Insights

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European Competitiveness and Industry Benchmarking Report 2019

General Policy

European Competitiveness and Industry Benchmarking Report 2019
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European Competitiveness and Industry Benchmarking Report 2019 produced by The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) and Global Counsel shows how vital it is that Europe quickly unites behind an ambitious, long-term industrial strategy.

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Good COP bad COP – 3 things to watch for at COP25 climate negotiations in Madrid

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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The world’s climate brethren are set to gather next week – not in Chile but in Madrid – for the 25th annual Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP for short). Each year the aim is to move further on the agenda of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for adapting to the impacts of climate change. This year, the…

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European Green Deal

Energy & Commodities

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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The Commission’s ambitions to lead the world in action on climate change will continue to rub against member states’ imperatives to manage the economic costs. Under Frans Timmermans, a team of Commissioners therefore have a huge task of putting together a European Green Deal. The Commission is already clear this will prioritise strong environmental protection, support for…

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General Politics

Values and transparency

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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The new Commission faces a complex European political landscape. Eurosceptic parties from many member states will put pressure on their governments after performing strongly in May’s European Parliament election, even if they are struggling to translate this into power in the parliament itself. Tensions have increased between eastern and western member states on migration…

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General Politics

Croatia and EU enlargement: open bridge or closing door?

General Politics

Marijana Milic
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On January 1st, Zagreb assumes the rotating presidency of the European Council. Its time at the helm will involve a number of firsts. It will be Croatia’s first presidency since becoming the newest member state in 2013. It will be the first presidency responding to Ursula von der Leyen’s new commission, itself entering office after a rocky start. It could be the first…

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General Politics

What comes after Spain’s election?

General Politics

Ana Martínez
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Following an afternoon event, Senior Associate Ana Martínez is joined by Charles Powell, director of think tank Real Instituto Elcano, and Laura Bardone, country head for Spain in the European Commission's DG ECFIN, to discuss the outcomes of the recent Spanish elections and potential policies of a left-wing government and what it means for Spain’s ambitions in the EU.

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A stronger Europe in the world

Trade & Manufacturing

Daniel Capparelli
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EU trade policy over the next five years will in many respects be defined by an evolution of outgoing Trade Commissioner Malmström’s ‘Trade for All’ strategy. At the level of content, this will be reflected on a high level of continuity on long-standing EU trade policy tenets: the defence of the multilateral trading order, the new EU FTAs trade negotiation (eg with…

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An economy that works for people

Financial Services

Adam Terry
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Three major trends will influence EU economic policy over the next mandate: the threat of climate change, the rapid pace of technological progress and the increased sophistication of economic crime. Success will depend on how well the European Commission is able to be the master of its own destiny in relation to these challenges, rather than being buffeted by events. It…

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General Politics

Is Macron's leadership in Europe working?

General Politics

Denzil Davidson
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President Macron’s decision not to block a three-month extension to Brexit was a relief to those in the UK who feared no deal or who still hope for no Brexit. It was also a relief to his EU partners and the institutions that there would not be yet another argument with President Macron as the protagonist.

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Europe fit for the Digital Age

TMT

Franck Thomas
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The geopolitical Commission will give practical expression to calls from Paris and Berlin for ‘strategic autonomy’ for technology. This means addressing longstanding anxiety in Paris and Berlin about falling behind the US and China in key technologies such as cloud computing and AI. This has even greater salience as evidence grows of European firms being locked in to…

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General Politics

Will von der Leyen succeed in maintaining the balance of power in the institutions?

General Politics

Ana Martínez
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Ursula von der Leyen is a President already in some ways defined by compromise and balance. When member states were unable to agree on the principle of nominating one of the European Parliament’s Spitzenkandidaten, she was chosen to fill the role. Margrethe Vestager and Frans Timmermans hold the highest positions in her team in order to broadly balance the interests of…

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General Politics

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

General Politics

Tom White
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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

Alessandra Baldacchino
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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

Tom Smith
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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

Franck Thomas
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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

Jens Presthus
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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

Thomas Gratowski
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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

Joe Armitage
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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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