Editors blog

18 Oct: EU-US Trade and Technology Council

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

The European Union and the United States are powerful giants in the global economy and on the international stage. Both are ambitious and competitive, both are also protectionist in their own ways. Each is aware of the need for comprehensive and close collaboration to counterbalance other emerging super powers whose global ambitions, and business ethics, do not represent the democratic values of either the EU or the US. Thus, it is a surprise that, still today, there is no dedicated trade agreement between the EU and the US. 

The Transatlantic …

12 Oct: Harassment and inappropriate behaviour at work.

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

It is a sad fact that, many media sites today contain daily news stories of rapes and sexual abuse. Whilst these issues are regularly highlighted, including with shocking statistics, the problem is not being resolved. From where such behaviour originates, remains unaddressed – It is a societal issue, and more and more, an institutional one.

Gender inequality, and more generally the discriminatory way men treat women, is part of the underlying problem. Much of the unequal bias, which favours men, has been visible in EU institutions and other public offices …

05 Oct: Trade race to engage India

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

India is the largest democracy in the world and yet, despite all the efforts of the European Union negotiators, there is still no free trade agreement between the EU and India. Frustration, by some of the Union’s Member States, has seen presidents and prime ministers of various countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, attempting to do bilateral trade deals without waiting for an EU agreement. This lack of momentum between the two entities, who have value systems built on similar foundations, is a weakness on both parts. However, the …

01 Oct: Can aviation take-off again?

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has touched almost all sectors of the economy. Some sectors have received more attention than others, some have received more financing than others. Pre-pandemic the global and European aviation sectors were booming, but economic stagnation, alongside the increased costs for new safety protocols, and unpredictable travel restrictions, mean that the aviation sector will now have significant challenges to overcome on its runway to recovery. Whatever our favourite airline, the industry will have to start by restoring passenger confidence in air travel and as tourism slowly restarts, and …

29 Sep: The blah blah blah strategies.

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

Well, our dear Greta Thunberg really hit the nail on the head this time. The failings of global political leaders to address the climate change emergency, is definitely down to the “blah blah blah” taking place within the institutions of power. Equally, those same institutions, are the ones barring entry to anyone who really does want to make a change through action.

“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” – the words of mocking, used by this young climate …

27 Sep: Censorship through litigation.

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

Despite international conventions and European legislation promoting, and protecting, freedom of expression and of pluralistic media, there are increasing concerns over the use of certain legal instruments to restrict transparency. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are now being routinely used against citizens and public watchdogs to stifle freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, within the European Union. 

The American term ‘SLAPP’ refers to the quashing of criticism and political debate through the manipulation and transformation of a public dispute into a private legal case – where the defendants …

24 Sep: Uncertainty around TRIPS waiver. 

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

With the debacle surrounding the global race for a vaccine against Covid-19, and the greed of wealthy nations to have it first, the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, especially relating to health, essential medicines and pharmaceuticals, should be top of the health agenda, and with a caveat, “to be addressed urgently”. Sadly, this is not the case, even in the multilateral fora. 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), is supposed to cover not only intellectual property rights, but also the rights of …

23 Sep: European Parliament solidarity with Taiwan. 

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

The European Parliament committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) has issued a report making recommendations to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation. The strong words contained within the report are unlikely to be appreciated by the Chinese Embassy in Brussels, nor by Beijing. 

The report states that “The EU and Taiwan are like-minded partners that share common values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”, and goes on to highlight that, …

22 Sep: Climate diplomacy

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

The geopolitical consequences of the current and future climate crisis are substantial on each and every nation. Many countries have now chosen to reflect their climate policy actions within their foreign policy agendas. This inclusion of climate policy within foreign policy is known as climate diplomacy. With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP26, just around the corner, can the European Union influence climate discussions in a world where climate change is an emergency, but where geopolitics and diplomacy seems to influence most negotiations?

The EU has …

21 Sep: EU Priorities – How are they progressing?

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and her College of Commissioners established six key priorities at the start of their mandate in December 2019. These were the European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age, an economy that works for people, a stronger Europe in the world, promoting the European way of life, and a new push for European democracy. Collectively, under these priorities, the EU Commission set almost 400 new initiatives. By July 2021, just over half of them were in the legislative process. …