Energising Europe’s future
November 27, 2014
Juncker's strategy could kick start some badly needed investment in Europe's energy infrastructure On Wednesday Commission President Juncker announced his long-awaited investment strategy, a plan which aims to give Europe’s economy a much needed shot in the arm as the bloc continues to stagnate. Formally called the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the mechanisms of the fund are based on leveraging an initial €21bn into an eventual €315bn of investments in both long term...
Is the Brussels bubble embracing the new media landscape?
November 17, 2014
Update: see my note at the end about Politico's entrance onto the Brussels scene with its acquisition of European Voice Seasoned EU public affairs practitioners are no strangers to the idea of leveraging media to deliver key messages on a given topic. But the Brussels and wider European media landscapes have undergone monumental shifts—is the EU policy community shifting with them? Paid and earned media are well-understood concepts and Brussels is well on board the...
Size Does Matter
November 13, 2014
In between the chaotic mid-week politics, and changing of the guard in the Commission, over the eerie quiet of a weekend in a Brussels emptied of its lawmakers, regulators and lobbyists, an equally quiet revolution took place. On 1st November, in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, new Council voting rules were introduced to keep the ever-expanding complexity of Council of the EU meetings under control. Amidst all the institutional changes that this year has seen...
The G20 shifts gears in 2014
November 13, 2014
As heads of state and government from major economies gather in Brisbane this weekend for the 2014 G20 Leaders’ Summit, the challenging economic environment they face has prompted them to adopt a new agenda focused on growth and infrastructure investment. This shift follows five years of unprecedented financial regulatory reform led by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which will now begin to focus more on the consistent implementation of international standards in national jurisdictions along...
Council voting rules have changed
November 12, 2014
In the midst of Commission changeover it has been little discussed that Member States voting rules have changed since 1 November 2014. The new voting requirements, set down in the Lisbon Treaty, will end the current weighted-voting system, put more emphasis on population sizes and therefore change the relative distribution of powers amongst Member States. FleishmanHillard’s Institutional Research Unit has assessed these changes and their impact on future Council political dynamics in a document that...
Five things I learned in Strasbourg last week
October 29, 2014
There was a certain irony in being asked by the British Chamber to open their New Generation visit to France’s Death Star inspired version of the European Parliament building by talking about why going down to Strasbourg is important. The irony being that most of us seek to avoid going there if we can help it and I am no exception. I even started a short lived Facebook group called “I’ve been to Strasbourg once...
2030 Climate and Energy Framework: FH Analysis
October 27, 2014
Last week, on 24 October the European Council reached an agreement on the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Conclusions are of key importance as they will provide a framework for EU and Climate policy for the next 16 years up to 2030. The Conclusions also set the agenda for the next European Commission as several legislative procedures will follow as a result of the agreement. In this document FH gives its analysis on the main outcomes...
The Implications of the October European Council – What’s Next on Climate and Energy?
October 22, 2014
INVITATION | 5 November 2014: - On 22-23 October the European Council is to reach an important deal on 2030 Climate and Energy Package which will define the future of the EU energy and climate policy. In the immediate aftermath of the European Council, we will provide insights on the negotiations and on the political and legislative steps that will follow in the European Parliament. The breakfast will take place on Wednesday 5 November between 8.00...
Five things we learned about the new Environment Committee
October 7, 2014
Brussels doesn’t do political theatre like Westminster or Congress, so it’s unsurprising that there’s a slight fixation at present on the EP’s grilling of Commissioner-designates. One journalist may have described it as the equivalent of being mauled by a bunch of poodles, but those damn animals have drawn blood in the past and they are looking likely to do so again. However, there’s been some real work going on at the same time in some of the...
The Global Financial Reform Agenda – The Birthday Edition
September 25, 2014
The global reform agenda is many things… Important? Yes. Ambitious? You bet. Enormously complex? That too. But more important than all those, it is celebrating its birthday today! And it’s a big one. Five! The world’s big push to stabilize the financial system after the global financial crisis turns five today. Half a decade ago, on September 25th 2009, world leaders gathered in Pittsburgh for a G20 Summit not one year removed from the collapse...