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  • When institutions collide: how conflicting narratives have impacted Italy’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts

    April 15, 2021

    Words by Anna Vuillerod  When institutions collide: how conflicting narratives have impacted Italy's COVID-19 vaccination efforts  While Italy was the first and most severely hit country in the EU, it is currently among the European country with the highest vaccination rates in the EU. Around 16% of the population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. While a successful vaccination campaign is underway, Italy is also known for being one of the most vaccine-skeptical country in Europe.   Indeed, one of its ruling parties has been spreading an anti-vax narrative since the years of Beppe Grillo beginning in 1998. Vaccine skepticism is not just...

  • Regulatory Scrutiny Board raises Better Regulation concerns: impact assessments decreased in quality and became more political in 2020

    April 13, 2021

    The quality of the European Commission's impact assessments decreased in 2020. The initial rejection rate was 46 %. That's the conclusion by the EU’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB) in its annual report. The RSB is the College of Commissioners’ independent in-house advisory body on quality of impact assessments and evaluations before proposals go out the door. The RSB’s stats on the quality of impact assessments in 2020 are very clear: (Source: Regulatory Scrutiny Board) Why...

  • Why are the French the most skeptical about COVID-19 vaccines in the EU?

    April 7, 2021

    Words by Anaïs Ronchin France became the birthplace of modern immunology when Louis Pasteur created a vaccine for rabies in the 1880s. This vaccine proved to be so effective that people bitten by rabid animals came from all over France and even from abroad to be vaccinated at his research facility in Paris, which would be transformed into a vaccination clinic and teaching center for this new field of science. However, despite this rich scientific history, contemporary France is experiencing the lowest levels of...

  • Vaccine hesitancy and conspiracy mentalities in German: a deadly duo?­­

    April 1, 2021

    Words by Fabianne Bamberger As we find ourselves at the one-year anniversary of the most severe health emergency of the modern era, we are still confronted with high infection levels and death rates overburdening our healthcare systems and economies. Vaccines offer a glimpse of light at the end of the long tunnel but rising anti-vaccine sentiments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic give cause for concern. This threat is particularly evident in one of...

  • Regional approaches and shared competences, the kryptonite for anti-vaxxers in Spain?

    March 30, 2021

    Words by Enrique Marcos Collado Vaccine trends in all EU countries are not entirely discouraging, offering some hope that summer holidays in a preferred destination for many European may be possible yet. In Spain, the number of individuals who say they would not take the vaccine immediately fell from 47% in November to 28% in late December, according to a barometer conducted by the Sociological Research Centre (CIS). As vaccination efforts have launched around the...

  • What’s driving vaccine hesitancy and what can we do about it?

    March 24, 2021

    We explore trends and our own recent survey data to see where EU markets differ and converge on their trust of vaccine information It’s been over a year since COVID-19 became a health crisis with global proportions. Bringing our societies and economies to a screeching halt, the crisis demonstrated just how much our systems depend on public health. As we attempted adaptation to daily life in a global pandemic, all eyes turned to the scientists...

  • Vaccine information: many Europeans trust local doctors over national governments

    March 24, 2021

    Measuring vaccine confidence in Europe: Exclusive FleishmanHillard research reveals trends in four European markets As vaccination plans are being rolled out across the European Union, it’s important to understand what sources of vaccine information Europeans trust when it comes to COVID-19. To understand the trends in misinformation and identify opportunities to deliver science-based vaccine information, FleishmanHillard Brussels partnered with our in-house research and measurement group, TRUE Global Intelligence, to conduct a survey in four key...

  • Why now is the time to overcommunicate

    March 1, 2021

    It was June 2016. I was sitting in a room in Brussels and I was listening to a communications professional talk about his organisation’s target audience. That was the first time I heard the term ‘Brussels Bubble’. I soon discovered it was a term used to refer to all professionals employed directly or indirectly by the business of running the European Union in Brussels, and thus a select group of 40,000 very influential decision makers...

  • The EU’s Digital Services Package: An Attempt to Reshape the Digital Platform Economy

    February 16, 2021

    After several years of intense debates, the European Commission recently released its legislative overhaul of the EU digital rulebook. This includes the two flagship initiatives on content moderation and competition in the digital economy. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) will have far-reaching consequences on digital markets and online platforms. The question remains how far. The EU’s approach includes some of the most stringent legislative changes ever seen since the adoption...

  • 2021 – the year of the vaccine

    January 12, 2021

    New Year’s Eve, 2020 marked a full-year since the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported to the World Health Organisation China Office. What unfolded next shocked the world to its core as our global economy was brought to its knees and human resilience was pushed to its limits. Within the first three months of 2020, over 100 countries worldwide had instituted restrictions in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, affecting the majority...