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Brexit: The EU-UK trade deal [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-01-2021

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a last-minute deal on trade and other issues on 24 December 2020, thereby avoiding major disruption from 1 January 2021, the date on which the transition period ended. However, many politicians and experts have noted that the agreement does not cover all areas of potential partnership, as well as leaving some issues ambiguous, so there is much potential for complex further negotiations in the future. In practice, the EU-UK trading relationship has ...

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a last-minute deal on trade and other issues on 24 December 2020, thereby avoiding major disruption from 1 January 2021, the date on which the transition period ended. However, many politicians and experts have noted that the agreement does not cover all areas of potential partnership, as well as leaving some issues ambiguous, so there is much potential for complex further negotiations in the future. In practice, the EU-UK trading relationship has been further complicated, at least in the short term, by the effects of the coronavirus crisis and a recent upsurge in infections in the United Kingdom. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on Brexit and related issues. More studies on the topic can be found in a previous item from this series, published in September 2020.

Climate action: The way ahead [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-12-2020

In a passionate speech delivered recently at Columbia University in New York, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, described the fight against climate change as the top priority for the 21st century. Furthermore, the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States raises hopes that climate action will now be more coordinated and ambitious. Meanwhile, the European Union is determined to push ahead with its Green Deal in a package of measures that aims to radically cut emissions ...

In a passionate speech delivered recently at Columbia University in New York, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, described the fight against climate change as the top priority for the 21st century. Furthermore, the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States raises hopes that climate action will now be more coordinated and ambitious. Meanwhile, the European Union is determined to push ahead with its Green Deal in a package of measures that aims to radically cut emissions of greenhouse gases while creating jobs in clean industries. The main objectives of the European Green Deal are for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050, to radically reduce other types of pollution, help European companies become world leaders in green products, and offer aid to regions affected by this economic transition. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the Green Deal and climate issues. More studies on the topics can be found in a previous item from these series, published in March 2020.

Coronavirus: The battle continues [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-12-2020

As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be peaking in Europe, governments and citizens are buoyed by the successful human trials of several vaccines which their producers hope to be able to distribute widely over the coming months. There is growing expectation that, as these vaccines start to become available to the general public in coming months, daily life may gradually return to normal, or at least to a ‘new normal’, during the course of 2021. Meanwhile, many regions of the ...

As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be peaking in Europe, governments and citizens are buoyed by the successful human trials of several vaccines which their producers hope to be able to distribute widely over the coming months. There is growing expectation that, as these vaccines start to become available to the general public in coming months, daily life may gradually return to normal, or at least to a ‘new normal’, during the course of 2021. Meanwhile, many regions of the world continue in some form of lockdown to stave off the second wave. The political debate on health policy is currently focussed not only on priorities for distributing the vaccine in the advanced economies, such as those of the EU, but on how to make it available to poorer countries too, as scientists underline that the virus knows no borders. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic-related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ of 10 November.

Post-Trump: Great expectations of Biden [What Think Tanks are thinking]

30-11-2020

Joseph Biden, who takes office as the next US President on 20 January 2021 has started to announce nominations for key posts in his Administration. Most commentators outside the US, as well as many at home, hope that a Biden presidency will seek to restore a rules-based international order, which has been badly shaken by his predecessor, Donald Trump. Although pundits warn against expecting miracles from the new President in international policy, as the national agenda is likely to be his top priority ...

Joseph Biden, who takes office as the next US President on 20 January 2021 has started to announce nominations for key posts in his Administration. Most commentators outside the US, as well as many at home, hope that a Biden presidency will seek to restore a rules-based international order, which has been badly shaken by his predecessor, Donald Trump. Although pundits warn against expecting miracles from the new President in international policy, as the national agenda is likely to be his top priority initially – notably the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, efforts to restore economic growth and the need to try to heal deep divisions in American society – there are still high hopes that Biden will bring the US back into the international community’s pursuit of peace and security, development goals and fighting climate change. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on issues related to US elections and President Biden’s expected policies in a number of areas.

US Presidential election [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-11-2020

Joseph Biden, a former US Vice-President and long-time Senator with a strong interest in foreign affairs, won the US Presidential election for the Democrats, defeating the incumbent Republican President, Donald Trump. Over the past four years, Trump shook the established rules-based international order, notably by withdrawing US funding from various multilateral organisations and pulling out of various international agreements, by renegotiating trade deals, imposing provocative customs duties, and ...

Joseph Biden, a former US Vice-President and long-time Senator with a strong interest in foreign affairs, won the US Presidential election for the Democrats, defeating the incumbent Republican President, Donald Trump. Over the past four years, Trump shook the established rules-based international order, notably by withdrawing US funding from various multilateral organisations and pulling out of various international agreements, by renegotiating trade deals, imposing provocative customs duties, and progressively reducing America’s foreign military presence. Although Trump has not yet conceded defeat, his allegations of election fraud and related attempts at litigation are widely seen as frivolous. Once Biden becomes President, the US is expected to seek to strengthen the transatlantic alliance and revive the multilateral system, without necessarily being able to pursue any significant liberalisation of trade, given domestic political pressures and the ambiguous situation in the US Congress. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on issues related to US elections and President Biden’s expected policies in a number of areas.

Coronavirus: Europe confronts the second wave [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-11-2020

As the United States has been choosing its President, an explosion of cases in a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many governments in Europe to reintroduce strict confinement measures, including new lockdowns, curfews, bans on meetings and the closure of many businesses, notably in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The moves are meant to act as a firebreak on the exponential growth in Covid-19 infections and prevent health sectors in many countries from becoming overloaded. Whatever ...

As the United States has been choosing its President, an explosion of cases in a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many governments in Europe to reintroduce strict confinement measures, including new lockdowns, curfews, bans on meetings and the closure of many businesses, notably in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The moves are meant to act as a firebreak on the exponential growth in Covid-19 infections and prevent health sectors in many countries from becoming overloaded. Whatever happens next, economies will contract this year in the great majority of countries around the world, even if in varying degrees, with significant social and political implications. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ of 23 October.

EU foreign, security and defence policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

27-10-2020

The European Union faces multifaceted foreign security and defence policy challenges. First and foremost, it awaits the outcome of the US Presidential election, which is set to determine in significant part global economic and political developments in the short to medium term. The Union also faces a tough choice about how to treat China: more as a rival or as a partner, and in which areas? An increasingly assertive Russia represents yet another challenge. The EU’s stance on climate, migration, Africa ...

The European Union faces multifaceted foreign security and defence policy challenges. First and foremost, it awaits the outcome of the US Presidential election, which is set to determine in significant part global economic and political developments in the short to medium term. The Union also faces a tough choice about how to treat China: more as a rival or as a partner, and in which areas? An increasingly assertive Russia represents yet another challenge. The EU’s stance on climate, migration, Africa, terrorism and developments in its near neighbourhood add to this complex scene. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on EU foreign, security and defence policies.

Coronavirus: The second wave [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-10-2020

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping ...

A resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections since the summer has evidently turned into a second wave of the pandemic, which has now hit many European Union countries. The pandemic is putting renewed pressure on European health systems, and authorities are introducing stringent but targeted preventive measures in a bid to cushion the negative economic impacts while preserving people's health and ensuring hospitals are not once again overwhelmed. An increasing number of EU countries are clamping down on travel and imposing strict social distancing measures, such as night-time curfews in major cities and limits on social contacts, although most schools and businesses remain open throughout Europe. The International Monetary Fund said in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) that global growth in 2020 is projected at -4.4 per cent owing to the pandemic, a less severe contraction than forecast in the June 2020 WEO. The revision reflects better than anticipated second quarter GDP outturns – mostly in advanced economies, where activity bounced back sooner than expected following the scaling back of national lockdowns in May and June – as well as indications of a stronger recovery in the third quarter. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' of 25 September.

Trump or Biden: Where next for US foreign and defence policy? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-10-2020

The United States is heading for a presidential election on Tuesday 3. November that will pit incumbent Republican candidate, Donald Trump, against the former Democrat Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden. Many analysts and politicians say that this contest may well be one of the most important since the end of World War II, as it will offer a stark choice between two entirely different paths for US foreign and defence policy. During his four years in office, analysts stress how President Trump, ...

The United States is heading for a presidential election on Tuesday 3. November that will pit incumbent Republican candidate, Donald Trump, against the former Democrat Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden. Many analysts and politicians say that this contest may well be one of the most important since the end of World War II, as it will offer a stark choice between two entirely different paths for US foreign and defence policy. During his four years in office, analysts stress how President Trump, whose decisions were often unpredictable, has reversed many aspects of traditional US foreign and defence policy, which had previously been based on a respect for international institutions and a strong Transatlantic alliance. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the US electoral campaign and the legacy of President Trump.

China: From partner to rival [What Think Tanks are thinking]

02-10-2020

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European ...

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European External Action Service’s background paper says. Formally, the EU and China have been strategic partners since 2003 – a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. However, more recently, EU officials and politicians have been expressing increasing concerns over China’s economic expansionism and human rights violations. The current coronavirus pandemic and developments in Hong Kong have had a marked negative impact on EU-China relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues.

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