (ideal) market integration and is called ‘home-bias’.