Insights

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Deepening the Digital Single Market: not much to tweet about

TMT

Yesterday marked the entry into force of the EU’s ban on data roaming charges. Former England footballer and sports broadcaster Gary Lineker tweeted “Well played EU”, which was just the kind of high profile validation that EU policymakers are looking for. But it’s worth remembering that when the DSM was created in 2015, the strategy was built around three broad objectives…

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Does the migration stick for Visegrad countries require a carrot as well?

General Policy

Migration has drawn the most serious division line between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ EU member states in a decade. This week’s European Commission infringement decision against Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic for their refusal to pledge to accept refugees is just another strong indication of that.

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General Politics

Was 2017 really a Brexit election?

General Politics

At the start of the election campaign, 2017 was meant to be the election that delivered Theresa May a strong mandate for Brexit as both Leave voters and pragmatic Remainers trusted her to get on with the job of implementing the referendum result. Meanwhile, Labour was supposed to be headed for a 1983-style defeat under the left-wing Jeremy Corbyn, losing Remain voters to…

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General Politics

How Trump shakes up the Middle East

General Politics

It’s only been three weeks since Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, but the repercussions could be felt the moment he left. Only a few hours after his departure to Israel, Bahraini security forces stormed a Shiite village where protesters had staged sit-ins in support of a top Shiite cleric, who Manama accused of supporting foreign interests, meaning Iran. A week later, Egypt…

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Au revoir Donald: is US withdrawal from Paris an opportunity for European climate leadership?

Energy & Commodities

On Thursday, self-proclaimed deal maker Donald Trump turned ‘deal breaker’, as he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The decision provoked condemnation from an extraordinary spectrum of political and business leaders, and the US now appears on course to leave at some point towards the end of 2020. Soon after the announcement, some European…

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Could TTIP really be relaunched?

Trade & Manufacturing

On Tuesday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave the clearest sign yet that the US administration might have an interest in reviving the TTIP negotiations. Ross told media that it “makes sense” to continue negotiating the deal that slipped into a coma just before the Obama administration left office.

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General Politics

A German-German motor for the EU27?

General Politics

Attention in the European Council has turned from unity over Brexit to whether France and Germany can find a unifying policy direction for the EU27. The view in Paris is that Franco-German compromises offer a realistic balance between the interests of member states in the west, east, north and south, and that a joint platform is more achievable without the need to take…

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Is the ECJ judgement a big deal for a big EU-UK deal?

Trade & Manufacturing

Last week’s ECJ judgement on the ‘mixity’ question in EU trade agreements was a big one for EU trade policy. The ECJ overturned the Advocate General and years of practice by declaring that almost all of the things the European Commission negotiates on in FTAs should be treated in this respect as the exclusive competence of the EU. This includes big areas like transport…

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General Politics

The British Conservatives: May in the middle

General Politics

The election manifesto of the governing UK Conservative Party published yesterday was the most ambitious attempt to redefine British conservatism since the 1980s. It did this not by calling for radical policy change – it recommitted to radical policies like Brexit and set out a wide range of aims and ideas but little that is new – but by ambitious repositioning and some…

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General Politics

Draghi’s monetary policy predicament

General Politics

If you want to understand the predicament facing ECB Governor Mario Draghi you need look no further than estimates of long-run real interest rates for the major eurozone economies.

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Thinking out loud on globalisation

General Policy

The European Commission published this week its assessment of how the benefits of globalisation can be harnessed, while addressing the anxieties that are also created and which are impacting on political debates across Europe.

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Theresa May’s energy price cap: more about who, than how

Energy & Commodities

When it finally came, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that she would introduce a cap on energy prices if re-elected was made more in anger than in sorrow. Declaring in the Sun newspaper that she is “fed up with rip-off energy prices” May promised to cap the ‘standard variable tariffs’ (SVT), through which most UK households buy their energy. The cap will be…

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Brexit and energy: the view from Europe

Energy & Commodities

Today, the BEIS Select Committee released its report on the UK government’s Brexit negotiating priorities on energy and climate change. The report highlights important issues, including the need for a delay in the UK’s exit from nuclear cooperation agreement Euratom, potential “special arrangements” to maintain a single Irish energy market, and the view that the UK…

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Trump races to the bottom with dynamic models

Financial Services

The NASDAQ reached an all-time high yesterday as Donald Trump announced he wants to more than halve the US corporation tax rate, from 35% to 15%. But he knows that doing so comes with a big price tag – one that, in the context of a fraught debate about the US national debt and deficit, is an almost impossible sell to Congress. The solution? Dynamic modelling: counting the…

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It’s good to talk in Washington

General Policy

When the finance ministers of the world’s largest economies gathered in Washington over the weekend they had in front of them IMF analysis of the global economy that for once was quite up-beat. The growth forecast is higher, financial markets are buoyant, and a long-awaited cyclical recovery is underway in many economies.

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The audio-visual single market unravels – saying goodbye to the country of origin principle

TMT

A vote today in the European Parliament’s Culture Committee on the reform of the Audio-Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive signals a significant re-nationalisation of the EU’s single market in online broadcasting.

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General Politics

May’s Manifesto – The Ins and Outs

General Politics

With the UK now set for a general election on 8 June, attention has turned to the party manifestos. Given the general expectation that the Conservatives will win a large new majority, their platform is of particular interest. With very little constraining political opposition, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has the freedom to be as innovative as her admittedly cautious…

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General Politics

Brexit means what Theresa May says it means

General Politics

Theresa May’s decision to call a general election on 8 June is timed to minimise disruption to the negotiations with the EU. The early stages were always going to be about modalities - about who will participate, what they will discuss and when - and that can still happen in the run up to the election. The serious discussions, requiring high-level political backing, will…

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