European Business Review (EBR)

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ISSUE 2-2017 / YEAR 21st - PRICE 10,00 € / $12,00

EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos:


Mobile Industry










Konstantinos C. Trikoukis Chairman

Athanase Papandropoulos Publisher

Christos K. Trikoukis



UK Prime Minister announces general election for June 8th

Europe and its enemies



Why the EU needs Union-wide recognition of study diplomas

Poland’s unicorn, Slovakia’s flying car, and the future of Europe



Mobile Industry: continuing high levels of growth and opportunity

Space: Still an important Matter of National Prestige?



11 Leadership guidelines for the Digital Age

Brussels, the Capital of 27 Stars

Editor in Chief

N. Peter Kramer Editorial Consultant

Anthi Louka Trikouki Issue Contributors

Sir Michael Leigh, Athanase Papandropoulos, Klaus Schwab, Victor Negrescu, Plamen Russev, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Hans Izaak Kriek, Corneliu Visoianu, Radu Magdin, Martin Banks, Margarita Chrysaki, Liri Andersson Correspondents

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Margarita Mertiri Financial Consultant

Theodoros Vlassopoulos Published by:

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ISSUE 2/2017 / MARCH - MAY 2017, YEAR 21st Published bimonthly 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.

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he Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a general election will take place in the United Kingdom on 8th June. She said to frame the election as an opportunity to “guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead” and to strengthen the government’s negotiating hand in the advancing Brexit negotiations. And indeed, the June 8th election a Conservative rule over the UK for a generation. Some pollsters are predicting the party would win an estimated 375 seats to Labour’s 189. Explaining her dramatic change of heart on an early election – a call she had roundly dismissed as idle speculation before - Theresa May evoked Brexit, saying: “If we don’t hold a general election now, the opposition’s political game-playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run up to the next general election… So we need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done”. But the battle ahead will be probably an election unlike any in modern times. While the Conservative Party presently enjoys a 20% lead over Labour in the opinion polls, both Theresa May and her party will now have to weather a campaign in which Britain’s post-Brexit future will be debated and poured over in torturous detail. The election is undoubtedly a risk for the Conservatives, but it also offers the opportunity for incredibly high rewards. The party enjoys now a working majority of just 17 seats, a margin that has proved highly susceptible to backbench revolts and coordinated attacks from the Labour Party. If, as the polls suggest, the Conservatives dramatically extend their majority, the Prime Minister’s hands will be strengthened in the field of both domestic and international policy. She is not only trying to break out of the problems caused by the opposition parties, but by the opposition within her own party who are increasingly open to the prospect of no deal with Brussels. An electoral win and accompanying mandate for Theresa May is bad news for the EU. She would come into the negotiations swinging and sustained by new vigour.





AS THE UK PREPARES TO LEAVE, IS EUROPE DISINTEGRATING AFTER 60 YEARS? by Sir Michael Leigh* The EU will not necessarily disappear, but it badly needs leaders who would avoid empty slogans, which merely repackage the status quo, and instead propose tangible solutions to everyday problems. The EU has just marked the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome but remains in the midst of turmoil. Britain’s formal notification of its intention to quit the EU ends a ten month phoney war and opens the way for direct confrontation over the country’s terms of exit. Brexit is a lose-lose process that will exacerbate other pressing problems facing Europe. For the best part of six decades, the question of whether the EU, or its predecessors, would survive seemed preposterous. Yet, at an event hosted by The German Marshall Fund of


the United States a couple of years ago, participants were asked to come up with a single word that would characterise the EU in 2025. The word they chose most frequently was “gone.” I do not take this as a serious forecast. But the general expectation among political leaders, diplomats, and officials that the EU would progress toward higher and higher degrees of integration is clearly a thing of the past. So what went wrong? Three phenomena contributed most to this disquieting state of affairs: Europe’s changed geopolitical configuration after the collapse of communism, EU over-reach, and the rejection of globalisation, which many associate with the EU.


The collapse of communism removed much of the incentive for subordinating national interests to “European” interests and for transferring ever-greater responsibilities to European institutions. German unification and the accession of former communist countries to NATO and the EU reduced the sense of insecurity felt when the Red Army was 150 kilometers away from Frankfurt, even though recent Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and the modernisation of its armed forces, have renewed certain fears. After the end of the Cold War, the “Franco-German locomotive” started to splutter and the two countries felt freer to pursue divergent national interests. Other member states of the enlarged EU followed suit, making it harder to reach consensus and leading to a more fractured union.

other war-torn or impoverished countries, it crumbled, and it remains partially suspended. In addition to over-reach, the EU today is challenged by intense Euroscepticism. This culminated in the June 2016 UK referendum vote to leave the EU but is present in many EU countries. Euroscepticism today is a variant of the anti-globalisation movement, exacerbated by nationalism and xenophobia. It stems from the feeling that many have not benefitted from liberalisation, the EU’s signature policy. Unemployment remains high, partly because workers have been replaced by robots, even though tepid growth has returned to the Eurozone. Many who do work are on low salaries with precarious contracts or no contracts at all. Income inequality is rising. The benefits of liberalisation are seen as flowing mainly to banks and large corporations.

These geopolitical changes were accompanied by overreach, a burst of European fervor, notably the creation of the euro in 1999, just when political support for integration was weakening. This decision was taken for political reasons, largely on the insistence of the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, in liaison with the French President François Mitterrand, and against the advice of many economists, including the president of the Bundesbank. The euro was introduced without a number of the essential features needed to allow a currency union to function properly. The one condition that many economists consider essential – fiscal transfers from stronger to weaker parts of the currency union – was explicitly precluded by the Maastricht Treaty. German leaders have proved adamant in refusing a transfer union. No French presidential hopeful agrees that Eurozone institutions should have the last word on their country’s fiscal stance. Many southern Europeans blame the Eurozone’s fiscal rules for strangling their countries’ economic growth.

“Populist” or “insurgent” politicians have taken advantage of this sense of vulnerability by blaming the EU for the failure of national governments to deliver the kind of economic and personal security to which voters feel entitled as well as by stirring up anti-foreigner sentiment. Mainstream parties, fearful of being outflanked, have adopted populist positions. Furthermore, the election of Donald Trump has weakened confidence that Europe can rely on the United States in difficult times. Does all this mean that the EU is doomed to disappear? Not necessarily, if a new generation of leaders put forward innovative, fair, and credible policies that address voters’ concerns. They must avoid empty slogans, which merely repackage the status quo, and instead propose tangible solutions to everyday problems, like youth unemployment. Above all, France and Germany must conclude a grand bargain to ensure the sustainability of the euro. A viable EU depends also on renewed confidence in participatory democracy at the national level. Most pundits conclude that, barring major electoral upsets, a pause in the integration process is more likely than disintegration or collapse. The high point of European integration, incarnated by the collaboration of Margaret Thatcher and Jacques Delors on creating the single market in the 1980s, has long passed but shared interests in responding to complex global challenges are likely to keep the show on the road, albeit fitfully, as the EU enters its seventh decade.

The EU’s internal open borders scheme may also prove to be a case of over-reach. Abolishing borders and border controls between the 26 members of the Schengen system provided a tremendous sense of freedom. But this has not been accompanied by a proper scheme for reinforcing external border controls. So when the system came under pressure in 2015 from one million asylum seekers and economic migrants from Syria and

*Sir Michael Leigh

is a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a former European Commission director-general.

**First published in



EUROPE AND ITS ENEMIES by Athanase Papandropoulos* Sixty years after the Treaty of Rome, the Union of the 27 member states has to decide its destination and its goals. The last 170 years, Europe and the warring powers fighting within, caused two World Wars and various intra-European conflicts. During the same period (1850-2017), the European continent created and developed two ideological “monsters” on which were based two odious totalitarianisms: national socialism and communism. The first one was the cause of the Second World War –and that what it’s fatal mistake. It was defeated by the powers of democracy, although it left behind about 70 million dead people as well as the Holocaust, a monument of brutality and shame for the man and his history. Communism, on its part, after subjugated almost the half of Europe, collapsed because its


perverse nature was contrary to progress and human dignity. It left behind another 100 million victims and countless spiritual ruins. As for Europe’s liberal democracies, part of which is also the democratic socialism, after the storm of the 1939-1944 period, they decided to reconcile in peace, facing at the same time the threat of communism. Thus, starting with the coal and steel agreement, a Europe of six member states took place, which, with the Treaty of Rome, opted for the economy as a stepping stone for its subsequent political integration. That Europe, in the last 60 years became the first trade power in the world, while at the same time became a model of social welfare. The friendship between France and Germany was the base on which the European Economic Community of 1957 and the lateral European Union of 1993


constituted a unique experiment for the international history. The experiment of the integration of 27 nations – which although they speak 23 different languages and have different traditions and economies, decided to accept the same values and principles for peace and democracy. Based on that common agreement, the Europe of the 27 countries faces today new challenges that in any case are impossible to be confronted with the same criteria of the Rome Treaty. The world changes, Europe gets old, its enemies are growing and the economic competence gets harder. On the shifting sands of geopolitics and geo-economics, Europe must find a new pace. Europe needs, more than ever, a new vision. Within Europe, the destroyed Germany of 1945, became today its economic motor and the second exporting power worldwide. It is normal defending that position, which it maintains even though it had to overcome the cost of its reunification after the fall of communism. However, at this point of the European crisis, Germany’s

position is the perfect alibi for those who would like to destroy the European project–in and out- and they are many. For this reason, the last period we can observe a wave of anti-German attacks with various origins and different motives. First, the Anglo-Saxon world never had an eye for the creation of Eurozone. Both London and Wall Street were considering euro as a strong dollar’s competitor, which sooner or later could attract a part of world savings. Even worse, euro’s presence would enhance also the European stock markets instead of London’s and New York’s, which until 2002 were representing the 80% of the financial exchanges worldwide. Let us not forget that 25 years ago, when the Japanese currency, yen, was rising and gaining ground as saving currency, the Bush government started a

formidable trade and monetary attack against Japan and as a result the country of the Rising Sun got into long stagnation and the Japanese currency completely abolished its prestige and attractiveness. Nowadays, if Europe would lose the euro fight, it is certain that will have a similar luck to Japan. This is the main reason why the Anglo-Saxon media challenge the Franco-German cooperation and certainly do not wish a potential economic governance of the Eurozone. To confirm the above mentioned, it is enough to recall that, after the decisions of 21 July 2011 regarding the support to Greece and euro, massive withdrawals of US funds from the French banks occurred, which as a result had a significant decline of their liquidity position. Afterwards, in early November 2011, the clearing company Clearnet began an attack against the Italian bonds by rising the interest rates, while President Barak Obama with his statements to the American people did not hesitate to blame Europe as responsible for the duration of the crisis -which, incidentally, started from the US. However, apart from the Anglo-Saxon attacks and Brexit, the Eurozone receives also intolerable trade pressure from China, which keeps its national currency devalued -with all that this implies through the competitive perspective for the European industry and employment. Unfortunately, while the American deficits are abysmal, the currency war worldwide will be silent, but rather hard for the European economy and the advanced social background. And in this respect, the positions of President Donald Trump as expressed to the Chancellor Angela Merkell, mean a lot. They foreshadow tensions that are difficult to predict how they will be interpreted by the markets. This state-of-play is the one that the Eurosceptic powers of the EU try to get profited by, in order to develop a stronger base. Thus, except of nationalism and xenophobia, this forces attack against the euro as well, having as spearhead the “Front National” party of France. Under these circumstances, EU is in a crucial point and if its leaders will not decide to enhance the information of their citizens, we will reach much unpleasant situations, under the burden of the general misinformation, especially through the web. The populism is present once again and will always be lurking to take revenge against history. * Athanase Papandropoulos

is Charman of European Business Review (EBR) and Honorary President of the Association of European Journalists.



WE NEED A NEW NARRATIVE FOR GLOBALIZATION by Klaus Schwab* The world is at a historic crossroads. Market extremism, often labelled neoliberalism, which has shaped our national and global policies for the past three decades, has become a toxic fuel for the stuttering engine for global growth. It has also generated polluting side effects that are no longer tolerated by large portions of society. Yet market-driven globalisation has lifted over a billion people out of poverty and has been an overall driver of improved standards of living. In its present form, however, it is no longer fit for purpose in our current – nor particularly our future – context. WHAT ARE THE REASONS? First, the global economic system has moved from focusing on meeting the needs and aspirations of crucial segments of society who feel they are living in a precarious situation, to focusing on the optimisation


of the system itself. As such, individuals want to regain control of their livelihoods and seek out more than material satisfaction. People are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives – lives that are not solely defined by economics and business, but which also encompass social and cultural affinities. Many people feel spiritually isolated in a globalised world and long for a socio-economic context in which greater emphasis is placed again on shared values and less on impersonal rules. In addition, the legitimacy of a purely market-driven global economy was undermined by a growing number of systemic challenges, such as: - The transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world, and consequently, to a world with competing societal concepts which challenge “Western” thinking;


- Market power, corrupt practices and speculative financial practices distorting the fairness of markets and the process of real long-term value creation; - Transformation of production processes, emphasising automation, capital and innovation over manual, and soon intellectual, labour; - The serious threat to the preservation and regeneration of our environment, caused by the excessive use and erosion of our natural resources. UNHEEDED WARNINGS Since the 1980s, I have drawn attention repeatedly to the deficiencies of neoliberal globalization. For example, in an editorial for the International Herald Tribune (now the New York Times) more than 20 years ago, I wrote: “Economic globalisation has entered a critical phase. A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries … This can easily turn into revolt …” Even though the World Economic Forum emphasized the importance of social responsibility in its programmes in Davos and around the world, these warnings were not taken seriously enough. Today, we face a backlash against that system and the elites who are its unilateral beneficiaries. The danger of this backlash is that it overlooks the fact that the search for innovation and competitiveness is still the main driver of economic development, and ultimately social

progress. It is not the market-based system itself that is the issue, but rather its implementation. It is the lack of adequate and trustworthy principles to maintain a social contract inside it, which is indispensable to a fair, prosperous and healthy society. Moreover, the tendency to resurrect national borders and other obstacles to global interconnectivity overlooks the fact that the world has become a community of shared responsibility. Global cooperation cannot be undone without causing major damage to all involved. We depend on each other when confronting the challenges of pollution, migration, space exploration, terrorism and crime – to name but a few. It is also true that some of the elites were at the origin of aberrations in the system, just as others triggered a popular outcry over excessive abuses of this power. But any society that wants to remain dynamic needs people who assume responsibility for political and economic successes and failures alike. In a fast-changing world, where our very notion of identity is being challenged, the ideological choice is no longer between left and right, but rather between open and closed – with one of the consequences being that people are increasingly opposing “cosmopolitan” elites. Thus, the ideological battle currently raging should not be between defending the “old” system against the current forces offering simple answers to very complex sets of challenges. Instead, this impasse must urgently be overcome – to not only be responsive to the grievances and anger of large portions of society, but also to move forward. Failure to do so will only result in a further shift towards more polarized societies and



a breakdown of the norms that are fundamental to social cohesion. THE FUTURE CHALLENGE: THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION There is no new replacement or ready-made ideology that can be conveniently taken “off the shelf�. Our priority should instead be to redesign our economic and social systems, taking into consideration that humankind, thanks to global interconnectivity and the growing impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is becoming more sophisticated, and the individual more emancipated. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will completely alter how we produce, how we consume, how we communicate and how we live. It will redefine the relationship between citizens and the state. It will provide us with great opportunities for enhancing the lives of individuals and societies. It will allow, if we get it right, a much more human-centred approach, fostering not only material satisfaction, but also genuine individual and societal well-being for all. The present focus of our economic and political discussions seems to completely miss the mark. We have now a historic window of opportunity to shape technological breakthroughs, such as artificial intelligence and gene editing, in the service and for the benefit of humankind. We have two options. We can either fully use the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to help lift humanity to new


heights, or we can allow ourselves to be controlled by the forces of technology and end up in a dystopian world in which citizens will have lost their autonomy. Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a global challenge. The tension between globalism and nationalism is artificial. We must manage our future because we are simultaneously local, national and global citizens with overlapping responsibilities and identities. The best way to develop a sustainable future is through the stakeholder concept, which I developed more than 40 years ago, and which forms the base of the Forum’s philosophy. The basic principle for the success of the stakeholder concept is to find long-term solutions based on dialogue, and endorsed by the commitment and willingness to achieve the best outcome in the shared long-term interest of all stakeholders. As the international organisation for public-private cooperation, the World Economic Forum is committed to serving this purpose as a catalyst and convener. The promise of a better future lies in acting together as stakeholders of a technology-driven global transformation process, with the objective of building a more modern, inclusive and human world.

*Klaus Schwab

is Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

**First published in


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The EU is about inclusiveness, tolerance and promoting values such as democracy, education and meritocracy This year we are celebrating 30 years of the Erasmus programme that has done a great deal in terms of promoting educational exchanges, multiculturalism while being a truly inspiring experience. However, as great as the Erasmus programme and other such initiative are, we still have a long way to go in terms of recognising all diplomas in any EU country. Both schools and Universities from all member states should have their diplomas recognized among each other just as they do in the case of the Erasmus+ programme. Not only that this programme does not question the standards of your home institution but the application process does not require legalised paper work, making it financially affordable to apply. One can understand that each education institution has some sort of autonomy in terms of policies. However, we must remember that we are all members of the EU and a policy regarding the recognition of diplomas


should be issued so that all of us can comply with it. Moreover, there seems to be quite a confusion when it comes to the grading system from country to country so often times, the recognition of diplomas stumbles upon the dilemma of matching two different grading systems. Unfortunately, in many cases, graduates come to realize that their diplomas are not recognized everywhere in the European Community, only in certain Member States or if they are funded under the Erasmus + program. This is a highly relevant issue that the young generation is facing nowadays. My concern for the future of the young generation translated into raising this controversial problem in the EU Parliament and calling for a debate on the campaign #RecognizeStudyAbroad. The campaign aims at unifying voices among different educational stakeholders, raise awareness, provide


policy solutions and asks for recognition by the education systems of the study period spent abroad. The lack of recognition in many European countries often obliged students to attend an additional year of school, once back in their home country. If countries such as Austria, Belgium, Germany and Italy the study diplomas abroad are easily recognised this is unfortunately not the case of Romania. In my country, the educational system recognises the study periods abroad only if the pupil that went to school abroad proves with documents or a diploma that he/ she attended a recognised school in the host country and that he/she passed the school year or semester. The needed documents or diploma can be provided only when the pupil is admitted in the foreign school as a “regular student” (who is thus passing exams and receiving grades), not as a “visiting student”. Recognition thus depends on the status that is granted to the pupil in the hosting school. Myself, I am one of the Romanians who had to go through extensive bureaucratic procedures in order to have my qualifications recognised both abroad and in my home country. I am militating for the Romanian diaspora that would one day wish to return to their homeland and shouldn’t face all those barriers. It is hard to believe that in 2017, while being a EU country, highly educated individuals still have to prove themselves just because of bureaucratic issues. Freedom of movement means freedom to exercise one’s profession anywhere in the Community Area, so I truly believe that EU values cannot allow for such constraint on labour mobility. Along with this, not only the grown ups are having difficulties but also their children. The fact that the university diplomas of their parents are not being recognised is limiting the enormous potential that learning mobility at an early age has for them in terms of acquiring intercultural skills. Furthermore, not only higher education suffers from this issue of diploma recognition. Pupils are mobile within the EU, due to their parent’s different job locations. This results in children hardly being able to have their secondary school diplomas recognized. The only cases in which they can be granted a diploma recognition is if either they are being funded under Erasmus+ or if they choose to study in the certain Member States that already have a clear legislation concerning this issue. The freedom of movement and labour inside the EU has a great impact on families relocating with their children. One of the issues lies in

finding proper ways in which they can legally recognize their children’s education. We have to tackle this issue, since solely the ability of the parents to move and work freely does not solve the problem of the pupil’s readjustment to their new school environment. This difficulty is doubled also when their past education is not recognized. Moreover, in the cases in which the diplomas are recognized, there is still a quite long process of translating and legalizing them in order to be able to make use of them abroad. Since we are members of the EU, a simple certificate from the home educational institution should be enough in any other EU country. This way the bureaucratic process would become less complicated while making it way more affordable for the graduates to provide proof of their academic background. Furthermore, even after the process of diploma recognition in some cases a full equivalency is not issued but only a comparative report. This is unfair to the hard work and financial efforts young people put into obtaining their diplomas. Hope is not enough, it’s action time, simple actions, so wake up EU. In the light of these issues I have initiated a written question, which will be submitted for oral debate in the European Parliament plenary: How does the Commission plan to ensure that EU member states implement the freedom of movement also for those families which change their place of residence together with their school-age children as well as to those pupils willing to spend a study period abroad? I can not help but wonder if the Commission aims to use ongoing initiatives – such as the New Skills Agenda, the Council recommendation on Validation of nonformal and informal learning in order to tackle these issues. The solution I propose is a pilot project financed by the European Commission that would analyse the problem, comprehend the extent of its implications and come up with viable policy solutions. Moreover, I would like to initiate a report on this topic that would emphasise the importance and the urge to deal with this highly relevant issue as soon as possible. The report would also serve as a groundwork which we can build upon so that in the near future the issue on unrecognised diplomas would be finally solved. *Victor Negrescu

is Member of the group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (for the Romanian Partidul Socal Democrat).




The future of Europe is at stake, and the reasons extend far beyond obvious challenges such as the migration crisis and the political turbulence that led to Brexit. For the last 12 years, the European Union’s share of global GDP has fallen from nearly 32% to only about 23%. Although it is difficult to imagine the continent again becoming the centre of global manufacturing, the EU still has The future of Europe is at stake, and the reasons extend the EU still has the tools to reverse this trend. We can far challenges such as the We migration takeadvantage advantage of the IndustrialIndustrial Revolution - a thebeyond toolsobvious to reverse this trend. can take ofFourth the Fourth crisis and the political turbulence that led to Brexit. wave of digital-era change - and push the region to Revolution - a wave of digital-era change - andofpush thegrowth, region to aaperiod of For the last 12 years, the European Union’s share of a period sustained through combination global GDP hasgrowth, fallen fromthrough nearly 32%atocombination only about ofoflong-term policies, innovation and cooperation sustained long-term policies, innovation and 23%. Although it is difficult to imagine the continent between governments and businesses. again becoming the centre ofgovernments global manufacturing, cooperation between and businesses. 20


Central and Eastern Europe has the potential to play a very substantial role in the continent’s future. For the last five years, the region registered an impressive growth in Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a share of its GDP (in Bulgaria, for instance, it rose from 1.3% in 2012 to 3.3% in 2016). Instead of competing within the region’s smaller markets, we can create targeted intelligent specialisation, drawing on existing areas of expertise as well as creating new ones. This way one country’s industry will be able to expand into the broader European market, without having to compete within the region. POLAND’S START-UP SCENE Just a quick look at the Central and Eastern Europe’s investment market will show you that Poland has a very well developed start-up ecosystem in several sectors, but with substantial value concentrated in marketing automation. Тhere is already one unicorn, Allegro, and two more potentially on the way, in SALESmanago and Growbots. Meanwhile, the video gaming industry boasts CD Projekt. These are two of the most promising verticals with established knowhow and success in today’s Poland. Meanwhile, Czech Republic and Romania have become real pillars of European cyber security, with start-ups such as Avast Software, Bitdefender and TypingDNA, while my home country Bulgaria already has its own ICT success in the software development company Telerik, that was acquired by Progress Software for $262.5 million in 2014. In Slovakia, the advanced engineering company AeroMobil is developing the world’s first flying car and is expecting to start taking orders this year. Further fostering these areas of strength, supporting them with focused education and talents from within the region would make a huge difference both locally and for the future of Europe. With a more in-depth study I am convinced that we can easily make a list of several specifications for each country and create strategies for regional development. The fourth industrial revolution and its new technologies are going to be the guiding light on our path to a better future. LUXEMBOURG TO ALBANIA But industrial and economic innovation can’t be achieved without the needed legislation and government support. Just as Luxembourg has become the first country in the world with laws regulating the mining for resources in space, and Estonia was the first country that introduced electronic citizenship,

we must think about the right legislation to support the digital development of CEE. One possible example comes from Albania, where start-upshave the opportunity to launch with zero taxes until a certain amount of revenue has been established. We also need clear specialisation from early the early school years to prepare our children for the needs of the future labour market. Nowadays very few people benefit from their knowledge of physics and chemistry. And teaching our children to code (as is becoming mainstream) is the same as training them to drive a cab – it is a skill that will not help them find a job after automation reaches its full potential. We need to rebuild our education systems so as to inspire critical thinking, creativity and teamwork, because this will be the skill that the future industry will demand the most. Achieving economic transformation of this magnitude will require not only legislative initiatives, but also state support in the form of subsidies and reduction of the administrative burden on the new businesses. Advanced technology start-ups in Europe are on the rise and now more than ever we need to support and invest in them, because this will be an investment in our common future. It can happen through new platforms for public-private partnership and targeted acceleration with government’s support. In many aspects, the industry of Central and Eastern Europe is still stuck in the Soviet age. In recent years governments in the region talk more and more about the re-industrialisation of their countries. But instead of pouring money into new manufacturing capacity, states should support their brightest minds with more efficient programs for seed and next-round investments. Intelligent specialisation should be reflected in the region’s education systems as well as in its legislative frameworks. I sincerely believe that Central and Eastern Europe can empower a better future for the old continent. I believe in the human potential of this region that remains untapped. For me, our countries have a future that is much brighter than being among the top outsourcing destinations. And with joint efforts of policy makers, academics and business leaders, we can draw this future together. *Plamen Russev

is Executive Chairman, WebitFoundation and the Global Webit Series.




A brief flash-back to the relatively recent historic period would remind us of the tragedies of the two World Wars, of our divided continent, of more than 70 million lost lives, as well as of a landscape of human and natural destruction and devastation I recently visited the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. A place of unspeakable crimes against humanity, where human morality, respect for the value of life and human dignity vanished. So, when we talk about the atrocities two World Wars, when we talk about the Holocaust, we


do not talk about distant history. The generation that witnesses and endured these dramatic moments is still alive. And their story-telling is putting us in front of the duty not to revert to these dark days. This duty is reflected in the very essence of the European Union. It was exactly 60 years ago, when visionary and determined leaders decided to create a united Europe, taking this initiative in the name of their nations and setting aside their own dramatic experiences and the old rivalries. A united Europe meant a broader geopolitical and geocultural area which, after some time, would become a place where: peace, cooperation, stability, security, rule of law and human rights would prevail. This legacy was inherited to us by them, with the clear mandate not to allow to anybody or anything


to undermine it. However, it is in the nature of humankind, as history has proven, to forget. Some take all these European accomplishments for granted. But it is our moral and political duty to uphold and defend the European vision. Nowadays, the European endeavour is being questioned. The European vision gradually declines. Not by itself. Dark forces, with populist and nationalistic voices first among them, are challenging and undermining it. Euroscepticism and anti-European voices today aim to weaken the notion and the substance of Europe or even to derail it. Some believed that the catalyst of putting the future of Europe into question was the financial crisis. Finally, we see that it is the migration and refugee crisis. And this is because the handling of this crisis has put in doubt the two fundamental principles on which the European project has been built on: solidarity and responsibility. These fundamental values are not solely moral. They are legally binding principles for all the Member States which have co-signed and accepted the founding texts of the European Union, where they are explicitly stipulated. Several governments, by having turned their attention to their domestic affairs and audience and ignoring their responsibilities, have fuelled Euroscepticism by using an easy, shallow and appealing populist narrative. And I said that they have ignored their responsibilities, because, quite easily, they have started using referenda on questions regarding European solidarity. By doing so they transfer the main burden on citizens’ shoulders, proving in this way their lack of leadership and responsibility, while they disregard their principal democratic duty to take decisions and being judged about them. Such a development was the BREXIT. It is still too early to evaluate the cost of and for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European structure. I would like to however stress that the impact of outcome of the US elections in Europe had an even stronger impact than the BREXIT. Because, the US elections have further encouraged extreme populist movements to interpret Trump’s victory as a triumph of their own ideas. Despite what is reported and rumoured, I believe that, very soon, the solid values of the American democracy will prove to be much stronger than the loud in intensity but weak in substance, voices of populism. The current European leadership is called upon not only to react but to undertake the important duty to keep alive the vision. To enhance the fundaments

and values and to move ahead towards the way that the visionary leadership of Europe, 60 years ago, has opened. It is not an “oxymoron” to say that the future of Europe is defined by its dramatic past. The way ahead is the one firstly defined by a strong resistance to the movements of populism and nationalism and, mainly, by the completion of the European Integration process. Because Europe has not been completed yet. And this can explain some of its deficiencies. Europe so far did not manage to have an integrated economic, defence, foreign, or security policy. Joint projects are not enough, what is needed is common vision, strategy and action. In the field of economy, we hurried to adopt a common currency without having first a common economic policy. In the field of foreign policy, Europe does not yet play the role of a genuine single global stakeholder and power. In the field of defence, Europe has been prevented, from its very first steps, to emancipate defensively in order to create respective structures, to enhance its defence industry and adopt a joint defence doctrine. Finally, in the field of security and despite all initiatives that we have taken, we still have a lot of work ahead of us: first of all, to build the necessary trust between us for a Security Union in Europe to take root. And it is exactly trust that we still not have foster among us. This is simply because, and this applies to all countries, the deep state continues to resist. It still sees security as a purely national issue, while all the threats we face are transnational. Our recent experiences have proven that terrorism does not recognise borders. Everybody acknowledges however, that the safety of our citizens and the security of our societies is beyond everything a common challenge for all of us. Let’s not forget however, what has been achieved during the last two years in the field both of security and migration, issues that I am responsible for, on behalf of the European Commission. From the very beginning we stepped up our efforts and we managed in record time to adopt a European Agenda on Migration and a European Agenda on Security. Acknowledging the gaps in the protection of the European external borders, we put in place a European Border and Coast Guard which is now fully operational and other projects for a stronger border management of our external borders. We also ensured a more efficient security policy while on migration we did not only respond to the immediate needs but also we proposed a long term strategy. In order for this strategy to be successful, implementation is needed. And this is



where we are lacking behind. Many governments of the European Union are still reluctant to comply with their responsibilities and commitments. Yesterday I have sent very clear and strong messages from Brussels, that all Member States need fulfil their commitments and on time! No more excuses and pretexts. It is the moment to show responsibility. I belong in a generation as most of us in this room that does remember the stamps, the queues and sometimes the uncertainty of crossing borders in Europe. In many other places in the world today, passports are not always a privilege, and borders are not openings. I will share a very recent personal experience from Tbilisi, 3 days ago: I went there to announce the legal adoption of the visa liberalization. The moment of the announcement, everyone, governmental officials, journalists, representatives of the civil society had tears in their eyes. For them and for many in the wider European area, Europe is still a dream. It is an expectation, a vision and their leadership considers the European Integration as duty. The aspiration of these peoples reminds us what this means being part of a Union of peace, of stability, of tolerance, of solidarity and of prosperity. Many are concerned by the concession of national powers to “Brussels”. Let me clarify: Europe is not something abstract. And I make this clarification, because it is easy but also irresponsible and populist to always criticize the Institutions. Europe is all of us: the governments, the citizens, the political parties, the businesses, the entrepreneurial society, the media. And we are all co-responsible for the success of the European project. And we have to stay united in order to be stronger. That is the meaning of the union, becoming greater together. In this context and responding to our duty we presented yesterday with President Juncker some reflections on the future of Europe, to mark the beginning of the process to discuss how we envisage our future. We have put forward 5 scenarios – they are neither mutually exclusive, nor exhaustive. We made clear that we cannot take for granted what we have achieved so far and that the best option is to move ahead in unity as EU27. We cannot split or move in different directions. As I said, we cannot become a Federal Union but we can have federal-type functions on certain policies (migration and security, defense, economy, foreign policy). This approach can however NEVER be at the detriment of basic principles enshrined in the Treaty: our common values and our duty for solidarity among people and member states. And this duty for solidarity does not only apply for migration or security. Both solidarity


and responsibility should be the fundament of all our policies – from natural disasters, to employment, to the economy. Now the dialogue for the future of Europe is launched. We are all invited to participate with our thoughts, reflections and proposals. Not only critics, but constructive proposals. Proposals on how we will keep the European vision alive. How to come out from this zone of political, social and economic turbulences stronger than before. Marx said that history repeats itself. No, it is not true. Men repeat history because very simply they don’t read it and they don’t learn from it. The famous historian and professor from Yale, Timothy Snyder, warns us against the exact same danger. Democracy and prosperity have only been possible by working together, through our European and international alliances – and not through nationalist isolation. Populists today are trying to tell us a different version of history, a different version of the truth. But we need to learn the lessons from the past – and also realise that history is not over. The biggest threat to our stability and prosperity today, is that we take our democracy for granted, and that we underestimate the possibility of the reappearance of tyranny or totalitarianism in some form. We can never let the voices of nationalism, populism or xenophobia become mainstream. My message is clear: we have entered an existential period for Europe. Either we, Europeans, shall build together our common future, or we will revert to our dark past. And the next generations will hold us accountable and will never forgive us. And I would like to close by reminding you the words of one of the forefathers of Europe, who’s voice was unfortunately not heard by his compatriots in the UK, something that they will certainly soon regret. I quote Winston Churchill, who said in his famous speech in Zurich, one year after the end of the Second World War: “The remedy is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe”.

*Dimitris Avramopoulos

is Eu Commisioner adapted from his speech during the 2nd Delphi Economic Forum, on March 2, 2017, Greece.


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Mobile Industry:

CONTINUING HIGH LEVELS OF GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY by N. Peter Kramer* The mobile industry continues to be characterised by high levels of growth and opportunity, and as the industry becomes more dynamic, the opportunities within it increase in equal amount, as do the challenges. Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona provided an essential, in-depth coverage of the contemporary and future mobile industry, highlighting specific areas of the mobile industry. Visitors were challenged whilst covering the latest



technological developments, next generation services and growth strategies. In many sessions, in-depth analysis of the topics was offered by specialists. It was fascinating to be one of the more than 100.000 visitors. You can find in this EBR Special Report a selection of my reports.

*EBR’s Editor-in-chief, N. Peter Kramer was a special guest of Huawei Technologies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.



TRUMP’S FCC MAN, AJIT PAI, TAKES A MORE DEREGULATORY WAY THAN HIS DEMOCRATIC PREDECESSOR Barely five weeks into his new role as chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Republican Ajit Pai, criticised the regulatory approach to broadband by his predecessor, the Democrat Tom Wheeler. In his keynote speech, Ajit Pai told the audience in the ‘5G Economy’ session of WMC 2017 that the US would now be better placed to attract private investment for broadband and 5G by ditching previous FCC policies. He also said that he came to Europe as a friend and not as a competitor. ‘We have to cooperate’. ‘The torch at the FCC has been passed to a new generation, dedicated to renewal as well as change’, he said. ‘We are on track to returning to a successful approach through light-touch regulation’. In a ‘polite’ attack on Wheeler, Pai said it was ‘evident that the FCC made a mistake ‘two years ago’. That was when the FCC passed the Open Internet Order, designed to ensure net neutrality -the principle that all web traffic should be treated equally- and reclassified broadband internet access as a telecommunications service under Tittle II of the US Communications Act from 1934! Pai claimed that mobile operators and consumers in the US are already seeing the benefits of a more deregulatory approach. One of his first decisions as FCC chairman was to abandon the agency’s investigation into whether the ‘zero-rated’ (free data) plans of AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US were anti-competitive or not. ‘The truth is, customers love getting something for free and want service providers to compete. Our decision to stop the investigation was done out of respect for those preferences’, said Pai. Without mention it by name, the fresh FCC chairman pointed clearly to the regulation fever of the Obama era. Policies set out in the 1990s and early 2000s -light touch regulation, encouraging facilities-based competition, free use policies (where operators can decide which technologies to use in licensed bands) and freeing up more spectrum for mobile use- had


produced ‘impressive results’. ‘The private sector has spent $1.5 trillion since 1996 to deploy broadband infrastructure and consumers have also reaped awards’, said Pai. ‘Ninety-eight percent of consumers have access to three or more facilities-based access providers, and the US leads the world in 4G’. ‘We would not have seen such innovation if, during the 1990s and early 2000s, the government had treated broadband like a railway or a water utility’, he said. At the end of his keynote speech he told his audience that all four nationwide mobile network operators either launched new unlimited data plans or modified existing ones following the decision to scrap the zerorating enquiry. Another boon for consumers.


5G EXPECT TO BE WIDELY AVAILABLE IN 2020 5G is a far more complex migration than that of 3G to 4G. Is the expectation of its arrival likely to be overenthusiastic at best and unrealistic at worst? Although mainstream 5G deployment remains many years away, the GSMA Annual Industry Survey 2017 shows that in 2016 substantial work was completed, that will aid further development of it and help to commercialise it. Asked when they expect 5G connectivity to be widely available in the market, more than three quarters of the respondents of the survey (77,8%) expect first commercial deployment of 5G to have happened by the end of 2020. This, perhaps, reflects greater enthusiasm for the new technology than the reality can keep pace with. In spite of this enthusiasm respondents are aware of the challenges that 5G deployment presents. Asked what they saw as the greatest barrier, the cost of roll-out was selected by nearly 40%. The next most identified barrier was the lack of clarity surrounding



5G use cases. There seems to be a feeling among respondents that too much vagueness exists around what 5G networks will be used for. Simply saying, more speed and throughput being available isn’t enough. The GSMA Survey respondents were 750 operator CEOs and other industry stakeholders. Mats Granryd, GSMA director-general, said that ‘5G is indeed an opportunity to create an agile, purpose built network tailored to the different needs of citizens and the economy. But it is vital that all stakeholders work together to ensure that 5G is successfully standardised, regulated and brought to market’. In his MWC speech European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip said that ‘5G has the potential to transform how people live, work, play and communicate. He also urged the industry and the EU member states to get more involved in the development of 5G: ‘When 4G came along, Europe was slow to push ahead. We do not want to make the same mistake with 5G’. 5G was, like in 2016, a main subject during the World Mobile Congress 2017 in Barcelona. US chip giant Qualcomm announced its stepping up its 5G push to support timely commercial deployments and plans to conduct 5G New Radio (NR) field trials with two tier-1 operators. It will partner with Vodafone group in the UK to test 5G interoperability and conduct an over-theair field trial based on NR specifications. Qualcomm will also work with Ericsson and NTT Docomo to

Mats Granryd, GSMA director-general


conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials in Japan. Nokia unveiled 5G First in an effort to trigger interest in early 5G network deployments. 5G First is an end-to-end technology bundle aimed at operators keen to test and trial the technology. At the WMC came also some warnings about the future of 5G. Mike Fries, CEO and President of Liberty Global said, ‘the commercial deployment of 5G by 2020 is too aggressive, and LTE still has significant headroom’. CEO and Chairman of Orange, Stephane Richard, warned that ‘5G should not just about the technology and regulatory environment but include all those industries that will be impacted by 5G’.




HUAWEI MADE ITS MARK EARLY AT THE MWC 2017 Huawei made is marks early at this year’s Mobile World Congress, unveiling its new P10 flagship smartphones and smart watches. The company, the world’s third largest smartphone vendor, seized its opportunity to make a slash, with the expectation that rival Samsung would not use MWC to unveil its new flagship. 32


Few consumers had heard of Huawei in 2011, the year in which its Board decided to focus on breaking into the smartphone market. Six years later, Huawei has achieved its ambition, being now one of the world’s leading suppliers of telecoms equipment; ranking alongside Ericsson, it has also become the third biggest vendor of smartphones by market share. The Chinese company aspires to be number one as it moves to make more expensive devices aimed at western markets. In 2011 it shipped 1m handsets; last year this figure rose to more than 139m. ‘Smartphones are becoming commodity but technology is evolving’, says Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business since 2011. After widespread promotion on social media ahead of the launch, Huawei finally took the wraps off the P10 and P10 Pus smartphones, successors to last year’s P9; with the devices compared heavily to the iPhone7 and the Galaxy S7 at the presentation. However, Richard Yu said that smartphones sales are not the limit of Huawei’s ambitions, as the company looks to move

into artificial intelligence and the realm of everything connected devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT). While smartphones will stay a core part of the business, Huawei is investing more in services that the phones can deliver as a means to drive future sales. ‘Huawei is working more and more on AI and VR. Smartphones become to be a personal assistant’, Mr Yu said. ‘Behind the smartphone are big data and AI processing. The phone in the future is like a robot’. Huawei is also experimenting with wearables. Its Watch2, which uses the Android operating system, has online connectivity and acts as a fitness monitor, was launched at the MWC.The company still faces some hurdles on its way to the top sales spot. Its name is still not as well-known as those at the pricier end of the market. Richard Yu also said Huawei needs more time to penetrate in the US, where it is ‘behind’ compared to other parts of the world.



REFLECTIONS ON MWC 2017 THE NEXT ELEMENT The Mobile World Congress 2017 is over, it was – as usual- an overwhelming experience and probably ‘the biggest annual TMT show on earth’. This year, it was showcased how mobile is the force behind almost every emerging innovation. 108,000 attendees flocked to the MWC; professionals from 208 countries and territories were present, and the event was covered by approximately 3,500 members of the international press and media. More than 2,300 companies participated, which spanned nine halls and eleven outdoor spaces at Fira Gran Via and FiraMontjuïc in Barcelona. Everything from connected cars, virtual reality, new handsets and ingenious app ideas, to 3D printing, privacy protection and backend solutions were on display. Visitors also explored GSMA Innovation


City and experienced immersive demonstrations of the most cutting-edge mobile enabled products and services in the world today. Mobile-connected products and services were showcased in NEXTech Hall 8.0. This was a new destination to the show, featuring different pavilions dedicated to specific technologies and platforms such as VR/AR, robotics, drones, and artificial intelligence spaces. The same time the Youth Mobile Festival (YoMo) welcomed more than 11,000 10 – 16-year-old school children from across Catalonia and Spain to one huge showcase of science and technology. This educational event taught kids about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Design/Art and Math (STEAM), with the


hopes of encouraging them to pursue careers that will lead them to the mobile industry. YoMo was organised by MWC in collaboration with Mobile World Capital Barcelona. Over the four days, the Women4Tech programme provided a global platform to attendees to focus specifically on increasing the inclusion of women in the mobile industry and showcasing best practices for female leadership. Women4Tech supports the SDGs, particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality). 5G AND VIDEO, TOPICS OF THE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME The conference programme was a highlight of the week, featuring 322 speakers from consumer brands, mobile organisations, mobile operators and industries including automotive, advertising, banking, health, NGOs, entertainment and education. Also European Commission Vice-President Ansip was present and stipulated the importance of the development of 5G, especially for Europe that, as he warned, can’t miss the boat as it did with 4G. Highly anticipated keynote speaker Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO of Netflix discussed how content is in the midst of a period of disruption and change. ‘In the era of content’, Huawei CEO Eric Xu highlighted, ‘gold being found on video. The role of mobile operators is shifting towards becoming digital content players’. The organising committee collaborated with 29 mobile visionaries as they explored how advancements in technology impacts the ever changing landscape of

mobile. Partner Events, Power Hours, and Technology sessions centred around a variety of themes from Consumer IoT, Content & Media, Government and Public Policy, Networks, Sustainable Development, Platforms, and The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industry awards were given at the annual Global Mobile Awards. 40 game-changing products, services, devices, apps and technologies were awarded Glomos. LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE 4YFN took a step into the world of innovation. Thousands of attendees visited this cutting-edge programme at FiraMontjuïc which brought together start-ups, investors and interested business owners for learning and networking opportunities, with the aim of giving them the exposure they need to take their ideas to the global tech community. Leading broadcast, film, TV, video, digital music, mobile games and brands were featured in The MMIX, which explored the exploding global demand for multi-screen media and entertainment in the market today. MMIX attendees received expert analysis, insights and new perspectives on content strategies from leading content value chain players and innovators. The MMIX party on Tuesday night ‘rocked the house’, with an exclusive performance by the Glass Animals. Beyond meetings and conference sessions attendees had fun. GSMA and Niantic, the force behind the Pokémon Go app, partnered together to create PokeStops and PokeGyms throughout MWC to encourage networking. Android pin trading has become somewhat of a tradition of the show, attendees collected various pins offered by Google and its partners, then spent their Thursday afternoon trading with other enthusiasts. A year from now, another Mobile World Congress will take place from 26 February to 1 March, 2018, in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona.






President Donald Trump delivered his first Commanderin-Chief moment as he ordered a strike on a Syria airfield use in that week’s chemical attack on civilians. Trump’s decision to launch fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airfield in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed score of civilians ratchets up the intensity of a complicated regional conflict, increases the risk of clashes with Russia, and will generate a vigorous debate about the US role. I spoke with a highranked politician who said: “Be honest, especially if you’ve never liked Donald Trump. Didn’t it make you feel good to hear the president explain his decision to attack Syria by declaring, “no child of God should ever suffer this horror”? I think he’s right. Trump addressed the nation calling the strike in the US ‘national interest’, which requires a revision to Trump’s stated ‘America First’ foreign policy. Instead, Trump appears to be veering into humanitarian strain he has long decried as outside the American interest. Similarly, the strike creates more questions than answers, as it more fully inserts Trump into the Syrian conflict after a week of confounding statements. Trump aides said he was deeply moved by footage of the victims of the attack, which strengthened his resolve to strike, but he - like his predecessor – has little in the way of a strategy for a problem that offers no easy solutions. Donald Trump did what Obama has not done, firing missiles on Syria after a chemical attack on civilians. Question: Legitimate action or act with far-reaching consequences? Is Trump making a turn to an ordinary presidency? Suddenly the hawks of the Republican Party welcome Trump. On other interesting point, Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed as the next US Supreme Court Justice after Republicans triggered the nuclear option the other day. Trump is set to swear-in Gorsuch in what is likely to mark his most substantial achievement of his first 100 days. Senate confirms Trump’s first Scotus pick. Gorsuch is now expected to be formally sworn in and will join his eight fellow justices in an investiture ceremony to be held later in April. The last remarkable pronunciation of Donald Trump is about North Korea. Trump: “If China does not participate, the US does if necessary debunks the nuclear program of North Korea. The President said this in an interview with the Financial Times. He challenges with this statement China, three days before his first meeting with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping of China. The nuclear threat from North Korea was high on the agenda of the meeting in Trump’s Mar A Lago

in Palm Beach Florida. Trump said: “The US is ‘fully’ in charge to catch North Korea without the help of China.” Trump doesn’t say how he wants to do it. Going back to the first 100 days of Trump presidency. What did he do in those first 100 days? What did he show? Was it decisiveness or unpredictable? The question came already in the air during the campaign season, and sure enough Trump has followed the format. During his nomination acceptance speech in July 2016 he said that he was ‘going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending on projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days”, and he followed that up with a postelection announcement of the first-100-days goals. The tradition of looking to that period as a presidential milestone dates back to 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt focused on his first 100 days in office in order to underscore the urgency of his mission to turn the nation around during the Great Depression. As an idea was a big hit. But, I think, it didn’t really make sense as a way to judge the new presidency back then-and it doesn’t make sense now, either. People love or hate the Donald. And most people and politicians in Europe don’t like him. Special the media have big trouble with the president. Everyone knows the expression of Trump what he said about the press ‘Fake News’. In a recent interview that host Sean Hannity of Fox News did with a colleague of CBS. Hannity stated that he has never seen this before- ‘the media is out to destroy this President’. And it seems an actual story. Look for instance at the ‘distinguished’ newspapers the Washington Post and the New York Times. Trump’s everything about his remarkable presidency, his style, plans and tactics, the intimates of the President and his corporate empire is the most compassionate story of my life. Rarely called a new American president so much resistance and divisions as Donald Trump. Domestically and abroad he sows confusion about his motives and plans. Trump’s presidency got more headwind than any other president in US history. Trump is a businessman and not a politician. People and media doesn’t sit in that reality. I follow mr. Trump critical since his announcing he wants to run for President of the United States and had the pleasure to interviewed him last year for European Business Review. Though, Trump is still targeted by a campaign full of hatred, the magnitude of which is unprecedented in American history. The President had to overcome



tremendous obstacles while seeking confirmation for the members of his administration. His choices for the White House staff, though a matter falling entirely within his sole prerogative, have been systematically and continuously undermined. Daily activities of his closest relatives, including his wife and children, are scrutinised and any information that may pop-up from such scrutiny, is used abundantly to undermine his position. Lately, his accusation against the Obama administration for having wiretapped his campaign and possibly himself has been dismissed and ridiculed before even any investigation was conducted to look at the matter and today, it appears that not only he was right but also that he was wiretapped included after he was elected, something which could turn being the biggest scandal ever in American political espionage. Yet, Trump is working and he is working hard. During the first 70 days of his mandate, the President has taken more actions and signed more Executive Orders than any other US President before him ever did. The Dow-Jones has climbed to astronomic levels and unemployment in the US is already in sharp decline. Trump calls terrorists by their name. He uses the words “Islamist terrorists” because this is what they are and he vows for their complete eradication, from their ‘complete elimination from the surface of the earth’. Trump does not call Israel’s capital but Jerusalem and not Al-Quds. He does not regard the Jews and the Israelis as foreigners in the Holy Land, as fifty-six so-called ‘Islamic’ countries call them, in the very chart of their political body the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He does not regard them as usurpers, or culprits, or suppressors. The well-known historian and philosopher Will Durant,


a Pulitzer Prize winner, had a famous quote: “a great civilisation is not conquered from without, until it has destroyed itself from within” sounds like a warning for the situation in which American has fallen since Trump got elected president. It seems like powerful forces, in their resolve and actions aiming at destroying Trump, will go straight to the end including if America shall be destroyed in such course. It is not in Europe’s interest to taking part in the antiTrump crusade; on the contrary, Europe should find terms that will allow the European peoples to benefit for the term of a President who most likely shall be the most successful President in modern American history. European companies greatest interest is to invest massively in America, and share the profits of a policy centered around deregulation and job-creation. E u r o p e a n leaderships may find in the policy and the strategy advocated by Trump a source for reforms on the continent, able to overcome challenges that are lasting for more than four decades. The European peoples must get themselves out of the cognitive dissonance that is nowadays paralysing their spirit, and look at the Trump revolution as something they might positively use for their own sake. A new era of full solidarity and interest complementarity between Europe and America is now starting. Let it be an opportunity for the peoples from both sides of the Atlantic. *Hans Izaak Kriek

is an international political commentator for European Business Review and editor-in-chief of Kriek Mediat.


THE RENEWED CASE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE by Corneliu Visoianu and Radu Magdin* It’s enough to spend a few hours per day watching local, regional and global news to have a growing sense of a increasingly huge mess. Then, once in a while, when reading a global welfare related article, you realise, in terms of numbers, we never had it so good, in terms of combatting global poverty, illiteracy or other world problems. But perception matters, and citizens are more and more discontent, while political and administrative stakeholders around the world seem less in touch with both public moods and a solutions-based governance.

best practices and ways to achieve it? We aim to find such ambitious solutions at the Good Governance Summit, a unique event to take place in Bucharest, 4-5 May. The location is not selected by chance: Romania, a country who has seen both the benefits of democracy and the scourge of dictatorship, both the extatic feeling of democratic elections and economic prosperity and the agony of restructuring industries in a difficult transition in the 90s. In short, a model of change for the better, and integration in two strong regional and global clubs, EU and NATO.

Even for politics-and-policy optimists, the challenges and strains facing leaders worldwide seem increasingly unbearable. Global leaders seem nowadays, with very few exceptions, a shadow compared to predecessors. At the same time, the latter did not face an everchanging 24/7 agenda, and could take the privilege of longer absence from TV screens and social media. Nowadays, governments are under continued pressure to deliver in a context that is constantly defined as crisis. It seems that everything becomes tactical and last minute, that there is no clear vision or plan for society and that populists and extremist are winning an increasing number of fights against mainstream politicians. Examples of challenges to governance range from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe with Brussels and Washington in-between.

Experts and top stakeholders from a variety of states and backgrounds will be looking into the challenges to good governance at national, regional and international level and will be debating the best way forward. We need, as the motto of the event says, to transform failing policies into successful governance. And we need to deliver fast, under the strains of the present while having a clear vision for the future.

The question is how can things be back on track, both in terms of substance and perception: how can we restore trust in Good Governance and present to a global audience both a new social contract and the

The overarching mission of Strategikon, Romania’s first English speaking think tank, is focusing on the means of improving and advancing good governance for the benefit of all. We believe one of the consequences of failed and failing government is the inability to provide for the governed acceptable measures of security, safety, sustenance and stability. And from the absence of these basic human necessities, instability, conflict, terror and inequality as well as famine and disease emerge with a vengeance. From violence and civil war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere to dramatic changes in borders established after World War II to the emergence of state populism that evoked Brexit, and the rise of inward political parties in Europe, each is in part a result of some failure in governance. There are solutions, we all need to act and we welcome you on board of our project.

*Corneliu Visoianu and Radu Magdin

are vicepresidents of Bucharest-based think tank Strategikon.



PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME, A VISION FOR AFRICA? by Hans Izaak Kriek* President Paul Kagame is busy to ask attention for his country Rwanda. He wants to put his country more and more on the map of Africa, as a real part of the world. His vision for Africa will become clearly visible during the Transform Africa Summit 2017, 10-12 May in Kigali, Rwanda. Kagame embraces fully a new route with the technological developments in the US and its potential to unlock it with smart business models. Who is Paul Kagame? President Paul Kagame is leading Rwanda since


the year 2000, as the country started the process of recovering from the bloody civil-war. Kagame then, was commander of the rebel force that put an end to the 100-day genocide of over 800.000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus who were killed by Hutu extremists the 1994 slaughter of Rwandan Tutsis by Hutu extremists. President Kagame being a man of conviction, principles and resolve is a fact that cannot be denied. Like many other world’s leaders, like it always occurs in politics,


Kagame tries to live with his own contradictions. He is truly a sincere partisan of democracy and yet, the President has managed for a constitutional amendment to be passed last year that would allow him to stand for re-election for another seven-year term as Rwanda will stage presidential elections next August. He is a sincere promoter of individual human rights and yet, the opposition in Rwanda is blaming him for (massive) human rights violations.

However, one should remember that it took Europe two centuries after the revolution and two world wars before to achieve basic success regarding democracy and human rights. It took America one century and half-a-million dead in a dramatic civil war before abolishing slavery. If Rwanda requires a one-President twenty years ruling for achieving similar successes, following the most horrible genocide Africa has witnessed ever, this would prove remarkable. President Kagame is a man obsessed with good-governance, development and African inclusion. His leadership, through remarkable initiatives, has covered digital transformation of African societies; agriculture; industry; pension Fund reform with a pension-inclusion segment; health; education and anti-corruption regulations. Kagame played a leading role in the implementation of public private partnership projects (PPP) within the framework of NEPAD. He has been pivotal for the creation of Smart-Africa of which he is the chairman of the Board. With President Deby of Chad, he has promoted the fabulous project of “African passport”

which at some point, will free the entrance of all Africans in any African country. On foreign affairs, it is remarkable to notice how Paul Kagame has become the first African leader to address Washington’s biggest proIsrael forum, hailing the Jewish state as an inspiration for his own country’s rebirth after genocide. In Washington to attend the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, he hailed the success of the state of Israel after the horrors of the Holocaust and pledged Rwanda’s friendship. “Kagame told the delegates: “The security of peoples who have once been targeted for extermination can never be exclusively physical.” He got a warm applause for his stance, full of wisdom. “Until all ideologies which justify killing as a patriotic duty are defeated our world is not truly safe. Not for us, not for anyone,” said Kagame. Under Kagame, Rwanda has become a roaring African economic lion. In his unauthorised biography of Kagame -- “Kamage’s Economic Mirage” --, former senior advisor David Himbara, who served twice under Kagame, most notably as head of Kagame’s Strategy and Policy Unit from 2006 to 2010, blows the whistle on Kagame and exposes the problems of Rwanda, calling Kagame’s ruling a “totalitarian regime.” Himbara’s defiance seems out of proportion and politically motivated. The cause of Human rights in Rwanda of course still needs advance, yet the situation is far better than it is in many other countries – whether African countries or elsewhere --. Rwanda remains one of the world’s poorest countries and tremendous efforts and investments are still required. Europe and the West are called to support Rwanda in this path; with Kagame as President and beyond Kagame, for the Rwandan people’s sake.

*Hans Izaak Kriek

is an international political commentator for European Business Review and editor-in-chief of Kriek Mediat.



UKRAINE OPPOSITION LEADER OUTLINES PLANS TO REVIVE COUNTRY’S AILING ECONOMY by Martin Banks on, “Since the revolution, our governments have chosen two courses. The first is total corruption, the second is the absolute inability to manage those assets that fell into their hands. Today there is no development programme and no projects for the future. The budget is being wasted and everything goes to keep officials.” There was no vision for the country’s economic development, he said.His condemnation comes after the country’s central bank said this week that Ukraine’s decision to impose an economic blockade on territory held by Russian-backed separatists will drag down economic growth to 1.9 percent this year from an earlier estimate of 2.8 percent. President Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukraine would halt cargo traffic with rebel-held areas, formalising an existing blockade launched in January by activists.The move prompted the International Monetary Fund to delay disbursing another aid tranche to Ukraine’s war-torn economy - part of a $17.5 billion bailout programme - until the impact of the blockade has been assessed. The leader of Ukraine’s newest political party has proposed an ambitious manifesto, partly designed to tackle the country’s ongoing economic ills.Vadim Rabinovichheads one of the opposition parties in Ukraine called “For Life” which is currently riding high in the opinion polls.The Ukrainian MP believes the country’s economic wealth remains largedly untapped and has tabled a programme designed to “unlock” this potential. Rabinovich, who also heads Human Rights Committee in the Ukraine Parliament,is particularly scathing of the Ukraine government’s economic record which, he says, lacks “any clear, understandable vision.” He went


Rabinovich who is also chairman of the party, said the country has great untapped economic potential, not least in the agro-industrial sector but adds, “I am categorically against the fact that they do not have any clear, understandable vision of the country’s economic development and the way out of the deadlock in which we have been driven. We need to look and understand at where we can be useful.” The businessman-turned politician is as dismissive of the other opposition parties in Ukraine as the government, saying, “Unfortunately, today, except for the party “For Life”, the other two, who consider themselves opposition, have already been in power.


“They returned, calling themselves opposition but they meet with the same people, continue to resolve matters in their own interests. They are all from the same Communist system - there are no new faces. People Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko were already at the same table 15 years ago but with different presidents. They can change nothing.”

could serve Western and Eastern Europe as well as Asia – “just like Switzerland.”

Looking to the future, Rabinovich, the current owner of several media companies, proposes a three-pronged action plan to turn Ukraine into the “Switzerland of the East.” This, he said, includes a new constitution and new “social contract” between the state and people.He explained, “First of all, we seek a neutral, independent Ukraine - “Switzerland of Eastern Europe” - based on three wings.” He adds, “The first is agriculture because, as we have large land areas, we can produce natural products without GMOs. The second is high-tech. Ukrainians have a high educational level and enjoy recognition in many leading countries in high-tech production.” The third proposal is a banking system that, he argues,

Rabinovich, who has been likened to President Trump, partly because he is colourful character with a past to match. He is head of Jewish community in Ukraine and chairman of the European Jewish Parliament. He’s earned his “Trump of Ukraine” nickname because he is seen as being very different compared to other politicians. He had never participated in political activities until the last presidential election in 2014 when he amassed some 480,000 votes and was elected to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.

He goes on, “We have to build this all, plus social programmes, to keep people in the country. We have huge resources and big opportunities. But to achieve this a total war on corruption has to begin.”

According to current polls, “For Life” is among the three strongest political parties in Ukraine. Rabinovich also enjoys similarly favourable personal ratings.






During the Cold War, space technology and manned space missions were seen as a matter of national prestige. However, the recent evolution of satellite data infrastructure, which has focused on Earth observation, satellite navigation, telecommunications and civil security seems to redefine the use of Space for both political development and the market place. What was once the primary tool to gain national prestige now turns out to be more important as a matter of infrastructure. And there are two reasons why that is. 1. Space is no longer a One-Man Show. Individual countries and space agencies engage primarily in multilateral collaborations on space projects, due to the complex and extremely costly infrastructure for activities in Space. Applying this type of collaborative space policy saves money and increases the scientific yield. Hence, achieving success in Space results from the dialogue established among many countries and industries, rather than on the actions of one country. The most recent example was the launch of the satellite Sentinel 2-B, which lifted off on a Vega** rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 7 March 2017. This satellite belongs to a new family of missions called Sentinels, which are specifically used for the operational needs of the European Commission’s Copernicus programme, which is funded by the ESA Member States and the European Union. Together with its twin, Sentinel 2- A launched in 2015, the Sentinel 2-B will fly from the same polar orbit, 180 degrees apart and get a full global acquisition at least once every five days. The satellites’ Optical Multi-Spectral Imager ensures that every spot on Earth can be covered in high resolution. It’s a mission dedicated to sustainable developments for the constant monitoring

of Earth and coasts, forestry and humanitarian relief in disaster events. So, this ambitious Earth Observation programme involves 60 companies across 20 European countries plus Canada and the USA, led by Airbus Defence and Space as the prime contractor company. And that’s not all. In a statement NASA said, “given the similar mission concept of the US Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), ESA and NASA entered into a collaborative agreement… The Sentinel-2 constellation also provides great opportunities for fusion with Landsat 8 and the Landsat constellation, and US researchers look forward to continuing work with European colleagues on characterizing both sensing systems.” 2. Data is the gold from Space. The focus on the current space strategy had shifted to what we call Earthcentric activities, like Earth Observation missions. These missions provide us with data that are quite important not only to gain a better understanding of our planet but also to create added-value on all levels of the Earth Observation value chain. Earth observation programmes’ Director, Josef Aschbacher stated that: ‘Based on some external studies of what is the value of Sentinel 2-b or the Copernicus programme in general, showed that one euro invested for the Copernicus brings 10 euros back to the economy as better information leads to better decision making’. Also, these high-quality data, complemented with ground data will fill in any gaps on information and assist monitoring systems for management purposes. Today Space is mostly seen as a question for infrastructure because it impacts on our daily lives. It’s about serving us as humans, providing huge economic benefits and protecting the environment. Also, in view of the increasingly growing collaboration between many countries in implementing expensive space projects, the feeling of national prestige that was closely associated with space technology and missions is now is gradually disappearing. * Margarita Chrysaki

is a Brussels-based Political Scientist. She has a BSc and a Master in Political Sciences with special focus on Corporate Social Responsibility in Greek banks. Currently, she is making a profound research in the field of space activities and EU strategy on Space.

**Operated together with Ariane5 and Soyuz,

Vega has an essential role within the Arianespace commercial launcher family. Vega officially became an ESA developed programme in June 1998, when the Agency inherited the small-launcher programme of Italy’s ASI space agency.



11 LEADERSHIP GUIDELINES FOR THE DIGITAL AGE by Liri Andersson* The old ways of running a company won’t cut it in a digital world. Ten years ago, when we would ask senior executives or company directors what “digital” meant to them, their response would usually be something related to social media. Today, it might be apps, Big Data, 3D printing, “the cloud” or another current example of digital technology. All such answers are equally correct – and equally in error. More important than the specific innovations introduced by the digital revolution is their earth-shaking cumulative impact on business and on organisations. There is no border anymore between the pre- and post-digital worlds. Digital is business and business is digital. Yet, top corporate leaders are not taking charge of digitalising their organisations, as was made clear to us by a survey we conducted in 2016 – to which 1,160 managers, executives and board directors responded – that developed into a report available for free online. We discovered that most board members lack the knowledge and awareness necessary to lead a digital transformation. To help top management catch up, we recently issued a follow-up report – “Directing Digitalisation: Guidelines for Boards and Executives”. It presents 11 strategic implications and recommendations (grouped into three categories), summarised below. These are based on the previous findings, our combined business and teaching experiences, and professional collaborations with organisations across multiple regions and industries. THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT 1. Digitalisation requires an unbiased understanding of the external environment. Analogue-era frameworks such as Michael Porter’s “five forces” will need to be revisited, now that the impact of digitalisation is rapidly replacing traditional physical barriers to entry with intangible barriers (e.g. relevant purpose, resonant mission, authenticity and trust) that no amount of industry prominence or cash can overcome.


THE ORGANISATION 2. Digitalisation may require a reformulation of the firm’s mission. The environmental shift caused by digital may challenge the very existence of individual companies, even entire industries. Boards and executives will need to question all pre-existing assumptions about the firm’s mission and industrial positioning, as well as the sustainability of its business models and methods. 3. The meaning and impact of digital to the firm must be clearly stated. Digital advantage resides largely in the opportunity to customise not only products and services but also organisational strategy and structure. Rather than searching for a blueprint to guide them through digitalisation, firms should define their own digital road map. Leaders can start by developing an in-house dictionary, including entries for “digital” and


STRATEGY 8. Business strategy in the digital age becomes a continuous process. Gone are the days when companies had the luxury to think in terms of five-year strategic plans. With major business trends shifting constantly as they are today, strategy formulation and execution need to happen simultaneously and ideally in a seamless feedback loop.

all related keywords, terms and concepts. Like any other dictionary, it will need frequent updates. 4. Digital understanding and capabilities are required across the firm. Digitalisation may involve a great many experts, but the ultimate responsibility for digital transformation belongs to all functions within a firm. Successful change also requires cooperation from junior contributors all the way up to the board by linking digital savvy millennials with the business experience and wisdom of senior executives and directors. 5. Digitalisation must be supported by the firm’s corporate culture. The digital revolution is indeed cultural, not merely technological. As with any largescale cultural change, digitalisation will never take hold unless it is driven by top executives, under the board’s leadership. 6. Digitalisation demands a greater level of collaboration. Business success can be achieved only through continuous collaboration and ongoing conversations between shareholders, boards, executives and “frontline” employees. In addition, digitalisation is blurring the lines between different industries, heightening the importance of crossfunctional and external collaboration. 7. Digitalisation requires greater engagement with the public. In the past, customers were subdominant. We spoke at them; we marketed to them. With digital, anyone can create and monetise value with size, scope and speed. Just as easily, consumers can destroy value by, for example, dismantling a massive company one tweet at a time. It has never been easier or more essential to co-create with customers and crowdsource ideas, and firms that position themselves as facilitators of customers’ dreams will win in the future.

9. Decision-making in the digital age is increasingly data-driven. Compared with the plethora of advanced predictive and analytics tools available to businesses today, the old-fashioned executive summary laying out binary choices is a primitive instrument. In the absence of Big Data, what used to be allowable as an “educated guess” will become at best a stab in the dark. 10. Digitisation requires firms to enter uncharted territories. Planning for disruption entails exploring new business models and revenue streams. Organisations will have to launch ambitious experiments and quickly take learnings on board. For their part, boards and executives must raise their comfort level as regards uncertainty, ambiguity and risk. 11. Digitalisation is about continuous management of change. In the pre-digital world, a one-off change management programme could pay dividends for years if not decades. Not anymore. Directors and executives must ensure that the will and ability to continuously change are built into the very fabric of the organisation. RESPONDING TO REVOLUTION The digital revolution, like every revolution, can be viewed either as a catastrophe or as a world of opportunity – depending on whether your allegiances lie with the old order or the new. Optimism is a prerequisite for survival. Digital will undoubtedly force boards and executives to attain unprecedented levels of innovation, competence, effectiveness, leadership and responsibility – with fundamentally positive results for both firms and society. It is unlikely that familiar forms of organisational leadership will survive the digital revolution. In order for boards and executives to fulfil their roles effectively in the future, a reshaping, if not a disruption, of these functions is necessary. *Liri Andersson

is the founder of this fluid world; a boutique business and marketing consultancy that enables Fortune 500 organisations understand, navigate and commercially exploit the changing business and marketing environment.



THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS REVIEW CELEBRATED 20 SUCCESSFUL YEARS Within a very cordial and warm atmosphere took place the dinatoire reception for the 20th anniversary of the launch of the European Business Review (EBR) magazine The magazine was an initiative of Konstantinos Trikoukis, who started its publication back in 1997, in collaboration with his son Christos, his wife Anthi and a group of eminent European and Greek journalists. During its twenty years course, the EBR achieved to be one of the most popular and influential brands in the field of political - economic - business print and online publications. Until today, remains the essential destination for leaders, decision makers and keyinfluencers who look for in-depth analyses, reliable insight and up-to-date intelligence on People, Places and Issues that matter. During the dinatoire reception, the publisher of EBR, Mr. Christos K. Trikoukis, expressed his greetings and


thanked the guests, giving the floor to the magazine’s president and well-known journalist, Mr. Athanasios Papandropoulos. Making a throwback, the president of the magazine pointed out that, 1997 was a crucial year during which, Greece has decided to start the process of its integration in the economic and monetary union of Europe. In this context, the speaker also recalled that in June 1997 the Amsterdam Treaty was signed and that on 11th September the International Olympic Committee decided the 2004 Olympics to be held in Athens. Mr. Papandropoulos underlined that “1997 was a


Swiss. Also, since the beginning of the year, the EBR started its collaboration with the Star Alliance Group in order to reach more destinations, by placing its issues in the 6 exclusive Star Alliance lounges, in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Nagoya, Paris and Sao Paulo. “In EBR, Mr. Ath. Papandropoulos stated, we make efforts to understand our times in order to offer to those who follow us, useful knowledge and supportive intelligence, in the direction of meaningful future’s forecast.” Taking the floor from Mr. Ath. Papandropoulos, the editor-in-chief of the European Business Review, Mr. N. Peter Kramer, pointed out the need for a thorough renovation in a Europe which at the present stage is seeking ways of integration based on the challenges of digital era and the changes that mark the 21st century. Among the guests were several representatives of the business and political world, as long as distinguished collaborators of the magazine. EBR’s Editor-in-Chief, Peter Kramer (left) with Christos K. Trikoukis (right), Publisher of the European Business Review significant year for the Greek economy, which until 2004 had capital inflows that exceeded to 700 billion euros. That was a golden era which, unfortunately for the country, passed untapped.” Discussing also about the developments in the field of media, the president of EBR emphasized that the observed transformations change both the communication conditions and the terms of journalism. Thus, the EBR for the last ten years has a successful online presence, as well, and tries to contribute as much as it can to the much desirable for Greece economic extroversion. As part of this effort, the EBR enhances its cooperation with the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), partners with the annual event “European Business Summit” taking place in Brussels, works with the Brussels based news network of EurActiv and is a valuable online source of information for business executives, decision and policy makers. The magazine has a prominent presence in worldwide events and conferences, being also present in the Business Class airline lounges of five European airlines: Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and

Athanase Papandropoulos, Chairman of the European Business Review The event was supported by HYGEIA Group and the Hellenic American College in cooperation with the Hellenic American University.




I have had the honour of knowing Delphine Bourgeois a long time. She, a real ‘Bruxelloise’, was and is always championing ‘her’ European Union. For many years she has been Alderwoman for European Affairs in the ‘Commune’ of Ixelles (one of the 19 independent communes that make up the city we call ‘Brussels’). Ixelles hosts, together with neighbour-commune Etterbeek, most of the buildings of the Brussels-based EU institutions; and for which the old, delicate and stylish architecture had to be demolished. Besides the EU more international organisations are established in Brussels: NATO, international trade unions, many lobbying firms. It makes Brussels, although not a metropole of the size of London, Paris or New York, an important international centre. Ms. Bourgeois has just published a book with 40 testimonies from well-known Europhiles and frommore EU critical people. The book starts with a foreword by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, a former European Commissioner and once the


crown prince of Silvio Berlusconi. Other interesting contributors are for instance Federica Mogherini, Tony Venables, Jean Quatremer, Daniel Guégen and Alain Hutchinson. The book makes clear that, also after the Brexit decision of the Brits, Brussels will keep great significance for the EU (for convenience sake called ‘Europe’ by the EU connected politicians and civil servants who ignore that Europe is more than 27 EU member states). The figures given in the book are revealing. At the moment, the EU counts for 14% of the regional GDP in Brussels; it generates some 5 billion euros per year; and Brussels is host to 20 EU organisations and 29 international schools (including the five so called European schools subsidised by the European Commission and destined for the children of the Commission’s more than 23.000 functionaries). Brussels with more than 1000 EU accredited journalists competes with Washington DC for which is the biggest media centre in the world. The same for which of the two has the biggest concentration of lobbyists per square metre (Brussels counts something like 20.000). Brussels is no doubt the biggest diplomatic centre in the world. Most EU member states have 3 ambassadors, one for the EU, one for NATO and one for Belgium itself. Another 128 countries make do with less than three. An English version of Ms Bourgeois’ book ‘Témoignages de ceux qui font l’Europe’ (‘Testimonies from those who make Europe’) would offer the opportunity to bring it to the attention of a wider group of readers. Témoignages de ceux qui font l’Europe, Bruxelles une capitale 27 étoiles by Delphine Bourgois. Prix :18,00€ - 160 pages – ISBN : 978-2-39015-011-4