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...
FleishmanHillard Brussels launches FH2050 climate and sustainability practice
June 30, 2020
With the launch of its FH2050 climate and sustainability practice, FleishmanHillard Brussels strengthens its offer in the sustainability space. This will help organisations navigate, communicate and engage with the green recovery. Climate change and sustainability have long been significant drivers of European public policy. Now for the first time, the Sustainable Development Goals are mainstreamed into EU policies and initiatives. The COVID-19 crisis has only served to catalyse Europe’s ambition, and focus minds on the...
Launching FH Brussels’ Recovery and Resurgence COVID-19 Practice
June 3, 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flLZfiYRZcw The impact of the COVID-19 crisis across Europe is unprecedented. Economies have come to a stand still, many businesses have seen a massive reduction in their operations, and the impact on lives and livelihood is profound. When it comes to public affairs, there is certainly no ‘business as usual’. As we start to exit this crisis, we will find ourselves returning to a new norm – both the political and policy landscape have changed...
What are Sweden’s priorities on chemicals in context of the European Green Deal?
May 13, 2020
Sweden is a key Member State when it comes to shaping EU environmental and chemicals policy. The annual report on Sweden’s progress on its environment objectives gives some clues about what the country’s priorities might be at the EU level. On chemicals, the main headline is that: “Sweden will not meet its non-toxic environment target by 2030”. Despite not keeping to the initial timeline, Sweden is continuing to work towards non-toxic products, for instance by...
An even Greater Trade Collapse? How COVID-19 is changing global supply chains
April 30, 2020
With global economic output projected to decline by 3 percent in 2020 (and over 6 percent in advanced economies) according to the IMF, we are looking at a downright plummeting of global trade volume in 2020: between 13 and 32 per cent, according to the World Trade Organization. It is worth comparing this situation with the 2008-2009 financial crisis, among trade economists known as the Great Trade Collapse. Trade volume fell by 15%, around four...
A long-term green recovery for Europe and the World?
April 24, 2020
Europe and the World are in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. Nothing since the end of the Second World War compares to what we are living today. On 20 April, for the first time in history the WTI oil index went negative. Brent was still around $20, so no drama, but still! We'll continue to monitor the situation so stay tuned for more on this space. The point is that we do not know...
European Green Deal: Anticipating the two years ahead
December 13, 2019
It is not exaggeration to suggest that the Green Deal is the farthest reaching environmental policy initiative ever undertaken by the European Commission. The integration of sustainability into every pillar of the EU’s activities, from industrial strategy to development aid, is what many have advocated for years. The question now is whether the Commission can follow through on its ambitious work programme, and how well will its unified vision survive the inevitable bruises of co-decision...
What are the priorities of the new European Commission?
December 4, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdsZV3YESZ8 Today, Ursula von der Leyen chaired the first meeting of the new College of Commissioners. Her team of 26 new Executive Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners are ready to deliver on her promises for a Union that strives for more. Her first few days in office are already marked by strong European ambitions on climate policy. Von der Leyen’s first trip as Commission President was to the COP25 meeting in Madrid on Monday. Her first...
Circular Economy to Dominate the Agenda for the Next Five Years
October 24, 2019
Newly-elected Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed to promoting a circular economy in her agenda for Europe, stating that the main priority area is high-impact sectors such as the textiles and construction industries. For some, the announcement seems standardised and vague, perhaps even just a precaution to ensure her confirmation as European Commission President. In reality, the statement is significant when combined with the fact that circular economy proponent, Frans Timmermans, is likely...
‘Big Phil’ Is Back – What to Expect from the Hearing of the Incoming Trade Commissioner
September 26, 2019
https://vimeo.com/362508662 While most of the legislative machinery in Brussels slowly ground to a halt after the European Parliament elections in May this year, trade has continued at an unabated, albeit rocky pace. Phil Hogan is a returning member of the College that served as the Agriculture Commissioner under Jean-Claude Juncker. Having previously seen off hardened negotiators from Japan and Mercosur to strike trade agreements of unprecedented magnitude, how will he hold up during his hearing...