Introducing: Mette Analysis | September 2020
September 4, 2020
A warm welcome to the inaugural Mette Analysis. As European policymakers return from the summer break, our General Manager, Mette Grolleman, looks ahead at the challenges which the EU faces for the remainder of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. The resignation of the Irish European commissioner Phil Hogan ,also know as 'Big Phil', may have a significant impact on the way the EU conducts negotiations in the future. Furthermore, there are concerns regarding the...
#RightByHer Campaign: Supporting Women’s Rights in Africa
August 18, 2020
Earlier this year, the German NGO Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) approached our Brussels office for a new video project. After the #TrumpetHealth video campaign, they wanted us to help raise awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues for women in Africa. In other words, DSW wanted to convince EU legislators to insist on strong SRHR language and provisions in the EU-Africa partnership that we expect to see renewed and strengthened later this...
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...
How the US oil price fell below zero – and what this means for the industry
May 7, 2020
On Monday April 21st, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US crude oil benchmark, traded for the first time in history at -$40 per barrel. This all-time low raised the eyebrows of many observers and begs the question of how we arrived at such an unprecedented scenario. Furthermore, we have to ask how this will impact the green agenda. Looking more closely at the causes of the WTI crash, we can identify at least three...
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...
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...