European Business Review (EBR)

Page 1

ISSUE 1-2020 / YEAR 23rd - PRICE 5,00 € / $6,00






INDEX Founder

Konstantinos C. Trikoukis Chairman

Athanase Papandropoulos Publisher

Christos K. Trikoukis EU & International Correspondent



Brexit negotiations started, with knifes drawn

Why we need to boost the euro’s international role



The EU Green Deal can go global – but ‘climate diplomacy’ won’t be easy

Europe remains a beacon of light in a world that it is getting darker



The Internet broke the news industry—and can fix it too

Gender equality and getting more women into leadership roles are trending topics



Can fintech make the world more inclusive?

Social mobility of 82 countries ranked

N. Peter Kramer Editorial Consultant

Anthi Louka Trikouki Issue Contributors

Judy Dempsey, Klaus Regling, Denis MacShane, Shada Islam, Margaritis Schinas, Niels Schreuder, Jimmy Wales, Orit Kopel, Orit Gadiesh, Andrew Schwedel, Dr. Christos Lemonakis, Dr. Antonios Zairis, Becky Frankiewicz, Alexandra Papaisidorou, Kalin Anev Janse, Gong Cheng, Adriana Stan, Tom Goodwin, Katie Jones Correspondents

Brussels, London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Athens, Helsinki, Rome, Prague Communications Director Alexandra Papaisidorou Advertising

Marianna Panoutsopoulou Business Development John G. Tragkas Published by:

EMG STRATEGIC CONSULTING LTD. 19 Leyden Street, E1 7LE London, United Kingdom

ISSUE 1-2020 / JANUARY-MARCH 2020, YEAR 23rd Published quarterly under the license of Christos K. Trikoukis. European Business Review trademark is a property of Christos K. Trikoukis. European Business Review is strictly copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Reproduction without official permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. Every case is taken in compiling the contents of that magazine, but we assume no responsibility for the affects arising therefrom. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher nor of the European Business Review magazine.

For previous editions archive and up-to-date information on major topics and events you may visit our website EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW | 3






by N. Peter Kramer, EU & International Correspondent

Brexit negotiations started, with knifes drawn


n Monday March 2 the bell rang for the start of the trade negotiations between the UK and the EU: Boris Johnson’s negotiator David Frost versus Michel Barnier. However, some observers have their doubts regarding the term ‘negotiation’, when Barnier is at the table. The former French minister excels in making immovable demands and trying to force the other side to their knees. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, can testify to that. Will we see the same pattern this time? The EU demands look as though they will lead to a hard Brexit and are a straight brushing aside of the British popular will. Three times the Brits have obviously chosen independence from the EU. Last time, November 2019, they offered their prime minister a majority in the House of Commons to finally sort it out. But it seems that ‘Brussels’ is not willing at all to accept this. The British negotiation document ‘The Future Relationship with the EU’ is clear, it says, that the U.K. will maintain high standards and wants full control over the future direction of its regulations. ‘Whatever happens, the government will not negotiate any arrangement in which the U.K. does not have control over its own laws and political life,’ the document reads. ‘That means that we will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU’s or for the EU’s institutions, including the Court of Justice”. The EU has a completely different idea. It wants to keep the UK as a kind of a surrogate member with no right to participate in decision-making but signing up to follow Brussels rules and regulations, maintaining the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, a 100% level playing field, free entrance for all EU fishermen to the British waters, etcetera. Asking for a ‘Canada-Free Trade Agreement type relationship’ with the EU, Barnier answered Frost that such a deal cannot happen because the UK is not far enough away from the EU… UK and EU are in a transition period until 31 December of this year following the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January. But the British Government said that if no agreement is in sight by June, the government could ditch negotiations and focus on preparing to leave without a trade agreement. Isn’t it up to the EU to follow through Barnier’s statement to offer the UK an ‘ambitious partnership’, between sovereign equals.




No Excuses for Europe After Brexit by Judy Dempsey*


or the European Union to become a global player without Britain, there must be a major shift of alliances and direction inside the bloc. The blame game is over. Britain’s exit from the European Union leaves the bloc without any excuses to decide what it wants to become. For years, differences dogged the relationship between Brussels and London over a plethora of issues, from migration and asylum policy to defense and security issues. But those issues are also sources of continuing bitter disputes inside the EU, regardless of Britain’s status. And the role of Berlin and Paris, which have been at odds since Emmanuel Macron became French president back in May 2017, hasn’t helped matters. This duo has provided little leadership inside a bloc struggling


with its internal problems—whether it’s about agreeing a common policy toward China, dealing with an international liberal order under siege from within and from without, and coming to terms with a fractured transatlantic relationship. Above all, the EU has completely underperformed as a diplomatic player and as a bloc committed to defending human rights. Against this inauspicious background, Macron, who’s not the most gifted politician in reaching out to other EU countries to get support for one of his major reform projects—more political and economic EU integration—may be slowly realising that the EU without Britain inevitably means reshaping alliances. His visit to Warsaw on February 3 showed a leader in-


tent on rebuilding a relationship that has slipped into suspicion and mistrust over the past few years. Macron spoke about Europe’s willingness to defend its members. Calling for more military integration inside the EU, Macron, flanked by Polish President Andrzej Duda, said: “I’ll be happy the day Polish people can tell each other: ‘The day I’m attacked, I know Europe can protect us.’ Because that day, the sense of European belonging will be indestructible.” Macron also tried to play down his recent bid to reset relations with Russia, an attempt that did not go down well with the Poles. “France is neither pro-Russian nor anti-Russian, it is pro-European,” Macron said. Duda acknowledged that: “Today, France is definitely a power on a European scale, and France’s role after Brexit will without doubt grow.” Will it? Not on its own. Without Paris working much more closely with Warsaw and Berlin, its influence will not grow, and nor will the EU’s. If these three countries cannot work together over a range of issues—Russia and China, defense and security, and, closer to home, internal reforms on migration and the future role of subsidies for European agriculture (which Paris and Warsaw want continued)—Brexit will have further weakened the EU.

understands the need to promote human rights and democracy—and backs it up with concrete and forceful measures. This surely is the time to give new impetus to the Community of Democracies, which was established in Warsaw back in 2000 to advance and protect democratic values and institutions around the world, but has been slow to make a real impact.

Poland too has to change tack. Apart from the way the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party is intent on undermining the rule of law and an independent judiciary (adding to the incongruity of the party’s name), Poland needs a foreign policy. Being anti-Russian and eurosceptic is not enough.

In practice, this is about other non-European democracies working much more closely together with the EU, not just to preserve the liberal order but to reinvigorate it by acting against human rights violations and defending human rights activists struggling against repression in authoritarian or semi-authoritarian countries.

As it is, under PiS, Poland has been too weak if not indifferent toward championing further enlargement—something which Macron opposes, in contrast to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her erstwhile counterparts in London. Poland too has been indifferent to internalizing how the differences in the transatlantic relationship have repercussions for Europe’s own ability to defend itself. Brexit should be a catalyst for Poland to make a difference inside the EU. That’s why a new Franco-German-Polish triangle is long overdue. But even that won’t be enough to make the difference that is needed for the EU to capitalize on Brexit. The EU as a bloc (and its member states) faces two major choices.

Second, the EU either continues to enjoy and defend the rule of law, individual liberties, and way of life that has emerged since 1945, or it cedes to nondemocratic influences. That shouldn’t be a hard choice. But somehow, with or without Brexit, the will of the EU and the member states to defend that order is declining. Going down that path can only be welcomed by authoritarian and aspiring authoritarian regimes, which have long feared the influence of EU values. Their fear may be diminishing as the EU weakens its commitment to its roots. *Judy Dempsey Nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and editor in chief of

First, it either continues down the path of individual governments defending their national interests, or it

Strategic Europe







Why we need to boost the euro’s international role by Klaus Regling*


alls for a stronger international role for the euro have increased markedly in the last few years. This is partly in response to the current U.S. administration’s withdrawal from multilateralism. Let me explain why a stronger role for the euro is not only good for the EU, but also for the wider world, and what’s needed to make it a reality. The international monetary system could function better if it relied less on only one currency. At present, the dominant currency is clearly the U.S. dollar. This implies that U.S. monetary policy and exchange rate fluctuations of the U.S. dollar also have an impact on other economies, particularly emerging markets. Monetary policy decisions of the Federal Reserve are – by law – based on economic developments in the United States but also affect the rest of the world. The impact on capital flows to and from emerging markets is often particularly large. Valuation effects on foreign debt denominated in one major currency can be devastating. Having more than one leading currency would make the world economy less vulnerable to shocks linked to one specific currency. The goal is not to replace the dollar, but rather to aim for a multi-polar system, in which several currencies have a comparable role, including the dollar, euro, and China’s renminbi. So how does the euro measure as an international currency today? THE EURO IS A STRONG SECOND Since the start of European Monetary Union (EMU), the young euro currency has been a strong second to the dollar. The relative influence of the euro dropped somewhat during the financial crisis a decade ago, but since then is again gaining ground. In terms of real economic transactions, around 40% of global trade is invoiced in euros, broadly on par with the dollar. Over 30% of

global payments are made in euros, while the dollar accounts for more than 40% of payments, according to SWIFT data. Sixty countries outside the European Union have pegged their currencies to the euro, in addition to EU members Denmark, Bulgaria and Croatia. As Claudio Borio, head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), put it last year in his speech: “[…] the euro’s heft has actually grown in recent years. I shall highlight three aspects: the euro’s influence on global bond markets; its influence on exchange rates globally; and its influence on the effective pricing of commodities, regardless of the currency in which their prices are actually denominated.” One aspect Borio developed was evidence that movements in German bund yields exert a more symmetrical effect on movements in U.S. Treasuries than in the past. But challenges remain. The euro has a lot of catching up to do in the following areas: only 20% of foreign currency reserves are held in euros (62% in U.S. dollar), around 25% of international bonds are in euros in (64% in U.S. dollar) and 16% of foreign exchange trading is done in euro (44% in U.S. dollar). Several initiatives have been taken recently to strengthen the euro. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has instructed Kadri Simson, the Commissioner for Energy, to examine ways to increase the use of the euro in energy markets, so far dominated by the dollar. Already Rosneft, the biggest Russian oil producer, and liquefied natural gas producer Novatek have switched to euros from dollars for all their export contracts. The European Commission is also consulting on the increased use of the euro in raw materials and food commodity trading, as well as expanded use of the euro by transport sector manufacturers such as aviation, shipbuilders and railways sectors. Changes are happening in financial markets too.



The European Central Bank (ECB) upgraded its payment system infrastructure, which contributes to market integration and to the depth and liquidity of the euro area securities market. Examples include the launch of the ECB’s securities settlement platform TARGET2-Securities, a new platform for instant payments and the upgrade of the large-value transactions TARGET system. Over time, these systems will offer international market participants easier access to the euro. WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT? For the renminbi to become an important player in the international monetary system, China’s capital account needs to be opened up and the renminbi needs to become convertible. For the euro area, we need additional steps to deepen Europe’s monetary union, which would make monetary union more robust and less vulnerable. These include the ESM reforms, the completion of banking union with a common deposit insurance scheme, a capital markets union and a fiscal capacity for macroeconomic stabilisation. Ultimately, a euro area safe asset would be a crowning achievement. Fragmentation in Europe’s financial and capital markets holds back market depth and liquidity, and needs tackling. Europe benefits from a tariff-free single market for goods but the fragmentation in financial markets hampers economic growth, prevents more cross-border risk-sharing, and discourages global investors. Liquid markets reduce transaction costs, making the currency more attractive for international financing and settlement, and are perceived as safer by investors. Without


properly functioning, integrated and liquid financial markets, the euro will not be able to take on an enhanced global role. Overall, the euro area needs more economic risk-sharing. Risk-sharing between countries of the euro area is underdeveloped, compared for instance to the U.S. More cross-border banking in Europe would be one way to increase risk-sharing through the private sector. More integrated capital markets that facilitate cross-border investment flows would be another way. That is why it is so important to complete banking union, and to put the capital markets union in place. Completing banking union and creating a capital markets union are complex and controversial topics. This is even more the case for a fiscal capacity for macroeconomic stabilisation and euro area safe asset. My colleagues and I will return to these important topics in future blog posts. However, the high support for our single currency should encourage policy-makers to take the final steps to complete monetary union. According to the latest Eurobarometer 76% among the European citizens support the euro - the highest score since the start of this survey.

*Klaus Regling current and first Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism



“Westlessness” — Seriously? by Denis MacShane*


he fatuous slogan of the just concluded 2020 edition of the Munich Security Conference was “Westlessness.” It clearly failed the first test of turning into a powerful global message. Not that the Germans have a reputation for global sloganeering. The real reason for failure is simply that the word “Westlessness“ cannot be translated. I invite any of you to translate “Westlessness.” It can’t be done. When at a similar time of disorientation, Churchill said in 1946 an “Iron Curtain” was falling across Europe from Stettin to Trieste, the words rammed home. The world knew in a flash what he meant and understood thanks to his two words the new challenges the democracies had to overcome after the end or the Sec-


ond World War. When John F. Kennedy in 1961 urged American not “to ask what their country can do for you but ask rather what you can do for your country,” everyone around the world heard that message. And pretty much everyone understood its call to take up new challenges of organizing to eliminate poverty or overcoming racial discrimination at home, in South Africa, anywhere. When Ronald Regan, speaking in Berlin in 1987, appealed to Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear Down This Wall,” all of Europe west and east heard those words and thought the same as Reagan. We see the EU dithering on the global stage. Even the French and the Germans can’t fake consensus anymore Westlessness? What does it mean? If anything, it is an


indication of the vapidness of these grandiose gatherings of the great and the good, whether in Davos or Munich. They have surely come to the end of their use-by date. To be sure, the German President, former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, issued a relatively strong appeal against authoritarianism. And French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his restlessness with the comatose Merkel government. But none of that will change one iota of the fact that both neighboring nations are continuing to talk past one another. If only, the Germans continue to believe, the French finally favored savings and built up huge surpluses, then all would be well. If only, so think the French, the German politicians would finally be willing to tell their voters to drop dead and embrace French-led Europeanism, then all would be better. It wasn’t that their speeches were “Westless” so much as meaningless, devoid of anything new, any offer to change domestic policy to shape a new trans-Rhine partnership, as Adenauer and de Gaulle had managed to do. Their bilateral courage was followed by Mitterrand and Kohl, who got on with the work and the words without taking part in global gabfests. Forget about tensions with the U.S. As long as the French and German’s are the equivalent of light years away from agreeing on a common path, then all the often heard European complaints about Washington and the United States are almost beside the point. The concept of the “West” — where the sun rises and people have a chance of a better life — is powerful, especially to those living in rather squalid conditions outside it. The idea of reason and of laws and universal rights has been its core rationale ever since the Enlightenment. It should reign over princes and prelates and divinely ordained supreme leaders.

Alas, today those princes are to be found in the Arab Gulf. They use the West as their playground and as a location to hide their money. Otherwise, they have no use for such niceties as giving their people Western-type rights. Today’s prelates rule in Iran and other nations where a faith or a religion is built into the nation’s name at the United Nation or in countries like Poland, Israel or India where faith politics replaces secular humanism. China is the closest we have to a self-appointed divine leader placed over the people. Like Louis XIV, President Xi can say “l’etat, c’est moi” and all must bow to his wishes. If Xi doesn’t think a problematic new virus is something he should worry about, then no one else in China is allowed to worry about it until it spreads too far, too fast and fatally — at which point it can no longer be ignored even by Emperor Xi. On the contrary, many in the world, almost certainly most ordinary citizens if not the rich and powerful, look forward to a bright future. A future in which ideas of separations of power, independence of the judiciary, a free media including publicly funded broadcasters like the BBC, social policies like free education, health care, affordable housing, and a ruthless stamping out of discrimination are the norm. In other words, they want to live under Western values. But if the great men who draw up the Munich Security Conference think that “Westlessness” is where we are heading then we are already half way there.

*Denis MacShane Contributing Editor at The Globalist





The EU Green Deal can go global – but ‘climate diplomacy’ won’t be easy In the 1990s, Europe’s drive to create a single market earned international kudos. It also triggered a wave of anxiety as policymakers across the world fretted about the plan’s external ramifications. Most fears of Fortress Europe were misplaced. But the global concern was telling. EU officials who prepared the plan had paid scant attention to its impact on the outside world. It all worked out in the end. Europe did not raise the trade drawbridge; imports, exports and investments grew in leaps and bounds and everyone benefitted from the creation of the EU’s large border-free market. by Shada Islam*


s Europe embarks on the Green Deal – its newest transformational project – lessons learned from the creation of the EU single market, and, going even further back, from the Common Agriculture Policy, must help steer EU policies and actions. If Europe plays its cards right, the EU blueprint for pursuing climate neutrality by 2050 could become a truly inspirational manual for other countries and regions. Once again, the world is watching with interest and trepidation. Once again, there are fears of the Green Deal’s global fall-out. And once again, EU leaders are so focused on the complex internal machinations of the project that they may end up paying inadequate heed to others’ concerns. That would be a mistake. If Europe plays its cards right, the EU blueprint for pursuing climate neutrality by 2050 could become a truly inspirational manual for other countries and regions. This will, however, require crafting a Green Deal narrative which, while focussing on Europe’s future complex trajectory, is also sensitive to the world’s concerns. EU policymakers will have to become better at communicating, explaining and informing Europe’s partners about the Green Deal. Consistency in policymaking and messaging will be essential. Europe’s ‘climate

diplomats’ will have to combine self-confidence and humility, assertiveness and diffidence, principles and pragmatism. Reassuringly, the European Commission’s Green Deal document devotes two and a half pages to Europe’s vision to become a global ‘climate leader’. There is a promise that the EU will continue to promote and implement ambitious environment, climate and energy policies across the world, working in both multilateral fora and on a bilateral level to achieve its goals. This is good news. Global climate champions are few and far between. Since the EU only accounts for 9% of global emissions, however, achieving real impact worldwide will require strong collective action. MAKE SURE THAT THE GREEN DEAL DOES NOT BECOME ANOTHER EXCUSE FOR PROTECTIONISM First, make sure that the Green Deal does not become another excuse for protectionism. The EU will lose all legitimacy – and the Green Deal will have no credibility – if Europeans succumb to the short-term temptation of using the climate crisis to protect and shelter some sectors of European agriculture and industry. Second, keep an eye on geopolitics. Relations with



Southeast Asian countries are already soured over the European Parliament’s 2018 decision to effectively ban palm oil in biofuels by excluding it from renewable energy targets, a move which many Asians believe reflects the power of Europe’s rival oilseed growers rather than any scientific environmental impact assessment. Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top palm oil producers, have also accused the EU of unfairly targeting palm oil in an effort to impose new limits of levels of contaminants considered harmful to health in vegetable oils and fats. The dispute has put a spanner in the EU’s trade talks with both countries. Plans to upgrade EU relations with the wider Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are also temporarily on hold. Third, EU climate diplomats must strive to be as transparent as possible about plans to introduce an EU border adjustment tax or carbon levy. Details on how the tax could be implemented in practice have so far been few and far between. That’s fine for the moment. But trade friction with partners and possibly ‘apoplectic’ interventions from US President Donald Trump can be avoided if the EU starts clarifying how the tax will be



calculated, designed and made compliant with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. IN A WORLD OF INCREASED GEOPOLITICAL TENSIONS, EUROPE CANNOT AFFORD TO SPARK FURTHER MISUNDERSTANDINGS Fourth, the EU certainly has the economic weight to shape international standards in line with its environmental and climate ambitions. But European climate diplomats must resist the temptation of using a sledge-hammer to achieve their goals. Making compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement a prerequisite for new EU trade deals will require careful diplomacy, for example. Countries are more likely to fall in line with EU demands if they are offered cooperation and collaboration rather than subjected to tough preconditions. It won’t be easy. Many Green MEPs favour using trade agreements to project European environmental standards worldwide. Ironically, however, doing so too harshly could reduce Europe’s leverage, not increase it.

Fifth, use upcoming meetings with Africa, China and India – and members of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) – to forge ambitious ‘climate partnerships’ which reinforce support for the Paris deal and a worldwide green transformation. Finally, pending other international decisions on climate finance, it makes good sense to make use of the EU’s substantial aid budget, investment facilities, technical assistance and capacity building tools – and the private sector – to ensure a coordinated response to the climate crisis. In a world of increased geopolitical tensions, Europe cannot afford to spark further misunderstandings. The EU has strong multilateral credentials, an expanding network of partners, and the regulatory and standard-setting power to take its Green Deal global. It should do so, wisely. *Shada Islam Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe **first published in:





Europe remains a beacon of light in a world that it is getting darker The first weeks of 2020 shed a stark light on the fact that the world is becoming increasingly unstable and unpredictable. by Margaritis Schinas*


he challenges of today's world, such as Migration, Security, ensuring economic growth, fostering a dynamic labour market that meets the needs of our economy, protecting the environment and health are such that they cannot be addressed from a strictly national perspective. In this sensitive geopolitical context, Europe can and shall provide adequate responses. We need more and a better Europe to ensure the transition to a Green economy, to a Digital Union and to one that protects and empowers. My responsibility as Vice-President of the European Commission is to ensure that all the elements of a Europe that protects and empowers work seamlessly together. My task will be to ensure that European policies help build the inclusive and resilient societies of tomorrow – societies that create equal opportunities and support everyone who is part of our society. The portfolio I have been entrusted with is cross-cutting in nature: it is about protecting European values and making sure that life in the European Union works for everyone who has the privilege to call Europe home. In practice, this means making sure that no one is left behind, it means finding a common way to manage our migration policy. This is a portfolio that puts people at its heart. First, in terms of a Europe that protects: President von der Leyen has entrusted me with coordinating the work on a New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

This mission underlines the need to find new common ground on an issue that has been bitterly divisive for too long. The need for a new consensus on how we collectively shape and manage the realities of migration. We all agree by now that we cannot continue to look at the various aspects of migration separately. We must apply a whole-of-route approach, acknowledging that the internal and external aspects of migration are inextricable from one another. A new Pact means making our external borders strong enough to support the area of free movement so emblematic of our Union. It requires an effective system of returns for those who do not have the right to stay. It requires putting in place asylum procedures that are more solidary, efficient and robust, addressing the problem of secondary movements. A new Pact also means agreeing on legal pathways to Europe, to equip our labour markets and industries with the right talent and skills. And it means building comprehensive partnerships with countries of origin and transit, by mobilising our trade, visa, mobility, investment and development policies to this end. On the Security agenda, I committed to work towards completing our Security Union in a way that addresses both traditional and modern threats. In 2020, we will put forward a new European Strategy



for Security that tackles areas with a strong cross-border dimension such as terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime, closing down information gaps and protecting Europeans online. But the ever-evolving nature of security threats calls for a cross-cutting approach, going beyond the traditional home affairs perspective and looking into the security dimension of policies ranging from digital to energy, from financial services to health and transport. We will also work to enhance the EU’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to hybrid threats. We are developing a sound approach to fifth generation networks that is fit for our global age, but also genuinely European. With billions of connected objects and systems carrying sensitive information, it is essential to ensure the cybersecurity and resilience of 5G networks. 5G will be a ground-breaking technology but it cannot come at the expense of the security of our internal market. Soon everything will be connected to everything and to everyone and therefore the cyber world must be as secure as possible. This is why on 29 January the Commission endorsed the


joint toolbox of mitigating measures agreed by EU Member States to address security risks related to the rollout of 5G. Protecting our digital critical infrastructure must go hand in hand with protecting our physical infrastructure. We will invest in a flexible and risk-based approach to build resilience against all types of threats, from drones to insider threats, and to take better account of interdependencies between essential services. We need a robust Security strategy fit for addressing the challenges of a digitised and globalised world. But we need to do this on our terms, in line with our values, in line with the Treaties, and with a focus on people. Every one of our proposals on Security will integrate – by design – full respect of fundamental rights, including the protection of personal data. On 19 February, we presented a Digital Package which aims to create a single market for data and to ensure the human-centric development of Artificial Intelligence. Those measures offer a unique opportunity for a Technology that works for people, a competitive economy but also for an open, fair and democratic society.


Secondly, when it comes to a Europe that empowers: People will be at the centre of every policy and every action in this range of policies. This is why we launched a comprehensive European Cancer Plan and are putting forward a set of actions to make the European Education Area a reality by 2025 – making education more accessible and inclusive, promoting lifelong cross-border and language learning, making mobility a reality for all and putting special focus on digital education. On the social and employment front, we will be updating the European Skills Agenda – filling skills shortages and supporting reskilling to foster a dynamic labour market that meets the needs of our economy. We must harness the full potential of culture and sport to bring our communities closer together, especially young people. Programmes such as Erasmus+, DiscoverEU, the European Solidarity Corps and the European Social Fund have a key role to play.

President von der Leyen has also tasked me with leading our dialogue with religious and non-confessional organisations, and our work against the rising scourge of antisemitism. This is a threat not only to Jewish communities, but to our way of life as a whole, and it has to be tackled at a horizontal level: from security, to education to awareness-raising. I will ensure that these interdependent aspects of the European Way of Life are complemented and reinforced with one aim: building stronger, more inclusive, more cohesive and more resilient European societies. Europe remains a beacon of light in a world that it is getting darker. Our fundamental values of human dignity, freedom, solidarity, the respect of human rights and the rule of law are a European trademark. They constitute an anchor of stability which must be preciously safeguarded. It is a great honor to be able to contribute to this endeavour. *Margaritis Schinas Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President for promoting our European Way of Life



Coronavirus outbreak: Taiwan’s experts (again) excluded by WHO (UN) Taiwan, with its proximity to China and intensive people-to-people contact between two sides, bears the brunt of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan on the Mainland. Taiwan has scaled up directly its immigration quarantine and health contingency measurements. On February 26, the Central Epidemic Command Center of Taiwan’s Health and Welfare Ministry revealed 32 confirmed cases with one death. In Taipei City, a bill aimed at mitigating any impact from a COVID-19 outbreak was signed into law by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, reaffirming the government’s commitment to ensuring public health while maintaining social and economic stability. by N. Peter Kramer


he outbreak of the Coronavirus is a more serious challenge to the global health than the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that erupted in 2003. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Coronavirus a pub-


lic health emergency of international concern. But Taiwan’s experts are excluded from the WHO Emergency Committee meetings held in Geneva. That means that Taiwan is the only country with confirmed cases having been excluded!


US Senators, including Mitt Romney and Cory Gardner, said China has placed pressure on UN-related agencies, such as the WHO and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), as well as the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to exclude Taiwan from discussions. The US State Department critisised the ICAO for allegedly blocking users on Twitter who refer to Taiwan’s non-participation in the organisation. ‘Taiwan has a relevant and credible voice on transnational health issues, and the US has long supported its active engagement in international venues’, its spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. The EU, Japan, Canada and others have also renewed their support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO. ‘The root cause for Taiwan’s exclusion lies in a secret Memorandum of Understanding signed by the WHO Secretariat and China in 2005 which was never authorised by other WHO member states’, Ambassador Harry Tseng

told us. “Under the MOU, the WHO secretariat designates its legal department as the only contact point for Taiwan. This not only creates a serious gap in the global health security system; it also undermines Taiwanese people’s fundamental human rights to health.’ Let’s also not forget that Taiwan is an international hub for transportation and logistics, business and trade. Close interactions with people from around the world make it all the more necessary for Taiwan to be included in the global effort against epidemics. During the SARS epidemy in 2003-2004, Taiwan was also excluded by the WHO. The country received support from the EU and countries all over the world to get the chance to participate in the WHO. With no success. Now, 16 years later, with the COVID-19 outbreak, we see that history is repeating itself. The EU and many of the same countries are supporting Taiwan again for inclusion in WHO activities. With the same arguments. Will it work this time?



The Flat Glass Sector’s Decarbonisation Journey Did you know that modern double-glazing offsets the CO2 emissions that were emitted to produce it within 6 to 20 months by its enormous energy savings?! Yes, glazing is truly a transparent climate solution. There is no substitute for this material with its unique functions that could now even be the low-hanging fruit in lowering Europe’s emissions. by Niels Schreuder*


he production of glass however is a capital-intensive as well as high-volume process, operating 24/7 for 16 to 20 years non-stop. Float glass furnaces are the largest of all glass industries, made large precisely to minimise energy needs and costs. In recent years, from 1990 to now, the EU flat glass sector has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 43% per output but flat glass manufacturing still is emitting


CO2 emissions in the production phase. Going down to zero is the challenge but a difficult one. That is because 25% of the CO2 emissions in flat glass melting are emissions resulting from the carbonisation of the raw materials as they melt. The other 75% of CO2 emissions come from the use of natural gas to get to high temperatures of around 1,600 degrees that are required for the manufacturing of flat glass.


All together the flat glass sector in Europe is not the biggest emitter, being responsible for only 0.13% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions, the sector nevertheless wants to take the decarbonisation journey to 2050. This means that today's technology frontiers need to be crossed and break-through technology solutions must be found and scaled up to implement on the sectors manufacturing facilities. The 2050 horizon is, flat glass furnaces having a lifetime of 16 to 20 years, however still 2 investment cycles away. THE VIRTUOUS DECARBONISATION CYCLE In its recent publication “2050 Flat Glass in Climate-Neutral Europe”, the sector offers its vision of a virtuous decarbonisation cycle. The paper identifies three disruptive routes with their theoretical CO2 reduction potential. The transition to a carbon neutral Europe first requires drastic CO2 emissions reductions in key economic sectors such as buildings and transport. The glass material is readily available for renovating Europe’s buildings and for supporting the clean mobility transition. The uptake of carbon-avoiding products and climate solutions, glass is also needed in solar energy solutions, is besides reducing CO2 emissions also creating business opportunities. The sales of such climate friendly products are generating economic activity that allow to further unlock investments in research, pilot-testing and ultimately the roll-out of breakthrough clean manufacturing technologies. A cornerstone of the new EU Green Deal is the “renovation wave” in the EU’s building sector. The new European Commission seems to have the recipe to trigger the virtuous cycle of decarbonisation, at least for the flat glass sector. ENERGY SWITCH One of the routes identified to decarbonise flat glass manufacturing is an energy switch towards renewable energy sources. The maximum potential of manufacturing emissions reduction by a total energy switch would be minus 75%. Renewable electricity, one potential energy resource however is not mature yet to power a fully continuous turning flat glass furnace. Going for 100% electric melting will still need research to become large scale and solve its other technical challenges. Hydrogen, another option, has a low flame radiation which would contribute to the efficiency of flat glass furnace but here also research is still needed to adapt the technology to be able to mix more than 20% of hydrogen with natural gas. Biogas could also be an option but there are still issues with gas quality and availability of biogas in the

future. For the decarbonisation challenge a combination of these alternative energies and hybrid furnace technologies might be the way forward. RECYCLING Since glass is an endlessly recyclable material, and 85% of glazing in buildings still inefficient, there seems to be a lot of recyclable material to unlock by replacing single glazing or inefficient double glazing. Building renovation programmes to reduce energy consumption of buildings, will have a double benefit for the flat glass sector. Collecting recycled glass, called “cullet”, can help tackle manufacturing emissions since it requires less energy to melt cullet into glass again than melting virgin raw materials. Today, only a quarter of what goes into European flat glass furnaces is of recycled glass. A total of 7% CO2 manufacturing emissions reduction is estimated if 100% recycling with collected end-of-life building glass would be reused in the EU’s flat glass production. CCS/CCU A third route for the flat glass journey to 2050 is in Carbon Capture Storage and Utilisation (CCS/CCU). At the condition that storage infrastructures will be large-scale enough by 2050, this could be interesting to consider for addressing the process emissions (25% of today’s emissions) in glass manufacturing. What the energy switch cannot alter due to the carbonate arising from raw materials melting, CCS/CCU options could potentially tackle. Nevertheless, a number of barriers remain to be overcome to consider carbon capture as an option. The industry, characterised by disseminated production units mostly located in brownfields, still sees difficulties with space limitation and the linked transport network and storage capacity, limited market demand for carbon and even societal acceptance. On the journey to 2050 research and development in manufacturing breakthrough technologies could be kick-started by a European Commission driving a robust industrial strategy supporting industry in its transition to become carbon neutral. Coupled with unprecedented, legally binding, building renovation and clean transport transition in Europe. The sales of “low-hanging fruits” as glazing for such CO2 emissions reduction can in turn trigger the industry’s virtuous cycle of decarbonisation.

*Niels Schreuder Public Affairs Manager, AGC Glass Europe



The Internet broke the news industry—and can fix it too When pollsters ask Americans whether they trust the news they read, listen to, and watch, the answer is increasingly negative. This sentiment is in fact now common all over the world. Growing rates of global internet access have made countless sources of information readily available but with few checks and balances and widely varying levels of credibility. Unprecedented access to all kinds of media has not only increased competition among news providers, but it has also led to the extreme proliferation of low-quality yet plausible-looking sources of information—making it easier for political players to manipulate public opinion and to do so while denigrating established news brands. by Jimmy Wales, Orit Kopel*


he world’s new, digital, and highly competitive media environment has created fundamental problems in the business models that journalism relies on. Print products are in terminal decline; television audiences are plummeting. Advertising around news is no longer attractive when internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon offer far more


effective ways to target consumers. These new financial realities have led many news organisations to adopt problematic techniques for survival: prioritising quantity over quality and running so-called clickbait headlines. Each of these developments, combined with a lack of transparency within news organisations and the increased use of unfiltered social me-


dia platforms as news sources, contributes to a further drop in trust in the media. The decline of news organisations may seem unstoppable. But while the internet has permanently disrupted traditional media, it also presents several ways to fix it. Social media can bring local communities back into journalism, boosting transparency, accountability, accuracy, and quality. Harnessing the reach of the internet can help neutralize bias in the news industry and fix problems relating to a lack of representation and diversity. Information providers can achieve these advances in a financially viable way— by making readers direct participants and stakeholders. To do all this, however, journalism must adapt to the era of connectivity and information. Social media users can today access information with a few taps on a smartphone, but in many cases, they either lack the skills or the time to properly assess the reliability of that information. Emerging platforms have enabled mere news enthusiasts—and propagandists—to compete with professional journalists on an equal footing. On these platforms, what makes a news report successful is its level of virality: The articles and videos that are most popular are the ones that attract the most immediate and radical emotional reactions, even if they contain factual errors. Current adver-

tising-only business models rely on this fact for survival, prioritising content that is addictive and shareable rather than reliable and important. For all their flaws, however, social media platforms contain important solutions to declining levels of trust in the news industry. Emerging media have dramatically expanded the global audience of news consumers, and information providers should see that reach not as a problem but as an opportunity. The global online community, if properly harnessed, can increase accountability in news organisations by identifying biases and improving neutrality in reporting: Having the oversight of countless diverse online users can be beneficial. Transparency is the bedrock of restoring public trust in the media; eliciting greater involvement among consumers will naturally lead to an increased demand for media transparency in sources of funding, involvement of advertisers, and political pressure. Beyond a supervisory role, an important step would be to regard the online community as an active participant in the process of producing news. Given the chance, internet users can carve out a crucial role in assembling and curating accurate information. The key is to view social media users as a huge community of fact-checkers and news producers, instead of passive recipients of unreliable news. The theory of turning readers into active resources is not



merely hypothetical—it is a concept we adopted in 2017 when we founded WikiTribune as a news platform supported by professional journalists but controlled by an online community. Devoid of any traditional hierarchy, the organization encourages the highest levels of neutrality and transparency. WikiTribune’s volunteers and professional journalists will share the same editing rights: Each one of them can initiate or edit any article on the platform. Moderators emerge naturally from within the community. Making readers active participants in the production of news can also help organisations save money. Fact-checking and editing, for example, can be delegated to communities of volunteers using the vast database of the internet. Traditional news editors may find this notion difficult to accept, but the concept comes naturally to people who have grown up using the internet. Passive consumption is no longer the dominant feature in news; we are all creators of content, and we should all get a chance to participate in how information is disseminated. The wiki model—defined as any website that allows collaborative editing—also provides an effective solution to bias in reporting. If everyone has equal power, no one can control a narrative. Bias often comes from hierarchical news


models in which senior editors can mold the news to fit their views—or those of their publishers or financial backers. Collaborative editing platforms allow and encourage an open discussion on every article by a variety of participants from different backgrounds. Any disputes over opposing narratives are constructively resolved by the community, avoiding the problems in traditional journalism. A community-driven news product doesn’t have to be restricted to English. Most new internet users read Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, or Chinese; Wikipedia, for example, allows users of any language to document their news and events on its online encyclopedia, and it does so despite local government restrictions on journalism, leading a global battle against censorship. To be sure, collaborative models are not without their problems. It can be a struggle to create a thoughtful and varied community dedicated to the goal of producing high-quality news. Bad actors such as online trolls and politically motivated participants are threats requiring clear systems of identification, moderation, and removal. Constant efforts must be made to include as much variety of culture, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, geography, and political inclination to prevent biases. Creating


standards and practices can take time, but the success of the worldwide Wikipedia community, which has faced similar challenges, proves that community models can provide an effective public good—with a high level of trust and engagement.

bal media.Wikipedia, again, is fully supported by millions of users who appreciate the added value that the online encyclopedia brings to their lives every day. Public support comes in the form of not just money but also the time spent by volunteers contributing content and fixing errors.

The first priority of any news outlet must be the quality and credibility of its journalistic work. Those that depend on advertising-only business models may find it hard to sustain this priority: Eventually, a push for more traffic, and therefore revenue, will conflict with the mission for high-quality and reliable journalism.

Some traditional media are actively moving away from strategies dependent on online traffic and advertising. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Guardian has made a successful transition to a business model based on financial contributions from readers.

WikiTribune launched with a business model driven by voluntary subscriptions to avoid the need for advertising revenue and steer clear of shady corporate interests. Users who find its content meaningful and important are welcome to support the project with a one-time contribution or a monthly subscription. A successful fundraising campaign revealed a public thirst for new models of journalism. (WikiTribune’s model limits professional journalists to a supportive role in shaping the news—not a leading one. A volunteer community essentially takes the role of the editor, using the professional experience of the journalists to complete gaps in their news coverage.) Business models based on the direct financial support of the public represent the most sustainable strategy for glo-

In 2016, after suffering tens of millions of dollars in losses, the Guardian appealed directly to its readers for support: instead of calling for transactional subscriptions, it asked for patronage and participation. This humble, transparent strategy encouraged readers to support the Guardian for the greater cause of sustaining high-quality journalism, rather than merely treating their monthly contributions as a detached move to purchase content. By May 2019, the Guardian reported an annual operating profit of more than $1 million. And its success will likely be sustainable, since it now has more than 655,000 regular monthly supporters. The transition from a membership-driven business to one based on voluntary support echoes the Wikipedia model, where users choose to support a



project not necessarily for the content that they personally use but for its greater benefit to the world. The Dutch publication De Correspondent presents another successful example of journalism funded by readers. Launched in Amsterdam in 2013 after its founders raised $1.7 million from 19,000 supporters, De Correspondent sought to provide ethical journalism without relying on advertising, which appealed to people who wished to support a more transparent business model of news. Today, De Correspondent enjoys the support of more than 60,000 members—yet more evidence that there is in fact a public appetite to fund high-quality sources of information. New funding models are critical in order to keep journalism strong, independent, and sustainable. Not all news organizations may be able or willing to adopt a patronage model. However, the more models that successfully coexist, the higher the chances that journalism will remain independent. Subscription models—as opposed to voluntary contributions—tend to be better suited to financial or other niche publications, such as the Wall Street Journal or the Information, because they offer a more transactional service with access to time-sensitive business news. Those somewhat customised services are made available only to those who are willing to pay premium fees for a business advantage. General news services, however, are more widely available and as such do not lend themselves as clearly to transactional revenue models (unless they achieve the scale of a marquee newspaper like the New York Times). A voluntary funding model can succeed because serious people value good journalism not for narrow reasons of personal advantage but for its impact on society as a va-


luable pillar of democracy. Wiki-style editorial structures and financial models reliant on voluntary support are admittedly radical strategies, and not all news outlets will take the risk of adopting them. But even so, fundamental lessons can be adopted from WikiTribune to help restore the public’s trust in journalism. The most important of these is the need for transparency. The more readers feel like active participants in the process of journalism, the more they will trust the final product. And especially in smaller communities, if citizens participate in curating information, they will reduce the cost of production, thereby allowing struggling local media to survive. Strong and independent journalism is at the heart of any healthy, functioning democracy. It is the gatekeeper against corruption and plays a vital role in communicating the facts that allow people to make informed decisions about their lives. Statements by politicians delegitimising the media resonate with the public only if they are already in doubt of its validity. Quality journalism that involves the news community in the process of producing it creates a transparent operation that can gain the public’s trust. This kind of collaborative, responsive media has a greater likelihood of attracting the direct support of people who believe in the importance of sustaining it. To save itself, journalism now needs to go back to the people. *Jimmy Wales co-founder, CEO, and editor in chief of WikiTribune, as well as co-founder of Wikipedia. Twitter: @jimmy_wales

*Orit Kopel co-founder of WikiTribune and founder of Glass Voices. Twitter: @ OritKopel



Businesses are thriving, societies are not. Time for urgent change It’s the end of an era for corporations. For 50 years, companies focused on delivering shareholder value above all else – but a rapidly changing world is undercutting the shareholder primacy paradigm. Businesses must urgently change to support the societies they operate in. Climate change and economic unfairness are among 6 flashpoints for companies. Globalisation has lifted over 1 billion out of poverty - but it’s deeply unpopular. by Orit Gadiesh and Andrew Schwedel*


echnological, demographic and macroeconomic disruptions are reshaping our economy and society – and stakeholders are demanding change. Consumers want safety, privacy and environmental responsibility. Employees require a stronger sense of purpose and rewards. Regulators assail business practices in banking, energy, healthcare and


big tech. Acknowledging an urgent need for change, the US-based Business Roundtable reversed two decades of official policy and called for a more balanced model of capitalism. Many companies had already started down this path during the shareholder primacy era. Charles Schwab,


USAA and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, for example, listened to their customers and employees and invested in loyalty. Unilever, LEGO and Patagonia made sustainability a strategic priority. Quietly, many firms developed agendas focused on good corporate citizenship without touting them. Today, however, society’s demands have escalated dramatically. Twenty years ago, corporate activists called for environmental protection and labor rights. Now, they demand action on a complex array of environmental, political, social and economic issues. To address these concerns effectively, leadership teams must make corporate citizenship a core activity. It’s a wrenching change, but an urgent one. Firms are doing well, but host communities often aren’t. Globalization delivered prosperity to emerging markets, lifting more than 1 billion people out of poverty – but it’s deeply unpopular in Western countries where middle-class incomes stagnated, industries shrank and jobs

disappeared. Abundant labor and cheap capital, combined with relaxed regulatory and antitrust regimes, concentrated corporate power. Nationalism is on the rise and climate change appears intractable. The rise of big data and powerful technology platform companies provoke fear of privacy abuse and fake news. Millennials in particular are far more skeptical of capitalism than previous generations and support a more expansive role for government. Until now, political institutions in the developed world have struggled to keep pace with these changes. As big business thrives and social anxiety increases, however, battles over polarizing social and economic issues will intensify. Eventually, political leaders and society at large will look to the business sector to solve many of these problems. That’s a challenge few leadership teams are prepared for – even those that have worked hard to act responsibly – and few will be able to avoid. Amazon, for in-



stance, has invested heavily in community engagement. The company took pains to address the concerns of state and city leaders in New York before selecting the New York City borough of Queens as its second headquarters. But Amazon still ran afoul of local activists who decried what they considered overly generous tax breaks for the project. The social backlash added to complaints about Amazon’s overall corporate tax rate, labor practices, and dominant market power in e-commerce and web services. The corporate citizenship flashpoints ahead – and how to address them We see six broad sets of issues likely to define corporate citizenship flashpoints in the coming decade. - Environmental sustainability: the threat of climate change, resource usage, pollution, water access, food safety and security - Economic fairness: CEO compensation vs. minimum and living wages, job and income security, healthcare access and affordability, the role of unions and the power of labor, workforce skills and training - Corporate power and control: industry concentration and market power, antitrust policy and enforcement, regulations on business practices and political influence Consumer protection: data privacy and security, ownership of identity rights, marketing practices (informed consent, ability to manipulate opinion in digital and social media)


-N ational security and nationalism: offshoring of jobs, domestic vs. international investment, jurisdiction shopping for tax and regulatory arbitrage, intellectual property protection - Social issues: gun control, religion, identity politics and other culture-war issues The relevance and urgency of each issue will vary by company, industry and country. The demands of disparate communities are likely to clash; not all citizens or communities want the same things. How, then, can companies respond to this new environment? Leadership teams can start by creating forward-leaning policy agendas, together with other companies in the same industries. These agendas should include concrete steps to address society’s concerns. And firms or industries may choose to participate constructively in the debate – or to ignore it and risk government intervention, with potential outcomes much less to their liking. Companies with forward-looking policy agendas will make community and citizen engagement a priority – as critical as investor relations. For example, retraining workers is likely to be a key issue for governments and companies in the 2020s. Amazon recently announced it will spend $700 million by 2025 to retrain about 100,000 employees, or roughly one-third of its American workforce. It also raised minimum wages, along with Walmart, PayPal and others. To stay one step ahead of the debate on flashpoint is-


sues, firms must develop new skills. Olam and Cargill named chief sustainability officers who are working closely with governments to improve food supply integrity. C-suites will need foreign policy competence to address trade frictions, technology transfer, data protection and constraints on labor sourcing, as well. Successful leadership teams will devote the same careful attention to their citizenship agenda as they do to business strategy. In addition to understanding which communities are most important to the company, they’ll need to determine where in the value chain they can make a difference. It will be critical to pinpoint where the firm’s values, policies and actions are at odds with the interests of stakeholder communities. Leaders can then evaluate financial, human and reputational trade-offs in addressing citizens’ concerns. These won’t be easy choices, but they’ll increasingly shape the CEO agenda over the next five years. And companies that embrace citizenship right now will be best positioned to navigate successfully the challenging times ahead.

*Orit Gadiesh Chairman, Bain & Company Inc.

*Andrew Schwedel Co-Chair, Bain Futures



Managing crisis and public sector organisations In the everyday life, the concept of crisis can encompass the whole range of activities and relationships, at an individual, social and political level. But its interpretation varies, depending on the perspective of the crisis, regarding[1] personality, experience and professional level. In the context of organizations and systems, the crisis and its response has become particularly important nowadays, due to the unforeseen forms in which it can occur, the degree of damage it can cause to their structures and operations, and the dimensions that it can realize in a short time, due to the modern environment of globalization, and the fast dissemination of information through enhanced communication networks. The crisis may manifest itself on the horizon as a result of a wrong decision, or it may occur without warning, anywhere, anytime. It can affect all sectors of society, businesses, government, non-governmental organisations. In order to safeguard the viability of organisms [1] in critical situations, there is a need for constant monitoring and analysis and an academically sound approach to documentation of actions needed. by Dr. Christos Lemonakis* and Dr. Antonios Zairis*



But how can we define the crisis? According to the Greek language*, the term crisis refers to the mental process of the human being to reason deeply and to arrive at sensible conclusions and judgments, by choice, but also to disturb the smooth course of a process, malfunctioning or improperly challenging structures, values and institutions. In Chinese, judgment is pronounced gei-zi, and is a compound word that denotes "danger" and "opportunity" at the same time. In the context of organizations, a crisis is a low probability event with major implications, which threatens the viability of an organisation and is characterised by unclear causes and effects and ways of finding a solution as well as the belief that decisions must be made within a short time. According to Robert (2000), the crisis is an incident that threatens to be harming the people's safety, the environment, the reputation of an organisation and its’ stakeholders involved.


herefore, managing the crisis by public bodies and governments is a prerequisite for their smooth operation and survival. According to Porter's theory of resources and capabilities, the main mechanism for the survival of the organisms[1] in the environment in which they operate is the dimension of competitive advantage, in which organizations must face threats and seize opportunities, given their adopted strategies, occasional choices and actions decided they take, regarding the limited resources available (see also Figure 1). Figure 1: Crisis real world environment

CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND THE PUBLIC SECTOR According to Glaesser (2006) (pp. 21-23) a definition of crisis management is the "careful study and anticipation of the risks that a business / organisation may pose to reduce uncertainty and take all necessary measures." - actions, processes and processes before, during and after the crisis to protect people, the environment, employees and the financial position of the business. "A public body is in crisis when its institutional status is challenged as well as basic structures, principles and values** are also threatened. For the public administration, the crisis may concern the whole or a large part of the population. Although crises are unpredictable, they are not unexpected and can affect all areas of society and are caused by many different causes. Rosenthal and Pijnenburg (1991) believe that: "the crisis relates to situations characterised by severe threat, uncertainty and a sense of urgency". Crises also reach a critical point where change, for better or worse, is inevitable and the experience can be proved beneficial to people and organizations (Prideaux et al., 2003). Barton (2004) defines the crisis as: “a big, sudden event, which is likely to have negative effects. The fact and its consequences can seriously damage an organisation and its employees, as well as its products and services, its financial status and reputation". This approach reinforces the need** to manage the organization's communication and image. *The

And while organisations are taking precautionary measures to deal with exceptional critical events, the degree of achievement of the intended results remains low.

word form "crisis" is nearly identical to the Greek word "krisis" from which it was borrowed into Latin, then into French, and finding its way eventually to the English tongue. Source: e22d/3201b60d1f9d7b2f38126a56751eb9cca98c.pdf

**Source :



A crisis is a situation that is approaching a “dangerous” phase, which requires urgent intervention to avoid harmful and potentially harmful effects on the structure of an organization and return to normality. It is a decisive and critical time for the organization, where the wrong decision can, as mentioned above, even cost its viability. According to the Institute for Crisis Management , the crisis is a situation of significant business (see also “operations”) disintegration, which has resulted in negative reactions from all stakeholders, probably extensive media coverage, and public scrutiny. This situation may have a political, legal, economic and governmental impact on its activities. In the context of the crisis definition, we can conclude that the common elements contained in a crisis are the potential threat, which may be posed to all resources of an organization, the state of absolute surprise resulting in loss of control and finally the short time remaining for decision making. From the definitions above, we can easily understand the importance of the public sector crisis management, as unexpected events can affect the public, and therefore the citizens of this sector, through the central government. A crisis may consist of four distinct stages, i.e.: a) the pre-crisis phase, b) the acute phase of the crisis, c) the time-course of the crisis and finally d) the crisis resolution stage. According to Ahmed (2006), every crisis, regardless of its


form and the organisation in which it is created, has the following characteristics: a) It escalates in tension, b) causes a high sense of insecurity and danger, and c) those involved are overwhelmed by stress, affecting the usual operability of the organisation, while it changes the operational structure; affecting also the "image" of the organisation or of the government itself, arousing the interest of the competent bodies and especially the media to get involved in the situation. The increased demand for information that needs to be monitored by a specific group of the organisation’s staff may cause moral effects, not only in terms of “image” but also in material terms, which potentially may encompass to the power of the organization in real life, or even to the profile of the body, while causing a malfunction in its operational activity. Crises are unforeseen events that have the potential to produce undesirable effects (Coobs, 2007).Brønn and Olson (1999) described crisis as a product of a risk or opportunity arising from internal or external issues that can affect an organization on a massive scale (Bronn and Olson, 1999, p. 355). Mitroff et al. (1996) described the crises as a result of human intervention rather than natural disasters in order to separate the scope of Crisis Management from that of Risk and Emergency Man-


agement. The participants are surprised and have very little time to make difficult decisions in an atmosphere full of tension and volatility. A crisis is a large-scale unpredictable event that threatens to hurt an organisation and its stakeholders. An incorrect management decision can be a cause for serious operational risk. Each crisis, regardless of the category to which it belongs, goes through different phases depending on the time of occurrence and each phase affects the body differently (see also figure 2). Figure 2: Key phases of a crisis event

Each crisis is characterised by the factors that cause it. The main categories of critical situations are four depending on the causes of the crisis, which may come from internal or external factors of the organisation and may be characterized as “technical-economic” or “human-organizational-social” factors. The “technical-economic factors mainly consist of natural disasters, earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, H1N1 virus, mad cow disease, etc. While, the “human-organisational-social” factors may include among others, political and or economic crises or even political instability in countries. They may also include characteristic cases regarding information leakage and loss of human lives. In the case of the “technical-financial factors”, issues are raised from defective products that drive companies to withdraw them from the market, defective machinery that can be hazardous to human use or may result in injuries to personnel or other stakeholders (i.e. customers, partners), or in extreme cases even in an accident. *Christos Lemonakis

The phases are: (a) pre-crisis (condition or precursor), (b) acute phase (manifestation-peak crisis), (c) response (impact) phase, and (d) recovery or resolution phase (resolution). - normalization) (Darling et al., 1996).

Assistant Professor, Management Science and Technology Department, Hellenic Mediterranean University

*Dr. Antonios Zairis Assistant Professor at Neapolis University, Pafos / Associate Vice President, Board of Directors of the Hellenic Retail Business Association (SELPE)



Gender equality and getting more women into leadership roles are trending topics More awareness and conversation on gender is surely a good thing, but is this “noise” masking a lack of real action and progress? Attracting and developing more women in leadership roles requires company-wide change, driven from the top. Retention, succession, addressing the skills gap and committing to inclusion are some of the ways organisations can challenge the status quo. by Becky Frankiewicz*


ender equality and getting more women into leadership roles are trending topics. Of the top 30 most used hashtags of 2019, five were specifically around women, from #WomenInSTEM to #PressforProgress and #WCS (Women Crush Wednesday). More


awareness and conversation on gender is surely a good thing, but is this “noise” masking a lack of real action and progress? There is still a significant lag in fulfilling the promises of equality at work, with a 100-year gap from female representation in leadership to pay equity.


As a woman, and mom of three daughters, with a 25-year career from sales, to consulting, to packaged goods and now leading North America for ManpowerGroup, my experience has taught me that if companies address culture as a priority in their business, we would accelerate progress. Quickly. While encouraging women to lean in and raise their hands higher can help, we must place equal focus on employers to take action and fix the problem. Attracting and developing more women in leadership roles requires company-wide change, driven from the top. Here are five ways organisations can challenge the status quo to create an environment where women can achieve their potential. Spoiler: they don’t include women’s groups or diversity training… 1. Pay and benefits might attract, but it takes more to make women stay This week, we launch new global research that reveals global talent shortages are at a record high of 56%, almost double that of a decade ago. In this environment of high-skills shortages and low unemployment, it’s more important than ever to understand what workers want. To find out, we asked 15,000 people across 15 countries and analysed the results by gender and age. People told us companies need to prioritise more than pay. Workers today expect to “consume” work in the same way they live the rest of their lives. Individual choice and preference aren’t just personal, they’re professional. Work and personal life are no longer mutually exclusive, they are intrinsically linked. The next generation wants challenging work, skill development and flexibility. While women continue to do most of the emotional labour and unpaid work at home, it’s critical that challenging work come with flexibility. More and more women are taking their careers into their own hands – 40% of US businesses are women-owned and the number of female entrepreneurs has skyrocketed by 114% in the last two decades. The good news – companies that help people work when, where and how it suits them won’t just appeal to women. We’re increasingly seeing what works for women works for men too, particularly younger workers who expect to spend more time with family, travelling or learning new skills. 2. Focus on succession Succession isn’t just the most watched show of 2019, it also needs to be top priority for leaders. Women make

up half of the world’s talent pool. In the US, 50.2% of the college-educated labour force is made up of women. They have long eclipsed men in earning college degrees, yet women still only hold 25% of leadership roles. Plain and simple, an all-male succession bench simply won’t cut it. To address this, companies need to break down gendered career paths, so women don’t get stuck in job silos that are historically female like communications, HR and support roles. To accelerate women into leadership starts with questioning what is truly required to climb the corporate ladder. Is an extensive finance career needed to be a successful general manager? Will set office hours improve employee productivity? (If you think so, data says otherwise.) Flip the question and ask how it could work, not why it doesn’t. Be explicit about where to progress women and help them obtain the skills and experience to manage and drive the business in technical and operational positions. 3. Address the double gender-skills gap in STEM Data tells us that women are under-represented in the roles that are growing the fastest – notably STEM – and that the roles that have historically been held predominantly by women (like business and financial operations, and office administration) are roles most susceptible to disruption by automation. If we don’t intervene, the imbalance will accelerate from the double gap. While we may have reached near parity in the number of men and women graduating with degrees in social sciences and mathematics, at least in the US, in computer science we’re in reverse. Today, women make up only 18% of computer science graduates, compared with 37% in the 1980s. In cloud computing, just 12% of professionals are women. Similarly, in engineering: 15% and Data and AI: 26%. Often the focus is on how education should be adapted to better equip people for jobs. Actually, to hire more and address longstanding talent shortages, employers should look at the requirements they set as they recruit. In the US, the education and experience employers require for tech roles is higher than the supply: 86% of IT job openings require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, yet just 43% of IT workers have one; 92% of Java developer job ads ask for a degree when only 48% of developers have one. These requirements need to change to ensure more diverse talent has access to future growth roles.



4. Know the future is a skills world A digital society is a dynamic one. New technologies will regularly enter the marketplace, creating new skills and new roles as fast as others disappear. Today it is widely accepted that a small proportion of jobs may disappear but more significantly 100% of roles will change. In a skills-based economy, how well you can learn and adapt is more important than what you already know. Yet we continue to make hiring and promotion decisions through interviews and very specific requirements based on years of tenure and past experience in unrelated roles. The biggest barrier to progress, identified by men and women, is an entrenched male culture based on merits created by men, shaped by presenteeism and defined by male standards. In sharp contrast, professionally designed interviews supported by well-designed assessments decrease bias while increasing the quality of the hire. This is how we can best match people’s skills and potential to roles and create a level playing field for all candidates. 5. Walk the talk and make the commitment to inclusion While women and men enter the workforce in roughly equal numbers, women fall behind in promotions from the very first step on the management ladder. We know from our own research that the key to improving these odds lies with senior leaders – male and female – to en-


sure women are not left behind. As leaders, we all need to demonstrate this is a business priority – by what we say, what we do, what we measure and how we lead. Across the hundreds of thousands of clients we work with globally, we see plenty of companies spend time planning how they will hire more diverse workers without a clear plan to develop and keep them. This is where culture and work models come in. Creating an inclusive environment where everyone wants to continue working is about more than just policies and hiring practices, it’s an ongoing environment where everyone brings their whole self to work each day and feels valued, heard and able to make an impact while progressing their careers. The single most powerful thing an organization can do to promote more women leaders is to create a culture of “Conscious Inclusion” – building the desire, insight and capacity of people to make decisions. Lead, think and act with the conscious intent of including everyone. At the dawn of the 2020s, we can’t remain rooted in the past. We must hit the accelerator to build an equal and inclusive future. Our economic growth, workforce participation and future generations depend on it. *Becky Frankiewicz President North America, ManpowerGroup





James Tissot’s ambiguous modernity at Musee d’ Orsay & EBR’s heart beats Parisienne The Musée d'Orsay hosts the biggest James Tissot’s retrospective to date of the first exhibition dedicated to him in Paris since his first one organised at the Petit Palais in 1985. This exhibition, comprising a great number of pieces and it will be held in early spring until the heart of summer 2020. by Alexandra Papaisidorou*


ames Tissot... on the right and left of Musée d'Orsay corridors... it looks like the paintings obtain lifelike images among us and the voices make us want to join in the scenic. The artist who studied in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, moved to London and pursued a high profile career with mystical subjects and religious illustrations along with iconic images and the social impact of his age that all together depict his desire to express himself in a different – often ambiguous- way that distinct him and make his success incomparable. One of the exhibition’s Curators, Marine Kisiel, answered EBR’s questionnaire and headed our readers to an artistic voyage that gives us an insight into this amazing artist’s uniqueness and artistic genuity. WHAT IS THE MAIN CONCEPT OF FOCUS OF WORKS AND HOW MANY PAINTINGS WILL BE BROUGHT TOGETHER AT MUSÉE D'ORSAY? WOULD THEY BE ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY OR ACCORDING TO SUBJECT MATTER? There has not been an exhibition on James Tissot, in Paris, since 1985 at the Petit Palais. Our exhibitions ambitions to be both a retrospective of his oeuvre,

and a reassessment of this ambiguous figure. Tissot, indeed, is an intriguing man and artist. Having spent his life in France and in England, he developed an art that was very personal, although he borrowed to many sources (archaisms of the past, Japonism, the modernity of Whistler, Manet and Degas whom he befriended, and the Preraphaelites, to name but a few). And it is quite hard, even if his paintings are most of the time extremely seductive, to situate him in the history of art. For all those reasons, and because a lot of archival material and until now unlocated paintings had reappeared, it was important to devote a new exhibition to Tissot. For the sake of clarity, the exhibition is arranged chronologically, but each section focuses one a different facet of Tissot’s art and life: his interest in portraiture, his taste for archaism, his passion for Japan, his personal play on the reproduction of his own images, his love for Kathleen Newton, etc. WHY KATHLEEN’S DEATH WAS A TURNING POINT FOR TISSOT? Kathleen Newton was a young Irish divorcee with two young children when Tissot met her in London. But





he fell in love with her and left the mundane circles he had access to – and in which he found patrons and amateurs – to live with her. She moved in his fashionable house and studio, in Saint John’s Wood, London, and quickly took an important place in his art. At some point in the late 1870s, almost every woman in Tissot’s art is looking like Kathleen! One can imagine how cruel her death was to him. Suffering of tuberculosis, Kathleen died in 1882. After having painted the different phases of her decline in touching artworks, Tissot moved back to Paris a few days after her death. For good! He left London and his British career behind him after a decade there, never went back, and started anew in Paris. HOW HIS RELIGIOUS STIMULI INFLUENCE HIS WORKS OF ARTS? Tissot was a Catholic, and faith was important to him. After the death of Kathleen, he embarked on the making of an important series of 15 paintings devoted to the Woman of Paris. But this scheme was a failure when it was exhibited in 1885, and after that, Tissot almost stopped to paint. Rather, he decided to devote himself to the illustration of the Bible. After having gone several times to the Holy Land for research, he

eventually produced close to 700 gouaches that were reproduced in print alongside the biblical text in the final years of his life. The enterprise brought him an enormous success and a substantial wealth of money. Tissot also contacted a British medium, William Eglinton, after Kathleen’s death. One day during a séance, he thought he saw her. A painting, which he kept his lifelong, and a widespread mezzotint, which he made after the painting, record this mystical experience. It is called The Mediumnic Apparition. AFTER NUMEROUS EXHIBITIONS HELD THE WORLD OVER, WHAT IS THE KEY THAT WORTHS VISITING THIS TISSOT’S EXHIBITION OF MUSÉE D'ORSAY DURING SPRING-SUMMER 2020? The Mediumnic Apparition was sold after the death of Tissot’s last surviving niece, in 1964, and was unlocated for decades. We are proud to have localized it for this exhibition. The disappeared Apparition will reappear before our public, and that is a great joy! *Alexandra Papaisidorou Editor-at-large / PhD cand. University of Piraeus, Cultural Diplomacy & International Relations



Can fintech make the world more inclusive? At home, financial inclusion is a means to improve the well-being of ESM programme states’ citizens – a core ESM purpose. Abroad, the ESM has many investors in emerging markets. We often travel to see them to discuss the state of affairs in Europe; we have therefore experienced first-hand how emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and South America are leapfrogging the developed world in fintech. by Kalin Anev Janse and Gong Cheng*


n China, especially, the speed of fintech adoption has repeatedly surprised us. Mobile payment is widely used in China as an everyday payment method, from big modern malls down to the street corner food cart vendor. When travelling around China, we used WeChat to order and pay a taxi – or even a simple lunchbox. Local people in China can immediately tell that Gong is a Chinese living abroad, as he – from time to time – still uses the small banknotes and coins in his wallet long since discarded by locals.

poverty threshold. The fintech solution reduced credit approval to 10 seconds from 10 days and has provided $2 billion to more than 700,000 business people.

In Brazil, Prospera offers small low-interest loans to businesspeople – a quarter of whom live below the

The common theme across these examples is that fintech innovation is lowering transaction and service


In China, Kenya, Indonesia, and Brazil fintech companies are already easing credit market frictions and reducing transaction costs – two distinct aspects of financial inclusion that policymakers are trying to promote.


costs and reaching a population that would otherwise be unable to benefit from standard financial services. Fintech companies sometimes start as online shopping and telecommunications companies, then quickly move to building up a network of customers and providing them with financial services. The Bank of International Settlements describes this process as the DNA of fintech firms, namely the interaction between “data analytics, network externalities, and interwoven activities". Although fintech adoption is somewhat slower in Europe, a number of companies have started to penetrate certain market segments. A few European “unicorns” have begun to provide online payment and other banking services. There are upcoming European fintech companies, such as Transferwise and Revolut, that act like an Airbnb for foreign exchange, offering customers spot exchange rates against minimal or no fees. So, Europe is also stepping up its game. Cross-border workers and small firms stand to benefit in particular from the ease of making instantaneous money transfers or of soliciting credit for business development. One key contributing factor is fintech’s ability to secure and retain a large number of regular users, thus building big data on users’ behaviours and nurturing trust. As many policymakers at the IMF/World Bank Meetings in 2019 and fintech players acknowledged trust, not technology, is the big challenge that fintech needs to address. Only that way can it achieve its full potential and generate economic and social benefits.

In line with a number of other recent reports on fintech and financial inclusion, we believe it is the right time to emphasise the policy relevance of the topic for the coming years. This is especially true because the G20 leaders need to discuss and update the first three-year Financial Inclusion Action Plan, which ended last year. Policymakers will need to take stock of what has been achieved within the G20 Working Group on Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and envisage even bigger steps towards this common global objective. It is thus essential for researchers and technical experts to shed light on the considerable social impact and promise fintech is offering and to find solutions to contain potential risks. Fintech, and with it our more digital world, are changing our lives every day. Some things we know or have known might become obsolete in the future. Kalin was recently looking for a “piggy bank” for a family member’s baptism. His dream was that the baby would keep it for the rest of her life. It made him wonder – when she is older – will she even be using these small pieces of metal called coins?

*Kalin Anev Janse Chief Financial Officer & Member of the Management Board of the ESM & EFSF

*Gong Cheng Senior economist & policy strategist at the European Stability Mechanism




e reduced talent to a simple asset: one to be standardised, controlled, commoditised, and managed like any other form of capital. We created a department whose sole purpose is to extract value and enforce compliance, and put them in charge of an ecosystem built around formalized processes, sameness, common practices, and conformity. The result is the institutionalised mediocrity plaguing many legacy companies today. A pandemic that will only become more problematic as we advance into the post-digital age: a world of agile, talent-focused companies that are set up to disrupt, excel and grow. HOW WE GOT HERE

It’s time to disrupt Human Resources if we want talent fit for the digital age The rise of HR can be traced back to the dawn of the industrial age. The model is outdated if a company is to embrace innovation. The worst thing we ever did in corporate America was to take the most vital part of any company the people powering it - and label it so dismissively as “human resources.” by Adriana Stan and Tom Goodwin*


The rise of HR can be traced back to the dawn of the industrial age, and the reason behind its creation is also at the very core of what renders it obsolete today. While easily enforceable in factories and workflows that revolve around uniformity, consistency and minimum deviation from the norm, HR faces existential threats in a world of increasingly intangible labor performed in a digital realm by workers whose motivations extend beyond monetizing their labor, into passion and personal fulfilment. Businesses have always thrived on the process of making ever slightly better things, in ever improving ways. For centuries, humans have tried to emulate machines: we’ve mastered repetition, following orders, being on time, optimizing ourselves and our outputs. It’s time to accept that machines are best at being machines and celebrate what being a human is all about: not least our ability to question, challenge and adapt. DIFFERENCE, DIVERSITY, AND DIVERGENT THINKING The characteristics necessary to survive in large corporations are not just unhelpful, but downright detrimental in startups and agile tech companies. When we embrace the new needs of a post-digital world and build skills that support it, we will quickly see the value of remarkable people rise, while the value of those who blend in, who hide in org charts and shirk responsibility, diminish. The post-digital economy thrives on difference, diversity, and divergent thinking. It embraces exceptions and loves anomaly. It breaks down boundaries, subverts hierarchy and strips it of centralized control. It triggers wild mashups and unlikely combinations, it challenges conventions, revels in spontaneity, and it actively seeks out tension - because that’s what breeds invention. But when HR comes in to confine talent to boxes, to fit imagination into checklists, and to put the lid on enthusiasm, it all bursts into a violent clash of values: one that’s at the core of why companies rooted in tradition are struggling.


NEW POWER VS. OLD This crisis of modern labor stems from three factors: - a tension between human needs and outdated workplace structures; - new societal values and companies unequipped to handle them (because the future is often modeled on the data and decisions of the past); - and the emergence of a creative class - people who are finding new outlets for expression and are standing out after decades of fitting in. In the battle of new power vs. old, we value pluralism over imposed consensus, entrepreneurialism over tightly regimented roles, and centralized authority, curiosity and continued learning vs. formalised training. CULTURE OF CHANGE Whether you are a distinguished company with a storied legacy or a bold startup, the key to your growth lies in the talent you hire, retain and empower. Creating a culture of change and nurturing values like flexibility and ambition is what sets the foundation for innovation. But what we see most often is companies adapting around old systems, instead of completely rethinking leadership and management, or transforming the way they recruit and retain, or the types of roles they create. “We want the most creative out-of-the-box thinkers, the most inventive agents of change; people with ambition and big ideas to help us disrupt, transform and solve big challenges. But they need to have 10-12 years of relevant experience in this very precise, narrow field and a record of keeping the status quo. An MBA is of course also required. Because we need to make sure we don’t deviate from the norm, and the way we do that is covering our bases, following rules, and minimizing risk. Which is what we expect you to do once hired.” Sound familiar? With job ads that send this message, no wonder the people companies need the most are the least likely to be attracted to work there. When we champion compliance, mediocrity sets in. We recruit people to fit into a space, instead of reconfiguring, expanding or reshaping the space. We’d rather hold on to the job spec than bend it around a remarkable person. What if we championed difference and diversity of talent? What if we embraced the discomfort of hiring people who stand out people who challenge us, because they are not exactly like us, people who don’t fit the pattern of everyone who’s filled their roles before? WHAT SHOULD HR REALLY LOOK LIKE?

economy lies in this promise: that each of us can realise our full potential by expressing our broad range of our skills. Because that inherently benefits the companies that employ us. The next and arguably most crucial step is retention. What’s the point of hiring disruptors but not empowering them? Such trophy employees continue to be hired as a defensive mechanism designed to signal change without actually getting the company to change. Looks good in the press release and keeps everyone’s jobs safe -- what could go wrong? They sit on the edges, powerless, the very skillset they were brought in to use, untapped. Without a culture that allows them to drive change or make decisions, this talent feels unutilized, stuck, stifled. Until they’re approached by the next recruiter. When we listen to the mavens and misfits, when we inspire the changemakers we brought in and support them with a tribe of people they can connect with, and with budgets and decision-making power, we set the whole company up for success. What if we valued retention over the lure of talent seduction, over the quick boost to the company’s ego that comes from chasing new recruits? Can we create a system where loyalty is truly rewarded? And can we shift away from a system that rewards compliance and gives recognition based entirely on what is most easily measured? The companies that can get people to feel empowered, to feel free to show their passions both in and outside of work, to drive change by employing the full range of their talents, to express their curiosity and uncensored enthusiasm, are the ones best positioned to thrive in the future. When people have the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time, they will end up achieving more, not less. When they can pursue their interests freely, those interests won’t get in the way of their jobs - they will enrich and equip them with new skills to use in their jobs. When they can bring their full selves to work, they’ll pour their full selves into their work. And when you do the necessary work to cultivate openness and transparency, you’ll build trust and accountability and strengthen the fabric of your company. So let’s stop looking at talent purely through the lens of acquisition and let’s see people as more than just human resources. Whether you are transforming your company or starting a new venture, it may be worth asking yourself: what would HR look like, if we invented it today?

*Adriana Stan Strategic Communications Consultant, Interesting Speakers

*Tom Goodwin Head of Futures and Insight, Publicis Groupe

Perhaps the greatest opportunity in this new, post-digital



Social mobility of 82 countries ranked It’s an unfortunate truth that a person’s opportunities can be partially tethered to their socioeconomic status at birth. by Katie Jones*


lthough winning or losing the “birth lottery” will continue to shape the lives of generations to come, climbing the socioeconomic ladder is possible. However, it boils down to what opportunities people are afforded in the country they live in. Today’s chart pulls data from the inaugural Global Social Mobility report produced by the World Economic Forum. The report ranks 82 countries according to their performance across five key pillars: healthcare, education, technology access, working conditions, and social protection. While most countries aim to create a level playing field, which places best live up to this lofty and challenging mission?


THE SPECTRUM OF SOCIAL MOBILITY Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals either up or down the socioeconomic ladder relative to their current standing, such as a low-income family moving up to become a part of the middle class. Countries with high levels of social mobility exhibit lower levels of income inequality and provide more equally shared opportunities for its citizens across each of the five pillars. There are a number of countries that set an example for social mobility that others can follow.


THE MOBILITY MEDAL WINNERS All of the countries in the top 10 are European, but it is the Nordic countries that sit comfortably at the top of the ranks. Denmark holds the title for the most socially mobile country in the world, boasting an index score of 85.2. If a person is born into a low-income family in Denmark, the WEF estimates it would take two generations to reach a median income. In contrast, someone in Brazil or South Africa would take nine generations at the current pace of growth. As one of the few non-European countries in the top 20, Canada also performs well across the majority of pillars, but similarly to Denmark, it could improve in the area of lifelong learning which includes providing support for the unemployed and teaching digital skills. The Least Socially Mobile Countries Developing country Cote d’Ivoire sits at the bottom of the ranks, with an index score of just 34.5. As a nation once ravaged by internal conflict and turbulent economic shifts, the resulting poverty rate remains high at 46.3%. While the government has made improvements to its basic social services, the country falls behind on categories like access to education and fair wages, and retains the highest gender inequality rate in the world. Despite a significant decrease in the percentage of people living in absolute poverty, India ranks low on the index in 76th place. Structural reform is required across all pillars if India is to increase its score, especially in relation to fair wages and education. WHY INVEST IN SOCIAL MOBILITY?

-Disenchantment with political processes Aside from the social returns, the economic impact of investing in the right blend of social mobility pillars could be substantial. CALCULATING THE TRUE COST The report dives into the opportunity cost of low social mobility and finds that if each country increased its score by just 10 index points, it could result in an extra 4.41% of cumulative GDP growth for the global economy by 2030—equal to $5.1 trillion. China alone could add $1 trillion of GDP growth by 2030 if a 10 point increase is achieved: Although social mobility can act as an economic lever, many countries are struggling to provide the optimal conditions for their citizens to thrive. For those countries, globalisation and technology may continue to exacerbate income inequality. If countries are unable to create new social mobility pathways towards more inclusive economies, they risk being stuck in a cycle where inequality remains entrenched—and history continues to repeats itself.

According to the report, most economies are far from providing fair conditions for their citizens to thrive, with the greatest challenges ranging from lack of social protection and low wages to poor lifelong learning systems. Countries that fail to invest in the key pillars of social mobility could experience damaging consequences for governments and citizens alike: -Precarity (the unpredictability of living without secure and well-paid employment) -Perceived loss of identity and dignity -Weakening social fabric -Eroding trust in institutions

*first published in:



Shipping Decision Makers Forum Europe must protect itself in the context of the 'game' taking place on the world map, gaining strategic autonomy in everything including the sector of technology. by EBR


he 19th NAVIGATOR 2019 - THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM was organized by NAVIGATOR SHIPPING CONSULTANTS with great success on November 29, 2019 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The response to the call to the maritime industry to #bepartofthechange was impressive with the participation of more than 600 including high-ranking stakeholders from the entire shipping spectrum – shipping executives, representatives from maritime organizations, journalists, Embassies, academics and students from Universities as well as from the Merchant Marine Academies of Oinousses, Hydra and Aspropyrgos. Danae Bezantakou, CEO of NAVIGATOR welcomed the participants underlining that this Navigator Forum 2019 is the result of discussions and meetings which took place on a monthly basis in collaboration with the Advisory Board, composed by most of sponsors and speakers of the Forum. The Advisory Board is the forerunner of a shipping think tank that pledged to be institutionalized with NAVIGATOR ASSEMBLY, which firstly was addressed to Shipowners of 1-15 ships. The results of the 8 discussion topics related to NEW REGULATIONS, SMART SHIPPING, HUMAN ELEMENT, LEGAL & INSURANCE, GREEN FINANCING, PORT STATE CONTROL, COMMERCIAL, SUPPLY CHAIN were presented during the forum by the respective moderators. The President of NAVIGATOR, Capt. Dimitris Bezantakos, referred to the volatile period of the global shipping and economy, which creates a puzzle of strange social phenomena, such as terrorism and malicious acts on ships and installations, leading to a trampoline of oil prices. From his side, the Greek Minister of Maritime and Island Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis, coming back from the IMO Assembly session in London, explained how he pointed out the weaknesses of the new regu-


lation and asked for an extension of the measure, but received no answer. He also referred to the signing of maritime agreement with Japan, after 120 years of the latter's signing and expanded on the new era in which Greece-China relations have entered and are developing. For the first time at a Greek Shipping Forum, the World Economic Forum participated with Emma Skov Christiansen, Lead, Shipping Emissions & Ocean Agenda #GettingtoZeroCoalition to present the organization's vision of improving the world and inviting the Greek Maritime community to participate as it considers its contribution will be extremely valuable. Until today WEF has 102 coalition members & 14 supporting governments. Reference was made to China's "entry" into the wider region of the Southeastern Mediterranean which has changed the bipolar balance of forces and interests as was known by today between U.S.A and Russia today, creating a triangular "coexistence", which does not lack of competition. Discussions have been also about Greece’s strategic location and strategic plans taking place in the Country’s two largest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki. It was also mentioned that COSCO is strengthening its commercial power thanks to them as a gateway to 36 other ports throughout the world. It has been underlined that the Balkan countries would become “European” sooner or later, and these two Greek ports would help to upgrade the Balkans and the Greek economy, with a real potential for Greek shipping activities. The port of Alexandroupolis and the port Kavala, are the next two ports that the government will seek strategic partners and have already attracted the interest of investors.





POSIDONIA 2020 on track to be the biggest ever The 2020 Posidonia exhibition is on track to set new records in exhibitor numbers and floor space for its upcoming edition this summer, as the world’s most prestigious exhibition in the biennial maritime calendar is entering its sixth consecutive decade of continuous service to the ocean-going Greek shipping community and the international maritime industry. by EBR


following. At an EU level, the environmental agenda of the European institutions is also a critical issue that needs awareness and attention on behalf of the shipping industry.

Greek shipping’s continuous newbuilding appetite, currently set at some 200 newbuildings on order, continuous upgrade of fleet and exploration of new propulsion options, as well as an increased drive for digitalisation, spearhead the continuous growth of Posidonia.

“The shipping industry, indispensable as it is for world trade in essential goods and other cargoes, is fully committed to the climate change agenda for full decarbonisation and has already taken important initiatives in this direction through the UN IMO global regulations. However, full decarbonisation of the shipping sector cannot be achieved without new fuels and propulsion technologies available globally.”

etween June 1 and 5, over 2,000 exhibitors from over 90 countries and tens of thousands of trade visitors from all over the world are expected to walk the 50,000sqm of the Athens Metropolitan Expo, as the exhibition floor and the adjacent conference halls will be brimming with decision-makers and officials of the global shipping community.

But new environmental regulations and their implementation will be on everyone’s mind. Hence, one of the key questions eagerly awaiting an answer at Posidonia 2020 is the impact the first six months of low sulphur regulations implementation will have had on the spirits of an otherwise high-flying sector, which transports 90% of global trade. The Union of Greek Shipowners’ (UGS) President, Theodore Veniamis, said: “This year’s Posidonia Exhibition is taking place at a time that marks major changes in the global shipping industry. The implementation of the global sulphur cap in marine fuels, with whatever challenges this has raised, and the ongoing discussions at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (UN IMO) about the adoption of short and medium-term measures for the reduction of the CO2 emissions from ships are two of the most important issues that the Union of Greek Shipowners has been actively

And he added: “We have every confidence that Posidonia 2020 will once again provide a valuable platform for constructive discussions on such policy issues, in addition to the commercial and business goals they have been serving successfully over so many decades.” As a key stakeholder of international shipping, UGS’ concerns set the Posidonia 2020 agenda and will fuel heated debates between industry executives, government officials and regulators on a vast range of issues which shape the future of the industry. At the epicentre of the discourse during Posidonia 2020 will be the burning issue of the emissions-curbing regulations as it remains to be seen how the global ocean-going fleet operators have adapted to the implementation challenges. George Pateras, President, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, commented: “Despite shipping’s small overall



contribution to pollution, collectively the shipping community will continue to be innovative and groundbreaking in reducing greenhouse gases and CO2. This year’s Posidonia will give all players the opportunity to debate a plethora of pending issues from power limits to bunker levies not forgetting the desperate search for 2020 compliant fuel.”

dore Vokos, Managing Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A, the organisers of the event.

The fuel debate is fueling demand for exhibitor floor space and the exhibition is expected to welcome over 50 new exhibitors, including oil majors such as Total and its lubes division Total Lubmarine and the national pavilions of Sri Lanka and Romania. And with less than four months still to go, riding the wave of the new environmental regulations, more than 20 scrubber manufacturers have already signed up, hoping to capitalize on the growing demand for their offering.

“The industry has to walk a tightrope to balance between the implementation of the low sulphur regulations and IMO’s stated goal for gas emissions reduction by 50% within the next three decades. Shipping is undergoing transformational changes in order to comply, and that is driving investment in R&D and new technologies. Posidonia is the ideal forum to showcase solutions and to network with a captive audience of potential buyers, partners and suppliers.”

Also, in the spotlight are some 15 bunker traders and bunker consultants, who are getting ready for a very busy exhibition as the market’s uncertainty about availability and quality of VLSFO and ULSFO continues.

The viability of the regulators’ ambitious goals and the industry’s readiness to develop technologies and solutions designed to aid compliance for the industry are topics to be tabled and discussed during various conferences and seminars at Posidonia 2020.

“Demand for Posidonia 2020 space is growing strong each and every day, thanks to many new and even more returning exhibitors from every conceivable maritime industry sector and market segment,” said Theo-

The issues will be highlighted extensively at two separate events organised by the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) and the Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology (HIMT). The


“The strength of Greek shipping is a major magnet for exhibitors from all over the world and a key factor for the prolific deal-making activity that takes place throughout the Posidonia week”, he said.


ever popular Posidonia Games’ sporting calendar will feature the 1st Posidonia Squash Tournament bringing to five the number of sports events the thousands of participants can chose from. It will be held on Saturday 30 May 2020 at the brand-new state-of-the-art Wave Squash Sports Club, situated within the Port of Piraeus. Overlooking the port entrance and passing by ferries, five new squash courts will welcome the international shipping community for an afternoon of intense squash games, excitement, fun, competition and networking in the run-up to the Posidonia exhibition. Beginners and advanced players are all welcome and the event will culminate in a fun awards ceremony and reception within the Squash Club premises. The Posidonia Cup Sailing Race, the Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament, the Posidonia Running Event and the Posidonia Golf Tournament will also take place to once again bring the shipping community together the weekend before the busy Posidonia week. Posidonia is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.



‘Madonna del Mare Nostrum‘ or ‘Cloak of Love‘ Hansa Versteeg 2017, oil on canvas 125 x 125 cm. The painting was commissioned for the first biennial ‘ Art in the Holy Triangle ‘ in Oosterhout, The Netherlands and is inspired by the refugee issue. Since then it has been exhibited in numerous churches. Worldwide exposure was reached in November 2018 when special church services were held to obtain asylum for a family of refugees.




Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.