ISSUE 4/2021 / YEAR 24th - PRICE 5,00 € / $6,00
GERMANY’S NEW GOVERNMENT UPENDS THE STATUS QUO OPINION NATO MUST ADAPT TO AN ERA OF HYBRID THREATS EU AFFAIRS THE EU AND WESTERN BALKANS: A FRIENDSHIP THROUGH THICK AND THIN
ANNALENA BAERBOCK GERMANY'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PANDEMIC CHANGES THE ROLE OF LEADERS
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Konstantinos C. Trikoukis Chairman
Athanase Papandropoulos Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Christos K. Trikoukis
‘China humiliates the EU’
Alarm bells are ringing for US Democrats
18 EU AFFAIRS
European Business Summit 2021
Germany’s New Government Upends the Status Quo
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28 THE WORLD
The EU Should Stand Firm on Turkey
Boosting Transatlantic Technology Cooperation
34 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
EU & International Correspondent
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John R. Deni, Hans I. Kriek, James M. Dorsey, Judy Dempsey, Alesia Alldervishi, Marc Pierini, Robert D. Atkinson, Ashok Krish, Rashmi Bhaskar Mukherjee, James Mahon, Ben M. Bensaou, Jackie Bischof, Dharrnesha Inbah Rajah, Alexandra Papaisidorou, John Daniels, Kayleigh Bateman Correspondents
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by N. Peter Kramer, EU & International Correspondent
‘China humiliates the EU’
s EU member state Lithuania sought to deepen diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Beijing made an example of the Baltic country by flexing its massive trade muscle and stopping imports of Lithuanian goods. China’s embargo is now hitting manufactured goods from other EU countries, such as France, Germany and Sweden, which are dependent on Lithuanian supply chains. A day after Lithuania decided to recall its diplomats from Beijing, the 27 EU leaders meeting in Brussels devoted little time to the unprecedented spat. It lays bare how little room for manoeuvre the EU has to take action to defend its political principles. The EU’s solution is to turn to its usual mindset: let the trade department handle it, and see what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can do about it. In either case is there is not much ammunition available. The EU can gather evidence to start a dispute against China at the WTO, but that process take years; and, anyhow, the WTO’s highest court is still paralysed. The dispute is also likely to be appealed. And the EU
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trade department? The usual trade defense instruments such as safeguards or anti-dumping measures do not cover the grey economic zone in which China is targeting Lithuania. In the meantime two German car factories based in China had parts stopped at Chinese ports in recent days because they were manufactured in Lithuania. French and Swedish firms are also reportedly facing similar problems because Lithuanian products form part of their supply chain. Beijing is still officially denying knowledge of the situation and has not publicly acknowledged any ban on Lithuanian products. However, Chinese state media are warning that Chinese businesses will stop trading with countries which do not respect Chinese sovereignty , a barely veiled reference to Lithuania’s deepening ties with Taiwan. ‘China humiliates the EU’, an EU diplomat said. It looks like the world’s biggest trade bloc, as the EU loves to call itself, is not more than a lame duck…
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NATO Must Adapt to an Era of Hybrid Threats NATO struggles to respond to events falling in between the seams of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. Allies should use the 2022 Strategic Concept to map out how they will deal with Russian and Chinese hybrid warfare by John R. Deni*
s the foreign ministers of the NATO allies met this week in Riga, Latvia, they did so against the backdrop of an increasingly tense geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe. Large numbers of Russian forces remain deployed not far from Ukraine’s borders, postured for offensive military action. And Minsk announced on November 29 that it was prepared to conduct large-scale exercises with Russia near Ukraine’s border.
Russia. A reinvigorated NATO defense planning process has improved allied capabilities, readiness initiatives have shortened alliance response times, and allies have re-embraced territorial defense. It is likely that a Russian military assault against Estonia or Lithuania, for instance, would result in a strong, unified response that would ultimately defeat and expel the invading force.
Although Ukraine is not a NATO ally—and therefore not covered by the alliance’s mutual defense clause—another Russian invasion there would greatly destabilize Central and Eastern Europe. NATO allies Poland, Romania, and the Baltic States would all perceive a renewed existential threat. They would very likely call for NATO to respond with efforts to bolster the alliance’s eastern flank.
Putin most likely knows this. And so, unsurprisingly, he has focused Russian efforts with regard to the West in the hybrid realm, engaging in information operations, cyber attacks, and political manipulation, for example. Here, the alliance struggles to operate and respond to events that fall in between the seams of its three-part strategic construct of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security.
To its credit, NATO has done much over the last several years to prepare for and deter a traditional attack from
Collective defense is at the heart of NATO—it’s embodied in the Article 5 mutual defense clause of the alliance’s
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founding treaty and in the military forces of its thirty member nations. Crisis management sometimes relies on those same military forces—for example, in peace support operations in Kosovo—as well as the alliance’s politico-diplomatic toolkit. NATO’s intent here is to address events before they manifest into full-blown conflicts and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict environments. Cooperative security is largely conducted during peacetime, entailing the use of security partnerships and training and education activities. This three-part construct has been the alliance’s focus since the end of the Cold War thirty years ago. Unfortunately, it is outmoded for the twenty-first century, one in which the alliance’s primary state adversaries—primarily Russia but also China—employ hybrid tactics iteratively across multiple domains. Those tactics and their resulting effects fall in between the bounds of conflict, crisis, and peace that NATO is best suited to handle, at least for now. This raises the fundamental questions of whether and how the alliance can adapt to the new security environment. It’s an especially appropriate time to examine these questions, given the unfolding work on the alliance’s next strategic concept, due out in 2022. It’s conceivable that NATO is simply not the answer. Its nature as an intergovernmental organization of sovereign countries and its character as a defensively oriented alliance mean that it may not be suited for proactive, continuous cyber operations, for example. If NATO is the answer or at least part of it, the allies need to use the 2022 Strategic Concept and subordinate documents to develop a new plan and operational concepts for how it will confront adversaries in between conflict, crisis, and peace. To give credit where it is due, the alliance has made significant progress along these lines since 2014, in terms of identifying hybrid threats and challenges as well as in countering hybrid activity in the information and cyber realms. Yet given ongoing and evolving Russian and Chinese actions, more remains to be done to fully safeguard Western security and reestablish deterrence. Some have argued the alliance needs to pursue a “Comprehensive Approach” to addressing hybrid tactics, utilizing its existing convening authority, partnerships, and other
tools to craft multilateral approaches toward the non-military aspects of hybrid conflict. Others have suggested the alliance should build closer partnerships with the private sector, overcome reluctance to conduct offensive actions below the threshold of war, and devote more resources to aggressively identifying and attributing emerging hybrid threats. At a minimum, the alliance will need to use the 2022 Strategic Concept to clearly conceptualize and frame its role in dealing with Russian and Chinese actions that fall between conflict, crisis, and peace. It’s possible the addition of a fourth core task—beyond the three outlined earlier— could achieve this objective. However, given the reluctance among some European allies to have NATO step on the EU’s toes, a more politically acceptable outcome may be to reconceptualize, broaden, and deepen the collective defense task. To some degree, the alliance has been leaning in this direction. For example, NATO declared cyber attacks could trigger an Article 5 collective defense response. But if the alliance pursues this option, it must more actively craft campaign plans and operational concepts for hybrid activities, empower coalitions of willing allies to take covert hybrid actions on behalf of all, and incentivize more of its member nations to acquire the advanced capabilities necessary for hybrid activity. Otherwise, NATO will remain outmoded and outmaneuvered when it comes to Russian and Chinese hybrid warfare.
*John R. Deni research professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council
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Alarm bells are ringing for US Democrats President Biden’s approval ratings when it comes to both the economy and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a big hit in a new poll. His ratings keep sinking to 37% in the latest poll. Biden’s overall approval remained at the low level of 41 percent in CNBC’S latest quarterly All-America Economy survey. by Hans I. Kriek* 10 | EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW
pproval of the White House response to the pandemic dropped to 46 percent compared to 48 percent disapproval — putting the president ‘underwater’ in that category for the first time. The approval rating for Biden’s handling of the economy sank to 37 percent compared to 56 percent disapproval. The poll of 800 Americans nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. “The COVID [approval] number is actually I think the more important one,” Micah Roberts, partner at Public Opinion Strategies, the Republican pollster for the survey, told CNBC. “As goes COVID, so goes the Biden presidency, and that’s really proving to be quite true.” The poll found that some 41 percent of Americans believe the economy will get worse in the next year, up slightly from the prior quarter’s survey but still a pessimistic reading. If Joe Biden thought passing his trillion-dollar boondoggle would help with his polling plunge, the politically left Washington Post has some bad news. His approval rating among registered voters has plummeted to just 38 percent and 57 percent disapprove, according to a Democratic leaning pollster. Among adults, an area where Democrats normally score better, Biden gets 41 percent approve and 53 percent disapprove. Currently, in the RealClearPolitics poll of polls, Biden’s job approval average has hit a record low of just 42 percent. His average disapproval rating has also hit a new record, a high of 52.7 percent. His approval rating is only 35 percent among Independents, while his disapproval rating is 58 percent. Even among Democrats, Biden’s nowhere near where an incumbent president should be, which is in the 90 percent range. Currently, only 80 percent of Democrats approve the job Biden’s doing and only 44 percent strongly approve. Those are bad numbers. Once you are losing your base, it all comes apart. No doubt some Democrats are looking at what Biden has done to the country and are worried. These Democrats are concerned by a record inflation, a crippling spike in energy prices (especially with winter coming), violent crime, millions of unvaccinated illegal aliens being allowed in, our hostages in Afghanistan, and lunatic spending proposals. For the first time, there is an administration that isn’t even pretending to have empathy. The White House let know that exploding energy prices are good for the en-
vironment and devastating supply chain issues as “the tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.” The White House seems thrilled by these crises. When asked which party they prefer to control Congress, 44 percent of Americans said they would prefer Republicans, compared with 34 percent who favour Democrats. That’s up from a 2-point edge Republicans had in the last survey. “If the election were tomorrow, it would be an absolute unmitigated disaster for the Democrats,” Jay Campbell, partner at Hart Research Associates and the Democratic pollster for the survey, told CNBC. *Hans I. Kriek political journalist and author, based in Florida USA
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Can We Pull Back From the Brink? The world is balancing on the edge of an abyss as mushrooming religious and ethnic intolerance becomes the norm by James M. Dorsey*
he world is balancing on the edge of an abyss as mushrooming religious and ethnic intolerance becomes the norm. The writing is on the wall across the globe from the United States and Europe to Afghanistan and China. Western as well as non-Western societies have helped paved the road towards the abyss: the West by abandoning the post-World War Two principle of ‘Never Again’ and the non-Western world by never embracing it and failing to adopt the principle of “forgive but don’t forget.” U.S. AND EUROPE AT ODDS Exasperating matters is the fact that the United States and Europe look at individual crises –rather than a threatening pattern of developments. In doing so, they fail to recognize the structural problems that challenge Western values of democracy, tolerance and pluralism. A RICKETY EDIFICE Citing a litany of crises and tensions in Central and Eastern Europe, Balkan scholar Damir Marusic warns that “the whole edifice feels rickety. It feels like the order we have all taken for granted since the end of the Cold War is badly decaying, and has gotten so fragile that it might well shatter soon…” And he continues:” We notice individual problems, but we don’t see how it adds up, nor how we got here… We are still, in some strange way, operating as if things are more or less fine—yes, adjustments must be made, but our world is durable and sound.” THE LEGACY OF TROUBLED U.S. WARS Mr. Marusic argues that the rot in the system has been exasperated by the troubled US wars in Iraq and Af-
ghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. “As the final collapse of the Afghanistan project earlier this year proved, the whole optimistic premise of nation- and order-building upon which the EU project is ultimately premised was also undermined by America’s failures,” Mr. Marusic said. PEOPLE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE Geopolitical battles are being fought on the backs of innocent and desperate people. They fuel tensions and threaten stability in Central and Eastern Europe and spark humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and Afghanistan. An ethnic and religious divide characterizes the tens of thousands of Middle Eastern migrants ferried by Belarus with Russian support to the Polish border. Ten British soldiers have been dispatched to the border to help Poland with fencing. THE BOSNIA ISSUE RELOADED The exploitation of deep-seated religious and ethnic hostility drove Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik to threaten to withdraw Serb troops from the army of Bosnia Herzegovina and create a separate Serb force. Bosnia Herzegovina was created as a federation at the end of the Bosnian war in the 1990s with Muslim, Serb and Croatian entities that enjoyed autonomy. The federation retained control of the military, top echelons of the judiciary and tax collection. Mr. Dodik has said that the Bosnian Serb parliament would also, in what would amount to de facto secession, establish a separate Serb judiciary, and tax administration. ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-SEMITISM Hindu-Muslims tensions spill across South Asian bor-
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ders. Sunni Muslims persecute their Shiite brethren in Afghanistan, risking clashes between the Taliban and Iran. The Christian minority in the cradle of Abrahamic faiths has been decimated. Men like former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Republican Jews in the United States have joined thinly veiled anti-Semitic attacks on liberal philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros rather than insulate their political and ideological differences with the billionaire from assaults laced with undertones of religious prejudice and racism. REVISITING DREYFUS, SERIOUSLY? Similarly, French presidential contender Eric Zemmour questions the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish army officer whose false conviction for treason sparked bitter controversy in the walk-up to World War One. Mr. Zemmour also rejects the notion that French collaborationist wartime leader Philippe Petain assisted
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in the deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps, asserting instead that Mr. Petain had saved Jews. Finally, China has launched a frontal assault on Turkic ethnic and religious identity in the north-western province of Xinjiang that has gone largely unchallenged in the Muslim world. JUST BLAME SOCIAL MEDIA? At the core of the problem is not so much social media that function as megaphones, aggregators and creators of echo chambers and silos. Rather, it is political, religious, ethnic and cultural leaders who play on base instincts in pursuit of popularity and power. The resulting institutionalization and instrumentalization of religious and ethnic prejudice and intolerance hollow out mutual respect, adherence to human dignity and coexistence.
ANY SOLUTIONS? Long-term, the solution is education systems that stress the importance of humanitarian and moral values as well as religious and ethnic tolerance. These factors must be the guardrails of governance and politics and ensure that ethnic and religious prejudice and racism are socially taboo attitudes. LEARNING FROM INDONESIA This year’s chairmanship by Indonesia of the Group of 20 (G20) that brings together the world’s largest economies has an opportunity to stress humanitarian and democratic values and promote a framework for dialogue. The chairmanship puts Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim civil society organization that emphasizes those values, on global public display. It is poised to play a role in the G20’s inter-faith tack. THE UNITED STATES: AN OMINOUS EXAMPLE Jon Grinspan, a curator of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, argued in a New York Times op-ed entitled “The Last Time America Broke,” that the United States, despite deep-seated polarization that has brought religious and ethnic intolerance to the forefront, had not passed the point of no return. He noted that civil society had repeatedly brought America back from the brink. WE’RE NOT HELPLESS “We’re not just helplessly hurtling toward inevitable civil war; we can be actors in this story. The first step is acknowledging the dangers inherent in democracy. To move forward, we should look backwards and see that we’re struggling not with a collapse but with a relapse,” Mr. Grinspan wrote. It’s a message that is as true for the rest of the world as it is for the United States. *James M. Dorsey senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and an award-winning journalist
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European Business Summit 2021 How Europe is Paving the Way in the Fight Against Climate Change by EBR
he summit opened with Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, who had a lot to say about his time in Glasgow. Audiences had the privilege to listen to Mr. Timmermans’s insights. With regards to COP26, the Executive Vice President stated that “Cop26 was not the success we had hoped for, but it was certainly not a failure. In 2020, only 30% of the world’s economy had declared their net-zero goal. Now it is 90%. That is an advancement. We are speeding up. But I think we can go even faster next year”.. This year marks the 21st edition of the European Business Summit. Before the pandemic, EBS would host grand events, where debates and interviews happened face-toface, and audience members could interact with the panelists. Once the pandemic hit, EBS changed to a hybrid, limiting the number of audiences who could attend in person but allowing the rest to attend virtually. Offering audiences the chance to tune in online was a success; at the 20th edition of the summit, over 6.000 participants connected to get the chance to watch as policymakers and partners discussed serious issues affecting Europe. He highlighted
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the importance to achieving 1.5, which is in reference to the Paris Agreement’s objective to keep the global temperature increase to below 2°C and keep it to 1.5°C. “We cannot stop even one day; we have to continue to work very hard to achieve that 1.5. We need to make sure we have much more money for the developing world. Now that the world is coming out of the Covid crisis, we will see economic activity increase, we will see emissions increase. Mr. Timmermans finished his interview with a quick overview of the Fit for 55 plan. As part of the European Green Deal, the European Union is committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Mr. Timmermans promised spectators that “we will see the first results all through the French presidency next year”. This year, the summit’s premise was, Beyond Recovery: Towards a Sustainable and Innovative Europe. There panels and interviews covered a wide range of timely topics like Cop26, the Green Deal, Clean Energy, and Transatlantic Relationship. EBS received a lot of media attention this year, with moderators from Wall Street Journal, Financial Times,
France 24, Euronews, Bloomberg among others. Additionally, the summit received live coverage by CNBC, who also moderated panels with Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, and the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo. One of the high-profile speakers who was in attendance was Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission. Ms. Simson was in a panel that focused on which energy mix for a successful clean transition. The commissioner discussed the European Green Deal’s net-zero objectives, which aims to make Europe an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “We are moving towards Net Zero By 2050. We achieved the 2020 goal. Now our problem is the dependency on import fossil fuels. We need innovation for this sector”. The Commissioner for Innovation and Youth at the European Commission, Mariya Gabriel, also had a few words to say at the summit. She discussed the need to focus on the next generation of European innovators in order to achieve the green and digital transition through innovation. “It is by joining forces that we can unlock the innovation potential in EU to support the green and digital transition. The main bottlenecks for EU innovation performance are the lack of innovation cohesion, the need to focus on all sources of innovation beyond research, and the lack of finance”. Ms. Gabriel added that the Commission would be launching the European Innovation Council during the EIC Summit (which took place in November). “This new policy forum will discuss with member states about a new way to support innovators as part of this commission work on innovation and on the development of the Pan European innovation ecosystem. To deliver on this innovation ecosystem, we need to overcome different bottlenecks for innovation that continue to hinder Europe’s performance. The main bottlenecks for EU innovation performance are the lack of innovation cohesion, the need to focus on all sources of innovation beyond research, and the lack of finance”. She expressed to audiences there is progress here, and it is “progress to be proud of”. In another interview with Bloomberg, Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, Vice President of the European Commission, gave audiences an insight into Europe’s transatlantic relations. He spoke of NATO, stating that he’s “in favour of NATO, but not only for NATO. I’m also in favour of European forces. If the EU strengthens its defence, it will strengthen NATO, because we are part of NATO.” Mr. Borrell also spoke about responsibility and how uniting
armies would result in financial savings. He believes that “the European’s armies will remain, they are an important part of the Member States’ sovereignty but, in some aspects, it would be good to pull them together. This rationalisation would lead to enormous savings. We should talk about responsibility rather than autonomy. We’re not seeking to be autonomous from someone or something in particular, we want to be able to be responsible for ourselves.” Audience members were also given access to watch an interview with Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo. Mr. De Croo spoke with Silvia Amaro, from CNBC. During his exclusive interview, he discussed how Covid-19 has affected Belgium and what they are trying to do to slow it down. “We are not fighting Covid-19; we are fighting Covid-21. What I want to say with that is that it is not the same variant anymore, this is a new mutation”. Discussions were had on how “life continues but we’ll have to be a bit more prudent to make sure that our healthcare system can remain stable”. The Prime Minister also stressed that, regardless of any new regulations, the vaccine would remain a personal choice. “A wise choice but still a choice and not an obligation” he told CNBC. Mr. de Croo also discussed the events of Cop26. “At COP 26, the ambition of the Paris Agreement has been confirmed and there was an acceleration to achieve the 1.5 goal. The EU plays an important role in this, and it will be a test market for new technologies. We have to be very clear on our market power”. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, made an online appearance at the summit. His speech focused on the European Union’s recovery strategy following the pandemic through a business and investment perspective. Mr. Dombrovskis stated that “the Coronavirus pandemic has inflicted every large shock on global and EU economies, with severe consequences for people and businesses everywhere”. He also noted that the EU’s reaction was “quick, strong, and coordinated”. Dombrovskis believes that the new normal is one where the EU “protects the economy and people’s livelihoods” even more and offers the chance for businesses to “innovate, to lead in new cutting-edge technologies”. The public debates at the 21st edition of the European Business Summit kept a positive tone. Those who attended on and offline are now part of a small group who had the chance to listen to first-hand accounts from policymakers who recently came back from Glasgow with fresh perspectives on how Europe will fight against climate change.
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Germany’s New Government Upends the Status Quo A new coalition in Germany has ambitious plans to modernize a country that slipped into complacency and risk aversion. Its newfound energy could give the EU a much-needed impulse by Judy Dempsey*
kind of ritual takes place after every German federal election. The biggest parties huddle together for several weeks to thrash out a coalition agreement. Leaks are few. Speculation is rife. The talks were wrapped up successfully on November 24, 2021. Olaf Scholz steps into the chancellery, ending Angela Merkel’s sixteen years at the helm. German analysts warn that the coalition agreement is more for domestic consumption. The parties concerned have to get the final say from their members or at special conferences so as to receive the ultimate mandate to govern. It’s not entirely true that a coalition agreement is just for the supporters. And particularly not now, when a new coalition—and the first of its kind—led by the Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens is saddled with changing the status quo. Under Merkel, the status quo shunned modernizing the German economy, society, migration procedures, digitization, not to mention the functioning of the EU. This is why what happens in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and one of the world’s leading exporters, matters beyond its borders. Its views on security, values, migration, and climate change can have a profound influence—positive or negative—on Germans themselves but also on Berlin’s allies. In this context, the whopping 177-page coalition agreement is not about ticking off the boxes about Germany’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and NATO,
or strengthening the EU, or supporting the multilateral order. It is something deeper and more complex. The traffic light coalition (named after the colours of the three parties) is about modernizing the country in a way that will upend the status quo, said Christian Lindner, Free Democrat leader and finance minister-designate. On security and foreign policy, there’s quite a lot on arms control that includes the nuclear disarmament of short and medium-range systems. This is not only aimed at the pacifist—if not anti-NATO—factions among the Social Democrats and the Greens. It is also about recognizing the need to revive arms control talks and this cannot be done without bringing in China. Furthermore, the coalition text doesn’t shy away from the commitment to nuclear sharing and deterrence— one of the bedrocks of NATO security for European allies. These security considerations feed into foreign policy. With the Greens’ co-leader Annalena Baerbock becoming the country’s first female foreign minister, the status quo in this regard is bound to change. In the ebbing days of the Merkel coalition, Merkel’s interest and commitment to human rights and values waned. Interests often took precedence. Baerbock has no illusions about China, Beijing’s clampdown in Hong Kong, or Russia’s unremitting pressure on civil society activists and organizations, with the closing of Memorial the latest development. Nor have the Greens illusions about how Russia uses its energy
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as a geopolitical weapon to divide Europe and increase its dependence on Russian gas. The Greens are still against the highly controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline through which Russia will send more gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is all but completed. But a final legal hurdle by the German energy regulators and renewed pressure from the United States means that Russian President Vladimir Putin now has to deal with the Greens even though incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz is pro-Nord Stream 2 and, well, not a firm Russian critic.
mission ... to use the existing rule-of-law instruments more consistently and in a timely manner.” Berlin will sign off payment of these funds to those countries “if preconditions such as an independent judiciary are secured.” As for climate change, the coalition contract is radical. Coal will be phased out by 2030. The expansion of renewable energy will be speeded up so that the share of renewable energies in electricity will be 80 percent by 2030. Among other measures, freight trains and electric cars will be increased.
This element of foreign policy links to human rights and climate change. Both matter hugely to the Greens but also to the other coalition partners.
Digitization, an issue that Merkel talked a lot about but did very little, is another major plank of the coalition. The agreement refers to a “comprehensive digital awakening” for people’s “prosperity, freedom, social participation and sustainability.”
With the EU’s COVID-19 recovery fund slowly being disbursed, the coalition agreement makes the rule of law an issue. With an implicit reference to Poland and Hungary, the text states: “We urge the European Com-
In his deadpan manner, Scholz said: “We are expanding the digital infrastructure so that there is fast internet and reliable cell phone reception everywhere.” And state and local services will go digital. Finally!
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The coalition agreement includes quite a lot on how to make the EU more accountable and more efficient, which will be welcomed in Paris. The text refers to developing a “federal European state,” more qualified majority voting at the expense of unanimity (which often paralyses decisionmaking and waters down statements), and transnational candidates for some of the top EU posts. The coalition is well aware of how difficult it’s going to be to give a new impulse to Europe. It starts at home by considering a points-based immigration system and introducing dual citizenship, with immigrants able to apply for citizenship after five years. The voting age has been reduced from eighteen to sixteen. These social measures are long overdue and are about changing the status quo. If the coalition sticks together and communicates its policies, Germany’s newfound energy might be contagious. But as Scholz said, the first challenge is ending the contagion of coronavirus.
*Judy Dempsey nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and editor in chief of Strategic Europe
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The EU and Western Balkans: a friendship through thick and thin Over half (57.4%) of young people in Western Balkan countries support EU accession, according to the recently published UNICEF U-Report, but only 9.4% think that their country will join the EU within the next five years by Alesia Alldervishi*
t’s time to shift our narrative and approach to the Balkans. It’s always been about joining the EU, but the process drags on, frustrations grow and steps falter. Perhaps it’s time that both sides focused on strengthening and developing the Balkan region and closing the gap to the EU by taking a new people-centred approach to the Balkans. Robust democracy, stable economy and social evolution should be goals in themselves. It’s time to recalibrate the talking points. A greater focus on inclusion and amplifying the voices of women, young people and alternative leadership in the region is one clear path forward, and so we turn to one of the youth delegates of our annual Balkans Sum-
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mit for her insights on the region’s future. Western Balkan countries have faced complicated disputes throughout history but always shared one common aim: becoming member states of the European Union, a supranational organisation characterised by dynamism. This goal is not only shared among countries in the Western Balkans, but the EU as well. The EU is the region’s largest funding partner, with the aim of improving monitoring mechanisms and guiding the EU accession process. This relationship is one based on shared principles, collaboration, and above all, the rule of law.
Now is the time for more concrete steps in the EU accession process, with a greater focus on labour migration, career opportunities, social policy and education for young generations. Articles 3, 4 and 6 of the Treaty of Functioning of the European Union do not mention these areas as exclusive or shared competences of the EU. As interpreted by the European Court of Justice, unwritten competences fall under the purview of member states and a binding common policy or regulation is not possible. However, nonbinding recommendations are a legal tool that can be used by the EU when member states have exclusive competences. The ability to nudge states to take certain actions into account could be used when it comes to EU integration. Moreover, Western Balkan countries need to continue to show their commitment to the accession process and must prove that they can work and grow with each other. The Open Balkan initiative is a big step forward in proving that the region can create and operate within a customs union, which is one of the most fundamental principles of the EU. Another step to move Balkan countries closer to the EU would be creating an institution, based on competition and merit, that will have certain exclusive and shared
competences. Under the guidance and supervision of such an institution, the Open Balkan initiative could go even further and create an internal market. This will build trust among the younger generation that everyone will have access to opportunities. The young generation is the engine of every country, and their trust is crucial for any political representative. Yet, 24.4% think that their country will never get into the EU, and 60.5% strongly disagree that political representatives heard their voice, according to 2021 data collected by UNICEF’s U-Report. These two statistics show the immediate need for Western Balkan countries and their governments to recognise the youth perspective and reconsider how the youth is involved in decision-making processes. Loyalty, trust and commitment to change are key attributes of the Western Balkans but must be enhanced in order to make integration into the European Union not just a wished dream but a living reality. For the EU, it should remember its origin as a peace project bound by the values of human and universal rights underscored by a common economic area. Its enlargement is too often mired in processes that often miss the reality of the circumstances, experiences and feelings of people and communities. For too long, communities have been left out of the equation in the accession process of Western Balkan states. Improving public governance can’t be a tick box exercise and producing slews of policies and legislation that have no meaning or effect on the ground won’t cut it. The EU should adopt a different mindset to accession which moves from a focus solely on political structures to one of community dividend. Investing more heavily in strengthening civil society, connecting more directly with younger generations, women and alternative voices that share the principles of the world’s most successful peace project would achieve this goal. *Alesia Alldervishi International and European Law Student at the Europa Institut, Saarland University *first published in:www.friendsofeurope.org
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The EU Should Stand Firm on Turkey To avoid an open rule-of-law dialogue with the EU, Turkey is being selective in its areas of engagement with the bloc by Marc Pierini*
urkey’s clampdown on human rights is well known. It is amply documented through the European Commission’ successive progress reports, including the most recent one released on October 19, 2021. Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country has been undergoing a substantial degradation of its rule-of-law architecture in all relevant fields, from the judiciary and the media to civil society and women’s rights.
In other fields, Turkey’s behavior has not been in line with what is expected from a member of the Council of Europe, the ECHR, and NATO. One example is Turkey’s diplomatic action to water down a NATO statement condemning the diversion by the Belarusian air force of Ryanair flight 4978 on May 23, 2021 in order to arrest an opposition activist.
The degradation of the rule of law has also affected some of Turkey’s international commitments. One example is its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on violence against women, which Ankara hitherto promoted.
Such erosion of its rule-of-law architecture is clearly at odds with Turkey’s professed intention to join the European Union: while it regularly issues statements about its ambition to become a member, most of its decisions run counter to the principles and values of the bloc.
Another example is its refusal to abide by the December 2019 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the case of businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, despite having freely entered the commitments linked to the European Convention on Human © Jan Werts Rights.
Turkey is of course intent on cooperating with the EU and the union has stated its intention to develop a positive agenda under clear conditions: “engage with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner.” Turkey’s recent accession to various EU programs, such as ERASMUS+, the research and innovation program, and the Euro-
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pean Solidarity Corps, is in itself a welcome development. However, these positive developments come at a big price, with Ankara imposing a highly selective agenda: in the past few years, Turkey’s leaders have repeatedly refused to entertain an open rule-of-law dialogue with the EU because their priority is “fighting terrorism” and this should supposedly be left to Turkey. Seen from an EU standpoint, Turkey’s attitude toward the union in the field of the rule of law has a fairly clear rationale: for domestic political reasons, Turkey is making rule-oflaw matters a “no-go area” for European—and U.S.—leaders and intends to restrict the relationship mostly to trade, investment, counterterrorism, and migration. For EU leaders, this is an issue of utmost importance, because accepting Ankara’s selective agenda actively undermines the EU’s core values and principles. Therefore, the union has a stake far higher than its relationship with Turkey and has a duty to defend these values and principles. This can be done in three ways. First, the EU should reaffirm in the strongest possible terms that the rule of law is an integral part of its domestic and external policies. In the case of Turkey, this policy principle applies to political dialogue, to economic relations (including for any progress on the EU-Turkey Customs Union), and to sectoral high-level dialogues. In other words, the bloc should make clear that the compartmentalization of EU-Turkey relations to suit Ankara’s domestic political convenience is not acceptable. Altering core EU values and principles in accordance with an allied government’s political preferences should be off limits at a time when these values and principles are also under systemic attack from within the EU and from third countries such as Russia and Belarus. Second, the EU should maintain a highly principled attitude concerning the case of Osman Kavala and the necessity for Turkey to comply with the ECHR’s judgment of December 2019. The next hearing in Osman Kavala’s case is scheduled for November 26, 2021, which in principle offers a possibility for the Turkish judiciary to release him pending trial, should it choose to comply with the ECHR judgment. For EU leaders, recalling Turkey’s obligations under ECHR rules is in no way a case of interference in domestic affairs, but is simply reflecting the obligation resulting from the rules freely accepted by Turkey in both the Convention and the Court. Third, should Kavala not be released pending trial, EU mem-
ber states must act in the context of the Council of Europe’s Ministerial Committee meeting starting on November 30 in order to make sure that Turkey’s non-compliance with the judgment is tackled according to ECHR rules. Here again the stakes for the EU are higher than its relationship with Turkey. Not only would the lack of action by EU members of the Council of Europe would constitute an acceptance of Turkey’s political treatment of this case, but it would also introduce a damaging precedent for an institution at the center of Europe’s rule-of-law architecture. This is where naive and principled reasoning stumbles upon realpolitik. Defending EU values in the way suggested above can easily run against EU member states’ bilateral interests. A case in point is the recent visit of Pedro Sanchez, President of the Spanish Government, to Ankara: a long joint communique stressed all imaginable points of convergence between the two governments (including, according to the Turkish side, military equipment) but stayed mum on human rights and the rule of law. This example illustrates a highly selective implementation by La Moncloa of the latest European Council conclusions on relations with Turkey. Evidently, consistency within the EU is no small challenge… *Marc Pierini visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on developments in the Middle East and Turkey from a European perspective
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he Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) expressed its extreme regret that the government of the Republic of Nicaragua announced its acceptance of the ‘one China principle’, unilaterally terminated diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and established relations with the People’s Republic of China. The ministry also strongly condemned the Chinese government for once again coercing a diplomatic ally of Taiwan in order to sever relations and suppress Taiwan’s diplomatic space. Responding to the news, Taiwan’s President Ms Tsai Ing-wen reaffirmed that no amount of external pressure can shake Taiwan’s commitment to its values or stop it from partnering with the international democratic community as a force for good.
China ‘steals’ another Taiwan diplomatic ally The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) expressed its extreme regret that the government of the Republic of Nicaragua announced its acceptance of the ‘one China principle’, unilaterally terminated diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and established relations with the People’s Republic of China. by N. Peter Kramer
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A few years ago it were Taiwan’s diplomatic allies Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic, that wrestled away after China had offered huge financial incentives. Also then, Taiwan condemned China’s contemptible decision to use dollar diplomacy to wrest away Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, and its heavy-handed methods of suppressing Taiwan’s international participation. Beijing’s crude attempts can only drive a deeper wedge between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and antagonise the people of Taiwan. As former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once said, Beijing encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in eb and undercut their sovereignty, denying them their long-term, self-sustaining growth. Developing nations must beware the danger of falling into a debt trap when engaging with China. It was never more the reality than now. Although Taiwan faces serious diplomatic challenges, the government will not bow to China’s pressure. Taiwan will work with friendly nations to fight for and solidify regional peace and stability, and ensure its rightful place in the international community. Taiwan’s diplomats will continue to fight to defend the nation’s dignity and rights.
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Boosting Transatlantic Technology Cooperation The EU and the U.S. need to address the real technology competitiveness challenge, which is China by Robert D. Atkinson*
uring the era of the Cold War, the United States and Europe cooperated militarily, but competed economically. At the time, the Soviet Union posed a military, not an economic, threat to the West. Today, in what could become a second Cold War, this time with China, the U.S. and Europe need to put great emphasis on cooperating economically. The reason for this is straightforward: From the vantage point of each of the transatlantic partners, China poses a threat to our economic competitiveness. More transatlantic technology cooperation needed As such, it is incumbent upon the U.S. and the EU to build upon the initial steps of the new US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The goal must be, first, to reduce economic tensions between the two regions and second, to foster formal cooperation. This is especially true with regard to supporting advanced and emerging technology development and production. China: Unfair, state-directed capitalism As Barry Naughton notes in The Rise of China’s Industrial Policy: 1978 to 2020, China has not only become the world’s manufacturing workshop.
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It is also seeking to be the world leader in emerging technologies such as biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence and others. What’s more, China is not only seeking absolute advantage on a host of technologies. It is seeking that advantage largely through unfair, state-directed capitalism. To be sure, both the EU and the United States have industrial policies – but these policies mostly support foundational elements like workforce training, infrastructure and R&D. China looking for dominance In contrast, China’s predatory regime, especially subsidies to industry, goes way beyond what is considered acceptable industrial policy. On top of that, the Chinese Communist Party compels technology transfer for market access, encourages intellectual property theft and operates tax and regulatory policies that discriminate against EU and U.S. firms. That, combined with real strengths of the Chinese economy – a massive domestic market that lures in foreign investment, a massive technical and scientific labor force and improving research universities – mean
that China is gaining rapidly technologically. At the expense of EU and U.S. That gain has and will come at the expense of the EU’s and U.S.’s global market shares in advanced technologies. The result of that shift cannot be underestimated. Initially, China systematically assembled the components needed to be the manufacturing workshop of the world. This systematic approach has made it hard, even with the Trump tariffs and measures by Japan and other countries, to move production out of China. Silicon China? Now, China is seeking to establish the same robust innovation ecosystem that will give it strong reinforcing strengths. China wants to be not Silicon Valley, but Silicon China – and not just for IT, but for every advanced technology. The list of tech sectors China seeks to dominate is long. It ranges from aviation, battery technology, biotech, materials, clean energy, transportation, machinery and, of course, advanced IT. If China were to achieve this leadership position, its lead will become self-reinforcing as competitors weaken and China’s advantages (e.g., capital, STEM workers, patents, tacit knowledge) improve. Not another Asian tiger If China were simply following the path of the Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), there would be less to worry about. All of these countries, as well as Japan, only sought comparative advantage in some industries – as opposed to absolute advantage in most industries. More crucially, they were (or quickly became) democracies that did not seek to challenge long-standing principles of the rule of law and human rights. A Maoist global hegemon? China not only seeks absolute advantage in most if not all advanced and emerging industries. Under the leadership of President Xi, it has become clear that China is reverting to its Leninist and Maoist authoritarian origins. If China becomes the global technology leader, it reinforces China’s efforts to be militarily superior and a global hegemon. That would give China the ability to hold the West hostage for key products and supplies. What to do? Three steps There are three key steps the United States and Europe should
take. First, stop fighting each other economically. Resolving the long-standing Boeing-Airbus feud and focusing on the real challenger – China’s Comac – was a good first step. The United States eliminating its steel and aluminum tariffs on EU imports was a good second step. For its part, Europe, including member states like Germany and France, needs to dial back its “digital sovereignty” agenda which is targeted at the United States and U.S. companies. Second, both regions need to ramp up cooperation against unfair Chinese economic practices, including cooperation on cybersecurity, investment screening, bringing trade cases before the WTO and cooperative export controls. Time for more formal EU-US technology policy cooperation Finally, and most ambitiously, it is time for more formal EUUS technology policy cooperation. In a world where the development of technology has become much more technologically complex, neither region is large enough to specialize in all major technologies. Therefore, each region should allow the other region’s companies to participate in government-funded industry research programs, like the EU’s Horizon 2020 program and similar U.S. programs that agencies like the National Science Foundation operate. Moreover, as the governments roll out or expand specialized technology programs in technologies like 6G, energy storage, battery technology, autonomous systems, quantum computing and semiconductors, there should be joint collaboration between US and EU firms, universities and governments. Finally, governments should review and minimize or eliminate regulatory barriers to science and technology cooperation, including enabling easier cross-border work of scientists and engineers. Conclusion The sooner the EU and the U.S. can stop seeing each other as the competition and work to address the real technology competitiveness challenge – China – the more likely both regions can ensure their economic futures, while upholding critical values.
*Robert D. Atkinson president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
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Chinese arms industry now competes with the big ones The arms race continues despite the pandemic. The US remains the dominant player, but China is on the rise. by N. Peter Kramer
he arms race continues despite the pandemic. The US remains the dominant player, but China is on the rise.
470 billion euros: this is the turnover that the 100 largest arms manufacturers achieved last year in the full corona crisis. An increase of 1.3%, and a record. It is extra remarkable when you consider that the world economy shrank by 3.1% last year. The turnover of the arms trade rose for the 6th consecutive year and is now 17% higher than in 2015, according to the annual calculations of the Swedish think tank SIPRI. In that year, it concluded data from the Chinese arms manufacturers in its annual report for the first time. The 5 major Chinese arms producers in the ranking are making a remarkable catch-up. They are all state-owned and tasked with making the vast country largely self-sufficient in arms production. Take China’s largest arms producer Norinco, which ranks number 7. It strengthened its investments in new technologies and contributed to the development of the military-civilian satellite navigation system BeiDu. The Chinese Casic, number 12, has quickly become a major producer of rockets and space systems. ‘In recent years, Chinese arms manufacturers have been able to take advantage of the large-scale military modernisation programs launched by Beijing’, says the Swedish Peace In-
stitute. ‘As a result, they are now among the most advanced technological weapons manufacturers in the world.’ This is precisely the reason that US weapon giants have started investing heavily in research and development in the field of ‘next generation’ weapon systems. These are weapons in which robotics, cloud technology, artificial intelligence and space intelligence play a major role. The US still leads the ranking of the largest arms manufacturers. In the top 100 are 41 US companies, with well-known names such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing. But their technological lead over Russian and Chinese rivals is seriously shrinking. This leads to an arms race in space, among other fields. Many major US arms giants have merged or bought military or civilian space companies in the hope of expanding their portfolio of high-tech weapons. Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms maker, announced last year the $4.4 billion acquisition of rival Aerojet Rocketdyne, 75th in the ranking. Raytheon Company and United Technologies Corporation merged to become number 3 in the ranking. Looking at turnover, the gap between the US and the rest of the world is still gigantic. China counts now for 13% of all sold arms, what makes Beijing better than number 3 of the list, the United Kingdom.
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Pandemic changes the role of leaders The COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the division between our work and family lives, and shifted what we value by Ashok Krish and Rashmi Bhaskar Mukherjee*
he COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the division between our work and family lives, and shifted what we value. It has also fundamentally reshaped our relationship with institutions including healthcare, the government and employers. This new reality requires a new approach from leaders. Increasingly, employees are challenging systems that have traditionally governed the workplace, such as presenteeism, heirarchical management and performance assessment.
structures and systems that are fluid and contextual.
Here are five ways leaders can reframe their approach in a post-pandemic world.
We have seen some good examples of this. During the pandemic some organizations recognised the strain experienced by employees with children during the school break, when holiday camps were not an option. They sponsored activities such as art classes for young children during employee ‘prime time’. These organizations were not only creative in getting the best out of their employees during the most productive periods of the day, but also inclusive as they acknowledged their lives outside work.
1. THE INDIVIDUAL AS A WHOLE
2. THE LEADER AS A SOCIOLOGIST
Leaders need to work with ‘the individual as a whole’. An employees’ work persona is just one part of their wider life experience, embedded deeply within the community and wider society. Leaders must shift their mindset to acknowledge that employees’ experience goes beyond work. They must focus on designing holistic policies,
There are lessons to be learnt from the ‘great resignation’. A recent survey of over 30,000 workers conducted by Microsoft found that 41 percent were considering quitting, rising to 54 percent among younger workers. To counterbalance this wave of dissatisfaction, organizations will need to develop fluid structures that are
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democratic, agile and versatile. Executives – particularly Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) and Chief Experience Officers (CXO) – should draw upon solutions outside of their usual disciplines, looking to sociology and systems thinking. 3. PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY, WELL-BEING AND MOTIVATION The role of leadership is to create psychologically safe spaces for employees to be able to speak freely and bring their whole selves to work. Studies have highlighted the unprecedented level of stress and burn-out for employees during the pandemic. Ensuring employee well-being is particularly important and challenging when staff are working remotely or in hybrid work schedules, according to Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. “We now have to work a little harder to share what we’re thinking, to ask questions,” she says, adding that there is now a need to be “deliberate” in amplifying voices in distributed working scenarios. 4. EQUITABLE EXPERIENCES Leaders are responsible for making sure that employees have equal access to opportunities at work. Technology platforms can play a significant role by providing similar access to tools and features, but leaders need to go further. True equity is about creating conditions that generate similar outcomes for diverse individuals
– irrespective of levels, backgrounds and social status. It is a well-known fact that women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In a recent survey of North American female employees, one in four women said they were thinking about reducing or leaving paid work due to the pandemic, citing company inflexibility, caring responsibilities and stress. 5. INSIGHT OVER DATA Organizations often have access to plenty of data, but still lack insight when it comes to valuing intangible assets, such as reputation, human capital, and intellectual property. This is an area where leaders need to rethink what they measure. As Donella Meadows, the renowned systems thinker, said: “we value what we measure”. For example, investments in mental health initiatives alone are not a measure of effective well-being systems. Instead, we need to measure the extent to which the initiatives are being used by individuals who need them. A remarkable feature of the pandemic has been the focus on these intangible assets, that are by definition harder to measure. These will be key when it comes to acquiring and retaining talent, and account for as much as 85% of the total business value across industries. *Ashok Krish and Rashmi Bhaskar Mukherjee Global Head, Digital Workplace, TCS and Director, Experience Reimagination & Future of Work, Digital Workplace, TCS UKI
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How the COVID-19 pandemic changed news reporting In the last decade, smartphones and mobile technology have altered newsrooms, transforming news gathering, live broadcasting and content distribution by James Mahon*
n the last decade, smartphones and mobile technology have altered newsrooms, transforming news gathering, live broadcasting and content distribution. Trained on an iPhone 4s at the University of Sheffield in 2011, I was one of the first mobile journalists in the UK. Over the course of my career broadcasting live, from war zones in Iraq to tornados in the US, mobile technology has been the primary vehicle for capturing, curating and distributing packaged and live content. Now the media world has again shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with new challenges, different restrictions and innovative storytelling approaches emerging. Research by journalists and academics from around the world confirms that technology and social trends are driving changes in how and where news is created and consumed. These changes have had an impact on the way journalists operate, namely enabling them to working alone or remotely. Reporter requirements have also altered, with sharp social media and digital skills expected as the norm. Some of the smartphone journalistic trends that were gaining momentum before COVID were accelerated during the pan-
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demic. This means greater autonomy for reporters, but also more pressure and responsibility, more ways to broadcast live and greater audience involvement in the news cycle. AUTONOMY AND FREEDOM Newsrooms have been downsizing in the UK and US over the last 15 years. In newspapers for example, publishers have had to face the spiralling decline of print sales, forcing them to embrace new platforms and technologies. With fewer specific roles and multi-skilling key to surviving in the industry, many reporters find themselves becoming videographers, editors and social media producers all rolled into one. So much more is now being asked of broadcast and digital journalists, but with that has come greater freedom to source and create stories. Fewer editors, videographers, lighting and sound technicians mean journalists are more in control of the way they weave and distribute their news. Coupled with that is the removal of traditional PR “gatekeepers” and the rise of media-savvy figures who understand the importance of being accessible via social media and directly engaging with journalists.
Dutch media scholar Mark Deuze has cautioned against this shift from specialised roles, describing it as “leaving newsrooms full of empty chairs”. Deuze believes that asking more of fewer journalists results in a loss of identity, teamwork, mentoring and guidance.
young, inexperienced and overworked reporters who have entered the field during a time of uncertainty, resulting in health risks and safety concerns. It is paramount that cub reporters are properly inducted, mentored and guided to produce balanced and rounded news-gathering.
In the course of my research, I interviewed more than 40 journalists in India, Switzerland, the US and the UK between 2018 and 2021. All had the same concern: while this freedom was welcomed, reporters feared the lack of support would put pressure on their ability to gather stories and create content.
REPORTER SKILLS Post-pandemic, many journalists are expected to focus on mobile journalism and develop new skills in smartphone technologies and deal with new technical and editorial challenges. In some cases this has put older journalists under increasing pressure to get to grips with new technologies. With the transition to remote working, Zoom interviews and mobile and app editing, younger content creators excelled during the COVID crisis while older and less tech-savvy journalists were marginalised. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK has supported these reporters in their efforts to bridge the gap through streaming online classes. Some national broadcasters, including ITV, have provided remote and office-based workshop training in production and editing skills for new staff. The huge demand for constant content and live streaming has turned traditional TV reporters into walking cameras. This may enhance coverage and encourage audience engagement on social media, but it also places added strain on
Whether self-shooting at home, filming video interviews on the go or making novelty content with their pets – a huge hit for sports commentator Andrew Cotter – TV, radio, podcasting and social media audiences have themselves become more creative and involved during the pandemic. Broadcasters have capitalised on user-generated content throughout COVID – video interviews on phones, tablets and laptops became the norm, as once-passive news consumers became producers. In sports broadcasting the absence of crowds allowed for fan-generated media to bridge the gap and satisfy supporters’ appetite while club media became more dynamic, offering insights into players and coaches’ personal lives. These trends were already evident in my research in 2018 and 2019, but during 2020 and 2021 the landscape shifted. Media educators and news organisations now must work more closely to align teaching and work experience to support graduates into the media industry’s newsrooms – whether real or remote. Trust in news media has been in decline since the Leveson inquiry examined the ethics, culture and practices of the British press. But data on social media journalism and trust from the latest Reuters Digital Report demonstrates that the pandemic put journalists back to a place of respect in homes and communities – where it had previously been waning. Newsrooms need to continue the good practices established during the pandemic, which saw editors and producers supporting and harnessing the skills of younger and more dynamic reporters to create balanced and ethical content. It is crucial good practice feeds down into higher education, so that this accelerated digital transformation of newsgathering, broadcasting and content creation maintains ethical standards and ensures the well-being of reporters if young people are to be encouraged into the industry. *James Mahon Lecturer in Mobile and Broadcast Journalism, University of the West of Scotland
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Innovation Is Everyone’s Business A manufacturer of the fabric used to reinforce car tyres might not seem an obvious source of innovation inspiration by Ben M. Bensaou*
manufacturer of the fabric used to reinforce car tyres might not seem an obvious source of innovation inspiration. But in just a few years, Kordsa, a part of the Turkish industrial conglomerate Sabanc? Group, transformed itself from a price-driven maker of commodity products into a provider of innovative solutions to clients across multiple industries. While there are many reasons for Kordsa’s remarkable success, the process began with senior executives giving permission to everyone in the organisation to innovate. Of course, most organisations recognise the importance of encouraging innovation. Good ideas can streamline production processes, help save money and open up potential new markets. Yet despite the compelling evidence, it’s not always obvious what steps are needed to integrate innovative practices and thinking across an organisation.
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A BLUEPRINT FOR INNOVATION Based on over twenty years of researching, teaching and consulting for some of the world’s leading companies, I’ve attempted to address that shortfall. In my book Built to Innovate, I aim to map out a proven system for building constant innovation into your company’s DNA. I explain that there are three key processes necessary to build what I term an Innovation Engine into any organisation: Creation, Integration and Reframing. Integration and reframing are about changing mindsets and implementing innovations across an organisation. These will be dealt with more fully in subsequent articles. Creation is focused on the act of generating the ideas needed for innovation to take place. But it is also about making sure those ideas are being created throughout an organisation, particularly by frontline workers.
As we see in the Kordsa example, for this to work, people need to be able, capable and motivated to create ideas. Put another way, they need the permission to innovate; the time, training and resources to innovate; and the motivation to do so without fear of failure.
to better understand their unmet needs and challenges.
DEMOCRATISATION OF IDEA CREATION
One new product that came out of this process was the development of a new type of tyre cord fabric. Branded Capmax, it removed the need for several time-consuming and costly stages in the tyre manufacturing process, a common customer complaint.
Cenk Alper was the executive charged with bringing a culture of innovation to Kordsa. One of the first actions he took was a company-wide survey to identify good innovations already taking place within the firm. He then made sure that these were recognised and rewarded.
These new products didn’t just help the organisation become recognised as an innovator within the tyre manufacturing industry. They also opened up completely new markets such as aerospace and electronics, where they could licence their innovative composite materials.
Alper also invested in a new internal technology centre in a bid to upgrade the organisation’s R&D operation. At the same time, he made sure all departments of the business were working on at least one innovation project, helping ensure the concept of creativity was embedded across the organisation.
However, perhaps the biggest step to ‘democratise innovation’ as Alper described it, was the launch of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). This was an innovation training programme rolled out for all employees from frontline workers through to senior executives across all 12 facilities globally. To underline the commitment of senior leaders to TPM, Alper went through the training himself and made sure all middle managers also received the training. As well as giving employees the tools and techniques needed to innovate, TPM showed them that they not only had permission to innovate but they were expected to do so. The results were impressive and wide-ranging, going far beyond the development of more innovative products, though that also occurred. Innovations included a drastic reduction in the time needed to replace an oil filter on the assembly line. TPM also led to the creation of a buddy system for new starters that eased pressure on the HR department and forged closer ties between employees. CLOSING THE GAP TO CLIENTS To further help with the idea creation process, Kordsa also looked to reduce the distance between potential innovators and customers. This is something I have identified as key to developing an innovation engine in any organisation. A state-of-the-art experimental laboratory opened its doors so customers could visit and bring their ideas and challenges to Kordsa’s scientists. Meanwhile, cross-functional teams spent time camped in the customers’ plants
A final piece of the jigsaw puzzle was motivating employees to create the ideas. One way this was achieved was through the thoughtful design of a stage-gate process that innovation ideas. For an idea to pass through to the next stage of development, it had to meet a series of criteria after review by a leadership committee. However, to protect innovators from the stigma of failure, and to avoid prematurely killing ideas with potential, the process incorporated ‘positive discrimination.’ This meant ideas were not bound to the normal commercial pressures and profit requirements for the first five years. This tweak to the system gave the Kordsa teams more time to eliminate any teething troubles or flaws. Kordsa is a great example of what can be done when a whole organisation commits to the idea of creation. Their numerous innovations have reframed the organisation as a technology innovator that has won numerous awards. It is also now ranked third for R&D capabilities among all Turkish corporations. The ever-expanding range of innovative materials have allowed the company to grow its business into a raft of previously unconsidered areas, while Alper went onto become CEO of Sabanc? Holdings. His belief in the value of empowering all employees remains undimmed and he continues to personally conduct innovation training for employees today. Surely, the clearest sign to all his employees that they have his full approval to embrace innovation. *Ben M. Bensaou Professor of Technology Management and Professor of Asian Business and Comparative Management at INSEAD, he served as Dean of Executive Education from 2018 to 2020
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Hybrid working: What is the best way to resolve conflict between remote employees? ’Drama’ in offices has transferred to technological tools like emails and workplace messaging services by Jackie Bischof*
ilvina Moschini is in the business of remote work. As the founder of SheWorks!, a digital platform focused on remote working opportunities for women, and president of TransparentBusiness, a remote workforce management company, her entire career has focused on running remote teams. So Moschini says she was shocked recently when a longtime, treasured colleague came to her with the news that she wanted to resign. Why had her employee not felt compelled to say anything? “I told her that I would be sad if she leaves, but I am even sadder that she didn’t bring the topic to me, and that she had to go through all this stress to tell me she wants to leave.” Her colleague was upset by a leadership change that had happened in the organization, and didn’t want to be seen as undermining her manager. They worked things out. Even the most thoughtfully designed distributed workforce can have hiccups when it comes to dealing with tensions and conflict, from identifying it when it happens, to dealing with it quickly. The advent of hybrid work has also introduced a new dynamic into working lives which is compounding people’s already frayed nerves, says Mark Mortensen, a professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD business school whose research has focused on remote work. Just as we got used to running everything in the cloud, we now have a new opportunity for friction: balancing the needs of people who have started coming back into the office with those who have chosen to remain at home. “The playing field is changing,” Mortensen says. “It’s like we’re trying to play a sport, and the rules are changing
constantly, and the field is getting longer.” Moschini’s situation was a reminder that employees need to feel comfortable sharing their challenges, and that there’s value in admitting when things aren’t perfect. “If there was a mistake that was made consciously or unconsciously by the leader—just say it so,” she says. “Vulnerability really pays off, because your people, your team, need to know that you are not a machine. And we are all co-responsible for making things work.” What does that co-responsibility look like, almost two years after the coronavirus pandemic upended our world? To start, it’s helpful to remember how big of a disruption that was. WHY CONFLICT CAN BE HARD TO MANAGE REMOTELY People tend to struggle with difficult conversations in any context. But at work, it can be hard to separate the personal from the professional. While some conflict can aid innovation, it needs to be dealt with productively. Otherwise, it risks triggering our “fight or flight” response—and there’s not that many places to run to in an office. The pandemic and the sudden shift to remote work made that even harder. Everyone who wasn’t working on a distributed team had to learn to do so, as the world around them shifted dramatically. We’re only just starting to see the effects that changes wrought by the pandemic are having on the workforce. Even teams that are used to remote work can struggle to productively deal with arguments. Technology can
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tive way, and sometimes embrace disagreements in the moment. In the last two years, working “relationships have shifted and changed to feel thinner and weaker,” Mortensen says. “That affects how much time and effort we put into resolving these conflicts, and how well we are able to do that.” You’ll head off an eruption of emotion, or be more equipped to have productive conflict, if you’re consistently letting teams talk through what’s working or not. These kinds of regular check-ins are often described as “pulse checks.”
make it difficult to talk those things through, from connection glitches interrupting conversations, to not having a full sense of what another person is working on or their context, and not being able to process the full richness of their reactions, as you would face-to-face. Problems can also fester due to under-communication and in the absence of trust (something that is often generated over multiple in-person interactions, and has to be built intentionally amongst remote teams). “When it comes to working remote and hybrid, you have to pay for the stuff that used to come for free,” says Mortensen, describing how critical it is that companies work to replicate the casual, real-life interactions that help employees connect, commune, or vent. Managers of remote teams need to have a heightened sense of awareness, says Massimiliano Tirocchi, the Uruguay-based co-founder and CMO of e-commerce group Trafilea, which at only seven years old has 400 employees in more than two dozen countries. The company has been largely remote since it began. He’s heard peers say, “since we are not in the office, we are having less drama. [But] that is not really what is happening,” he says. Rather, the drama is just “translating to a different tool,” like Slack or email. ERR ON THE SIDE OF OVER-COMMUNICATING Remote and hybrid work needs to be very specifically designed to reduce friction—such as creating work handovers over time zones—but you also have to create an environment for letting off steam in a produc-
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Don’t air this as an opportunity for people to moan about something—or somebody—they’re angry with, Mortensen says. Rather “frame it as, ‘Here’s how I need your help.’” You’ll get a more positive (and probably useful) response. Being intentional about workflow, giving space for people to talk—these acts are all in the service of creating a work environment where employees don’t have to wait for a meeting to discuss something. They feel empowered to talk to their managers about an issue, because they’ve created the space to allow them to do so. When complaints began to surface between Trafilea’s marketing and product teams that changes were not being made fast enough on the company’s website, an investigation unveiled a conflict over resource allocation that had been lingering for months. CMO Tirocchi was taken aback. As a wholly distributed firm, Trafilea has a hiring and onboarding process that specifically highlights to employees how much the company values radical transparency and feedback. “We coach our managers and leaders to make sure that they are open to having conversations with talent, and really understand and deep dive into what is the real truth,” he says. Each department has “people business partners” who are on hand to mediate conversations and come up with solutions. That worked within teams, but in the case of the cross-departmental conflict, Trafliea discovered that managers were not talking to each other, people were working at cross-purposes, and the problem had begun to impact the company more broadly. It took an extensive process of bringing together the project managers and people business partners of the affected departments, and pairing them with process analysts to walk through the perspectives and workflows that were at
the core of the conflict. This helped to get the teams on the same page about objectives, and how to communicate around them. “In the end, people like their company because they believe in the same purpose, the same mission, and they’re aligned with the core values. So when they understand that they need to detach from their own perspective about things and conflicts, they really understand better where they need to go,” Tirocchi says. Moschini’s guiding principle when it comes to conflict is to “make explicit the implicit,” from communicating precisely what you need, to making sure you agree on definitions of the terms you’re using. “Even the concept of flexibility could be understood very flexibly,” she says. This proved the case for Carin Taylor, the chief diversity officer for Workday, who had to work through a conflict with a colleague over a series of remote conversations. “I do think that being in this remote environment has made us think differently about how we communicate with one another…and removed some of the barriers of that discomfort of being in-person,” Taylor says. If you need to hash something out, it’s helpful to set up “rules of engagement” ahead of time. These could include agreeing to talk with the camera on, and potentially bringing in a mediator. Taylor says she found it helpful to acknowledge that the conversation was going to be uncomfortable, stating that the purpose was to “create a safe space for both people to be heard,” and building in breaks. “One of the things that became really important was
to give each other a pause and allow [each other] to adjust, process, think about what was going on, take a break and then come back and have the conversation,” Taylor says. “I remembered walking away from the conversation afterwards, just feeling so much more refreshed from the fact that I had taken that break, [and in] a better state than what I thought I was going to be.” Mortensen, together with conflict expert Amy Gallo, also suggests starting the conversation with what you share in common, and working to understand each other’s experiences by asking questions like: “How are you seeing this situation? What am I missing?” “Meet your employees where they are, and understand that [you] have to come up with different solutions for different situations,” Taylor says. THE VALUE OF PERSPECTIVE TAKING A common theme among the leaders interviewed for this piece was the power of asking people involved in an argument or tense discussion to consider the other person’s view. This may sound like common sense, but in a hybrid environment, especially one that has sprung from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, this needs to be an intentional request. Teams who aren’t in the same physical space are still equally capable of teaming up against each other. Mortensen recalls chairing a department that was split across two different locations, France and Singapore, but working towards a common organizational goal. He began to notice that people were becoming polarized based around different issues, and in some cases, geographically. The first thing he tried to do was remind people, “that we are first and foremost a we,” as opposed to an “us and them.” The second was to start asking people to try and understand why their counterpart might have done something. “Perspective-taking remains probably the most critical and undervalued tool in leadership and management,” he says. The act of “accepting [another person’s reality] and then saying, ‘OK, given that, would I behave in the same way? To me that unlocks incredible doors.” *Jackie Bischof Deputy Editor, Quartz
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Why rethinking care work is crucial for a gender inclusive recovery Almost two years since the start of the pandemic and women continue to be disproportionately impacted due to an inadequate gender responsive recovery from the health and socioeconomic crises by Dharrnesha Inbah Rajah*
n the labour market, more women than men were unemployed due to the pandemic. While men’s employment in 2021 is expected to recover to 2019 levels, women’s employment recovery is likely to fall short by 0.9% compared to 2019 levels. Additionally, only 43.2% of global working age women will be employed in 2021, compared to 68.6% of working age men. Put simply, more women are exiting the workforce. The pandemic has also widened the global gender poverty gap. Poverty rates for women and girls are expected to rise to 12.5% in 2021 (11.7% in 2019) compared to 12.1% for men and boys (11.3% in 2019). By this year, for every 100 men aged 25 to 34 years old in extreme poverty, there will be a corresponding 118 women.
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WHY ARE WOMEN MORE VULNERABLE TO THE SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE PANDEMIC? In mitigating the widening gender gap, it is pertinent to understand the underlying challenges women face compared to men. These include the burden of care work, unemployment statistics reporting, and disproportionate female representation in certain economic sectors. Traditionally, women have carried the brunt of unpaid caregiving and domestic work within families. Even before the pandemic, women already did three times the amount of care work compared to men – or an additional 8.3 billion hours of unpaid work. With schools
and childcare centres shut for most of the pandemic, the burden of unpaid childcare once again rested heavily on women’s shoulders. Last year, women took on 173 additional hours of unpaid childcare, compared to only 59 additional hours by men. This increase in unpaid care work is a crucial factor in the declining women’s labour force participation rate, even as employment is indicating signs of recovery in several countries. However, the actual decline is often much larger than the reported figures. The unemployment data reporting obscures the declining numbers of women in the workforce by definition and construct, in both developed and developing countries. In the US, a woman who has left the labour force entirely and is not job hunting is no longer counted in monthly unemployment rates. In Malaysia, a woman is still considered employed if she switches from paid work to unpaid family work, as long as it is for at least one hour per week. Unpaid family work remains vaguely defined. Coupled with reporting constructs that overlook the growth in unpaid work by women, enumerating the economic losses faced by women and countries becomes a daunting task. The economic impact experienced by employed women in the manufacturing, services, and social sectors have been exacerbated by the pandemic. In fact, women account for 70% and 75% of the health and care, and garment supply chain workforces, respectively. Some working age women are not even captured in employment data due to participation in the informal economy. With 63% of the informal economy workforce comprised of women, they are more vulnerable to precarious income and safety arrangements, and lack access to social protection.
PUTTING WOMEN AT THE CENTRE OF RECOVERY EFFORTS For an inclusive recovery, we need to invest in women. Governments need to adopt gender responsive policies that are long overdue. There needs to be a rethinking of care work. The care economy remains largely invisible and inadequately resourced. To reduce further gender gap losses, targeted fiscal spending should be channelled to improve care leave and welfare interventions. Specifically, it is crucial to expand the coverage of care policies for longer and more evenly designed maternity and paternity leaves, and for more flexible paid parental leaves. Currently, only 117 countries legally guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, and only 79 countries legally mandate paid paternity leave. An added complexity with paternal leaves is the persistently low uptake. To encourage a paradigm shift in attitudes on paternal leaves, compensations such as tax credits and cash transfers can be used as short-term nudges. More expansive care policy coverage is crucial for the promotion of equality in employment. These should pave the way for long-term policy measures such as strengthening non-discrimination labour laws to reduce gender wage gaps and enable easier transition back into the workforce for women with employment breaks due to care responsibilities. Basic legal frameworks enabling women’s economic inclusion is non-negotiable. Other interventions include sustainable provisions of care services. One such policy is developing training programmes for women to run community day-care and pre-school centres with the support of state and local welfare agencies. These centres can also be expanded to provide childcare and nutrition guidance for new and young parents to reduce the time spent by women on childcare, and to encourage healthier division of care work at home. While we shift to living with the unprecedented health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the widening gender gap cannot take the same approach. Women need to be at the centre of recovery and growth efforts if we are truly serious about a brighter and more equitable future for all. *Dharrnesha Inbah Rajah Global Shaper, Kuala Lumpur Hub
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EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
Athens "sous le ciel de Paris" "Paris-Athenes: Naissance de la Grece moderne 1675-1919" in the the Louvre Museum by Alexandra Papaisidorou*
trolling around the Musee du Louvre on the occasion of the exhibition "Paris-Athens. The birth of Modern Greece, 1675-1919" was a world of emotions inside the Hall Napoleon. Emotions are the first hidden signs of each form of art and literature. Eyes, ears, sounds, images even odors by our memory and cognition reached us on the Louvre’s Pyramid entrance with elan. Just few and counted were the lucky ones to enjoy the peace and serenity of Louvre with no visitors and to acknowledge these collective and individual emotions during a recap of that historical processes re-vived in front of us during the pre-opening of the exhibit.
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The embattled director of the Musee du Louvre in Paris, Jean-Luc Martinez, welcomed us and our first steps had alredy taken their way along the cyclical stairs and memorial backgrounds of each one of us who had started whispering the emblematic historical extracts of that incoceivable historical and cultural source. "Is there anything special about the ancient Greeks and their emotions?", asked me and the reply was given in an attempt to transmit all these feelings at once. Basic emotions are not a Greek canvas. Attempting to give explanations, our steps headed to the painting “On the Terrace or Athenian Evening”, by Iakovos Rizos in 1897 on a neoclassical building in Plaka, near the Acropolis of Athens, a painting being placed as a plisse wall
EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
across the side of the first hall giving the sense of walking nexto to the figures of Rizos’. And then, together with awe-struck French pairs eyes, we headed to the following themes... signified our plod to deeper Louvre. The halls of themes related to Ottoman Greek and the Independent war include artworks of war, warriors, historical momentums of glory or caning. Important personalities such as ambassadors, politicians, intellectuals and scholars of that age became the reason of the Philhellenism wave to be spead across Europe. Special landmarks of archaelogy followed showing off the need to deepen the scientific research and discover a new discipline.Greece was officially recognised as a state in 1830 and Athens became its new capital in 1834. Neoclassicism, the prevalent movement in art and architecture at the time, which drew inspiration from the culture of classical antiquity which trigger thoughts as depicted in works of arts under the exhibition title The colour of Antiquity and the construction of thne Greek identity accompagnied by artwork related to the Entry of Modernity and the construction of a European identity through lots of references and characteristics in Parisian form and vein. According to Mr. Martinez statements, the exhibition aims to combine the history of archaeology with the history of the evolvement of the Modern Greek state and the art created in it unfolding the anthem of historical events and points under a different content, fo-
cused more on conceived notions of that extrovertion and how the rest of the world was influenced by. It is highly mentioned that the date of 2021 as an anniverasry date, does not only serve as a tribute to the country’s bicentenary of the struggle for independence, but also to commemorate the introduction of the renowned Venus de Milo to the Louvre, one of the most magnificent sightseeings in the passage of time. Eugene Delacroix, Theodoros Rallis, Nikos Lytras,Nikolaos Gyzis, Leonidas Drossis among the ones who represent the most special paintings in an exhibition that will last exhibition, which will run from 30 September 2021 to 7 February 2022 and it is organised by Marina Lambraki Plaka, director of the National Gallery–Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Athens, Anastasia Lazaridou, director of Archaeological Museums, Exhibitions and Educational Programmes at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, and Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Louvre, assisted by Debora Guillon, in a unique aesthetic experience indicating emotional evaluations and motivations of such emotions that penetrate every aspect of our lives. Leaving back Paris-Athens exhibition of the Louvre Museum, one is for sure: Great histories are said by the ones who could manage to create them. *Alexandra Papaisidorou Editor-at-large/ PhD cand. University of Piraeus, Cultural Diplomacy & international Relations
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Former President Trump still dominates the news media, a book review by John Daniels*
ormer President Donald Trump is still in the limelight. And it's not just about his statements about politics in America, but also about the number of books that have been published about him this year. The books were mainly about Donald Trump as president. One book used a very different angle, the mainstream media, fake news and framing, and how they reported about the former president’s actions and statements. The book is called “Trump’s Daily Domination of The News Media.” The so-called mainstream media continue to report negatively about him, unlike about Joe Biden, the current president. He is protected by the media about decisions. The biased media hate Trump since his announcement to run in the 2016 presidential election. The explosive written book is about the working methods of the so-called mainstream media, the Big Tech, and the left-wing socialists of the Democratic party. The book is written by political journalist and publicist Hans Izaak Kriek, who has followed Trump since his announcement in 2015 to compete in the battle for the presidency of America. Kriek wrote critical observations, opinions and thoughts for various media. In his vision, journalism is made and presented as real news for real people. In his book, you can read how the various newspapers, radio, and television stations reported on Trump's statements and actions on Trump's last day as president. Consistently negatively, every day. But Donald Trump dominated the daily coverage in the news media every day. His opponents were the mainstream media—such
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as CNN, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, the New York Times, The Washington Post— the Big Tech, and the Democrats.
can take comfort in the idea that a benefit never lasts forever.
The book is mainly about these protagonists in the political theater. After four years, "the swamp" hits hard back. Trump has been humiliated by the Big Tech, the mainstream media, and the Democrats in his wake after a discussable election result. There is a hatchet day for everyone who supported him and worked with him. But Trump managed to make things difficult for the ruling elite for four years.
This book shows how the mainstream media reported Trump's statements and rallies in the last one hundred days of Trump's presidency. The coverage is diverse, from newspapers and news channels; most are negative and seem like a conspiracy by the mainstream media, Democrats, and Big Tech to destroy Trump. There is a daily summary about this from October 1, 2020, to January 21, 2021.
Author Kriek: "You either love or hate Trump. I like the man, but it wasn't love at first sight. When I saw his first rally before he elected Mike Pence as vice president, Trump and General Michael Flynn made a speech. What Trump said appealed to me, but I thought the general would be a better candidate. He was younger and muscular, and he spoke more directly than Trump. Later, that changed. The more I saw Trump, the more I understood and liked him. Then, on November 8, 2016, I was in Amsterdam with my wife. We watched CNN breathlessly and saw how the billionaire beat the predicted winner, Hillary Clinton. From that time on, I have been following Trump closely.
Readers will see three media mentioned per day with the headlines, of which an article has been placed in total. In October, it is mainly about the run-up to the elections and the COVID-19 problem. In November, about the polls and the results. December is about whether the elections were fair and whether there was no fraud. And finally, in January, the main topics were the official appointment of Biden as the forty-sixth US President, Trump's continued resistance to the outcome of the presidential election and the Capitol's storming.
Subsequently, Big Tech unleashed algorithms on the population, and Mark Zuckerberg paid $420 million to a left-wing organisation that provided votes for Joe Biden. It worked. Although Trump had received seventy-four million votes, he lost to the colorless Biden, who had not campaigned for fear of COVID-19. Millions of people wonder how he could win an election only sitting in the cellar of his home. Trump kept fighting to the very end. Forty percent of Americans believe the election results are incorrect. Ninety percent of Trump supporters believe this. So that's more than one hundred million Americans. Here we come to a hypocritical point: while there was keen interest in Mueller's yearlong investigation, which searched for evidence of Trump's 2016 electoral fraud, now and while there is doubt about the Democratic electoral result, there is no interest in in-depth research. There is peace between Israel and the Sunni world and between Serbia and Kosovo. Trump did not start a war and brought the soldiers back from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The whole Left world conspired against Trump, and that has become too much for him. We must cherish the miracle of Trump. Unlike Freud, I
The most important question in the book is: “Who owns and rules the mainstream media?” The answer is: fifteen billionaires and six large corporations own most US media outlets. The giant media conglomerates in America are AT&T, Comcast, the Walt Disney Company, National Amusements (which includes Viacom Inc. and CBS), News Corp, and Fox Corporation (both owned in part by the Murdoch's), Sony, and Hearst Communications. While it's important to consider who controls the media, it's also important to remember that many media owners are hands-off in content, but some are invasive. Will news companies run a story that paints their umbrella corporation in a negative light? It depends on the publication, the parent company, and the ethics of their journalists. The author also wrote his book to warn the public to look critically at media and political leaders. What kind of cat and mouse game do they play or play together? For whom are they doing this, for themselves or for the public? By the way, if Trump will be back in 2024, the world will see how the media in America will react. *John Daniels freelance journalist for several media outlets ‘Trump’s Daily Domination of The News Media’ is available online at Amazon in almost every country in the world and also at Apple iBooks.
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What are countries doing to encourage the transition to electric vehicles? New homes in England will be required to have electric vehicle charging points by law, from 2022 by Kayleigh Bateman*
inding a way to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions is top of the agenda for most countries and many governments see electric cars as part of the solution.
new homes and buildings in England will be required to have electric vehicle charging points. Starting next year, it also includes new-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations.
Finding a way to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions is top of the agenda for most countries and many governments see electric cars as part of the solution.
“This is a pivotal moment - we cannot go on as we are,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told delegates at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference. “We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.”
The UK is the first country to introduce a law where
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• New homes in England will be required to have electric vehicle charging points by law, from 2022 • Global electric car sales grew 140% in the first quarter of 2021 • Publicly accessible chargers have grown sevenfold across Europe in the past five years • But there is still a serious lack of charging points in most EU member states, according to European data The move follows last year’s announcement that the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with the sale of new petrol and diesel cars banned from 2030. This is part of the UK’s Road to Zero strategy, which has set the goal of every car and van being zero-emission by 2050. As the UK moves ahead with its electric vehicle transition plans, several other countries are following suit. Global electric car sales surged by 140% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). China led the way, followed closely by Europe, while sales doubled in the US. CHARGING ACROSS EUROPE The installation of publicly accessible battery chargers across Europe has grown sevenfold in the past five years, according to the IEA. However, they also note that only Italy, the Netherlands and France have delivered the number of charging points set by the EU’s Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive. Much of the growth in public charging infrastructure has been in China, where fast chargers increased by 44% in 2020 to a total of 310,000. That compares with 38,000 by the end of 2020 in Europe and 17,000 in the US, the IEA says.
“Consumers will not be able to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles if there are not enough charging and refuelling stations along the roads where they drive,” said ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema, in a statement about the data. Countries with the most chargers per 100km are the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal and Austria. Progress on the electrification of the transportation sector needs to speed up, according to the World Economic Forum, which created the Global Battery Alliance to overcome some of the challenges holding the sector back, including making the charging infrastructure better. To transition to electric vehicles, an estimated 290 million charging points will be required globally by 2040, according to the Alliance, and that would require a global investment of $500 billion. GOING ALL-ELECTRIC Several of the biggest car manufacturers have already pledged to go all-electric from 2025 and 2030, including Jaguar and Bentley. Ford says all its vehicles sold in Europe will be electric by 2030. Even so, some of the world’s largest car manufacturers say progress will be stunted in many markets since many countries still plan to rely on fossil fuels to produce electricity. A shortage of chips for electric car makers has also slowed the progression, leading to a slump in sales in Europe this year. IHS Markit reports that the production of 1.4 million light vehicles was lost in the first quarter of 2021. While new laws in one part of the world may be helpful, more work is clearly needed to make the automotive industry sustainable.
There is a serious lack of charging points “in most EU member states,” according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). MORE CHARGERS NEEDED That data reveals that 10 countries - including Greece, Poland, Romania and Latvia - don’t have one charger for every 100km of key road. The ACEA says a total of 18 EU members have under five charging points per 100km of road.
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G EU’s emissions rose nearly a fifth as economy bounced back Greenhouse gas emissions from EU countries jumped by 18% last spring, according to data from Eurostat, Europe’s statistics office, as the economic sector recovered from pandemic shutdowns and returned to releasing climate-damaging gases into the atmosphere
reenhouse gas emissions from EU countries jumped by 18% last spring, according to data from Eurostat, Europe’s statistics office, as the economic sector recovered from pandemic shutdowns and returned to releasing climate-damaging gases into the atmosphere. Eurostat said emissions totalled 867 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent from April to June this year, up sharply from the same period in 2020 when lockdowns across Europe brought emissions to their lowest levels ever recorded. However, it added that levels remained below any pre-pandemic quarter and continued a long-term trend of steady reduction. The manufacturing and construction sector – responsible for the largest share of emissions at over a third of emissions – saw levels jump 22% from 2020, while the electricity supply sector rose 17% and agriculture remained steady. Households contributed almost a fifth of emissions, largely due to their transport-linked carbon footprint, which rose 25% from last year, and heating, up 42%. But even as Europe’s businesses recover, some countries are mulling fresh lockdowns. For instance, Austria has shut all non-essential shops, bars and cafes to curb a new wave of infections sweeping the continent. Eurostat’s report represents its first estimates of quarterly EU greenhouse gas emissions, as the bloc edges towards its 2050 net-zero target. *first published in: www.euractiv.com
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