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MACRON, THE PROGRESSIVES AND TSIPRAS: LA GRANDE CHANCE
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“JUNCKER COMMISSION HAS IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY” Special Report
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SEVEN CHALLENGES FOR AN ASIAN CENTURY
GERMAN POLITICS: THE LIMBO IS OVER EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW | 1
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Konstantinos C. Trikoukis Chairman
Macron, the Progressives and Tsipras: La grande chance
â€˜Who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data!â€™
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European Ombudsman: Juncker Commission has improved transparency
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By N. Peter Kramer
It is clear: voters in the EU are moving more and more to the (far-)right
n Italy voters turned their back on the mainstream parties. They felt abandoned by the rest of the EU, as its coastal areas bore the brunt of the influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement and the far-right Liga Nord became winners. The coalition of centre-right Forza Italia (Berlusconi!), Liga Nord plus the nationalists of Fratelli d’Italia was, as a bloc, the biggest but lacks enough seats for a majority in the Parliament and has to find a partner. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement? Or the Partito Democratico, the centre-left loser in the elections? For the EU elite, the result of the Italian election was so bad that even the failure of the appalling Silvio Berlusconi came as a disappointment. Meanwhile ‘populism’, as they call it in ‘Brussels’, is in the driving seat in Poland, Hungary and Austria and will govern Italy as well in the coming years. In The Netherlands Geert Wilders leads the second largest group in the parliament; for now, the GroKo coalition of a loser (CDU) and a big loser (SPD) can go on in Germany, the main opposition party is the Alternative fűr Deutschland. And let’s not forget, in France more than 1/3 of the voters chose Marie le Pen. Election results all over the EU reveal extraordinary levels of voter discontent. The centre-left lost support massively, while the far-right went from strength to strength. One effect is that it becomes more and more acceptable for centre-right parties to govern with the far-right. Look at Bulgaria and Austria, the current and next holders of the rotating EU Presidency. Nationalist ministers nowadays chair EU ministerial meetings. All becoming generally accepted in the EU. In late May 2019, there are elections for the European Parliament. It is of course very interesting to see what the turn-out of voters will be? The expectation is less than the 42% of 2014. In which case, would it not be reasonable to raise the question what the legitimacy is of this parliament? Also crucial is whether a substantial part of the votes goes to anti-EU parties. How would the EU elite react on this,or will it just be business as usual for them?
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What the EU must do to be loved and admired There was a fleeting moment almost fifteen years ago when it seemed that the European Commission was going to take its image problems in hand by Giles Merritt *
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all me Joe," said its jovial new president JosĂŠ Manuel Barroso, signalling at his first press conference what many hoped would be a revolution in the way 'Brussels' is seen. Joe gave the job of chief revolutionary to one of the rising stars of his incoming Commission, Sweden's Margot WallstrĂśm. That, too, suggested an imminent upheaval in how the EU communicates. As we know, that was not to be. WallstrĂśm initiated a slew of studies and high-powered working groups, but the portfolio her fellow Commissioners had at first envied turned out to be a poisoned chalice. It wasn't that anyone deliberately torpedoed her ambitious ideas, merely that they were stifled by the Commission's own culture. Most of the Commission's business is confidential, whether it's with governments, companies or NGOs. So it's hard for eurocrats who have many of them trained as lawyers or economists to turn themselves into PRs. Hard, but essential. The Euroscepticism that increasingly pervades Europe's politics owes to the EU's failure to communicate. That wouldn't matter if being unpopular concerned only the often arcane workings of the EU, but it now threatens the wider cause of European integration. What's the answer then - how does a bureaucracy turn itself into a persuasive and trustworthy loud-hailer? It's actually not that difficult, but the first step, arguably the hardest, is for the Commission to stop doing what it does. Barroso's promised communications revolution delivered more but not better information. Each Directorate-General gained its own information unit, and these stepped up the flow of brochures and press releases to their sector, which of course means their own clientele. They also became machines for cranking out career-boosting material for their particular Commissioner. The far more important task of explaining "what is the EU for?" was sidestepped, and still is. Anyone who receives the specialised outpourings of the various DGs is already well aware of what the EU does. But ninetenths of the European electorate most certainly don't know.
track with its more imaginative approach to information and multi-media. But selling 'democracy' is easier than repackaging red tape. So here's what the Commission should do that would truly rebrand it and help save the European project. First, stop pumping out 'good news'. Trumpeting achievements rarely tells much of the problems that were overcome. Strange as it may sound, the EU's worth is better explained by highlighting difficulties, even when that involves bad news. Where possible, Brussels should name and shame opponents of 'European' solutions. Second, tear up all those brochures. They clutter corridors and are almost always a waste of money. And re-think the framework contracts the big consultancies are so fond of and that protect eurocrats from criticism. They create an unhealthy relationship in which consultants pander to 'the client' and avoid innovations that risk conflicting with Commission officials' prejudices. Third, go out and hire journalists and social media experts as commission officials, not just part-timers. They may make a hash of the Concours but they know what works and what doesn't, and they're more likely to defy the hierarchy. They also know there's no such person as 'a European', so effective communication can only be in the different national idioms. Fourth, on media relations, stop thinking that serving the Brussels-based EU-accredited press corps does the job. Their specialist knowledge is impressive, but they have little influence on public opinion. Aim instead for columnists and commentators, and take regional and local media far more seriously. Fifth, find a new symbol - the blue flag and Ode to Joy aren't enough, in contrast to messages, where there are too many. They compete and confuse. What's needed is something eye-catching and instantly recognisable, comparable to the logos of the Internet giants. Aim above all for children as tomorrow's voters, and devise 'European civics' teaching kits in all the official languages to be distributed to secondary schools. If any member governments block that, name them - that would make a really good story!
* Giles Merritt Founder and Chairman of Friends of Europe
The European Parliament's secretariat is on the right
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Macron, the Progressives and Tsipras: La grande chance by Sarantis Michalopoulos
aris and Berlin have recently heated up the discussion about the 2019 EU election. The new EU agenda of Macron and Germany’s EU vision are on collision course and this could have a severe impact on Europe’s future. Germany and France disagree on a number of issues, ranging from the Eurozone reform to the procedure that will be adopted to elect the next President of the European Commission. But despite the current obstacles, there is also an enormous window of opportunity for France to return to EU politics after years of absence. Germany and France initially bicker over the Spitzenkandidaten process, firstly used in the 2014 election, when Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was elected.
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Back in 2014, Berlin had expressed its reservations about the process but it was ultimately implemented, following a “gentlemen’s agreement” among EU leaders. But Macron does not see the idea in positive light and wants the EU leaders in the Council to decide the next Commission chief. It’s obvious that Macron does not control the European Parliament, at least for now, as he refuses to join any political group. On the other hand, a growing number of governments in the Council get gradually to Macron’s vision. From his side, Macronproposed the transnational lists, a long-awaited federalists’ request, which was opposed by the European People’s Party and right-wing German parties.
German MEP Elmar Brok, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, recently accused Macron of attempting to “weaken” the EU House. He also said that the French President wants “behind closed doors” decisions about the future of the European government. One could say Germany has adopted a double standard approach and wears the EU federalist mask according to the circumstances. Macron has broken the monopoly of the EPP-led Europeanism. During the crisis times, disobeying the fiscal discipline and the austerity-driven mindset had been a sign of an anti-EU attitude. Whoever spoke against the behind closed doors decisions of the Eurogroup was a dangerous anti-EU populist. But the new government in Berlin provides Macron with a huge opportunity. Merkel will end up being a hostage of the opportunist German socialists who will be constantly eyeing the “progressive” turn of EU socialism. The grand coalition in the European Parliament and it’s difficult to be repeated. At the same time, a “Progressive Caucus” was launched in Parliament, consisting of MEPs from three political groups – the leftist GUE-NGL, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA). The group intends to convince the left-wing EU socialists to get back to the “forgotten” roots of socialism and adopt a “progressive” line by getting rid of the EPP-like
minded socialists, who constitute an open wound in many socialist governments and parties across Europe. Asked how the movement views Macron’s vision, a Progressive Caucus source commented, “It’s definitely proEU but the neoliberal policies applied in France have nothing to do with the end of austerity the Progressive Caucus is fighting for.” The informal group has adopted a bottom-up approach, emphasising the role of the civil society in the political decision-making process. It’s not a coincidence that Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras has always refused to join the ailing EU socialist party. Macron’s “En Marche” movement also focuses on civil society groups and it wants to absorb parts of the leftist spectrum as well as the center-left. Rumors suggest that Greens are also interested. A high-ranking EU socialist source said that one thing isclear when it comes to the future of the party: after the 2019 election, the party will collapse. Its progressive members will move to the left or toward Macron while the “Stanishev-minded” old-establishment will look for a refuge in its actual political family, the EPP. Macron and the progressive EU leaders should have their minds open and discuss potential synergies. The EPP will always back leaders like Victor Orban and the Socialists will always tolerate socialists like Robert Fico. The New Europe should not.
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They talk of war but it’s their own citizens these «strong» men fear most They talked of war and conflict but most of the “strongmen” lashing out at each other at the recent security conference in Munich are more fearful of their own citizens than they are of each other by Shada Islam *
ivil society activists are under increasing pressure worldwide, their pursuit of dignity and equal rights-for-all clashing with governments’ determination to silence dissent and “disobedience”. The list of governments frightened by the voice and passion of their own citizens is shamefully long. Their repression can take the shape of state crackdowns, intimidation by “secret services”, carefully orchestrated “targeted killings”, disappearances of activists and government bans on travel. The free press is muzzled. Minorities face discrimination, women are brutalised and abused, LGTB people are stigmatised. The vulnerable are bullied and exploited. Clearly these governments fear their own citizens more than they do foreign armies.
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It’s a strange and topsy-turvy world where any attempt to expose the plight of the poor and disenfranchised is considered unpatriotic and where standing up against brutality, intolerance and bad governance is condemned, not applauded. Small surprise then that the much-respected UN human rights chief ZeidRa’ad al-Hussein said last year that he would not be seeking a second term in office. “To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication, lessening the independence and integrity of my voice,” he explained. The discrimination and clampdowns can be insidious. Pakistani human rights defender Asma Jahangir, who died recently, was constantly harassed, stalked and denounced as “Western”, “secular” and “pro-Indian” be-
cause of her fearlessness in speaking truth to power. The equally courageous Pakistani Nobel peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai faces similar criticism in her home country.
The list of governments frightened by the voice and passion of their own citizens is shamefully long. Their repression can take the shape of state crackdowns, intimidation by “secret services”, carefully orchestrated “targeted killings”, disappearances of activists and government bans on travel.
Russia, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia are known for their harsh disregard for the rights of dissidents. Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi is being detained and tried by an Israeli military court on the charge of incitement to violence. While freeing a German national, a Turkish court has just sentenced six journalists to life in jail for alleged links to the July 2016 coup plotters despite criticism by the UN and OSCE representatives on media freedom. Sadly, even countries that were once seen as fairly safe are becoming much less so. India fell three spots on the World Press Freedom Index to 136th in 2017, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders, because of growing self-censorship and acts by Hindu nationalists trying to purge “anti-nationalist” thought. Southeast Asia’s performance is especially disheartening. The “disappearance” of Sombath Somphone, an internationally acclaimed civil society leader who was kidnapped from the streets of Vientiane in late 2012, is a glaring example of a worsening of the human rights situation in Laos. With elections coming up, the Cambodian government has slapped a massive tax bill on The Cambodia Daily, a local English-language newspaper often critical of the ruling elite, with many non-governmental organisations fearing a similar fate. The human rights situation in the Philippines has deteriorated rapidly under President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign. Religious intolerance is on the rise in Indonesia. In Myanmar, the military’s ethnic cleansing operations against the Rohingya Muslims show no signs of abating although over half a million Rohingya have had to flee their community, becoming refugees in Myanmar’s neighbouring states, including Thailand and Bangladesh. US President Donald Trump’s assault on non-discrimination and equal justice at home and his “bromance” with the world’s tough guys goes hand in hand with worldwide cutbacks in US support for human rights,
the rule of law, and good governance. As the US retreats from the global stage, European support for those fighting for human dignity becomes ever more important.
But “threats, physical and verbal attacks against activists” are also becoming the norm in parts of Europe, according to the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency. The world is watching as the European Commission launches unprecedented disciplinary proceedings against Poland, and Hungary continues its intimidation of pro-democracy civil society groups. As Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders said recently, many countries point at recent laws in Hungary and Poland to justify their own action against NGOs. Europe’s treatment of refugee and asylum seekers also leaves it open to criticism. Still, the EU is funding a range of initiatives to support human rights defenders at high risk, and EU Missions in many countries have special human rights officials charged with helping to protect vulnerable groups and individuals. Regular consultations and discussions also take place with civil society representatives as part of Europe’s relations with Africa, the Middle East and Asia. These initiatives are welcome and important. But they are still too-often an after-thought, a last-minute addon to the more important talks with governments. Civil society activists have trouble getting visas to travel to Europe. Their participation in EU-sponsored events is often barred by governments. But as experience has shown, listening only to state representatives while failing to interact with students, activists, trade unionists, members of parliaments and business leaders leads to flawed policies. The late Asma Jahangir, who was often at the European Parliament, is no longer there to stir our conscience. But she leaves a strong legacy for many others across the world who share her dedication and passion for justice and dignity – and who deserve our support. * Shada Islam Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe
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‘Who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data!’ by N. Peter Kramer
ome people in the US have the idea that false news articles that flooded Facebook and other online outlets during the presidential elections in November 2016 swung the election to Donald Trump. Similar suggestions of large persuasion effects, supposedly pushing Mr Trump to victory, have been made about for instance online advertising from Cambridge Analytica and content promoted by Russian bots. In the international edition of the New York Times on February 17-18, professor Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College (an Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire) wrote that ‘much more remains to be
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learned about the effects of these types of online activities, but people should not assume they had huge effects. Previous studies have found, for instance, that the effects of even television advertising (arguable a higher impact medium) are very small.’ Prof. Nyhan refers to some recent meta-analysis and field experiments that show null effects for different forms of campaign persuasion. ‘We shouldn’t be surprised – it’s hard to change people’s minds’. Votes are shaped by fundamentally factors like which party they typically support and how they view the state of the economy. He advises to ask three questions when eval-
uating claims about vast persuasion effects from dubious online content: How many people saw the questionable material? ‘Many alarming statistics have been produced about how many times fake news was shared on Facebook or how many times Russian bots retweeted content on Twitter. But’, Prof. Nyhan points out, ‘these statistics obscure the fact that the content being shared may not reach many Americans; most people are not on twitter and most people consume relatively little political news’. How persuadable are people exposed to fake news? According to Prof. Nyhan, dubious political content online is disproportionally likely to reach heavy news consumers who already have strong opinions. ‘For instance’, he wrote, ‘a study I conducted with Andrew Guess of Princeton University and Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter in Britain, showed that exposure to fake news websites before the 2016 election was heav-
ily concentrated among the 10 percent of Americans with the most conservative information diets – not exactly swing voters’. And, what is the proportion of news people saw that is bogus? ‘The total number of shares or likes that fake news and bots attract can sound enormous until you consider how much information circulates online’, is Prof. Nyhan’s view. ‘Twitter, for instance, reported that Russian bots tweeted 2.1 million times before the election – certainly a worrisome number. But these represented only 1 percent of all election-related tweets and 0.5 percent of views of election-related tweets.’ Prof. Nyhan’s conclusion is that none of the findings indicate that fake news and botsare not worrisome sings for American democracy. They can mislead and polarise citizens and undermine trust in news media. But thosewho want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data!’
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European Ombudsman: Juncker Commission has improved transparency The role and contribution of the European Ombudsman in promoting democratic accountability and transparency in European institutions was highlighted by the Head of the organization, Emily O'Reilly, in an exclusive interview with European Business Review by Eirini Sotiropoulou
rs. O' Reilly took up her duties as European Ombudsman in October 2013. She was the first female Ombudsman and Information Commissioner in Ireland. She is an award-winning political editor, journalist and writer. EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW: WHAT IS THE ROLE AND THE MISSION OF THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN REGARDING TRANSPARENCY? DO YOU THINK THAT THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS HAVE TAKEN THE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO PROMOTE IT? European Ombudsman: Sometimes 13% of the complaints that we deal with are related to transparency and that could be access to documents or information regarding conflict of interest issues. So, it is a big part of the work that I do and I try hard to promote, because it is a core value within the EU system. I think the transparency of the institutions has improved significantly the last few years. Certainly, the Juncker Commission has made significant improvements in terms of making the work that it does and being more open. And this is very important because when people are in member states, it’s very difficult for them to see what’s happening in Brussels. Thus, the more that is out there, the more that is easily accessible by the media, the civil society or the citizen’s themselves, the better it is. Especially when there is a crisis of trust in the EU institutions, then it is important for them ?? be as open as they can be regarding the work that they do, if they want to regain, retain, improve citizen’s trust. EBR: WHICH ARE THE MAIN PROBLEMS MENTIONED BY THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS IN THEIR COMPLAINTS? E.O.: Well, it’s a wide range of issues. Transparency is
an issue, sometimes people who have contracts for supplying the agencies, the institutions with goods and services. Moreover, people often complaint about procurement issues or that the Commission has failed to take enforcement action in relation to a particular matter. Last but not least, there are young people who have been trying to get into one of the European institutions and they may not have been successful. So, if they feel that the process has been unfair, they come to us. And I suppose the most important thing about my office is that it is free, accessible and of course independent. EBR: WHAT IS YOUR VIEW REGARDING THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN GREECE AND HOW CAN THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN CONTRIBUTE TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS THIS THORNY ISSUE? E.O.: As you know, it is a multifaceted issue that ultimately has to be dealt with politically and of course you are aware of all of the political arguments over the last years in relation to member state responsibility and the fair sharing of responsibility for the migrants and asylum seekers. In this context, I involve myself at certain levels. For example I’ve done a lot of work with the FRONTEX, with the border agency, in relation to watch if they comply with their obligations under the charge of fundamental rights. Furthermore, I’ve looked at the EU-Turkey deal regarding the return of people to Turkey, emphasizing on the human rights aspect. And of course I’ve worked with the member state office, including Mr. Pottakis, who has a lot of involvement as the Greek Ombudsman, supporting the work that we do.
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German Politics: The Limbo is over With a new term for Merkel, Germany and Europe can breathe a sigh of relief by Holger Schmieding *
ermany’s center-left SPD has agreed to join chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU in another “grand coalition.”. SPD members endorsed the draft coalition deal which party leaders had struck four weeks ago with a 66% majority, a bigger margin than expected. This bodes well for the stability of the new government.
bers had approved a much less controversial coalition with Merkel. Sunday’s result also strengthens the SPD’s two top leaders, Olaf Scholz and the designated new party boss Andrea Nahles.
The Bundestag is scheduled to re-elect Merkel for her fourth term on March 14th. After almost six months of limbo, Germany will thus have a regular government again in time for the EU summit on March 22-23.
Probably yes, at least for almost a full term. Agreeing on a post-election coalition has been more difficult than ever before in German post-war history. With little love lost between the CDU/CSU and SPD, the risk that their coalition may fall apart prematurely is real.
While the SPD has yet to officially nominate its six ministers for the government, the current mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, looks set to be the new finance minister. Although many of the SPD rank-and-file may have preferred to renew their party in opposition, the fear that the SPD might drop even well below last September’s dismal 20.5% in potential new elections probably tilted the balance strongly towards a “yes.” The fact that the SPD has secured the finance ministry for itself in the envisaged new coalition may also have helped. The result of the SPD vote was somewhat closer than it had been in 2013 when a 76% majority of SPD mem-
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WILL MERKEL STAY ON FOR A FULL TERM UNTIL AUTUMN 2021?
Nonetheless, Germans value stability. Whoever breaks the coalition may be punished by voters at the next opportunity. As a result, CDU/CSU and SPD are likely to stay in their pragmatic arrangement for a full term although the SPD has reserved the right to review the coalition agreement mid-term. Merkel herself has repeatedly stressed that she had campaigned to stay on as chancellor for a full term. While she may possibly anoint a successor and yield office a little ahead of the next regular election in the autumn of 2021, she probably will not step down mid-term. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS TERM? Merkel is unlikely to run again in 2021. She has now
promoted a few younger and rising CDU politicians (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Jens Spahn, Julia Klöckner) to visible national roles who might be potential candidates to succeed her in a few years. Politically, “grand coalitions” between tend to strengthen the smaller opposition parties, including the fringes such as the right-wing AfD (currently at 13-15% in opinion polls). Judging by experience, including that of the CDU/CSU-SPD grand coalition that Merkel had led in her last term, both major parties may lose votes again in 2021. However, whether that rule will really hold in 2021 is an open question. Both parties will be led by new leaders for the 2021 election. Experience around the Western world in the last few years has demonstrated the decisive impact which charismatic new leaders can make (think France’s Emmanuel Macron and Austria’s Sebastian Kurz). If CDU/CSU or SPD run with somebody in 2021 who convinces voters, they may still win rather than lose the next German election. WILL GERMAN POLICIES CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY? No, not much. By and large, Germany will continue along the path which the same CDU/CSU-SPD coalition under Chancellor Merkel had taken in the last four years already. In addition, for many issues concerning Europe, migration and taxes, the CDU/CSU-SPD coalition will need the supports of some Greens in the upper house of parliament (Bundesrat), as was the case in the last few years. Broadly speaking, German policies will remain driven by a consensus between most mainstream parties. That limits the scope for sudden policy shifts. On European issues, we do not expect the likely transition to Olaf Scholz (SPD) as new German finance minister to make a decisive difference. The current mayor of Hamburg is seen as a safe pair of hands on the more conservative side of his party. He has vowed to maintain the “black zero”, that is a small budget surplus at the federal level. EXPECT MODEST PROGRESS ON EUROPE Mr. Scholz will be highly visible and play a significant role in European negotiations. But as was the case with Wolfgang Schäuble, Merkel will ultimately call the shots. The German position will not soften by more
than the conservative parts of Merkel’s CDU/CSU can accept. Offers of more German money will remain tied to tough conditions. A major increase in powers for the European Commission and/or the European parliament looks unlikely, especially as Martin Schulz (former head of the European parliament) had to resign as SPD leader three weeks ago. Instead, expect modest progress towards a banking union (such as the ESM turning into the final backstop in case that a major bank needs to be wound down) and some steps towards a building up a joint deposit insurance in the eurozone over time. We also look for progress on non-economic issues such as defence. At home, key policies of the new government will be a modest increase in government spending while maintaining a small fiscal surplus (“black zero”), small tax cuts (partial abolition of the “solidarity surcharge” to the income tax). Unfortunately, Germany is also heading for further small-scale reversals of the labour market and healthcare reforms of the years around 2004 that had turned the country from the “sick man of Europe” into the continent’s major growth engine. At the behest of the SPD, the new government intends to remove the cap on employer contributions to the health care schemes for their employees, tighten the rules for temporary work contracts and make some pension entitlements more generous. CAN GERMAN AFFORD MORE “GROKO” POLICIES? At full employment and in the midst of a cyclical upturn, Germany can easily afford these policies for a while. The modest damage to the country’s supply potential may only become visible in the wake of the next cyclical downturn. With a somewhat less flexible labour market and higher non-wage labour costs to fund the mandatory pension, health-care and nursing care schemes, German companies may be more reluctant to raise employment in the next cyclical recovery than they are at the moment. In the coming decade, Germany will likely fall back from its position close to the top towards the middle of the European growth league, while France may surge close to the top thanks to the Macron reforms. * Holger Schmieding Chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London
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Opportunities amidst Crisis in EUIsrael Ties The EU and Israel have known better years of more extensive relations and stronger hopes for closer ties. Sadly, the current era is not one of growth and warming of relations by Raanan Eliaz * and Dimitri Dombret **
owever, this rather gloomy state of affairs, described by two ardent advocates for closer, strategic ties between the EU and Israel, is not set in stone.
flourishing cooperation in several areas, which ought to be nourished and concretized by leadership in the near future, lest it dissipate into nearly nothing.
There are certain areas where progress can be accomplished despite the current atmosphere, with an EU that is self-consumed by unprecedented internal crisis and the struggling Israeli leadership, which, by and large does not view Europe as a viable partner.
It almost goes without saying that, as Israel is one of the world leaders in the field of security, intelligence and cyber, the EU should make the most of the partnership with its Middle-East ally as a resource as it confronts and responds to emerging threats within its borders.
The EU and Israel have indeed cultivated valuable and
Additionally, having built a solid basis as the start-up
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nation, Israel is an invaluable partner to the EU in the development of ground-breaking technologies – a trend confirmed by the rising trade exchanges among the Israeli and EU markets. In January, Israel Minister of Economy, Eli Cohen disclosed figures showing that Israel’s exports topped $100 billion for the first time on the back of surging trade with Europe, and that Israeli exports to the EU market had already broken the $100 billion mark in 2017, though projected only for 2020. After two successive years of decline, thanks to the improved economic climate in the European bloc, exports to the European Union increased by 20%, to $16 billion to account for some 35% of all Israeli goods exports. The largest increase in exports to Europe, was to the United Kingdom and France, each registering an increase of around 35%. Moreover, in its 2017 annual SRM report “Economic relations between Italy and the Mediterranean” released by Italian Bank Intesa San Paolo in Cooperation with the Centre for Economic Studies, Israel is considered a strategic market in the Mediterranean area for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the fields of agritech, maritime transportation, research, innovation and logistics. Moreover, one of Europe’s critical challenges, i.e., the arrival of immigrants and their integration into the member states' economy and civil society, can be dramatically eased by sharing experience with Israel. In about one decade, the country successfully integrated over one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union republics and a smaller number of Ethiopian immigrants. In the process of integration, Israel overcame huge challenges, gathered useful experience and grew stronger. Today it can assist the EU in encouraging social cohesion and articulating a narrative to increase solidarity. Last, but not least, comes the role the EU might play in preparing for Israel-Palestine negotiations. Since the current intrastate and interstate of affairs does not bode well for renewed negotiations, the EU holds a unique position for assisting in the margins and in preparing the ground for a brighter future. Sooner or later, both Israel and Palestine will have leadership that is capable of making peace. The Palestinians do not perceive the current US administration as a viable moderator. The EU can perpetuate therefore an aura of peaceful resolution to the long years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict by far more decisively endorsing the rapprochement of the two people’s civil societies.
To this end, the EU should increase its presence in the field of Israel-Palestine education and innovation in education. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The EU is well positioned to provide expertise, experience and support in enhancing and improving existing initiatives which bring Israelis and Palestinians closer. As founder of the Forum of Strategic Dialogue, one author of this article has viewed first-hand how non-governmental initiatives and out-of-the-box strategic dialogues can assist and generate the creation of pragmatic solutions, to advance common interests and shared values. Hence, new generations of Israeli and Palestinian citizens can ultimately forge new initiatives that could result from joint educational programmes and enhanced integration of Israeli and Palestinian schoolchildren and students. Such programmes can have many faces, some within existing frameworks offered by Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus, and others in original and privately funded programmes. EU expertise can help Israelis and Palestinians define a narrative deprived of hate speech, one that would be included in textbooks and generate a new and more informed generation of Israelis and Palestinians. Through EU funding opportunities such as the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) and the EU Peacebuilding Initiative (formerly EU Partnership for Peace Programme), the EU can support and promote Israeli and Palestinian organisations that fight on an everyday basis to improve lives of citizens. If the EU succeeds in steering a fruitful collaboration between the counterparts, it may be able to contribute to a better outcome for the next generation and to peaceful future perspectives in the Middle East.
* Raanan Eliaz Founder and former Director General of the European Leadership Network (ELNET) and the Forum of Strategic Dialogue (FSD), two organizations dedicated to strengthening EU-Israel ties.
** Dimitri Dombret Former Executive Director of European Friends of Israel (from 2006 until 2009), a trans-European and politically independent organization which was active in Brussels and in EU Member States. He is an advocate for better EU-Israel relations and he currently runs a Public Affairs & Communication company based in Belgium.
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PeopleCert: Becoming a global leader in people certification through Technology Mr. Byron Nicolaides, President of European IT Professionals and CEO of PeopleCert, on European trends and challenges of youth unemployment by Alexandra Papaisidorou
reece comes back from the darkness. Some predicted that it will not. But, even in the darkest hours, there are factors and, mainly, people who set the pace for change and lead the way towards hope through vision, hard work, and faith in young people’s abilities. Such visionaries exist and surely one of them is Byron Nicolaides, the founder, President and CEO of PeopleCert. Being a global leader in the certification industry, with 10,000 examination centres, 9,000 employees and partners across the world, PeopleCert group moves with great speed towards the future! Having built an extensive portfolio of globally recognised certifications, PeopleCert delivers millions of exams in more than 200 countries using state-of-theart technology, creates new job positions and grows steadily. PeopleCert’s future looks certainly bright. With a current reserve of contracts exceeding $100 million in revenue for 2018 and with plans to grow to an excess of $200 million by 2022, PeopleCert can be classified as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe, while being the world leading provider of personnel certification.
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PeopleCert’s “heart” beats in Athens. Despite the fact that the company generates only 4% of its turnover in Greece, the company decided to invest in the country’s human recourses and make Greece its functional hub center, contributing to easing unemployment and creating those conditionsto reduce the brain drain phenomenon (over 500,000 Greeks have left their home country due to the financial crisis looking to improve their career prospects). With an average of two recruits per day during the last year, PeopleCert is expanding rapidly, having more than doubled its workforce during the last year. Despitethe increasing talent shortage, PeopleCert manages to maintain a pool of top, well-qualified talent: 82% of employees hold university degrees and 55% of those hold post graduate and/or doctorate degrees. European Business Review has the honour to discuss with Mr. Byron Nicolaides, who is also the President of CEPIS, representing over 450.000 European IT Professionals. MR. NICOLAIDES, PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT “YOUR” GREECE: A DIFFERENT GREECE, THE ONE THAT CREATES AND GUARANTEES A
SAFE FUTURE FOR HER CHILDREN. HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION? What we do in PeopleCertis very simple: we combine our Greek spirit with a global entrepreneurial mindset. We have an inspirational vision, a clear strategy and we workvery hard, while remaining loyal to our four values that govern all our activities: Quality, Innovation, Passion and Integrity. We respect and we love our country and, to that end, while our registered office is located in the UK and only 4% of our turnover is generated in Greece, we keep our operations in the country. In addition to supporting the local economy, we also offer our Greece-based 320 full-time employees the opportunity to work for a truly international company, in a secure and dynamic environment. International recognition is the result of our continuous efforts to become the global player in personnel certification. We have built an extensive portfolio of over 600 globally recognised certifications, delivering millions of exams in more than 200 countries using our award-winning, in-house built technology. WHAT IS YOUR DRIVING FORCE MR. NICOLAIDES? Someone might say that the company’s driving force is its Technology (or Research & Development) Team, consistingof more than 70 top performing Greek software engineers who develop groundbreaking applications. Or our Customer Service and Support Depart-
ment, which supports candidates and partners on a 24 hour basis, 365 days a year, in more than 20 languages. One might add that what makes PeopleCert stand out in the international market are its cutting edge, flexible and secure examination systems that allow the global delivery exams. PeopleCert boasts about having one of the bestand more reliable online proctoring examination systems in the industry. Our expertly trained Online Proctors guide candidates through the exam process and make sure that they have a comfortable, secure and hassle-free experience. It all comes down to our state-of-the-art exam technology and our innovative mobile apps that can support all the possible delivery methods of exams. All of the above arethe result of our entrepreneurial way of thinking. We continuously aim to improve our work while securing our reputation as a Global Leader in Exam Delivery and Certification of Persons. HAVING BEEN ELECTED TWICE AS THE CEPIS’ PRESIDENT AND, THUS, HAVING A CLEAR IMAGE OF THE CURRENT STATE OF ICT (INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY) IN EUROPE, COULD YOU GIVE US AN IDEA OF THE CRUCIAL POINTS THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION FOR THE EVOLVING ICT ENVIRONMENT OF EUROPE? The 4th Industrial Revolution is under way and reports from various organizations, such as the European Com-
PeopleCert delivers million exams in over 200 countries
Circles indicate countries in which PEOPLECERT has administered examinations in 02/2017 – 02/2018. 24x7x365 customer service
10,000+ exam locations
award winning technology
7,800 subject matter experts peoplecert.org firstname.lastname@example.org
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mission or McKinsey, continuously flag the expected changes. A primary repercussion is the global increase of the gap between demand and supply in high-level ICT Skills, leading to a high number of job vacancies. New job profiles are being developed, requiring different skill sets. Someone can easily understand, following the technology disruptions of the past 20 years, why futurists claim that up to 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. Further, globally, up to 800 million of today’s jobs could be lost due to automation and up to 375 million workers will need to switch occupational categories by 2030.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Milestones International expansion kicks off with global delivery of ITIL Qualifications, the global best practice in IT Service Management Invested heavily in Assessment Technology for paper- and computer-based testing Delivered exams in 60 countries Developed its first global online proctoring technology (exam supervision from webcam) Got global distribution rights for PRINCE2, the world’s most well-known Project Management methodology Acquired City & Guilds English Language qualification, later revamped to LanguageCert Awarded sole distribution of AXELOS global best practice portfolio. AXELOS is joint venture of the UΚ government and Capita Plc. Added over 500 new partners, exceeding a network of 2000 globally
Professionals are increasingly needed in a number of ICT fields, such as software development, digital marketing, big data, business analysis, project management and cybersecurity. All countries, regardless of their economic state need to deal immediately with the current and expected implications. IN AN EFFORT TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES, COULD WE ASSUME THAT ON TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST, LIES YOUR EFFORTTO RESKILL GREEKS ON PROGRAMMING? I strongly believe that because of the shortage of ICT professionals globally, in Europe and in Greece, we must focus on youth reskilling – converting our unemployed talent to software developers and in other, in-demand, ICT professionals. Our question is whether we can create half a million ICT jobs in Greece within the next 10 years! The feasibility study commissioned in cooperation with the Athens University of Economics and Business, ALBA and HePIS (the Hellenic Professional Informatics Society) investigated this and concluded that, yes, it is indeed possible; we can create many,well-paid, ICT jobs in Greece within 10 years. We just need to utilize the existing pool of unemployed people and ensure the cooperation of the public and the private sector.
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Greece is an excellent option for global companies looking to set up here ICT-related cost centres, such as their data analytics or software development functions. Greece offers access to highly-educated workforce, equally sophisticated but less expensive when compared to other developed countries, such as the UK or the USA. Furthermore, the great thing about most ICT professionals is that they can work remotely. You can work from anywhere in Greece, including the islands, for any company anywhere in the world – right from your home.
Going back to the reskilling element, top foreign and local employers are great supporters of our Coding Bootcamps. We have already reskilled as Software Developers hundreds of candidates and “matched” them with top employers as we are the inspiration behind Alliance of Digital Employability (AFDEmp) and its Coding Bootcamps. The concept is simple: we are selecting unemployed, mainly Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) candidates, that have zero or limited technical backgrounds. Essentially, they start from scratch. If they graduate successfully – after completing an extremely intensive program of 500 training hours in 12 weeks (which means at least 8 training hours per day), 3 exams, and a number of hand-on projects (e.g. web-based apps), we help them join top companies as entry-level developers. This is a life-changing experience. Personally, I am extremely happy that our vision of quickly converting unemployed young people to ICT professionals has become a reality. We change their future permanently. Under the AFD Emp umbrella we have successfully finished 3such “pilot” Coding Bootcamps and we are currently busy getting prepared for the next phase: expansion and large-scale impact. Classes take place in PeopleCert Innovation and Excellence Center and additional activities are already scheduled in the following months. Demand has grown and in creasingly more companies approach us to find new talent and support AFD Emp’s initiative. This proves that we have made a huge step towards establishing a new educational model.
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Τhe effects of banking regulation and supervision on the banking system overall stability. Τhe case of Greece. “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies” Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of the United States (1743-1826) by Dr Antonis Zairis and George Zairis
Bank is a risky business with the possibility of default. Consequently, it is not absurd to state that banking is one of the most regulated industries in the world (Chortareas, Girardone and Ventouri, 2012). It is an undeniable fact that, with the advent of financial crisis, banking regulation and supervision play an even more important and leading role on the stability of the banking system than before. The aim of this essay is to focus on two major points: Firstly, to analyse the impact of banking regulation and supervision on the banking system’s overall stability and secondly to try to give an answer to the following question: ‘’will a more firmly supervised and regulated system be more appropriate to secure the robustness of the global banking system?” And secondly, this essay will focus on the controversial aspect of banking regulation and supervision while in parallel we will discuss the impact of banking regulation and supervision in the Euro Area and Greece. To begin with, it is essential to give a clear definition of what regulation and supervision mean. Τhe term regulation refers to the setting of the particular principles that firms or banks need to obey to. These might be a set of laws, rules or legislation to be stipulated by the appropriate regulatory agency. On the other hand, supervision is a term used to allude to the general oversight of the behavior of firms and banks (Casu, Girardone and Molineux, 2007).This means that the main difference between banking regulation and supervision is that the first include the
law-on-the-books while the second include the actual implementation of these laws. MEASURING BANKING SOUNDNESS As the main purpose of the essay is to discuss the effects of banking regulation, it is very important to have a specific measurement of the bank’s soundness and robustness. This measure is the Z-score. The basic principle of the z-scoremeasure is “to relate a bank’s capital level to variability in its returns, so that one can know how much variability in returns can be absorbed by capital without the bank becoming insolvent. The variability in returns is typically measured by the standard deviation of Return on Assets (ROA) as the denominator of z-score, while the numerator of the ratio is typically defined as the ratio of equity capital to assets plus ROA"(Li, Tripe, and Malone,2017). So, z-score can be calculated by the following equation: (Average Return on assets(ROA) + equity/assets)/( standard deviation of the return of assets(ROA) ) Ζ-score catches the probability of default of a country’s banking systemand it can be explained as the number of standard deviations below the mean by which returns would have to fall to wipe out bank equity(Demirguc-Kunt, Detragiache and Tressel,2008).From the measurements with z-score we can conclude that a low-risk bank or a country's low-risk banking sector will have a high value of z-score, demonstrating that an extensive number of the standard deviation of a bank's asset return need to drop to become insolvent. On the other hand, a high-risk bank or a country's high-
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risk banking sector will have a low value of z-score (Li, Tripe, and Malone, 2017). When we use z-scores to measure bank soundness, we should take into consideration that this kind of measurement is an accounting-based measure. This means that we may face problems when we try to measure the soundness in low income and undeveloped countries where accounting standards have a tendency to be unavailable. Moreover, in these countries laws and regulations might not be enforced as they should. Furthermore, z-score may fail to find an appropriate correlation due to the sample of banks which is examined. For instance, we will fail to have a clear result if in the same sample we include big institutions or investment banks with small banks. In this essay, three different z-scores will be examined and compared. The first one will be the world z-score which contains 220 countries from all over the world in the years 2005-2015, a period thatincludes the financial crisis in. The second one contains the countries of the euro areaand the third one, the case of Greece, a country which is one of the most recent examples of strict banking regulation if the introduction of capital controls in 2015 is taken into consideration. The table and the values used are as follows: Year\Bank z-score World Euro Area 2005 10.64 9.57 2006 10.36 10.36 2007 11.31 11.02 2008 10.92 8.31 2009 10.94 10.49 2010 10.65 10.14 2011 10.96 8.85 2012 10.975 10.12 2013 10.87 8.78 2014 11.215 11 2015 10.755 10.31 Source: Global Financial Development
Greece 4.41 4.8 5.02 3.39 4.33 3.78 0.02 2.43 6.95 4.98 4.73
BANKING REGULATION AND SUPERVISION Regulation plays the role of the external power in the capital optimization procedure as banks set simultaneously the level of capital and a number of risky assets to hold in order to acquiesce with the minimum capital ratio. Nevertheless, if we consider the moral hazard and asymmetries of information characterising the banking activity, sometimes banks might have perverse motives that incite them to increase risk when called to respond to stricter capital requirements, in order to keep their desired leverage (Tandra, 2015).As for the banking supervision, it is significant to refer to
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that the main point when we measure supervisory effectiveness is sanctions and on-site audits and what is the impact is on the level of bank risk in bank portfolios (Delis and Staikouras,2011). As we desire to find the effects of banking regulation and supervision, it is very significant to refer to the regulatory and supervisory authorities which differ from country to country as every country has different institutional settings and characteristics. On the other hand, there are some criteria that all banks should meet that are set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and more specifically by the more recent programme “Basel III”. The Committee concludes that the greatest weaknesses of the banking sector, which mainly caused the crisis, have been the excessive leverage, inadequate capital and insufficient liquidity of many financial institutions. Therefore, the Committee proposes regulations and measures to strengthen the above systemic inadequacies. When we examine the z-score on a global level we can observe a normality with little to no fluctuations. This is foreseeable if we take into account the large number of countries which include banks that have large differences in their risk profiles. In addition, each country in the sample can be characterised by a different banking system style and different macroeconomic factors such as economic growth, inflation, external debt, current account balance and other factors (Klomp and de Haan,2015). Furthermore, we should also take into consideration that the factor of corruption or inefficient enforcement of the law is also something very important in banking regulation because, in many countries, banks do not follow the rights and rules of the regulatory authorities. BANKING REGULATION AND SUPERVISION IN THE EURO AREA The banking regulation in the Euro Area has been split into two main segments. The first one is the regulatory level of the national authorities which oversight the operation of the financial institutions such as banks in accordance with the national specificities in all countries of the Eurozone. The second one is the direction given by the European Union which is compulsory for all the members but at the same timel, those directives are modified by the countries into their own legal framework and regulation in accordance with the national characteristics and particularities. From the speech of the chairman of the ECB’s supervisory Board at the European Banking Federation’s SSM Forum, Daniele Nouv, on the 6th of April of 2016, it can be summarized that after the low z-scores in the years 2012-2013 which were the years of turmoil in
the Eurozone, the priority of the regulatory reform is to increase the resilience of the banks. In order to succeed this, the European banks should develop their capital positions, in other words, they should aim to hold more capital. It does not seem to be a coincidence that if we observe the bank z-score graph of the euro area we can note a rise from 2013 to 2014, an expected behavior if we take into account that since 2012 the CET1 ratio, which is a capital measure that was introduced in 2014 as precautionary measure to protect the economy from financial crisis, has risen, on average, from 9% to around 13%. This increase in capital ratio is a notable achievement in terms of conforming to the new regulatory reality. On the other hand, we should not forget that regulation and supervision do not affect low-risk banks but have a very important effect on high-risk banks. For instance, the banks in Germany, which is the most powerful member of the Eurozone, have different characteristics from the banks in Greece which appears andis believed to be one of the weakest members in the Eurozone. Similarly, Chortareas, Girardone, and Ventouri (2010) investigate the case of the Euro Area and conclude that actions with the aim to restrict bank activities can have the reverse result in banking performance and, instead of a higher banking performance, the result will be an increase in the probability of a banking crisis. Moreover, tighter regulations on banking activities resulted in serious increases to the cost of financial intermediation. THE CASE OF GREECE Greek banking law and supervision has been altered in order to“catch” the fast pace of the powerful members of the euro area and adjust to the rigorous EU initiatives. Although the last ten years Greek banks have not an easy mission to adapt in the global financial crisis. We should take into consideration that they have experienced continuous challenging conditions such as the successive credit rating downgrades of the Hellenic Republic (from A in 2007 to CCC in 2015 by Fitch), the restructuring of the public debt through participation of the private sector (“PSI”) in 2009, the continuous uncertainty regarding Greece’s continued participation in the Eurozone (referendum in 2015), the tremendous rise of non-performing loans (“NPLs”) and depletion of the loan portfolio quality, the unavailability of interbanking or capital markets funding and finally the capital controls. So, given the fact that the situation in Greece was so difficult, the Greek Government with the cooperation of the regulatory authority in Greece, the Bank of Greece (BoG), adopt the following way to recover:
Ask for help from the emergency liquidity assistance mechanism (“ELA”). Persuade all Greek banks to increase their capital base to a conservatively (after the stress tests) estimated adequate level and thus either recapitalize or rehabilitate. Request guidance and assistance from the European Commission (“Commission”), the European Central Bank (“ECB”) and the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) for the implementation of reforms in the financial sector via the “controversial” (for the Greek people) first, second and third economic adjustment programs. If we take into account the above facts and observe the bank z-scores on page 3, it is absolutely logical that in 2007, in which regulations were not so tight, we can observe a small decrease in z-score values due to the unprepared Greek banks dealing with the global financial crisis. After 5 years, in 2011 the z-score value is almost zero because of the political uncertainty and the lack of regulatory authorities in Greek banks. But from 2011, leading to the relief effort of ECB with its correct regulatory and supervisory mechanism we can observe an upward trend in the values of z-score until 2013 when political uneasiness proved able to upset the environment. Since 2014, under the SSM Framework Regulation, the ECB has direct supervisory jurisdiction in relation to the prudential and governance requirements over the four banks of Greece that are systemically important to the EU financial stability. This action has an impact the absolute transformation of the supervisory banking system in Greece since the ECB through its Supervisory Board and Governing Council is exclusively competent for the supervision of the most crucial part of the Greek banking sector. The Bank of Greece (BoG) retained its exclusive supervisory powers only on the few remaining smaller Greek banks that include a small market share less than 10%(Rigakou,2017). Therefore, we can conclude that the change in the supervisory authority in Greece had a positive impact on Greek banks. In 2015, Greek government reached the end of its bailout extension period without having come to an agreement for further extension with its creditors. As a result, ECB took the decision not to increase the level of ELA for Greek banks which had as a consequence the introduction of capital controls in June 2015. In this year we can observe a downward trend in z-score values. It is a fact that very strict regulations, such as capital controls push the z-score down, do not reduce banking risk (Klomp and de Haan, 2015). But in the case of Greece, if the BoG should not enforced this strict form of regulation, Greek banks will have an even bigger liquidity problem which may cause another collapse in the banking sector.
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Even if we analyse the world in general, the euro area or Greece, it is a fact that when we talk about supervision, auditing plays a very crucial role in the discipline of banks. Firstly, a direct effect of banking supervision is the creation of more exact and accurate financial reports. Secondly, they boost market discipline through public disclosure of audit findings and finally enhance supervisory discipline as the auditors' disclosures may form the basis for the application of recovering actions by supervisory authorities. On the other hand, there is a strong correlation between powerful supervisors, which might use their power to satisfy their own incentives and corruption. This happened becausesupervisors - instead of having as a priority a better bank performance - focus on attract voters or donations because they have incentives to push a specific political party (Barth, Caprio Jr, and Levine, 2004). CONCLUSION Banking regulation and supervision will always be a controversial issue. This happens because the effectiveness of banking regulation and supervision depends not only on data and regressions that shows bank robustness and the correlation with the regulatory or supervisory framework but also on other factors, such as the economic cycle, country, and the type of capital considered. As we examine in this paper, we can conclude that, in general, banking regulation and supervision has a positive effect in banking soundness while a more strictly and tightly banking system will always be a controversial issue because in some cases, like the occasion of Greece helped for the banking stability but in many other cases, a strictly and tightly banking system can may have a negative impact in the development of banks. REFERENCES Georgios E.Chortareas, Claudia Girardone, Alexia Ventouri.
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(2012) “Bank supervision, regulation, and efficiency: Evidence from the European Union” pp.292-294 Casu, B., Girardone, C.,Molineux, P.,(2015) “Introduction to Banking”. Pearson Education Limited, 2nd Edition Xiping Li, David Tripe, Chris Malone. (2017) “Measuring bank risk: An exploration of z-score”pp.3-4 AsliDemirguc-Kunt, EnricaDetragiache, Thierry Tressel.(2008) “Banking on the principles: Compliance with Basel Core Principles and bank soundness” pp.514-516 AlessandraTandra.(2015) “The Effects of Bank Regulation on the Relationship Between Capital and Risk” pp.32-33 Delis, M.D and Staikouras, P.K. (2011) "Supervisory effectiveness and bank risk"pp.511-514 JeroenKlomp and Jakib de Haan.(2015) “Bank regulation and financial fragility in developing countries: Does bank structure matter?” pp.84,86-88 James R.Barth,GerardCaprioJr,Ross Levine.(2004) “Bank regulation and supervision: what works best?”pp.212 ZsofiaKenesy, Marta Nagyne, Sasvan, Laszlo Pataki, Rita Anna Ambrus.(2016) “New ways of European Banking regulation and deposit insurance”. Rigakou, S. (2017). Greece | Banking Regulation 2017 Global Legal Insights. [online] GLI - Global Legal Insights Greece | Banking Regulation 2017. Available at: https://www.globallegalinsights.com/practice-areas/banking-and-finance/global-legal-)insights---banking-regulation-4th-ed./greece#chaptercontent7 [Accessed 1 Nov. 2017]. Bank, E. (2017). Adjusting to new realities – banking regulation and supervision in Europe. [online] European Central Bank Banking Supervision. Available at: https://www.bankingsupervision.europa.eu/press/speeches/date/2016/html/se160406. en.html [Accessed 2 Nov. 2017]. * Dr Antonis Zairis Vice President Hellenic Retail Business Association
** George Zairis University of Edinburgh, Banking and Risk
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ΜYTILINEOS: Value for our people
ot many Greek businesses can claim that are multinational companies and clearly not many Greek business can celebrate achievements and awareness in an international level. MYTILINEOS is a silent force, but a strong one nonetheless. Through the years, it has managed to thrive in all aspects of its diversed business and truly transform into a major organisation, with a recognisable and acknowledged brand.
More specifically, the MYTILINEOS EPC & Infrastructure Business Unit, under the well known and appreciated brand METKA undertakes and implements turn-key energy projects, providing a complete range of engineering, procurement and construction services and successfully penetrating developing markets abroad, with projects under way simultaneously in the markets of Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.
With the corporate transformation that took place last year and the integration of its subsidiaries into the new corporate entity, it enhanced operational flexibility and further strengthened its market position and financing capabilities.
METKA has managed to establish itself in a very difficult global environment and to distinguish for its unique know-how, reliability, flexibility and ability to successfully carry out highly demanding projects.
The new corporate structure marks for MYTILINEOS the successful completion of a crucial strategic step forward towards the company’s transition into a new era, as it has shielded itself effectively against the constantly changing conditions and has affirmed its prospects for further growth, in the face of increasing competition in the global markets. MYTILINEOS is active in the EPC and construction sectors through METKA, in the Metallurgy and Mining sector through Aluminium of Greece, and in the Energy sector through Protergia. It has a strong international presence in 30 countries, that establishes it as a global leader, as its exports to markets abroad account formore than 2% of total Greek exports, benefiting significantly the national economy. 38 | EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW
MYTILINEOS is also a leader in the Metallurgy sector, with the trading name Aluminium of Greece – the largest vertically integrated alumina and aluminium producer in the European Union and one of Greece’s healthiest growing industrial companies. The company’s international business activity, in cooperation with DELPHI-DISTOMON, is a driving force for the national economy as well as for the development of the Greek periphery. Aluminium of Greece has completed 50 years in operation and 10 years of successful growth in Greece, with over €600 million of investments in the technological upgrade of its plant’s facilities and the improvement of output and productivity. This was one of the largest private investments to be carried out in Greece recently. MYTILINEOS is also firmly established in the Electric Power market. The Power & Gas Business Unit, where the
businesses, professionals and households and aiming to meet the customers’ requirements for competitive prices and modern, reliable services. The company’s position in the Energy sector is strengthened by its Natural Gas activity, which secures natural gas supplies on competitive terms, thus enabling it to enhance the its energy profile while, at the same time, achieving remarkable organic growth.Notably, the company was acknowledged as the one who effectively launched the liberalised Greek Natural Gas market, delivering the very first private liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo in Greece and furthermore, at a later stage, the very first to import pipe line gas. As recently reported, MYTILINEOS has secured a supply contract with a major European Natural Gas producer, its first ever direct contract with a final consumer in SE Europe, signifying the status and importance of the company’s role in the wider region.
Company is active through Protergia, whichis among the leaders of the private-sector initiative in the electric power market and is the largest independent electricity producer in Greece, with a portfolio of energy assets totalling more than 1,200 MWh of installed capacity, which accounts for over 13.5% of the licensed thermal plant production capacity operation in the country. PROTERGIA is also active in the supply of electric power, providing electricity to
The future lies with MYTILINEOS and this surely is not an optimistic review. Both Greek and international analysts swear to the potentials of the company, a belief reflected in their stated opinions. Last but not least, the mind and heart behind the company, Evangelos Mytilineos, Chairman and CEO, who is always seeking opportunities, to enrich MYTILINEOS. He recently stated something that we are not very used to, when it comes to Greek companies:”If you want to succeed, you must invest and you must create value for your people”.
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Football stock market by Giannis Pagkalias
very day a small percentage of people in the world is watching the stock market and financial indexes in a market where the amounts reported and traded are so large that it seems impossible that one can calculate them with mathematical precision. Apart from the size, special knowledge and great experience is needed to enable everyone to understand the complex economic ecosystem. However, there is a place where huge amounts of money are circulated around the world, for which no special knowledge is needed to watch someone, but only a television or a computer monitor. This is football, a sport that attracts hundreds of millions of people every day.It is no overstatement that football is now a stock market with its own rules, but as a product it is accessible to anyone. Was it always like that? If not, then how did we reach the point to spend 223 million euros for the Brazilian player Neymar Jr in the summer of 2017 s in order to move from Barcelona FC to Paris Saint Germain. Football is the number one sport in the world.The football championships in five European countries and the two European tournaments each year, attract billions of spectators around the world. European football has always held the lead in collective tournaments, but its enlargement began in the early 90's until today, where the amount of money is really impressive.
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1992- A HALLMARK YEAR THE CREATION OF PREMIER LEAGUE That year changes are taking place in the first category of England and the UEFA Champions League.In England, after the accidents at Heysel and Sheffield, a major change is about to begin. We protect our product, leaving the football hooliganism outside of the stadiums. The professional federation gives money to the teams to renovate their stadium, setting up seats and create places where they can now bring extra revenue to the teams (bars, canteens, team boutiques, museums and suites to which anyone can watch the games of his favorite team with the benefits of a high-class restaurant). It is not over statement that today's renovated stadiums are just like shopping malls. Revenue growth is starting to rise as for the 1992 to 1997 television revenues were ÂŁ191 million for exclusive rights in the Sky group, while in the years 2016 - 2019 they reached ÂŁ5,136 billion, with the rights having shared in Sky and British Telecom. THE CREATION OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE In the same year 1992, UEFA decided to change Champions League. Until that year, Europe's championship teams, along with the one that had won the trophy in
Pro Evolution Soccer is also a secondary sponsor as the official Champions League video game. Hublot is also a secondary sponsor as the official fourth official board of the competition. THE TELEVISION IS THE BIG BROTHER Innovation does not stop for UEFA.It sells the exclusive rights of the game in one channel per country.Centralized management is done by the European federation, but the economic part of the agreement is made for each country separately, depending on the population and size of the television audience. TV networks are required to show a game live and after the end of the races extensive snapshots from a second game.They are also required to show the same day a live broadcast with screenshots of all games. the previous season, were fighting with the knockout system. UEFA renames the European Champions Cup in Champions League and after two rounds of knockout, the eight remaining teams are divided into two groups of four and are fighting in mini league games. The top two teams of the most qualifying groups proceed into the finals. After a few years Champions League takes its present form, where thirty-two teams are divided into eight groups of four, with the first two groups proceed to the next stage (16 teams total). With this system, a team strikes at least six games at the top inter-league tournament and ensures a minimum of three games on its own stadium.UEFA is moving into something innovative over the years. Wanting to create the feeling that it is really an elite event of the top European teams, UEFA takes up the exclusive sponsorship of the events. This means that the exclusive sponsors are only advertised on the boards of the stadiums.
THE FAIRYTALE OF ROBIN HOOD Former footballer Jean-Marc Bosman who changed the European football map for the players.
In 1995, there is another massive change in the European football. An infamous Belgian footballer has appeared to the court by asking professional footballers to move freely after the expiration of their contracts, something that has not hapWith a history of almost of pened until then, as Europea century, European football has an citizens have the right to become the number one event in the choose which and where to world. No other event can attract work.
such a large audience. With the contribution of television and the internet, European football is reaching everywhere. It's enormous popularity makes it the most attractive vehicle to advertise -indirectly through the teams, sponsoring the jersey, naming the stadium, advertising billboards on the stadium, with providing sports material.
The main sponsors of the Champions League today are the following seven: UniCredit, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, MasterCard, PepsiCo, Nissan, Gazprom, Heineken. Moreover, there are the secondary ones. Adidas is a secondary sponsor and supplies the official match ball, the Adidas Finale and the uniform, as they do for all UEFA competitions. Konami's
The court decides under European law to allow a player in Europe to move wherever he wants after the expiration of his contract without compensating his team and if he comes from a European Union country and belongs to a team within the EU then he is no longer considered foreign.
All hell breaks loose with this decision since European footballers are now moving freely, and after a few years the countries that are joining the European Union are also included in this framework. BACK TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS The product gets better and grows. Football in Europe, with Premier League and Champions League leaders, is on the rise. Access to football events is infinitely more than the past, both through television and the internet.
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Updating football matches is immediate, while in Europe, every 15 days, TV shows the best teams to compete in the Champions League. The television audience grows and the football product becomes a pole of attraction for someone to be advertised.Revenue grows with geometrical progress as television contracts are increasing. At the turn of the century, Premier League sells television rights every three years and for the period 20012004 signs an agreement for £1.2 billion. Teams with more revenue, better stadiums with more people, invest in new staff, players' contracts cost more and competition rises. ABSOLUTE NUMBERS In Europe's five most popular tournaments in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France, the group's total revenue comes from three sources: TV rights, sponsors and advertising and home games. In England, the twenty teams gained 4,865 billion euros. Of these, 53% comes from television, 30% from sponsorships and advertisements and only 17% from earnings on the day of football matches with an average 36,490 viewers per game. Deloitte's report on Europe's five most league clubs revenues in the 2015-2016 season (for the 2016-2017 season the report has not yet been published). DELOITTE’S PREDICTION FOR THE 20162017 AND 2017-2018 SEASONS. In Germany, which has a total revenue of 2.712 billion euros, the team accounts for 47% of its profits from sponsorship and advertising, 34% from television, and 19% from the home games. The average of viewers
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if the largest in Europe with 42,420.Of these average earnings for the five European championships, 57% goes into wages and player contracts, excluding the operating costs of the teams. CINDERELLA'S FAIRYTALE Once upon a time, there was a little girl whose three sisters and his stepmother had it for house chores.One night she was transformed into a princess and she went to a great noble dance.The season 2015 - 2016 unfolded a fairy tale in the Premier League of England. Having the controversial Italian coach Caudio Ranieri and a budget 1/10 from the big teams of the Premier League, Leicester FC won the championship.Leicester FC conquered the championship, marking one of the biggest surprises in football globally. As England champion, the following year Leicester fought in the Champions League 'Noble Dance'. The English team gained 81.68 million, when Real Madrid CF, which won the trophy, took 81.05 million euros.In the same year, Juventus FC, who participated in the finals, gained 110.4 million euros. In order to participate in the top club competition in the world, UEFA gives the teams a lot of money.The estimated gross commercial revenues from the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League, 2017/18 UEFA Europa League and 2017 UEFA Super Cup will be approximately € 2.35bn, of which €1,318.9m will go to clubs in the UEFA Champions League. What will mean for the 32 clubs in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions’ League group stage is a guaranteed minimum fixed payment of €12.7m each, to be boosted by bonus payments of € 1.5m per win and € 500,000 per draw in the group stage. The teams competing in the
round of 16 will further increase their base payment by receiving an additional €6m fee, with the quarter-finalists then picking up €6.5m apiece and the semi-finalists pocketing €7.5m each. The UEFA Champions League winners themselves can expect to receive €15.5m and the runners-up €11m .So one can reasonably wonder how last year Leicester FC and Juventus FC got more money than the Real Madrid CF who won the championship. This has to do with the money that the European federation gives to groups of TV rights, the so-called market pool. The market pool is a complex process where UEFA distributes money to countries according to the financial figures in the TV landscape and the place they have won in their championship. And at this point, England is a champion, as in the 2016 - 2017 season the four teams that played in the Champions League received a total of 138,214,000 euros. However, Leicester FC has received 49 millions (the team acquired the remaining 32.6 million from participation and points). In the same year, Juventus FC took the most amount of money (58.8 million) from any other team from the market pool. Nevertheless, there is a prerequisite for UEFA, which is: Each country receives a specific amount for the teams participating in the Champions League. Italy last year had three teams in the competition. However, AS Roma was eliminated in the playoffs so the money was shared to Juventus FC and SSC Napoli, which received 41.1 million euros. That is why this imbalance is justified. Revenue grows and football looks like an extremely attractive investment. FROM A POPULAR SPORT TO THE BIGGEST EVENT ON THE PLANET With a history of almost ¼ of a century, European football has become the number one event in the world.No other event can attract such a large audience. With the contribution of television and the internet, European football is reaching everywhere.Its enormous popularity makes it the most attractive vehicle to advertise -indirectly through the teams, sponsoring the jersey, naming the stadium, advertising billboards on the stadium, with providing sports material. On the other hand, there is also the direct way.The popularity of the teams is like astardust that is transmitted to anyone who moves around them. Football, once characterized as the opium of the peoples, has changed its level and has become a prototype. The prestige of the teams is so great that even those who do not play in the racing areas can get enough to get some of its
glamor. There are rich people most people do not know. For someone who wants to combine income and popularity, investing in football is one-way. If one wants to combine further investment in the team's city or even in its country, his soccer way opens the back door. Under the rule that money goes to money, investors are turning to this trend that has no ceiling. The money that moves is unrealistic, because in addition to investment and revenue, the betting space is becoming more and more important, making it the European football an industry. The audience turns furiously into the TV product, but now it has the ability to bite a bit of the huge pie, making gains from betting.But there is something else that makes football even more attractive. An investor or business or fund, coming from another country or other continent, to make an investment or cooperation in the European Union is subject to a framework.There are regulatory rules, laws, antitrust restrictions and even in some cases protectionism from national governments for domestic companies and investments. In football, however, things seem more direct, with fewer legal constraints.The teams are public limited companies subject to the FIFA legislative framework. The federation is imposed and urged by the federation of each country to have legal autonomy, which means that the legislative framework is defined by FIFA on the one hand and by the federations on the other. So, football is evolving into an immediate and unlimited investment. This is what creates the first wave of investors turning to the Premier League teams. The first acquisition that impressed Britain was in 2003 when the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, famous in the oil and steel industry acquired Chelsea. In fifteen years he has invested more than 1.6 billion euros. In 2006, American Malcolm Glazer buys 70% of Manchester United's shares, in 2008 Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi buys hideous opponent Manchester City FC. The 20 teams with the biggest revenues for the season 2016 -2017. THE EMERGENCE OF CAPITALS FROM THE EAST An investment or an expensive hobby for a few oligarchs and investors mainly from the East? In this million-dollar sport, it is reasonable to conclude that football clubs earn a lot of money every year. The truth, however, is completely different and disparaging. A look at the Premier League teams' finances shows
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another reality. Football today is worth forty times more than 26 years ago. Is it possible for teams in the most expensive league in the world to be charged? The bleak reality is created by the reckless waste of money of the teams in order to make transfers, resulting in more years of spending more than they did. Down grading from the big category automatically means a financial disaster. The good footballer, in addition to quality, gives a team a prestige, while the team has found a new way to collect as the teams' star shirts sell crazy, creating an extra revenue for the club. Reaching the financial crisis of 2009, football could not remain unaffected. The clubs after the inexhaustible waste of money experienced a huge hole in their finances. UEFA implements Financial Fair Play, with which teams cannot spend without any control. The teams, and especially the small and medi-
um-sized European champions, are facing tremendous financial problems. The result is the creation of a second wave of investors taking over groups that either cannot compete economically or cannot find a solution to the debts. In a Europe that is trying to stand again at its feet from the economic crisis, the funds from the East are literally a breath of fresh air for the clubs. Investors spring up like mushrooms, mainly those from Asia. According to a survey, with data from all group acquisitions in the period 2014-2016, out of a total of 4.087 billion euro invested in 201 cases, 2.1 billion came from Chinese interests. The report states that Chinese investment in football, from absolute zero in 2014, rose to 555 million in 2015 and jumped to 1.5 billion euros in 2016. The Americans, who spent 313 million euros to join the soccer clubs, come second. Singapore and Iran occupying the third and fourth place respectively, while the top five are closed by investors from Great Britain. It is worth mentioning the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about China's co-operation with the German championship. The five-year deal includes provisions to lead German players, coaches and referees in China to help develop football, and especially the National Team of the country. It was also agreed in the 4th category of German football to compete the Chinese national team
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K20.It will give all of its games to the opposing team's seats and its results will not count towards the league's score. All 19 German teams in the category have given their consent, while the Chinese Federation will pay 15,000 euros to each club. THE FOOTBALLER AS A BRAND NAME How many of these really stunning amounts go to those who hang millions or even billions of viewers in front of their screens each week. Every year, from their contracts and prize-winning bonuses, earnings amount to tens of millions. Cristiano Ronaldo's annual earnings reached 75 million euros in 2017 (according to Forbes's list of the richest athletes for 2017), making him the most expensive athlete in the world for this year. This means 47 million from a contract (21 million) and a bonus and 28 million from sponsors and raising funds from the public display of its image. According to report data, the Portuguese player for every promotional post on social media Instagram, receives 351,000 euros! Nike, which has a contract with the Portuguese footballer by 2020, offers him about 15 million euros annually, followed by contracts with Castrol, Armani, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Tag Heuer watches, Emirates, Herbalife products, Soccerade drinks, Pokerstars, Clear Shampoo, Konami for the Pro Evolution Soccer videogame, Toyota, Samsung and the Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo. In the second place with 69 million euros is the NBA ace LeBron James, while in the third place of the list is Lionel Messi with 64 million euros. By the end of 2017, Messi signed his new contract with FC Barcelona by 2021, offering him 75million euros a year annually. Of these, 48% goes to taxes, so Lionel
Messi will receive 39 million euros each year from his new contract, with the exception of bonuses for the acquisition of holdings. His sponsors are Huawei Technologies, Gatorade, Adidas, TataMotors. In 2017, it was revealed that Ronaldo with Nike and Messi with Adidas signed a one-billion-euro lifetime contract. Neymar Jr is far behind in 18th place with 30million euros in revenue. PROBLEMS WITH TAX AUTHORITIES Athletes and footballers are popular figures and their image is sold. They create a brand and when they become world stars they enjoy their recognition. Contracts with teams are the ones that in most cases are the highest revenue. But what about the remaining revenue? Footballers are also known through their teams but when they become world stars obscure their teams as well. Of course, this recognition attracts more and more sponsors who want to take advantage of the football player's image. Cristiano Ronaldo has a management company based in Portugal, Gestifute, which manages all trade agreements. And here comes the thorn of the tax that every country says. Once he works in Spain, for example, his income must be declared in that country. This is a crucial point and they were revealed some incidents of tax evasion for both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (Messiâ€™s case concerned donor funds for the charity he founded). FOOTBALL TODAYTHAN A GAME
Football has a history of more than a century.From the English sandlot in the late 19th century, it has reached almost every location on the planet.Simple fans enjoy a sport. The reality, however, is that it is a huge industry, with many billions of euros in it. Modern football is a sport where the best team wins or an investment stock exchange? Is the acquisition of a football team a caprice for the few or a vehicle to serve their interests? It may not be just one or the other. One thing is for sure: the number one event in the world. * Giannis Pagkalias is a journalist at Naftemporiki economic and business newspaper and a radio producer. He holds UEFA B Certificate in Coaching Football.
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UROPE TURNS TO ALTERNATIVE FUELS
The choices of many governments confirm the shift of all developed countries in the world and - especially the European – towards the alternative motor fuels.
DEPA counting dozens of investments to develop a satisfactory supply network. AUTOGAS TSOPELOGIANNIS LEADS ΤHE LPG & CNG MARKET IN GREECE
In the USA, 12.500 school buses are running on LPG. In England, the alternative form of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is already being considered, so as the world-class London taxis will be converted into LPG. The Madrid local government, in an effort to reduce air pollution, presented the initiative "Strategy for Air Quality of the Community of Madrid", which envisages subsidizing the conversion of vehicles into LPG.
Autogas Tsopelogiannis is today the leading alternative fuel company in Greece, having lead the developments in its sector.
At the same time, automotive industries around the world, responding to new market demands, are investing heavily in alternative fuel technology. Speaking in absolute terms, natural gas is used in over 2.5 million vehicles in Europe, while LPG in more than 7 million cars, representing about 3% of the total fleet.
Autogas Tsopelogiannis was the first company to be certified by the reputable TUV AUSTRIA organisation for its high standards of service, facilities and staff.
GREECE FOLLOWS INTERNATIONAL TRENDS With millions of fans around the world, alternative fuels earn the place they deserve in Greece as well! LPG currently accounts for around 4.5-5% of the total fuel mix in our country and LPG cars are around 250,000, the vast majority (99%) of which are converted from gasoline / diesel.
With a history of more than 35 years in the demanding sector of cars, over 25,000 gas and natural gas installations in its assets - of which 5,700 professional cars – its name is a synonym of affordability and reliability.
It collaborates with the largest manufacturers of systems around the world, while investing dynamically in its own specialised research department where it tests all the new Technologies of the Sector before they are available to the public. It is also worth noting that the "soul of the company" its technical staff - is certified by the Ministry of Transport and it is constantly trained in Greece and abroad in order to always offer the highest level of service.
The LPG market began to grow radically six years ago, mainly due to the large increase in taxes on gasoline, which made liquefied petroleum gas as the most affordable solution to fuel.
For Autogas Tsopelogiannis, however, its relationship with drivers does not end with the installation of the system. Instead, it starts then! That’s the reason why it has created the first after-sales service to ensure - with the same consistency - all types of alternative fuel vehicles.
Moreover, natural gas, the fastest growing source of primary energy, has also been a particular turning point, with 46 | EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW
Its motto is, "Always beside you to be always a winner" and proves it in practice!
The aim of the company is the creation of pilot facilities in every major city of Greece as well as the establishment of two specialised facilities centers - in Athens and Thessaloniki - exclusively for light and heavy duty, diesel, vehicles. As part of this successful development strategy, Autogas Tsopelogiannis has designed a complete and fully-fledged franchise system that already enjoys the great acceptance of Greek and foreign investors as well as those who want to do business in the name of the leading brand of the alternative fuel industry. With all these factors agreeing to the big turn of the Greek market in alternative fuels, the future only "greener" is being foreshadowed for our country.
Looking ahead and having strong growth vision!
Besides, in the private sector there is still the most conservative-minded audience that resists change, even if it is beneficial for all. Drivers are mainly exploring performance or reliability issues and they are more persuaded by the positive examples of their environment that have “changed into LPG or natural gas’’.
The development of Autogas Tsopelogiannis in recent years is rapid, while its vision for the creation of the leading alternative fuel group throughout the Balkans, particularly strong!
Similarly, the public sector has a cleaner green road ahead as well! The examples of the whole of Europe and the US indicate how affordable the natural gas is for public transport, which makes us optimistic about the choices of the Greek government.
Dimitrios Tsopelogiannis, CEO of Autogas Tsopelogiannis Group of Companies
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Seven challenges for an Asian century To reach its full potential, Asia will need to overcome seven key challenges in the 21st century by John West * 1. GETTING BETTER VALUE OUT OF GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS Asia appears a global leader in international trade and investment. But the reality is that countries like China, India and Indonesia are mainly undertaking lower value added activities in global value chains like assembling electronics and automobiles, “cut sew and trim” of clothing and operating call centers.
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Much greater efforts are required to get better value out of value chains by opening markets, strengthening human capital and technological and innovative capacities. 2. MAKING THE MOST OF URBANIZATION’S POTENTIAL Many of Asia’s factories and call centers are staffed by poor migrants who have moved to towns and cities in
the hope of a better life. But their dreams are all too often shattered as they wind up living in urban slums. In the case of China, most internal migrants are denied access to basic social services and their children are “left-behind” in traditional villages. And Asia’s most advanced cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul lag sadly behind the West in the quest to become hubs of innovation and creativity. 3. GIVING ALL ASIANS A CHANCE! Discrimination, prejudice and persecution are rife in Asia, thereby preventing economies and societies to realize their full potential, as our review shows for the cases of: Asia’s LGBT community; Japanese women; South Asian women who suffer gendercide, forced child marriages and honour killing; Asia’s indigenous peoples like West Papuans, Tibetans and China’s Uighurs; Sri Lanka’s Tamil community; and India’s lower castes. 4. SOLVING ASIA’S DEMOGRAPHIC DILEMMAS Most Asian countries face intractable demographic dilemmas. In much of East Asia, fertility has plummeted below replacement rates, populations are ageing, workforces declining and in Japan the population has begun falling. And yet governments are slow to react. At the same time, in South Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines, a youth bulge is bursting into the workforce, but much of this youth is not well educated and there are not enough jobs on offer. A potential demographic dividend could easily morph into an explosion of social frustration. Connecting these two demographic realities is the potential for mutually beneficial migration, and yet ethnocentric Asia is barely open to migration.
Chinese client states in Cambodia and Laos; weak and fragile democracies in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal; military-dominated governments in Thailand, Pakistan, and Myanmar; and staunchly authoritarian states in China, North Korea and Vietnam. 6. COMBATING ASIA’S ECONOMIC CRIME One of the many consequences of these flawed politics is that, as Asia has moved towards the centre of the global economy, it has also moved to centre of the global criminal economy. Asia is a major player in many aspects of economic crime like counterfeiting and piracy, Illegal drug production and trafficking, environmental crimes, human trafficking and smuggling, corruption and money laundering, and cybercrime. And while flawed politics is one of the causes, this criminality is eating away at the integrity of the state, as state actors are very often criminals themselves or are colluding with criminals. 7. CAN ASIAN COUNTRIES LIVE TOGETHER IN PEACE AND HARMONY? While many factors have underpinned Asia’s renaissance over the past half century or more, the relative peace that the region has enjoyed has been perhaps the most important. But today, the relative stability of postwar Asia, led by the United States, is being shaken by the rise of China, as China is now engaged in a bitter power struggle with the United States and its Asian allies for the political leadership of Asia.
5. FIXING ASIA’S FLAWED POLITICS
There is much debate about whether this will lead to military conflict between China and the United States. In any event, the United States seems to be losing its hold over Asia, something which will likely accelerate under the Trump administration.
Asia is crying out for democracy and better governance to improve the foundations for stronger economies and decent middle class societies. And yet, according to some measures, there would not be even one mature democracy in Asia.
This means that it will become ever more necessary for Asian countries to cooperate better together. But this will be a great challenge in light of the tensions involving China, North Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and India.
Contrary to the hopes of political scientists, economic development has fostered too few democracies in Asia. Asia’s political landscape is deeply flawed with: Oligarchic democracies in Japan and Korea; pro-business soft dictatorships in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore;
* John West Executive director of the Asian Century Institute [Japan] and author of "Asian Century… on a Knife-Edge: A 360 Degree Analysis of Asia’s Recent Economic Development."
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Remembering Khojaly Twenty-six years have passed since the bloodiest and the most tragicalincident in Azerbaijanâ€™s recent history. Hundreds of civilians, including women and children, were massacred when Armenian troops assaulted the town of Khojaly on 26 February 1992. by Antonio W. Romero
ccording to Azerbaijan's government, 613 Azeri civilians died, including 169 women and children. They were either shot dead by Armenian soldiers or froze to death as they tried to flee a small Azerbaijani town of Khojaly in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, presently occupied by Armenia. Each year eversince, to mark the anniversary, Azerbaijanis hold conferences, stage exhibitions and reach out to international mass media to spread the truth about this darkest page of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. As a matter of fact, the Khojaly massacre is an act of genocide, which has already been recognized as such by an ever-increasing number of countries and organisations.
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Azerbaijanis describe how Armenian troops marched into in order to carry out ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh from its Azerbaijani minority through intimidationand subsequent occupation of the territory. According to the reports of international media and human right sorganizations of 26 February 1992, hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians were killed with extreme atrocity, most of them were murdered, some were burned alive or beheaded, while others were dismembered, and others were scalped, only because they were Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijani refugees and displaced people who constitute today one million persons out of the total population of 9 million are still struggling as a result of this humanitarian crisis.
In fact, tens of thousands of Azerbaijani inhabitants of Nagorno Karabakh, victims of ethnic cleansing on the part of Armenia, have been thus deprived of their fundamental human rights and cannot go back to their historical homeland.
Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is today a very distant perspective. And it seems like it will be even less achievable until the international community gives a just and genuine assessment of the root causes and consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
A 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. However, Armenia has rejected relevant UN Security Council resolutions demanding immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts and with its destructive stance blocks the peace process carried out under the aegis of theMinsk Group of the OSCE. On February 21, 2018, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry reported that only in the course of that one day Armenia’s armed forces had violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops more than 100 times.
Today, Azerbaijan calls on the whole international community to recognize the Khojaly genocide as a crime against humanity so that it never occurs again. Up to date, more than 15 countries in the world have recognized Khojaly genocide and international campaign “Justice for Khojaly” (www.justiceforkhojaly.org) launched
by Azerbaijan to raise international public awareness of the Khojaly genocide goes on. To date, more than 120,000 people and 115 organisations have joined this campaign, which functions successfully in dozens of countries. Azerbaijan demands that those who orchestrated this massacre should be exposed and brought to justice.
As another important milestone in getting closer to this goal and to obtain legal assessment of the unlawful aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan, in 2015, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of seven Azerbaijani victims of ethnic cleansing who are deprived of their right to return to their homes and to receive compensation for their property in Nagorno-Karabakh. Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is today a very distant perspective. And it seems like it will be even less achievable until the international community gives a just and genuine assessment of the root causes and consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and starts eliminating those consequences, including through refraining from turning a blind eye to its darkest pages amongst which the massacre of Khojaly stands by far alone.
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The 5G revolution -EU lagging behind the US and Asia by N. Peter Kramer
he telecom industry is preparing a next step, called 5G, the fifth generation of mobile technology. During the last days of February, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 5G was everywhere, although nowhere was a ready-for-the-market product available. But, listening to the discussions and presentations, it became clear that the development of 5G is accelerating. ‘Last year at the MWC it was all about 5G, and now it is even more 5G’, an experienced telecom official sighed. One reason for the fast-growing focus on 5G is that smartphone sales are seriously faltering; the telecom industry needs a new ‘excitement in the market’. It is predictable that the big trend at next year’s MWC will be smartphones with 5G. In Barcelona, Huawei showed its first 5G-chip for smartphones and has the intention before the end of the year to enter the market with a Huawei 5G smartphone. The other Chinese telecom giant, ZTE, has the same planning and already showed a prototype. Reportedly, before the end of the year five major cities in the US are expected to have a 5G network. South Korea flaunted a trial of the fast technology earlier this year at the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. The country’s telecom operators show-
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cased their artificial intelligence services using 5G. WHERE IS THE EU? It is racing to make the 5G mobile technology available for consumers by 2025, but the EU is laggingbehindfaster competitors in Asia and the US. The EU struggles with legal roadblocks and the crippling level of investment. According to the European Commission, 5G could bring a growth boost of €113 billion to the EU’s automotive, health, transport and energy sectors by 2025; telecom operators need to invest €56.6 billion to pay for 5G networks covering the entire EU. The problem is that they see little incentive to invest more in building networks to support faster connections because they don’t know how long their licences will last or how much they will need to pay to use the resource. The usual EU battle is going on: the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU member states can’t agree on the matter; and nobody knows how long it will take to reach an agreement. In Barcelona, European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip saidthat the EU trailed behind the US and Asian countries in introducing 4G networks and cannot
afford to make the same mistake with 5G. ‘Didn’t he say exactly the same last year here?’, many in the audience wondered justly. Probably he will say the same next year. CONSUMERS (STILL) NOT VERY EAGER ABOUT 5G The current 4G networks have enough capacity, till the moment too many people are using them at the same time! And that is exactly where it is about. 4G networks become saturated, and 5G offers more space for more timeon the mobile internet. For instance, for cities with the ambition to become a smart city, with sensors measuring air quality everywhere, available parking spaces and traffic density. That is not possible with 4G.
5G has also something to offer for the private user as well. It is much, much faster. In the first place, it has a higher band width, more gigabits per second, and is a hundred times faster than the 4G network: a HD film can be downloaded in a second. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there is the latency; the time lost before a signal comes back. Instead of 50 milliseconds with 4G, the latency with 5G will be only 1 millisecond. For instance, with 1 ms latency you can look at virtual reality, with a wireless VR-headset you can see a sports event from a seat on the first row. The more than 100.000 visitors of WMC 2018 saw a glimpse of the near future, that will be even closer next year: World Mobile Congress 2019, 25 -28 February!
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Breaking the glass ceiling: Truth or Dare? European Business Review attended the Media Seminar «Empowering women and Girls in Media and ITC: Key for the Future» on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD), organized by the DG for Communication of the European Parliament in Brussels. The seminar focused on the intensive efforts on behalf of Member States to address the gender equality in the media sector and extensively to promote women empowerment. by Eirini Sotiropoulou
omen’s presence within media industries has already been the subject of numerous academic studies. Achieving gender equality within the media sector is firmly on the European policy agenda, and this is reflected in a wide range of directives, resolutions, charters, conventions and strategies. Central policy aims are not limited to leveraging legislation and regulation to guarantee women’s legal rights, but have increasingly come to focus on bringing change to sociocultural norms, attitudes and practices, including by prohibiting discriminatory media content. MEP Eva Kaili as well as the Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Julia Harrison presented their personal standpoint on gender equality and the EU action. EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW: WOMEN ARE NOT REGARDED AS A SERIOUS THREAT TO MEN IN THE POLITICAL SPHERE IN MOST CASES. NEVERTHELESS, THERE ARE INSTANCES OF SOME WOMEN REACHING THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHY IN A VERY MALE-DOMINATED ENVIRONMENT. IS THE GLASS CEILING A MYTH OR A REALITY? Eva Kaili: Although it's true that politics still remains a male-dominated environment, we see more and more examples of women reaching top positions in governments globally. Although the situation improves, I still believe that it takes greater effort from a woman to reach higher ranks in politics. As a woman myself, I think there is always some subtle discrimination when it comes to questioning our effectiveness in top posi-
tions. I will never forget for instance, 37 year old Prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, being asked during the election campaign by two male talk show hosts if she planned to get pregnant in the near future, casting doubt on her capabilities of being head of the government. One presenter even suggested women should tell their employers if they plan to get pregnant before starting a new job. This incident happened in New Zealand in 2017 and not before 1900... EBR: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GENDER NORMS IN DEVELOPED AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES? IN WHICH EU COUNTRIES ARE THE MAJOR GENDER INEQUALITIES AS FAR AS THE INCOME OR CAREER LADDER ARE CONCERNED? E.K.: It goes without question that there is deep gap between developed and developing countries, which is mainly a matter of education, culture and socio-economic development. In the EU level, undoubtedly, in Scandinavian countries, women are better represented in top positions in the private sector or in politics. For instance in the European parliament, 8 out of 13 Finnish MEPs are women and in Sweden 10 out of 20. In the countries of South Europe, there is still some work we can do. I can surely recommend that we have to try to improve the perception and boost the confidence of women themselves at a young age. They have to be decisive in thinking that they deserve to reach the top as much as their male counterparts. If there are less women not daring to claim higher and important positions, then it is expected that we will keep having less women achieving those positions.
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EBR: APART FROM THEIR UNDERREPRESENTATION IN POLITICS, WOMEN STILL DO NOT OCCUPY MANY OF THE TOP INFLUENTIAL DECISION-MAKING POSITIONS OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? E.K.: Mass media play a unique and important role in the shaping of a society where men and women enjoy equal rights. But the statistics are not that good for women. I would like to point two worrying things. Men still dominate “hard news”, like science coverage and world politics coverage. At the same time, newspaper editorial boards are generally also dominated largely by men. In my experience, this unfortunately follows the trend that women are more capable in less demanding tasks in media sector and that they preferless-responsibility oriented positions. Still preserving those discriminatory stereotypes, creates a hostile environment for women. EBR: WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ENCOURAGE POSITIVE CHANGES IN RELATION TO THE LOW FEMALE REPRESENTATION IN DECISION-MAKING ROLES NOT ONLY IN MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS, BUT ALSO IN EUROPEAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS? E.K.: A good way to increase diversity and leadership of women in all professional areas could be to promote more women to leadership positions. We could give incentives to women by adopting strategies that address their unique concerns and fostering an environment of equality, open communication and respect. Having more women on the board of directors has significant gains for companies. Another policy that brings results in my opinion is the gender quotas. Although highly controversial they seem to have led towards more gender parity. Countries, like Norway is a commonly cit-
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ed example where the government imposed quotas in 2003. Since then, the number of female representation in boards of directors increased from 7% to more than 41% in 2016. Belgium also passed a law requiring 33% female directorship by 2018. EBR: CURRENTLY, DOES THE EU COLLECTIVELY PREPARE THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANY STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN FOR GENDER INEQUALITY? E.K.: The EU Commission has taken concrete action towards gender equality with the “strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019” which sets the framework for the European Commission's future work towards full gender equality. One of the main concerns it seeks to address is the gender pay gap which still exists in the EU. According to Eurostat, there are considerable differences between EU countries, with the gender pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Slovenia, Malta, Poland, Italy and Luxembourg, to more than 20% in Hungary, Germany and Austria, even reaching 30% in Estonia. The European Parliament consistently supports every effort of the European Commission towards ambitious policies for addressing the aforementioned issues. According to Global Media Monitoring Project, research in the 1990s showed a progressive increase in women’s employment in the media. Presently, women occupy 27% of the top management jobs in media companies and 35% of the workforce in news-rooms. Scholars documenting the experien-ces of female journalists in newsrooms highlight the role of organi¬zational, individual and social processes in establishing and sustaining the gendering of news and newsroom practices. As the GMMP report mentions, women still make up a minority of reporters and presenters, with
The senior managing director at FTI consulting, Julia Harrison
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very little improvement since 2000. It also found that women are particularly underrepresented in what the researchers describe as the ‘most prestigious’ category of news reporting: politics and government.
Moreover, ethnographies of female journalists have identified discrimination in the assignment of re¬porting tasks, gender pay gap, sexual harassment and sexism from male news sources and difficulties bal¬ancing work and family life as challenges experienced by some female journalists in the course of doing their work . Scholars posit that the overwhelmingly male compo¬sition of the profession has led to the masculine values that have come to define news values – the criteria used to determine what is ‘news’ – and that the social¬ization process in the newsroom further reproduces these values. As a result, the newsroom constitutes a challenging place for women. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) suggests only 16% of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of media organizations were women. Women also made up only 25% of board members. The proportion of women across all decision-making roles was 30%.Across all types of decision-making role, gender inequality was significantly worse in the private sector than in the public sector. For example, 22% of CEOs and 29% of board members in the public sector were women, while in the private sector the proportions were lower, at 12% of CEOs and 21% of board members. More recent statistics on the gender balance within decision-making roles in European media organizations have been published by EIGE in their Gender Statistics Database, although the organizations are limited to public broadcasters. These figures, for the year 2017, show that women constitute just over one-third of decision-makers in the European public broadcasting sector. EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW: WOMEN ARE NOT REGARDED AS A SERIOUS THREAT TO MEN IN THE CORPORATE SECTOR IN MOST CASES. NEVERTHELESS, THERE ARE INSTANCES OF SOME WOMEN REACHING THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHY IN A VERY MALE-DOMINATED WORLD. IS THE GLASS CEILING A MYTH OR A REALITY?
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Julia Harrison: I really don’t see things in terms of threat or in-terms of corporations alone. There are so many studies and well-founded bodies of work which show how diversity of all types enriches outcomes, makes companies more successful and not least gives us all more opportunities to learn and grow. In a world where the social impact of business is more and more under scrutiny, and social purpose more significant for many employees, women role models across all facets of society, the arts, science and politics can help shift norms that apply in business too.
"There are traits that are more or less commonly found in women's leadership. We do see that inclusiveness, adaptability, non-hierarchical organisation and a willingness to work to find good compromised solutions", Mrs. Harrison stressed.
There are still glass ceilings not one, but many intentional or unconscious; and they are there to be broken. It is critical not to lose that original element of feminism which harnessed the pioneering spirit of so many to make a difference. EBR: A PLETHORA OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES HAVE INDICATED THAT THE FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF A COMPANY IS BETTER WITH A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN AT TOP LEVELS, DUE TO THE DIFFERENCES IN LEADERSHIP STYLES COMPARATIVELY TO MALE CEO’S. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? IS IT TRUE THAT WOMEN IN THE BUSINESS SECTOR PRESENT DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS THAN MEN? J.H: Is it the style or the “mixité” as the French would say? Different perspectives and the more rigorous challenge to accepted and sometimes complacent ways of doing things seem to emerge in teams where this diversity is present? Women are often reported as having a more democratic leadership style – perhaps this allows for those wider perspectives to surface more easily? I don’t think we should generics however. There are traits that are more or less commonly found in women’s leadership. We do see that inclusiveness, adaptability, non-hierarchical organization and a willingness to work to find good compromise solutions or innovative and different approaches rather than dictated outcomes or weak consensus are so important for the changing dynamic of the environment we all work in today. Studies have shown that women tend to participate more in board committees, tend to pay more at-
tention to detail and this can have a positive impact on risk and governance. On the other-hand other research shows that too focus on detail and control can paralyze an organization. A focus on diversity, of gender, of ethnicity, sexual orientation or simply point of view seems to create the best conditions for success. EBR: IN WHAT WAYS CAN THE BUSINESS SECTOR ADVANCE GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT AT THE WORKPLACE? J.H.: Everything counts – It’s not one magic bullet. As a leader if you hire in your like you are creating a poorer environment and everything is watched. We need more women role models to inspire and provide a helping hand. This needs to be coupled with a full range of tools and flexibility. To be honest if companies don’t put these in place nowadays they will not only lag behind the competition but create a generational problem in attracting talented younger people who look for many of the same conditions in a working environment as are conducive to advance gender equality. As a lobbyist one of my favourite ways to advance equality is to create “sponsors”. The sponsor is a sort of mentor plus; actively advocating for their sponsored within an organization. This might mean looking out for opportunities that match the skills of the person being sponsored – for example leading a strategic project - and actively pointing out the suitability and match or creating introductions to widen someone’s network. I also have appreciated the very tailored training programme for women aiming to get to the most senior level of the organization that WIN our women’s network at FTI has designed and championed.
career paths and encouraging both men and women to break preconceived notions is so important. There is a great poem by Sylvia Plath called The Night Dances where she looks at her young child in the cot and imagines the potential of their life and thinks about where that potential “flakes away” and rubs off in our lives. Using all that potential often calls for breaking the mold – why should we be hijacked by stereotypes? The media has its own struggle for freedom of the press in many countries. These freedoms go hand with responsible choices about how women are portrayed and profiled? With social media at hand so readily there is an equal burden of responsibility not just on the platforms but also on us as individuals to think carefully about the image we want to portray as a female leader and to tackle and get away from harmful stereotypes. EBR: YOU HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS PRACTICE FOR MANY YEARS, WHICH IS, UNDOUBTEDLY, A VERY COMPETITIVE SECTOR. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PROSPECTIVE FEMALE LEADERS IN THIS FIELD, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT YOUR EXPERIENCE? J.H.: Typically the longer the list of criteria for a job the less qualified a women will think herself to fill it. This is not the case for men. Be brave – be yourself – apply for that job. Eva Kaili is the Head of the Greek SD Delegation (Pasok/Elia) in the European Parliament and has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. In her capacity as the Chair of the European Parliament's
ΕBR: HOW IMPORTANT A ROLE DO THE MEDIA PLAY IN TERMS OF REINFORCING STEREOTYPES?
Science and Technology Options Assessment body (STOA) she has, been
J.H.: The role of the media in this debate is critical. Of course it depends on the media and the particular angle we are looking at. Even with the pressures on traditional media today there is too large a body of media that objectifies women. Does the media have a fair share of women in leadership itself?
data, fin tech and cyber security.
Rather than reinforce stereotypes media power can be deployed to breakdown them down. There is a fantastic opportunity for all media to provide much wider access to atypical and alternative stories about life choices, failures we can learn from and the routes to success; even different pictures of what success looks like. Encouraging women to build a wider variety of
where she is currently Senior Managing Director and sits on the
working intensively on promoting innovation as a driving force of the establishment of the European Digital Single Market. She has been particularly active in the fields of block chain technology, m/eHealth, big
Julia Harrison has worked in the political communications field in the UK, US and EU for some 30 years and she set up a women-owned business (Blueprint) in 2003 to provide strategic communications counsel to international businesses. In 2008 she sold Blueprint to FTI Consulting (NYSE:FCN) European Leadership Team. She has held various Non-Executive Director and leadership roles including at Sustain Ability, a privately held UK and US think tank and consulting firm. Julia has been involved in the Women’s Forum since the outset and was a member of its Belgian Founding Board. Julia is British with an MA in English literature from Downing, Cambridge. She is married, has one son and lives in Brussels.
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EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
'Extrait de Culture' – a new editorial series The EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW magazine welcomes a new regular editorial series that hosts exclusive reporting on renowned museums, cultural centres, galleries, artistic foundations and interviews with their Directors, Curators, as well as with lead personalities of the artistic scene. ‘Extrait de Culture’ focuses on significant areas of classic, traditional, minimal, modern and contemporary art, offering a new sense of critical analysis and at the same time bringing an europeanisation aspect of how to handle art as a tool of unity, prosperity and development. by Alexandra Papaisidorou EMST: THE CHANDELIER OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND MODERNISM ~ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS IN ATHENS In the introduction of EBR's 'Extrait de Culture' reports, the Museum of Contemporary Arts rolls-out the thread of art and pioneering. We caught up with Katerina Koskina, the Director of EMST and a person with strong senses, thought of prospect, knowledge and passion for her work. In a discussion of all in and outs of EMST, the résumé stands on how the addition of each single work of art to a collection can offer new platforms for thinking and seeing differently along with the efforts to look backwards across the history of art and then building an extrovert attitude. The much-de-
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bated opening of EMST during a harsh period of Greek environment proves that inspiration and vision always keeps the flame alive and fills up the calendar not only with admirable exhibitions accompanied by large numbers of visitors but mainly with hope and power for the coming years. Greece never stops demonstrating such unparalleled commitment to the arts, and the city of Athens is seen globally as an always thriving artistic hub with EMST to take a long-awaited step forward to this cultural waltz. THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART HAS MANY PERMANENT (TEMPORARY) EXHIBITIONS OF A GREAT SUCCESS. “EMST AT DOCUMENTA 14” WAS MY FIRST THOUGHT OVER THAT, COULD YOU PLEASE
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SPECIFY A FEW POINTS ABOUT THE CRITERIA OF CHOOSING COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITS AND WHAT FACTORS MAKE SOME OF THEM TO BE SOME REMARKABLE? I presume you are referring to EMST exhibitions of the past two years. 2016 and 2017 were significant for the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST). It was marked by the final consignment of its new building and the almost immediate partial operation of its temporary exhibition spaces, with the exhibition Urgent Conversations: Athens- Antwerp that was held in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp M HKA. The exhibition was inaugurated on 31.10.2016 as the first edition of a new EMST series titled EMST in the world, which is realized on an annual basis since then. The second exhibition of the series was realized through the collaboration of EMST with documenta 14. EMST and documenta collaborated by utilizing the wish of documenta 14 to “learn from Athens” and the intention of EMST to be extrovert to the world. That concluded to a common decision of a double relocation: EMST firstly became the main exhibition space of documenta 14 in Athens and, afterwards, Fridericianum in Kassel became the temporary home of part of the Museum’s collection,that was presented under the title ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection. The exhibition in Kassel attracted more than 820.000 visitors. In reality the exhibition is part of our collection, which enriched will occupy the permanent collection spaces of EMST in Athens, when the Museum will officially open its doors, hopefully by the end of 2018. By making real its intention to be extrovert the Museum was mostly active abroad, in St.Petersburg, Antwerp, Venice and of course Kassel. HOW HAS YOUR LOVE FOR ART BEEN ORIG-
INATED? Since I was very young I was lucky to have a family that gave me the opportunity to study art and I have always seen it as a major part of my life. HOW CAN THE SEPARATE UNITS OF THEMATIC AREAS INTO THE MUSEUM INFLUENCE THE VISITORS’ PREFERENCES? FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE SOME EXHIBITIONS OR COLLECTIONS MORE POPULAR THAN OTHERS, HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT? As I have told you our permanent collection has not been installed yet. Nonetheless we took a great feedback though from the exhibition ANTIDORON. The EMST Collectionat Fridericianum in documenta 14. The presentation will follow a thematic articulated around issues that concern the new reality. Some of those issues are crucial for Greece: crossing boarders, identity questions, trancultural issues etc. WHAT IS WORTH VISITING THE NATIONAL
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MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD? This is a period during which the museum partly operates. Currently we present an exhibition of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA – Hellas) titled Theorimata was inaugurated for the first time at EMST. The promotion and support of the current Greek artistic production through scientific, theoretical and artistic research is the foundation of this new project of AICA – Hellas, aiming at a biennial repetition. The inauguration of this exhibition series at EMST signals our interest in the collaboration between art theory and creativity. In a few days we will open the exhibition Laboratory of Dilemmas, which was the greek participation at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (May-November 2017). We also work on more temporary and traveling exhibitions for the next period, based on our policy for collaborations and extraversion. We plan to present third edition of the series EMST in the worldin cooperation with the National Gallery in Rome and another one in China at the NAMOC. WHAT ARE THE FUTURE GOALS FOR EMST? The strategic objective of the Museum and its prerequisite remain, of course, its full operation, which, if the present conditions apply and the commitments are fulfilled, can be inaugurated within 2018. EMST will thus be able to continue its outreach and synergies programme which began dynamically in 2016, and focus further on research and the creation of activities for the promotion of the contemporary artistic production in Greece, through its institutional role. WHAT ARE THE VISITING FIGURES OF EMST EACH YEAR? Overall, since its move to its new building and until today, it is estimated that EMST, for the activities of the synergies abroad, reached 1.500.000 visitors. After our
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full operation in all our spaces we will have a clearer picture regarding the Museum visitors in Athens. We plan to do a survey to understand better and deeper our audiences. But our full operation is a prerequisite for all these steps. HOW CAN VISITORS BE MORE UPDATED EMST NEWS? We try to keep updated our visitors in various ways. Our website is new and constantly gets updated, we are in the process of transferring all the material from our old to our new website, so that everyone can have a complete idea of EMST activities since 2000 and can also be updated via our Newsletter. We have very active social media and our Communications Office informs our audience via all possible channels. UNDER WHICH EFFORTS AND FUNDS CAN LARGE EXHIBITIONS BE DEVELOPED? Except for the annual funding from the State, which is very limited due to the current financial situation, we make a constant effort of finding new sources of funding. We try to create synergies and to find sponsorships for our big and small projects and for the enrichment of our collection. It is a difficult process that never ends and keeps us alert. Our great expectation remains the approval of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation grant, which will help us a great deal for the full operation of EMST in our new premises. WHAT CAN SOMEONE ATTEND DURING A FIRST VISIT IN EMST? Despite its nomadic history, EMST is located in a new beautiful building that the audience is curious to visit. Via our temporary exhibitions and our parallel activities and programs, we want the audience to have a pleasant experience when visiting us. Of course, with our full operation the experience will be different, more
EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
completed. Moreover, with the operation of the cafĂŠ and the restaurant, the visitors will have the opportunity to spend more hours within our space. Museums today operate towards this direction; they are not boring, they are places that offer a pleasant experience and that you want to visit again. Information, knowledge and entertainment have to go together.
created a good base and with our full operation we will further develop our international profile. HOW COULD MUSEUMS CONSIST THE TOOLBOX OF THE PROMOTION TARGETING IN CULTURAL TOURISM FOR GREECE?
Within the frames of the EMST temporary exhibitions, educational programs special designed for school groups of primary and secondary education are realized. Through dialogue, active participation and artistic activities the programs aim at contributing to the discovery of and familiarization with contemporary art and to the understanding of the exhibition and its artworks.
Museums could and should play a central and vital role for the promotion targeting in cultural tourism in Greece. Traditionally, Museums of every field, are the first spaces that a tourist puts in his to- do list when visiting a city. We should further develop our policy towards this direction and further support the promotion of the museums. For example, lately Athens has attracted international interest and has become a destination. The Museums of Athens should take advantage of this interest by combining entertainment with education and by organizing co-operations and joint programs with other local institutions
EMST has also educational programs that take place outside its premises (in schools, correctional institutions, refugee camps etc.)
DO YOU CONSIDER THAT OUR COUNTRY MAKES SOME EFFECTIVE EFFORTS ON THAT?
FINANCIAL CRISIS HAS ALSO A GREAT INFLUENCE ON THE EMST AFFAIRS?
It does, despite the crisis, but we should make more efforts, by creating networks and support each other. EMST is already part of different networks. We should work for our development as an organization, but never forget that we are part of a larger system of organizations. We should communicate, discuss, propose and act for ourselves as well as a part of a bigger plan, which is the promotion of contemporary culture in our country and abroad. We shouldnâ€™t forget that we are part of Europe and of the World. Especially during difficult times, Museums and cultural organizations have a lot to offer in the cultural and social way.
DO YOU HAVE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS? COULD YOU MAKE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION?
Of course it influenced EMST and it caused further delays on our full operation. On the other hand it leaded us to find alternative and some times more challenging ways to overcome odds, which made us more innovative and communicative. It is a miracle we operate today, even partially, and that despite all these difficulties, we move forward very fast. WHICH ARE THE REASONS FOR SOMEONE TO VISIT THE EMST? It is a Museum that despite its important history makes a new start in its new building towards an international direction. It is really interesting to follow these steps and observe a for years nomadic institution unveiling its core, its collection in its renovated permanent premises. In addition, Greece is less known for its contemporary culture but the audiences that choose to discover it are increasing. It is the right place to look at culture throughout a comparative glance, extending from the ancient times to nowadays. WHAT IS THE PROMOTION OF THE MUSEUM ABROAD? Last year, our activity abroad made EMST quite popular internationally. We were a proposed destination in many international media.We try to maintain this, since international press is still interested in the Museum and in the city of Athens as a destination. We
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT EU HAS CONTRIBUTED TO A CULTURAL INTEGRATION? Yes, of course. Not only by the important financial support it offers via its different programmes, but also by creating networks that encourage collaborations and cultural exchanges. IS THERE A EUROPEAN CULTURE, IN YOUR OPINION? The European culture is what every European citizen carries. As European citizens,we should feel that we belong to the big European family, which should also provide us many opportunities for connectivity.Unfortunatelly, lately this prospect of a common identity has been affected by nationalist claims. We should,in my opinion, act individually and collectively at the same time, Europe is our home.European culture will be achieved when we will all feel members of the same society.
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EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
"My love for Art: Natura" states the Director of the Museum of Cycladic Art of Athens in an exclusive interview by Alexandra Papaisidorou
he three major collections of the Museum of Cycladic Art (Cycladic Culture, Ancient Greek Art, Cypriot Culture) captivate the imagination of each visitor. EBR was there in an in-depth discussion with Mr. Nikos Stampolidis, Professor and Director of MCA. The Artwork demands love, brightness, optimism. The name of the museum refers to the culture of Cycladic islands whose name means 'around' (kuklas-circle); thus meaning the circle of life, inspiration, design, colour,
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lighting. Mr. Stampolidis, through his vivid descriptions and apposite report, manages to travel us around Greece and its rich cultural folklore style, decoration, and shapes. New forthcoming exhibitions, new publications, educational programs and a large number of other activities create a promising future for MCA and pay off the efforts made with a strong proof the high numbers of visitors and the levels of MCA popularity.
EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
RANEAN IN THE DAWN OF HISTORY” WAS MY FIRST THOUGHT OVER THAT, COULD YOU PLEASE SPECIFY A FEW POINTS ABOUT THE CRITERIA OF CHOOSING COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITS AND WHAT FACTORS MAKE SOME OF THEM TO BE SOME REMARKABLE? Apart from the permanent exhibitions the MCA produces a series of temporary exhibitions of archaeological, Renaissance, modern and contemporary interests. The permanent exhibitions focus on the Cycladic and Aegean culture, mainland archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greece, Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean and Scenes of everyday life in ancient Greece.
THE MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART HAS MANY TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS OF A GREAT SUCCESS. “PRINCESSES OF THE MEDITER-
The criteria for temporary exhibitions are multiple, for example themes/subjects directly linked and related to human beings such as “EROS” (Love), “HYGIEIA” (Health) and “BEYOND” (Death/After life) or others like “Princesses of the Mediterranean in the Dawn of History”, “Sea Routes. Interconnections in the Mediterranean, 16th – 6th cent. BC” etc. Recently, antiquity has been co-exhibited with modern and contemporary pieces of art promoting a dialogue such as “Shape in the beginning” and “Cy Twombly and Greek antiquity” (Divine Dialogues).
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EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
HOW HAS YOUR LOVE FOR ART BEEN ORIGINATED? Natura; attraction to beauty due to the Minoan civilization which flourished in my birthplace, Crete, and all the archaeological remnants which were further reinforced by my school teachers and my Professors, Manolis Andronikos and George Despinis. HOW CAN THE SEPARATE UNITS OF THEMATIC AREAS INTO THE MUSEUM INFLUENCE THE VISITORS’ PREFERENCES? FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE SOME EXHIBITIONS OR COLLECTIONS MORE POPULAR THAN OTHERS, HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT? The Cycladic collection is the core of the MCA surrounded by three others “concentering circles” containing exhibits of ancient Greek and Cypriot pieces of art. Popularity depends on the visitors’ age and cultural interest (job, educational level etc.). WHAT IS WORTH VISITING THE MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD?
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The temporary exhibition entitled “MONEY Tangible symbols in ancient Greece” combining gold and silver coins from the Numismatic Collection of Alpha Bank with marble statues, relieves, inscriptions, vases, jewellery from 32 Greeks and European museums. WHAT ARE THE FUTURE GOALS FOR MCA? 1. New forthcoming exhibitions both archaeological and contemporary. 2. New publications: Exhibition Catalogues, Proceedings of Conferences and Lectures. 3. To increase the participation in our ongoing educational programs. 4. To enlarge and widen the “spectrum” of our audience, to attract new visitors through our activities. WHAT ARE THE VISITING FIGURES OF MCA EACH YEAR? 60.000 – 70.000 visitors per year not included school visitors.
EXTRAIT DE CULTURE
HOW CAN VISITORS BE MORE UPDATED ON MCA NEWS?
material, slides, photographs, books, and educational games.
MCA web page, social media, newsletters, magazines & newspapers, TV & radio.
FINANCIAL CRISIS HAS ALSO A GREAT INFLUENCE ON THE MCA AFFAIRS?
UNDER WHICH EFFORTS AND FUNDS CAN LARGE EXHIBITIONS BE DEVELOPED?
Through our common efforts the financial crisis has not influenced the MCA affairs.
Gold and other sponsors, contributions by the Friends of the MCA, Fundraisings etc.
WHICH ARE THE REASONS FOR SOMEONE TO VISIT THE MCA?
WHAT CAN SOMEONE ATTEND DURING A FIRST VISIT IN MCA?
Visiting the MCA visitors are being offered a comprehensive view of the Cycladic and ancient Greek civilisation. Leaving aside a strictly scientific exhibition method a visitor will enjoy a short tour on scenes of daily life in antiquity.
The four floors permanent exhibition and especially the Scenes of Everyday Life, the coffee shop and the Cycladic shop. DO YOU HAVE MANY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS? COULD YOU MAKE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION? The Department of Education has been operating since the establishment of the MCA in 1986. Its varied and imaginative activities and its innovative teaching methods continue to attract an enthusiastic response by schools and individuals, which is reflected in attendance figures more than 10.000 participants per year. To bring the world of museums closer to pupils and their teachers and cover the needs of schools in remote parts of Greece, the Education Department designed a series of Museum Kits, each one focusing on a particular subject and containing copies of artifacts, teaching
A visitor can frequently enjoy various temporary exhibitions either archaeological or contemporary art. To relax in an enjoyable atmosphere in the Cycladic coffee shop. To bring back home aesthetic values through the items of the Museumâ€™s Shop. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT EU HAS CONTRIBUTED TO A CULTURAL INTEGRATION? They have been serious efforts for a cultural integration. IS THERE A EUROPEAN CULTURE, IN YOUR OPINION? It depends on the approach but generally speaking I would say yes.
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How can policy keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution? by Kris Broekaert * and Victoria A. Espinel **
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n today’s era of transformative scientific and technological advances, businesses are not only creating new products and services. They are reshaping industries, blurring geographical boundaries and challenging existing regulatory frameworks. The industries being powered by advanced technologies like IoT, artificial intelligence and blockchain are developing so quickly that it can be difficult for industry analysts and experts to keep pace. Consider, then, the challenges faced by policymakers. As governments try to keep pace with these new technologies, companies are routinely rolling out new products and services and regularly overhauling all aspects of them while governments are trying to carefully measure and mitigate their impacts. At the same time, citizens increasingly expect the private sector to take on new responsibilities for developing new approaches to the governance of advanced technologies. This rapid pace of change is, according to a recent survey by Accenture, making business executives feel that their organisations have a duty to proactively write policies for emerging digital industries and address ethical issues. The question, then, is: what can be done? How can these different actors all work together to help governments develop policy that is up to the task of shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What is needed is a new era of agile governance – policymaking that is adaptive, human-centered, inclusive and sustainable, which acknowledges that policy development is no longer limited to governments but rather is an increasingly multi-stakeholder effort. The concept of agility stems from the field of software development, but can be modified and applied more broadly to keep pace with the rapid changes of society when policymaking becomes: • Focused on achieving policy goals rather than checkthe-box regulatory compliance; • Open to new information and drawing on elements like data-driven government and pilot programmes, and willing to change if goals are not met; and • Open to input from a wider group of stakeholders and grounded in transparency. Those principles leave a tremendous amount of room for the experimentation and evolution that will help governments keep pace with industry. They also aim to ensure the broadest possible participation in the process of governing new technologies.
This new era of agile governance can take many forms, and wide-ranging changes will be needed to create new sources of authority to govern these technologies. New models of public-private collaborative governance are needed to expand governance beyond existing institutions. Fortunately, examples are already emerging. Governments can design policies that leave more opportunity for the private sector to come up with innovative solutions – for example, when they design performance-based regulation frameworks, focusing on the purpose of the technological innovation, rather than its technical specifications. Like in Rwanda where the government partnered with the World Economic Forum to draft and adopt drone regulation that take into account the drone’s mission in addition to its physical specifications. Confronted with the need to address wide-ranging developments and quickly changing regimes, some countries are embracing enhanced best practices in lieu of regulation. For example, the differing needs of companies across the financial, communications, chemical, transport, healthcare, energy, water, defence, food, agriculture and other critical infrastructure sectors had long stymied the development of cybersecurity rules in the United States. In their place, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) sought input from the private sector, government agencies and the privacy and security communities to establish widely accepted best practices for cybersecurity rather than establish new standards. The new NIST framework gives companies the flexibility to adopt a regime best suited to their individual needs while also giving regulatory agencies guidance on the reasonableness and adequacy of an organization’s internal controls. Industry self-regulation is a key governance tool in many industries, such as healthcare, mining or professional sports, and can also be applied to speed up appropriate governance of the use of technology in new industries. Standards organisations, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, have been instrumental in driving industry standards for the electronics industry and the internet, as well as stepping up their efforts in, for example, defining and governing the internet of things (IoT). When new technologies and new industries emerge, more than one private self-regulating body can emerge. That is happening today as standards bodies, consortiums and alliances working on artificial intelligence algorithm protocols and IoT connectivity standards are rapidly emerging. Governments could act here as super-regulators, authorizing and evaluating differ-
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ent standard-setting bodies based on their efficacy to achieve regulatory targets. When a technology is so new – or developments happen so quickly that setting technology standards is not yet possible, or no single body exists yet to set those standards – industry leaders can commit to adopt ethical principles that guide industry research. This is the approach of the Asilomar AI principles, which have been subscribed to by 3,800 industry leaders to help set guidelines for the AI industry’s development. New forms of governance frameworks can also emerge as a side product when businesses step up their role in society. In 2011, for example, Dell, HP, Microsoft Mobile and Philips came together in Nigeria to establish a recycling system for electronic products in the country. The companies brought together stakeholders from civil society, business and government to remove the obstacles in the electronics lifecycle. Government bodies followed and put in place regulation that enforced e-waste management when the ecosystem began to emerge. Today, the project has been
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replicated across the continent with support from the UN Environment Programme and the World Economic Forum. PAVING THE WAY FORWARD Interesting examples of different actors working together to shape the trajectory of emerging technologies so that they benefit society are emerging, but more needs to be done. There is huge potential for multi-stakeholder collaboration to help shape conceptual frameworks and ethical principles in a rapidly evolving world, where it is apparent that agile governance practices are required now more than ever.
* Kris Broekaert Government Engagement Lead, Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum Geneva
** Victoria A. Espinel President and Chief Executive Officer, BSA - The Software Alliance
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Four new ’superpowers’ you should know about by Pat Gelsinger *
he term ‘superpowers’ conjures an image of major nations shaping the course of global history.But in the digital era, I believe it’s time we expanded that definition to include four extraordinary technological superpowers that promise to wield as much influence over the next 20 years as any nation state: mobile technology, the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT). Each of these capabilities is transformative in its own right, but together they unlock game-changing opportunities that have not been available to us until this moment in history. And we are just beginning to tap their full potential. Mobile technology provides unprecedented reach, connecting people on the move no matter where they are in the world. The cloud delivers capacity on a previously unimaginable scale, enabling organisations to add or remove various components to their infrastructure quickly and as needed. Deep-learning AI enables us to mine massive amounts of data in real-time and to use those insights to dramatically accelerate academic discovery and create en-
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tirely new business models. And the IoT connects the physical and digital worlds, bringing technology into every dimension of human progress. As these innovations quickly mature and build on one another, they are reshaping every aspect of society, from healthcare to education to transport and financial inclusion. The question, then, is how do we ensure that these technological superpowers serve all of humanity? How can they improve the quality of life for all 7.6 billion people alive today (a figure expected to grow to 8.6 billion by 2030)? To put it another way: as technology breaks out and begins to exert a superpower-like influence globally, will all this innovation create a rising tide that lifts all boats, regardless of geography, background or culture? Or will the advantages it unleashes be limited to a fortunate few? At my core, I’m a technologist and an optimist. After nearly four decades working in technology, I’m hopeful and energised about the future, and in the role technology will play in shaping it for the betterment of all. Technology itself is neutral – neither good nor bad. It’s
about how we, as humans, apply it to the problems of the day. Here are a few specific examples of how these four technological superpowers are helping us address some of the big challenges we face as a global community. 1. MOBILE: UNPRECEDENTED REACH For millions of poor farmers living in remote areas around the world, access to an inexpensive mobile phone has transformed day-to-day life for their families and communities. A phone with basic internet service opens the door to micro-loans, real-time pricing for crops, accurate weather forecasts and information on topics like crop rotation, seeds and fertilisers – all adapted to local circumstances to help small farmers increase their yields in a sustainable way. A recent MIT study conducted in Kenya found that access to mobile-money services lifted almost 200,000 families (2% of Kenya’s population) out of poverty between 2008 and 2014. Equally impressively, these mobile services have helped an estimated 185,000 female-headed Kenyan households become financially resilient by moving away from farming and into self-sustaining business occupations. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in some of the poorest countries on Earth, less than 5% of the population has mobile internet access. We need to bring the power of mobile access and mobile money to the 2 billion people worldwide who still have no connection whatsoever to the financial system. The Gates Founda-
tion’s initiative to drive interoperability across different mobile payment networks is a critical step in the right direction. 2. CLOUD: PREVIOUSLY UNIMAGINABLE SCALE Today, 9 out of 10 organisations worldwide rely on the public cloud, as governments and private-sector businesses alike tap into the scale and flexibility which it provides. One of the best examples of its impact is in education, where massive open online courses (or MOOCs) are steadily opening up access to learning. The World Bank issued a warning recently on the learning crisis in global education, and it’s clear that in order for education to serve as a great equaliser, we need to invest in cloud-enabled educational models. We’re still in the early stages of what we call the ‘digital economy’, but I believe we will continue to see big increases in remote employment opportunities as cloud-based infrastructure negates the need for large consolidated physical spaces for people to work. Online learning offers the best path to those jobs, especially for the billions globally who have no access to traditional forms of in-person education. 3. AI: INTELLIGENCE EVERYWHERE Artificial intelligence is delivering powerful insights fuelled by massive computing power, and in many ways we’re just getting started in this field. Look at the
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healthcare industry, where deep-learning algorithms are already creating breakthrough drugs, improving diagnosis and designing treatment plans far more effectively than any previous approach. The field of prosthetics, for example, is on the brink of several major breakthroughs, in large part thanks to AI systems that are revolutionising care for people who have lost limbs. Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK have created a bionic “hand with eyes” that allows an amputee to reach for objects automatically and react without thinking – the same way that a real hand moves. This kind of innovation, enabled by the nascent AI industry, is only going to become more frequent. 4. IOT: CONNECTING THE DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL WORLDS At its most basic, the internet of things is about connecting a variety of physical objects into a network in which machines can communicate, including millions of embedded sensors that transmit data in real time. The IoT is already opening up exciting possibilities in areas as diverse as smart manufacturing, connected cars and smart energy grids. For me, the most powerful aspect of IoT is its ability to help us clean up the aftermath of the industrial age, through smarter and more sustainable management of
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carbon, water and waste. Intelligent Assets, a recent report by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, shows powerfully how the Internet of Things has the potential to unlock extraordinary potential in the circular economy. Across every dimension of the complex environmental challenge that we face, IoT allows us to track and ‘sense’ the health of the planet with greater granularity and accuracy than ever before. It is important to acknowledge that technology is not a panacea for all the problems we face. Yet as we work to address the big barriers to human progress and quality of life, technological innovation is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. As technology elevates to superpower status, and the tech community comes of age, we must participate in a mature, thoughtful, and consistent way that acknowledges our individual and collective responsibility. Only by engaging, coming together and taking action in our own businesses, as well as shaping policy and regulatory frameworks, can we all work to ensure we ultimately maximise technology for the greater good.
* Pat Gelsinger Chief Executive Officer, VMware Inc
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5 ways leaders are different to managers The first time President John F. Kennedy visited NASAâ€™s headquarters, he met a janitor mopping the floor. President Kennedy asked him what he was doing "Iâ€™m helping to put a man on the moon", the janitor replied. by Stefano Trojani *
hile the anecdote is certainly credit to NASA's leadership, it gives an even better example of followership. Leaders must be able to light the flame. But followers keep the flame alive. WE ARE ALL EXPERTS IN LEADERSHIP
our nursery years, school days, friendships and sports teams, our early experiences prepare us for adulthood and its diverse hierarchical structures. Within such structures, we face different kinds of formal and informal leadership. Whether our experiences are good or bad, we learn powerful lessons.
During our lives, we experience many different kinds of hierarchy. From our first experiences in our family to
Our most enduring experience of leadership is not in our professional environment, but in our social lives.
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Here, informal but nevertheless powerful - and sometimes difficult - exchanges of leadership take place. Examples include family structures, circles of friends and even the dynamic between a pet and its owner. In many cases, leadership and followership roles alternate over time.
Τhe ultimate attribute of a leader is the capacity to listen, to understand and to feel the needs, fears and expectations of every team member.
Leadership is a constant exchange between leader and follower. It is both verbal and non-verbal. The strength of the relationship depends on each party’s capacity to support the other. Being a good leader involves knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses. It requires being able to listen and follow a subordinate, should their unique expertise afford them a temporary leadership role. A new leader must resonate with both those above and below them. They have to fit into a complex architecture of formal and informal leadership, while also performing in their own field.
Followers expect leaders to be exemplary personalities with charisma, empathy and social skills. Leaders say leadership involves giving clear directions, aiming for success, and developing and motivating a team.
The ideal leader should fulfil both followers’ and leaders’ expectations. Creating a profile to attract such leaders is a two-fold task. First, how can we assess experienced leaders against these criteria? Second, how can we identify those with strong leadership potential, but who, for one reason or another, have never fulfilled it. In every organisation, there may be outstanding leader personalities that have never believed themselves to be so, or who have never had the opportunity to realize their potential. Go and find them! WHAT TO LOOK FOR? Success as a leader depends on the effective combination of five factors: CHARACTER Character is a key ingredient for creating long-lasting positive synergy between a leader and their team. Positive synergy is the ability to optimise a team's strengths and skills, generating a powerful joint effort in a shared direction. The leader’s character should combine all the soft skills that enable the emotional dynamic in a leadership exchange.
The following charts give an overview of what both followers and leaders consider the most important leadership attributes.
In the figure above, followers expressed a clear opinion about an ideal leader’s attributes. These include integrity, empathy, communication skills, humility, authenticity, strength and determination. I believe that the ultimate attribute of a leader is the capacity to listen, to understand and to feel the needs, fears and expectations of every team member. Without this, there is no reciprocal trust, and it is not possible to bring a team together for success. A leader with a powerful cocktail of empathy, emotional intelligence and strong values is more likely to be followed than an intellectual hotshot who is unable to find a common language with their team. POTENTIAL In terms of potential, a leader's creativity and their
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readiness to explore uncharted territory is paramount. A leader looks for an answer without being asked. They identify the right question, and choose the path their team should follow to seek the answer. Creativity is a state of mind. It depends largely on the capacity for self-motivation. It is the backbone of a proactive and solution-oriented leadership. A natural born leader is full of ideas, suggestions and solutions. In order to find the right questions to ask, a leader needs expertise on the topic, so as to be able to address the unknown parts of a specific problem. They also need expertise in leading the process, enabling their team to participate in the solution, rather than be overwhelmed by the problem. Expertise is indispensable in a good leader, but it will support and enhance leadership only if combined with other attributes. The force multiplier for creativity is logical thinking. There is no value in having great visions and ideas if they are too abstract to be implemented. Logical thinking makes ideas consistent and structured, so that they can be understood and carried by the team. Logical thinking simplifies a concept as far as possible, facilitating understanding without losing the bigger picture.
Simple things like being punctual and having a healthy, clean and well-groomed appearance are signs of a respectful and self-respecting attitude. As a follower, it is easier to respect and follow somebody who respects themself. ADAPTABILITY TO THE ENVIRONMENT It requires sensitivity to integrate into an existing framework of relationships. Assuming a leadership role in an organisation means creating constructive relationships with superiors and subordinates. Especially in a complex environment which depends on dynamic and fast-reacting processes, the compatibility of newly appointed leaders with the organization’s identity and human capital will play a decisive role. Good manners, kindness and care are valuable attributes. They help avoid, contain or reduce potential friction. PASSION
Passion provides the emotion in a leadership exchange. Showing passion exponentially raises a team’s potential, enhances the power of its can-do attitude and increases its resilience. Passion is the poetry of leadership.
A leader must be ready, willing and able to leave their comfort zone. They must be ready for new challenges; be able to self-motivate without any external input; be ready for self-assessment; and be able to have their approaches challenged.
As a poet writes to people's hearts, a leader speaks to their subordinates’ hearts. While searching for a great leader, look for a person who can do this. Any leadership exchange involving that person will see exponential results.
A leader practices self-discipline. They take a positive, can-do attitude towards everything they do.
EVERY ORGANIZATION NEEDS LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed", former commander of the United States Special Operations Command Admiral William H. McRaven (USN) said during the University of Texas at Austin’s 2014 commencement address.
Leadership is not about individuals. Once a new leader is found, leading the organisation remains a shared responsibility within the entire community of its leaders, as well as between leaders and followers. Every leader shares the responsibility to lead consistently, at their respective level, and according to their organisation’s values and principles.
A leader’s day starts early in the morning, with small actions such as making their own bed or going out jogging despite poor weather conditions. They begin with simple, easy wins. Individually, such actions may seem irrelevant. But when done consistently, they give a clear picture of the person. There is no contradiction between creativity and self-discipline. Self-discipline means being organised in managing one’s daily routine without losing time in thinking about it. Self-discipline helps organise one’s day, and organising one’s day helps find time to think and be creative.
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Success depends on how an organization defines its core principles of leadership. It must select leaders who have an adequate level of innovation and independent personality, but who can also understand and implement the organisation's principles. When you define your leadership values, everything seems possible. * Stefano Trojani Head of Security Affairs, World Economic Forum Geneva
o April 19, 2018
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Focus on adapting fiscal policy to current economic and technological challenges
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8 ways Davos inspired social change this year The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 brought together over 3,000 leaders from business, government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts by John Dutton*
95 of them were drawn from the Forum's Foundations -- the Global Shapers, Schwab Foundation, Social Entrepreneurs and Young Global Leaders. Here are some stories of how Davos helped these communities improve the state of the world.
youth and social entrepreneurs who are committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum's network of Global Shapers, Social Entrepreneurs and Young Global Leaders operate as a force for good to scale solutions to global and local challenges.
There are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world right now. That's the largest youth population in history, and it's providing young people with an unprecedented opportunity to take an active role in shaping our future.
Here are a few of the ways they committed to improving the state of the world at the 48th Annual Meeting in Davos.
This year in Davos, at the World Economic Forum's 48th Annual Meeting, we gathered some of the world's
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1. BRINGING LIGHT WHEN DARKNESS FALLS Global Shaper Jaideep Bansal is the Energy Access Lead-
er of Global Himalayan ExpeShaper hubs from 157 counThere are about 1.8 billion young dition (GHE), and is working tries will be invited to submit people between the ages of 10 and to electrify remote mountain ideas for projects that help communities using solar mito break stereotypes and ad24 in the world right now. cro grids. Some villages in Invance gender equality. Five That's the largest youth population dia are so remote that it can winning proposals will be in history, and it's providing take ten days to reach them, awarded $20,000 each to imyoung people with an unprecedented and many of these places lack plement their project in their opportunity to take an active role basic utilities like electricity. city. in shaping our future. During the Annual Meeting, he showed participants how 5. SPORTS FOR GOOD he is bringing them light: "Who are these mountains to decide which child has Social Entrepreneur and founder of Streetfootballworld access and which child does not have access?" Juergen Griesbeck, and Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata launched Common Goal; a commitment 2. ECONOMICALLY EMPOWERING WOMEN of football players to pledge 1% of their salaries to a collective fund. This fund will be invested in charities Women make up 70% of the world’s poorest 1.5 billion around the world using football as a tool for social people. So when founder of YouthAIDS and Five & Alive change. To date, 35 football players from 17 nationaliKate Roberts and HRH Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of ties have made the pledge. Norway, met through the Forum of Young Global Leaders, they founded the Maverick Collective to eliminate 6. AFFORDABLE SUPPORT FOR MENTAL extreme poverty and engage female philanthropists beHEALTH ISSUES yond cheque book giving. CitiesRISE, founded by Social Entrepreneur Chris UnThe initiative seeks women, not just those with finanderhill, is a mental health service, with the goal of cial resources, but also those with skills and experiencreaching 1 billion young people by 2030. It wants to rees, to help solve challenges faced by women and girls in duce anxiety, depression, suicide and substance abuse developing countries. To date, they have mobilized $60 among young people. million in resources for young girls and women, helped more than 800,000 girls and women live healthier lives Its focus on youth is designed to harness the enthusiand launched pilots in 15 countries around the world. asm and ingenuity of young people – who are not only uniquely affected by mental illness, since 75% of men3. BANK FOR RURAL WOMEN tal health issues manifest in those under 24 years old – but who also have the capacity to develop imaginative Social Entrepreneur Chetna Sinha, one of the co-chairs of the Annual Meeting in Davos, founded the Mann Deshi Foundation and is dedicated to economically empowering rural women in India. The Foundation started India’s first bank run by and for rural women, business schools providing women with entrepreneurial skills and a community development programme focused on water conservation. It has supported 400,000 women and aims to reach 1 million by 2022 through a new fund launched in Davos, called "Beyond Microfinance Fund". 4. ENDING GENDER BIAS VIA #WESEEEQUAL The Global Shapers Community and Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced a partnership to accelerate progress toward gender equality. Inspired by Procter & Gamble’s #WeSeeEqual campaign, the Global Shapers Community will galvanize the collective power of over 7,000 Global Shapers to raise awareness and mobilize action – to stand up for gender equality.
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and forward-thinking solutions.
strikes in Afghanistan were at an all-time high.
Launched in collaboration with public and private sector leaders in Kenya, Lebanon, Colombia, India and the United States, as well as supported by Philips, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University, CitiesRISE will coordinate action to connect formal and informal services that provide affordable support for mental health.
“Most robotic companies were building things that kill people, so we thought it would be cool to build a company that built things that actually make people’s lives better,” he said. Now his drone-delivery company, Zipline, is making last-mile deliveries of blood to health clinics and transfusion facilities across Rwanda.
7. HEALTHY FOOD, HEALTHY PLANET Katherine Milligan, Head of the Schwab Foundation, Kimbal Musk, CEO of Big Green, and Kris Groos Richmond, CEO of Revolution Foods, discussed strategies to place healthy and nutritious diets at the centre of global food systems. 8. BLOOD-DELIVERY VIA DRONES When robotics entrepreneur Keller Rinaudo started his first company at the age of 23, the number of drone
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Zipline delivers 20% of the country’s national blood supply outside of Kigali and has signed a commercial contract with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health to deliver medicines to 10 million of the hardest to reach people in the country.
* John Dutton Head of Social Engagement and Head of Young Global Leaders Community, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Geneva
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