The Eurocrisis never went away, nor did we!


Many of you have noticed that Re-Define has been apparently missing in action having not sent out comments, given interviews or published papers or Op-Ed’s on the Eurocrisis or Financial Reform since the beginning of March. This was deliberate. It’s not that we have stopped working on these issues, far from it. It’s that we decided it would be healthy for us, given our sharp, but constructively critical tone, to stay away from the headlines for a bit.

Given the premature complacence that was creeping into policymaking circles, we got heat for continuing to insist the problems were far from over. For example, we were criticized in some quarters for being too negative at the last European Council  in March when we said “This European summit reeked of missed opportunities, premature celebration and undeserved backslapping. This may come back to haunt our leaders sooner than they think.” (2nd Mar)

The audacity of green growth

By Re-Define Managing Director Sony Kapoor and Fabrizio Tassinari at the Danish Institute for international studies. Note: this has appeared as an op-ed in the European Voice

Ways that the EU could unleash the animal spirits of the markets to trigger self-financing green investments. 

Can green growth shake Europe out of its economic stagnation? At face value, Denmark is not the most obvious candidate to answer this question. The UN climate summit that Copenhagen hosted in 2009 was supposed to herald a new era of international responsibility; instead, it has become a byword for discord between a declining West and emerging economies.

Europe can't cut and grow

By Re-Define Managing Director Sony Kapoor and Peter Bofinger, member of the German Council of Economic Advisers. This appeared as an oped in Financial Times Deutschland, NRC Handelsblad, Politiken, The Guardian, Die Presse in the first week of February 2012.

The EU needs a growth compact, not a fiscal one. Swift action on tax and jobs is the way out of the crisis

Overspending by governments, we have been told, triggered this crisis. The cure thus lies in immediate austerity, hence last month's German-led push for a eurozone fiscal compact and the UK's pursuit of similar policies.

But, as demonstrated by the experiences of Greece, Portugal and Spain, this course leads to biting, deep recessions and worsens public indebtedness. The IMF acknowledged as much last week. A focus on growth, not austerity, is the correct answer for Europe's ills.

A Growth Compact for the European Union

Sony Kapoor, Director of Re-Define Peter Bofinger, Member of the German Council of Economic Experts 

Dated the 30th of January 2012


CONSCIOUS of the need to tackle the unprecedented social, political, economic, employment and institutional challenges confronting the Union, and

RECOGNIZING that promoting growth is the best possible way of rising up to these challenges, thus

DESIRING to kick-start growth in short-term and construct structures and implement policies that put the Union on a path of higher growth in the long-term, especially as only growth will create the economic and political space to enact the serious structural reforms the Union needs, and

It's time to change course in the EU

This appeared as an opinion piece in the Danish newspaper Börsen on 13/1/2012

The EU’s response to the most serious crisis of our lifetimes is failing. The austerity-only path we have embarked upon is a road to recession with deeper unemployment, welfare losses and increasing social frictions.

When excessive levels of Greek debt were first revealed at the end of 2009, it was shocking how quickly the narrative of the crisis changed from one of a financial crisis to that of a fiscal crisis. This change was driven by politics and ideology where leaders in some countries found it easier to blame ‘lazy Greeks’ for the crisis rather than address endemic problems in their banking system. The weakness of the financial sector was pushed out of sight and Europe is now paying the price. Despite enjoying unprecedented public support, the EU banking system remains broken and is failing in its job of supporting the real economy.