Insights

General Politics

The geopolitical Commission? Politics and policy in the 2019-2024 EU policy cycle

General Politics

The political guidelines for the 2019-2024 European Commission, and its priorities for the first 100 days, are wide-ranging and open to different interpretations. This is in contrast with its predecessor which (at the outset) could set as its over-riding priority the restoration of economic growth in Europe.

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From followers to disruptors? The role of small states in EU digital policy

TMT

In the past decade, small members states have increasingly been at the vanguard of digital policy debates in the European Union. Most notably, Estonia’s digital initiatives have allowed a country of just 1.3m people to reinvent itself as the leading e-government innovator in Europe, perhaps globally. Estonia is not alone. Ireland plays host to most of Silicon Valley’s…

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The future of the physician: practice and policy

General Policy

Globally there is a growing gap between supply and demand of medical professionals. Advanced healthcare systems such as the UK’s National Health Service are no exception. Vacancy rates across the service have increased and waiting lists for elective care across a range of specialisms are at politically unsustainable highs. For NHS policymakers, this is fundamentally a…

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General Politics

Weber’s revenge deals a blow to Macron’s European momentum

General Politics

The European Parliament’s rejection of Sylvie Goulard today is the most significant consequence yet of the fragmented European election result in May. It is a reminder of the weak position of President-elect Ursula von der Leyen and a significant blow to French President Macron. He appeared to have built on his success in securing Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the…

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ASEAN and the rise of China’s southwest

Trade & Manufacturing

Beijing announced this summer it would establish new free-trade zones in the country’s southwest. This represents a significant development in China’s strategy to boost growth and expand its influence in Southeast Asia through its Belt and Road Initiative. China’s eastern provinces have until now been at the core of Beijing’s “opening up” strategy. But now, amid the…

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General Politics

The inescapable neighbour. Will Saudi Arabia rethink its Iran approach?

General Politics

Neighbours rarely make good friends. Certainly, this is true of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Riyadh has long sought to isolate its large northern neighbour to avoid a shift in the regional power balance. It has been a strong critic of the Iran nuclear deal and lobbied the US president, Donald Trump, to pull out. But as neighbours, neither country can escape the presence of the…

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General Politics

The new speaker of the British House of Commons could influence the Brexit outcome

General Politics

In modern times, the speaker of the House of Commons has not been a significant determinant of political outcomes in the UK. This makes the current speaker, John Bercow, an unusual figure. Whilst navigating the fraught Brexit process, he has authorised several procedural innovations that have enabled backbench MPs to commandeer control of the chamber from the government…

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The future of finance with Paul Myners and Huw van Steenis

Financial Services

Global Counsel financial services practice lead, Adam Terry, talks to GC vice-chair and former UK City minister, Paul Myners, and Huw Van Steenis, whose major report for the Bank of England on “the future of finance” was published earlier this year.

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What does it mean for finance to be "open"?

Financial Services

We are now 18 months on from the launch of the UK’s Open Banking initiative, which empowers consumers to demand that their bank share their financial data with third parties who can provide account aggregation or payment initiation services. The jury’s still out on whether this market intervention will provide the intended boost to innovation and competition, but already…

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Push and pull economics of climate investor activism

Energy & Commodities

Bill Gates says climate activists are wasting their time trying to encourage divestment from companies involved with fossil fuels. The impact on emissions to date, according to Gates, is probably zero. Instead, activists should focus their efforts on backing new technologies that will either slow carbon emissions or reduce their impact on the climate. In short, more…

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General Politics

Respite not resolution: Italian Euroscepticism in the new policy cycle

General Politics

September 10th provided a rare boost for pro-Europeans in the euro zone’s third largest economy. Movimento 5 Stelle’s Giuseppe Conte won approval in parliament for his new government, replacing the nationalist Lega with the centre-left Partito Democratico. Former PD prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, also secured the important economic affairs portfolio in the European…

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UK investment policy

Trade & Manufacturing

The International Trade Committee has published the report of its inquiry into post-Brexit international investment arrangements: UK investment policy. The report reviews a wide range of important international investment issues linked to the UK’s exit from the EU.

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The EU's €2 trillion message

Trade & Manufacturing

The European Commission’s new legal guidance on the participation of third country bidders in the EU procurement market sends an important signal. It signals that greater reciprocity in public procurement will be an important element of Brussels’ industrial policy agenda. As I set out in a recent GC paper, the commission is demonstrating that it is unafraid to put words…

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General Politics

The British parliament can stop prime minister Boris Johnson achieving a no-deal Brexit

General Politics

The attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, has reportedly advised prime minister Boris Johnson’s new government that a no-deal Brexit cannot be prevented from occurring on October 31st by the British parliament, even if it loses a vote of no confidence. He has advised that parliament’s passing of the Article 50 act – which authorised the triggering of Article 50 - and the…

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EU-China trade defence: the politics of legal ambiguity

Trade & Manufacturing

China’s recent withdrawal of its challenge to the EU’s new methodology for calculating domestic prices in trade defence cases concerning China sidesteps what was looking like a probable defeat in the WTO. In doing so it leaves a measure of ambiguity in an important part of the WTO rulebook. The EU might have preferred a clear win, but no clear judgement also serves an…

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Is technology changing what a company is?

General Policy

The company has long been the cornerstone of advanced capitalism, providing an imperfect but acceptable equilibrium between workers, executives and governments. In this podcast, Senior Director, Stephen Adams, and Practice Lead, Tom King, discuss how new technologies are knocking firms off balance, as elite workers seek different forms of compensation beyond the material.

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General Politics

Will Ursula von der Leyen’s weak start matter?

General Politics

Ursula von der Leyen’s narrow win on Tuesday - just nine seats above the required majority – has widely been interpreted as a sign of trouble ahead for her commission and its ability to push through legislation. But is this right? There are some reasons to think it might not be.

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Realising the future of urban mobility

General Policy

Alongside our recent report produced with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Practice Lead Alex Dawson, Adviser Leo Ringer and Senior Director Stephen Adams discuss the challenge of how we make sure people use cars in a more efficient, cleaner, cheaper, smarter way, leading to greater use of public and active transport.

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