Insights

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Strategic autonomy and openness: how the digital revolution is shaping up in Europe

TMT

Peter Mandelson
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As the digital revolution enters a new phase, policymakers across the world must work out what it means for their old assumptions about how to run their economies and conduct their economic relations with others. This is particularly acute for mid-sized developed democracies, the biggest group of which lie in Europe. They cannot follow the Chinese model and they face an…

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General Politics

Brussels woos Biden

General Politics

Stephen Adams
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Stephen Adams, Senior Director, Tom White, Director, and Miranda Lutz, Senior Associate, discuss the tensions in the EU's published strategy for rapprochement with the incoming Biden administration, what it means for businesses and why there is more than a little sense of catharsis in Brussels' response to the new administration.

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Balancing innovation, pricing and supply chain resilience in the EU Pharma Strategy

Trade & Manufacturing

Giulia Corsi
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The pharmaceutical strategy published on Wednesday outlines the European Commission’s plan for the sector over the next five years. Its central message is clear: the EU needs to increase cooperation between member states and boost its overall competence in health policy. But perhaps more ambiguous is how the strategy will walk the fine line between incentivising…

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General Politics

Money, power and respect in the EU’s latest crisis

General Politics

Anikó Zsebik
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After relief at the agreement on EU spending priorities for 2021-27, the Brussels establishment was caught off-guard last week by vetoes from Hungary and Poland over the obscure-sounding “rule of law conditionality”. A requirement of the European Parliament and of a qualified majority of member states, this affects a tiny proportion of the €1.8 trn package, effectively…

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As Biden’s cabinet takes shape, Yellen’s appointment as Treasury Secretary emphasises stability over ideology

General Policy

Erin Caddell
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With President-elect Joe Biden’s transition officially underway following the certification of voting results in several key battleground states, Biden has shifted his focus to naming his Cabinet and other key advisors for his administration. Biden’s appointments can serve as barometer as to how he will balance the progressive and moderate wings of his party. Given the…

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Nature-based solutions: cost-effective and credible?

Sustainability

Charlotte Roberts
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Not all solutions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change are technological. So-called ‘nature-based’ solutions are rapidly increasing in prominence, successfully breaking through conservation circles to mainstream policy since the 2019 Madrid UN climate conference.

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Adaptation and resilience: Who builds? Who pays?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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Over the last few years, climate finance investment has focused on mitigation over adaptation and resilience. A few things are probably driving this. One is the sense that adaptation and resilience are responses to potential physical changes still in the relatively distant future. Mitigation, by contrast, is seen as an urgent race to reduce emissions to forestall more…

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The race for climate finance leadership

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Last week, the City of London Corporation and the UK Green Finance Institute hosted a ‘Green Horizon Summit’. At the event, a package of proposals was unveiled by the UK government aiming to cement the UK as a global centre for green finance and signal something of the UK government’s post-Brexit vision for the City of London. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s…

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The National Security and Investment Bill

General Policy

Stephen Adams
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Stephen Adams, Senior Director, and Max von Thun, Senior Associate, presented a webinar on the UK's National Security and Investment Bill currently making its way through Parliament. The bill contains proposals for a new, far more stringent UK national security investment screening regime that would replace the existing system enshrined in the UK Enterprise Act.

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What decisions are needed for the UK to achieve its hydrogen ambitions?

Energy & Commodities

Lilah Howson-Smith
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With the prime minister set to make a set-piece speech next week on how the UK meets its net-zero commitment, the big question remains how far he will emphasise the importance of hydrogen to the country’s green ambitions. Pressure has been ratcheting up in the context of Europe and China committing substantial funds to hydrogen in their recovery plans, but the UK has not…

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The case for WHO reform

General Policy

Beatrix Thompson
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The World Health Organisation has not performed well in response to the covid-19 crisis. In a video-conference discussion of EU health ministers on October 30th, it was unanimously agreed that the WHO was not fit for purpose and required an overhaul to boost transparency and accountability. With the WHO’s largest contributor, the USA,…

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The pitfalls of vaccine salvation

General Policy

Tom Smith
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As clinical trials for covid-19 vaccines begin to produce sufficient evidence to begin the regulatory approval process and scale-up manufacture, governments, especially in the UK, face a whole range of new challenges. Many will resemble those of the earlier phases of the pandemic and will be shaped by the experience of managing the first peak and the subsequent attempts…

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Guinea, Tanzania, and Côte d’Ivoire: three observations from October’s elections

General Policy

Isabelle Trick
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While all eyes have been on the US presidential elections, Guinea, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire have all also elected presidents in the last three weeks. In all three countries, the incumbent presidents retained their positions and increased their votes: Alpha Condé won 59.49 % in Guinea; John Magufuli won 84.40% of the vote in Tanzania; Alassane Ouattara won 94.27% of the…

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Climate policy - coming to your plate

Sustainability

Charlotte Roberts
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On November 3rd, Global Counsel hosted a panel discussion on the role of diet in achieving climate objectives. The discussion focused on how likely we are see forthcoming UK policy aimed at addressing a dietary shift and whether we can expect to see governments increasingly intervene in this area in the same way they do in energy or transport.

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Three views on the US election

General Policy

Joe Armitage
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At this point - with Joe Biden likely to win the presidency - the UK government has probably started to build and strengthen relationships with individuals in Biden’s team who are set to lead the transition process. However, given that President Trump still has a slim chance of successfully contesting the outcome in key states and remaining in office, any such outreach to…

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Democratic déjà vu? Assessing the prospects of US presidential election litigation

General Policy

Ben Bassett
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As Democrats and Republicans anxiously await the final tallies of mail-in and absentee ballots in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina to decide the closely fought US presidential election, both sides are bracing for what will come next: an onslaught of litigation that could make the controversial Florida recount during the 2000 election look like a garden…

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US Election: A tight race and no landslide for Biden and Dems tempers progressive agenda both domestically and abroad

General Policy

Erin Caddell
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Whatever the outcome of America’s election – which for both the presidency and Senate remained too close to call as of early Wednesday morning in the US – the blowout victory that Democrats were hoping for did not materialise. This has implications for both US domestic and foreign policy regardless of the final outcome. Both are likely to be more moderate and more…

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General Politics

Tech and trade: how hot is the Israel-UAE peace deal?

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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Did Israel get a sweet deal with the United Arab Emirates, and the latter little in return? Critics would say yes. Abu Dhabi broke with the traditional Arab position, requiring the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in return for recognition. All Israel had to do was to suspend its rather dubious annexation plans. But this criticism…

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