Centre for European Reform

The Centre for European Reform is an award-winning, independent think-tank that seeks to achieve an open, outward-looking, influential and prosperous European Union, with close ties to its neighbours and allies. The CER’s work in pursuit of those aims is guided by the same principles that have served us well since our foundation in 1998: sober, rigorous and realistic analysis, combined with constructive proposals for reform.

The CER’s reputation as a trusted source of intelligence and timely analysis of European affairs is based on its two strongest assets: experienced and respected experts, plus an unparalleled level of contacts with senior figures in governments across Europe and in the EU’s institutions. Since the UK’s referendum on EU membership we have reinforced our networks in Europe by opening offices in Brussels in January 2017 and Berlin in October 2018. The diverse perspectives and specialisations of our researchers, half of whom are from EU-27 countries, enhance the quality and breadth of our analysis of European politics, economics and foreign policy.

The CER is pro-European but not uncritical. We regard European integration as largely beneficial but recognise that in many respects the Union under-performs, at home and beyond its borders. We look for ways to make it work better and then promote our ideas through publications, the media and various forms of direct engagement.

The CER’s audience ranges from European politicians and officials, to journalists and the wider public who want to know more about the EU and its activities. The CER believes it is in the long-term interests of the EU and the UK to have the closest economic and political relationship that the political realities will allow.

We follow closely the trials and tribulations of the eurozone and the European economies, as well as the EU’s single market and its energy and trade policies. We also study the Union’s foreign, defence and security policies – including its relations with its neighbours, and with Russia and China; its approach to refugees and migration; co-operation on law-enforcement and counter-terrorism; the functioning of the EU’s institutions; and the state of democracy in Europe. Since the British referendum, the CER has played an active part in developing viable and practicable proposals on the UK’s future links with the EU.

The CER won the Prospect prize for best Foreign Affairs think-tank in 2020 and was named ‘Think Tank of the year’ in 2018 and 2013. Previously we had won the Prospect prize for the best UK international affairs think-tank in 2017 and 2015.


Latest reports

Working hand in hand?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform makes recommendations on how the UK and its European allies could better co-ordinate their support to Ukraine.. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a watershed moment in European security. So far, Britain, Germany and other European countries have worked closely to support Ukraine. But Russia...

Read more

Better regulation in Europe

This report from UK think the Centre for European Reform sets out an action plan for the next commission. European businesses are far more likely than US firms to cite regulation as a major obstacle to doing business. As Europe searches for ways to boost economic growth and frets about its competitiveness, the EU needs...

Read more

Two years (and ten years) of war in Europe

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform suggests that the EU should ensure Ukraine can weather the war without US support. Two years since Putin launched his full-scale attack on Ukraine and ten years after the annexation of Crimea, this third year of war looks set to be the toughest yet...

Read more

Helping Europe’s digital economy take off

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform sets out an agenda to help Europe's digital economy take off. In the face of an ageing population and industrial challenges from global competitors, particularly China and the US, Europe must boost its productivity by fostering the digital economy. The European Commission must help...

Read more

Can European defence take off?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at the evolving defence landscape in Europe. Europe, in the aftermath of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, is witnessing a significant shift in its defence landscape. There has been a substantial increase in defence budgets across the continent and the EU’s own role in...

Read more

EU climate and energy policy after the energy crunch

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform argues that the EU should focus on long-term reforms needed to reduce Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels. European energy markets are in a very different situation from a year ago. Today, Europe is not fearing electricity blackouts or gas shortages, and the European economy...

Read more

Ukraine fatigue

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform warns that Ukraine is going to need both short- and long-term military aid. The war in the Middle East is pushing Ukraine off the front pages, and some Western leaders, particularly in the US, are turning their attention away from Russia’s continuing war of...

Read more

Has the IMF’s lending become too expensive for its own good?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at the case for an IMF lending cap rate. The International Monetary Fund (IMF/Fund) risks losing traction as the multilateral provider of bailouts to countries in debt distress and needs urgent reform to manage the current financial and geopolitical reality. In a new...

Read more

A European strategy for Labour

This report by UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at a European strategy for Labour. Britain needs a better deal with the EU than that negotiated by Boris Johnson’s government: the economy is taking a hit, opinion polls show that most Britons want a closer relationship and the tense geopolitical situation highlights...

Read more

How Europe can make the most of AI

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at the low take-up of AI technology in Europe. As it finalises the AI Act, many EU politicians are fretting about the risks and dangers of AI. But the EU faces a bigger problem: low take-up of the technology. China and the US,...

Read more

Building UK-EU bridges: Convergent China policies?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at whether the EU and UK can co-operate more closely in their policy towards China. No country poses bigger policy challenges to both the EU and the UK than China. Both are struggling to exploit the economic opportunities that China offers while managing...

Read more

Europe can withstand American and Chinese subsidies for green tech

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at how the EU can be competitive in green goods and should use subsidies to producers with caution. European policy-makers are worried about losing out to subsidised production in the US and China in the booming global market for green technologies. A new...

Read more

EU-UK co-operation in defence capabilities after the war in Ukraine

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at EU-UK defence co-operation and argues that a closer relationship is both necessary and possible. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reminded the EU and the UK of their shared security interests and brought them closer together. The UK and the EU have co-ordinated...

Read more

Can the European Political Community be a bridge between the UK and the EU?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at the European Political Community (EPC) and Europe’s newest political forum. The European Political Community (EPC) is Europe’s newest political forum. The first EPC summit in Prague in October 2022 showcased its potential as a platform for dialogue between a large and diverse...

Read more

Protecting Europe’s critical infrastructure from Russian hybrid threats

This report from UK think tank the Centre for European Reform looks at how Europe’s critical infrastructure could be better protected from the hybrid Russian threat. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, European policy-makers have become increasingly concerned about Moscow’s use of hybrid attacks and the threat these pose to critical infrastructure. Suspicious...

Read more

Upcoming events

20 June 2024

Location: Online / Brussels

Think tank: Centre for European Reform

Why cities must drive growth in the EU’s single market

This event hosted by UK think tank the Centre for European Reform and Bertelsmann discusses why cities must drive growth in the EU's single market. As the EU launches its new 2024-2029 legislature, it faces major economic challenges. Economic growth is sluggish and lags behind that of the US. The search for higher growth, coupled...

27 June 2024

Location: Online / Brussels

Think tank: Centre for European Reform

Challenges, opportunities, regulation: the European approach to AI

This event hosted by UK think tank the Centre for European Reform and Clifford Chance discusses the European approach to AI. The EU has pushed ahead with an Artificial Intelligence Act, the US President has issued the AI Executive Order, and the next UK government could reconsider the need for a new AI law. However,...