Think Tank Review – issue 26/2015

Welcome to issue 26 of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library (click to share on Twitter). It references papers published in June 2015. As usual, we provide the link to the full text and a short abstract.

We approach the summer break – and a forthcoming reshuffle in the team which curates the TTR – with a rich selection of content inspired by recent developments, such as the publication of the five presidents’ report on completing the EMU, which could be read in conjunction with the contribution by the Irish IIEA, or the one by Notre Europe.

On the equally topical notion of sovereign debt, the Schuldenreport from the German Development Institute, with a foreword by Joseph Stiglitz, enlarges the perspective to the global scale, examining the potential of codes of conduct for responsible borrowing and lending.

With a longer term perspective, we signal the analysis by the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies of how the focus of EU expenditure shifted since the Lisbon treaty, while Real Instituto Elcano reconstructs the context of Spain’s accession to the Community in 1986.

On institutional arrangements, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik looks, once again, to Franco-German cooperation in EU affairs, examining the options to enlarge that dialogue to a variable geometry of trilateral fora. In a Carnegie paper, the former EEAS secretary general Pierre Vimont looks at reforms needed to make the EU external action more effective.

Still on external relations, in June we saw think tanks focusing again on Russia. Several substantial papers ended up in this month’s Special Focus section, exploring notions of hybrid warfare, propaganda and the nature of the Russian state, as well as the territorial dimension of Ukraine – fragments d’Empires déchus, as one author put it, rather that a country neatly divided in two. The whole to be read in conjunction with the survey by Pew Research Center on public attitudes towards Russia in various NATO countries.

* * *

As said, after a few years spent on a rewarding journey in the jungle of EU policy information, some members of the TTR team, including this editor, are moving or will soon move on to new challenges. While we do not expect the TTR to change substantially, the injection of fresh talent may well be the opportunity to adjust the product to the needs of its faithful readers. Your input is welcome, as always.

Carlo Marzocchi

The next Review will be out in September 2015, with papers published in July and August.

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