Think Tank Review – Issue 21/2015

Welcome to issue 21 of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library. It references papers published in January 2015. As usual, we provide the link to the full text and a short abstract.

This month’s Review marks two years since we started this project. The TTR began as a quick tour through the websites of a handful of think tanks in EU affairs, in order to provide Council staff with a product more structured than the occasional, and often over-looked, e-mail alert from the library. It gained ground by word of mouth, encouraging us to enlarge the range of think tanks we monitor, finding valuable sources outside Brussels and networking with fellow information specialists in EU institutions and elsewhere.

To celebrate the anniversary, we look back to our virtual shelves: the Special Focus this month puts side-by-side recent publications and papers on the same subjects from early 2013. The picture that emerges, from the crisis to Euromaidan, from the Arab Spring to Brexit, is one of persistent challenges but also incremental progress, painstakingly achieved through negotiation by the EU institutions and Member States, in what some scholars now call ‘deliberative intergovernmentalism‘. The library team takes some pride in contributing to feed this process with diverse sources and ideas.

Further in this issue, as typical at this time of the year, various organizations set out global scenarios for 2015: notably the German Marshall Fund, CIDOB, ECFR, EUISS, FRIDE; but we also found a survey of expectations for 2025 held by French and German businesspeople. Publications also reflect a growing concern with terrorism and foreign fighters, migration, both internal and from outside the EU, and the habitual attention to energy policy – this of course in the run-up to the Commission’s energy union package, just published. TTIP negotiations and document disclosures continue to attract a lot of stakeholders’ attention from both sides of the debate.

As usual, we signal joint think tank events. January was marked by the Brussels Think Tank dialogue, this time under the heading ‘A New Departure for the EU”, with several background papers. Also worth mentioning, for their EU-28 scope, an endeavour at measuring institutional and socio-economic convergence, published by Institute of Economics, Zagreb, and a joint project (Open Society and others) measuring convergence through a ‘Catch-up Index’. In the Regard croisés section, a network of perspectives spanning Germany, Estonia, the UK, France, Poland, Sweden.

The current Review and past issues can be downloaded here. Feedback is welcome at The next Review will be out in March 2015, with papers published in February.

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