On 29 May 2018, Gerald Knaus and Piotr Buras, both Europe's Futures fellows, published a joint report on the rule of law in Poland. Rarely has anything its authors have written had as immediate an impact as this. They made a concrete recommendation: that the European Commission take Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to challenge its Law on the Supreme Court, which violated the core principles of the legal order of the European Union. On 2 July 2018, the European Commission started the procedure which led to Poland being taken to the CJEU in September of that year. The court issued an interim decision to stop implementation of the law. The Polish government withdrew its changes. It was a victory for the rule of law.
Gerald Knaus is the founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), a think tank focusing on Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus, EU enlargement, and the future of EU foreign policy. From 2001 to 2004, he was the director of the Lessons Learned Unit of the EU Pillar of the UN Mission in Kosovo. In 2011, he published Can Intervention Work? (co-authored with Rory Stewart). He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and was for five years an associate fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where he was also a visiting fellow in 2010/2011. In 2016/2017, he was a Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow in Istanbul.
Knaus has co-authored many ESI reports on EU enlargement, the Balkans, Turkey, and the Caucasus that have triggered wide public debates. In 2020, he published the award-winning bestseller Welche Grenzen brauchen wir? Zwischen Empathie und Angst – Flucht, Migration und die Zukunft von Asyl (What Borders Do We Need? Between Empathy and Fear – Refuge, Migration, and the Future of Asylum). In 2021, he received the Karl Carstens Award from the German Federal Academy for Security Policy.