WELCOME TO EUROPE DECIDES » INSIGHTS INTO POLITICS, ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS IN EUROPE, FROM BURSON COHN & WOLFE

EU tech policies should wake up Europe’s sleeping giants

Now that the European Parliament elections are over, attention is shifting to the European Union’s agenda over the next five years. There are many tricky dossiers sitting in the EU’s in-tray, but it should include amongst its top priorities clear and effective digital policies over areas like data and artificial intelligence (AI), while underpinning overall competitiveness in the industrial and service sectors.

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Press Release #WorldAtHerFeet: Women’s Football Shatters Records but Obstacles Still Stand in Way of Progress, says BCW report

LONDON, 29 May, 2019 — 2019 is shaping up to be a year of transformation for women’s football with record-breaking crowds, major sponsorship deals and increasing levels of coverage. The women’s World Cup (7 June-7 July) could reach a billion viewers and eclipse the Cricket and Rugby World Cups. But obstacles still stand in the way of progress and equality in the female game, according to the #WorldAtHerFeet report unveiled today by BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe).   

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Europeans voted against the status quo. And for Europe

It is easy to get carried away by the first declarations of victory and the early headlines. As the initial results of the European Parliament elections trickled in on Sunday, it looked like this would be another triumph to savour for Eurosceptic populist parties, who came first in France, Britain, Italy, Hungary, Poland and the Czechia.

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The European Parliament enters uncharted territory

This year’s European Parliament elections, which take place from May 23 to 26, come at a time of unprecedented public debate on European Union issues. The EU now has more influence over our daily lives than ever before, it is central to the national political discourse in every member state, the past five years have provided a cornucopia of EU issues to argue over, and the campaign has been more visible than at any time since MEPs were directly elected in 1979. Yet at the end of all this, the result could be a Parliament that reflects the current centrifugal forces across the EU and where there is no stable majority. The key question is whether this fragmentation and internal division might undermine the exercise of Parliament’s legislative competences and thus its political authority.

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This anniversary year should remind NATO of its bonds forged in battle

This is a year of birthdays for anyone involved in Europe’s defence. In early April, NATO celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding document, the Washington Treaty, which set up the most successful security alliance the world has ever seen. And it was forged less than five years after one of the most important military operations ever undertaken: the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, 75 years ago.

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Post-Juncker EU must find ways to connect to citizens

The past five years have been the European Union’s own version of the Infinity War, facing crises on almost every front. But as outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker nears his own Endgame, it’s time to turn the page and look at what Europe might do next. The Commission’s so-called ‘Strength in Unity’ strategic agenda attempts to do that. Issued ahead of the special May 9 EU summit in Sibiu, Romania, it tackles areas like sustainability, eurozone rules, migration and defence. Yet while the Commission lists ample challenges to keep the EU busy for the next five years, there is a lingering question of whether it does enough to address one of the most pressing issues: how to connect to citizens.

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Is the EU doing enough to fight fake news?

On April 1 this year, the European Commission’s office in Athens leaked a report saying that Greece had been fined for introducing daylight saving time. Greece would face a fine of €17,650 for every hour that passed until it agreed to turn the clocks back. The leak was, of course, an April Fool’s joke, but with a serious intent: the Commission said the fake statement was aimed at raising awareness about disinformation, an issue that is gaining increasing concern in the run-up to the European Parliament elections next month. But apart from issuing jaunty pranks, has the European Union prepared enough to fight the expected wave of fake news?

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BOTTOM-LINE BREXIT – PART XI

What business needs to know about how Brussels sees the process of Britain leaving the European Union, as related to BCW by senior EU sources.

Don’t ‘sell in May and go away’

The old City stockbroker’s adage, dating back to a leisured age of top hats and spongebag trousers, has had an airing in Brussels since the pre-Easter summit which pushed Brexit back as far as Oct. 31. But beware. Plenty can happen in the coming months, and probably will. “Now it gets ugly,” warns one top EU diplomat closely engaged in the negotiations with the United Kingdom.

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BOTTOM-LINE BREXIT PART X

 

What business needs to know about how Brussels sees the process of Britain leaving the European Union, as related to BCW by senior EU sources.

No deal no way?

After the “flextension” to Oct. 31, granted by the EU27 in the early hours of Thursday, the risk of a no-deal, transitionless Brexit has been pushed back from April 12. The UK political situation remains extremely unclear and so the risk of no deal remains, possibly as early as June 1. However, if the UK holds an election on May 23, as is now scheduled in the UK electoral calendar, no deal will not be possible until Oct. 31. As significant, we believe, is that the behaviour of member states at the summit indicates a significant reduction in the risk that the EU will simply accept a no-deal outcome.

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