Insights

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Road to recovery dashboard

General Policy

Gregor Irwin
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Global Counsel’s recovery dashboard takes the pulse of the global economy. It shows how hot or cold the current recovery is in historical perspective with regards to industrial production, trade, confidence and growth. The dashboard also draws on high frequency data to show the current state of disruption and rebound in G20 economies. In addition, it relies on latest…

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Beyond the great vaccine divide: how African leaders are tackling vaccine hesitancy to capitalise on new supplies

General Policy

Ed King
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The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook highlights how the “great vaccine divide” continues to impede Africa’s recovery. Undelivered donation pledges, the launch of boosters, India’s export ban and an overreliance on the global vaccination initiative COVAX culminated in half of the continent vaccinating less than 2% of their population. This is well below the World Health…

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Haugen comes to Europe – will she change the course of tech regulation?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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In 2013, the revelations of Edward Snowden catapulted online privacy and surveillance to the top of the political agenda. The Cambridge Analytica scandal five years later had a seismic impact on online political campaigning. The testimony of Frances Haugen, the “Facebook whistle-blower”, is now being seen as a similar inflexion point for online content moderation and…

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Are musicians getting a raw deal from music streaming?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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With artists pushing for reform to the music streaming economy, and rates of pay for streaming the lowest they have ever been, it’s been only a matter of time before the industry caught the attention of UK policymakers.

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General Politics

Has the EU-Polish rule of law standoff reached a tipping point?

General Politics

Anikó Zsebik
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For several years tensions around the conduct of the PiS government have buffeted bilateral relations between Warsaw and Brussels and other members of the European Council without quite reaching breaking point. In part this is because both sides have tiptoed around pushing it there. However, in the wake of the Polish Constitutional Court’s (PCC) ruling on the supremacy of…

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Unpacking the latest NIP proposals

Trade & Manufacturing

Stephen Adams
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The European Commission has released its proposals on how to ease the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. They contain far-reaching proposals in some areas, such as facilitative measures for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. They are light on details in others. Critically, they are silent on certain issues raised by the UK government, such…

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Could rising energy prices leave the industry out in the cold?

Energy & Commodities

Frederick Michell
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Energy prices have been rising across the world over the past weeks. Energy prices fluctuations have already occurred in the past, but this time the world is emerging from a global pandemic and high gas and power prices could hamper recovery. End consumers impoverished by covid-19 are now faced with higher bills, and businesses are either pushed out of the market or…

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Will capacity constraints scupper the UK Government’s vision for post Brexit medical devices regulation?

Health and Life Sciences

Mark Loughridge
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In September, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued its long-anticipated consultation on the UK’s post Brexit medical devices regime. For all the early talk of substantial divergence from existing EU rules, the UK Government is in fact proposing greater regulatory alignment and a focus on pathways so far not offered by other major…

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General Politics

Feeding the nation: shaping the first national food strategy in a generation

General Politics

Johnny Luk
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In 1947, Clement Atlee was UK prime minister, the UK’s NHS was yet to be established and the Second World War still scarred the landscape, with rationing in force. That was the last time England’s food and drink policy underwent major reform, with that year’s Agriculture Act.

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General Politics

Boris Johnson’s conference friends and business foes

General Politics

Alex Dawson
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Another October, another party conference season is over in the UK. With a speech to the Conservative faithful in the Manchester hall, the Prime Minister set out what the second half of his parliamentary term might look like. Crucially, while he gave details of what he wanted to do, questions about the cost of living, the NHS backlog and net-zero ahead of the October…

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Reviving the multilateral trading system

Trade & Manufacturing

Peter Mandelson
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Digital in-conversation with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, WTO; and Peter Mandelson, Chairman, Global Counsel, discussing potential solutions to the many challenges the World Trade Organisation and the multilateral trading system are facing.

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Morten Petersen MEP: Will Fit for 55 get the EU to net zero?

Energy & Commodities

Tom White
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The Fit for 55 package currently being negotiated sets out much of the legislative backbone that will drive Europe toward net zero. A key challenge that could break the green deal’s success is achieving effective integration of energy systems in transport, industry and power production across the 27-member bloc. Billions of investments are at stake and European operators…

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Does the EU need a revamped critical raw materials strategy?

Energy & Commodities

Giovanni Scomparin
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The ‘Fit for 55’ package released by the European Commission in July will mandate EU member states to boost renewable energy deployment, upgrade the EU clean vehicle charging infrastructure and phase out internal combustion engine vehicles. Reaching these targets will require a sizeable ― indeed unprecedented ― amount of critical raw materials (CRMs). This has already…

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General Politics

Could Olaf Scholz be the new Chancellor of Germany?

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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With the German parliamentary elections and Angela Merkel’s departure after sixteen years, the scene seems set for profound changes, with months of coalition haggling ahead. But with a change of players and, maybe, a change of parties, will much really change in German politics? And how will that affect policy at home and in the EU?

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General Politics

Germany’s grand coalition leaves big choices to its successor

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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Germany’s grand coalition of Christian and Social Democrats will soon be history. Despite its comfortable majority – the next government may be jealous – there is a sense that Chancellor Merkel’s fourth government has deferred big policy choices to its successor. Even in the few areas where it has set a new policy direction, in part to deal with the pandemic, major…

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UK Plc can't ignore the reputational risks of inflation

Financial Services

Lilah Howson-Smith
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UK businesses should be concerned by energy price spikes being experienced in Britain, not just because of the impact on their bottom lines, but also because of the reputational issues that come from skyrocketing prices. The UK government ignores the rising cost of living crisis at its peril, but crucially so does business. With the gas price hike in the domestic market,…

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E-commerce talks on the WTO chopping block

Trade & Manufacturing

Alexander Bobroske
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As WTO negotiators return after the summer hiatus, minds are inevitably starting to focus on the agenda for the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). For e-commerce negotiators, the WTO’s most important conference will be seen as an opportunity to agree upon the remaining low-hanging fruit and create momentum to work out the more challenging chapters. But will e-commerce…

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Is the UK’s defensiveness towards Chinese tech investment about to spill over into genomics?

Health and Life Sciences

Harry Bell
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There are signs that it might be. In its Made in China 2025 plan the Chinese government identified health tech, including genomics, as an area of strategic focus. This has been reiterated in the “Healthy China 2030” plan. As is often the case, an emphasis on healthcare from the government has spiked Chinese investment in the domestic industry, but with prices in China…

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