February 2016

  • Indecisive Ireland

    The mist is clearing and the shape of the new political landscape is emerging following the most inconclusive general election in Ireland’s history. While counting is still ongoing three days later – thanks to Ireland’s single transferrable vote form of proportional representation – and the final exact numbers are not yet in, it is clear…

  • FTI Consulting EU 2016 Outlook

    The EU is going through something of an existential crisis and 2016 will arguably be the most critical year in its history. Challenges range from refugees and migration to the Brexit referendum and growing anti-EU sentiment and populism in many member states. At the same issues like tax, the Digital Single Market, the circular economy…

  • Data centers – emerging players in European energy landscape

    Data centers, facilities that store and process data, are the emerging players of European energy landscape and come at the crossroads of the European Commission’s upcoming Energy Efficiency Package and the Free Flow of Data initiative expected by late 2016. The vast increase in the generation of data and its central role in the digital…

  • EU Energy Security 2.0

    Taking its first step towards the delivery of the Energy Union, on Tuesday 16th February, the European Commission (EC) presented its Energy Security Package. With the aim of bolstering security of supply, the package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the European Union’s (EU’s) resilience to gas supply disruptions and takes yet…

  • Market Economy Status for China: Where are we heading?

    When China became a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, the WTO Accession Protocol established a transitional period up to December 2016 with regard to granting ‘Market Economy Status’ (MES) to China. The absence of the MES gives China’s trading partners more flexibility in imposing anti-dumping duties on imports from China. Consequently,…

  • 2016 – A year of big change for asset managers and the financial community in Europe

    2016 will be a busy year for financial services in Brussels thanks to the amount of legislation currently under scrutiny and the number of amendments to regulations affecting the financial services sector that are being considered. With the implementation of MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) including the possible postponement by a year of its application, and with…

  • A tale of subsidies and regulation: Britain’s farmers and Brexit

    Brexit is the hot topic in Brussels, especially since last week’s plan from European Council President Donald Tusk on how to avoid it. While much time and effort has been spent lobbying the British public, one influential group has yet to officially make up its mind: British farmers. While British farmers as an electorate will…

  • Strasbourg Diary #4: part 2 – Besides Brexit…

    …there were other items on the Strasbourg agenda too! Here are a few quick summaries on the other key discussions that took place in Strasbourg. Anti-Tax Avoidance Package Tuesday: The European Parliament held a lively debate on the long awaited Anti-Tax Avoidance Package (ATAP) that the European Commission presented last week. The package, the Commission’s…

  • The (un)certain future of transatlantic data flows

    The EU-US economic relationship is the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, with trade flows valued at over $1 trillion per year. Personal data transfers constitute an essential element of the transatlantic relationship. The legal invalidation of the so-called Safe Harbour arrangement, which provided a framework for transatlantic data transfers, caused major turmoil in…

  • Strasbourg Diary #4: Special Edition, part 1 – Brexit: has EU integration reached its limit?

    Just two weeks ago, MEPs attended the first European Parliament (EP) plenary session of 2016. Two weeks later and with a few exceptions, the main focus of discussions was unchanged: Brexit and the refugee crisis. The plenary began much like all the others. The bell rang at 16:55 on Monday to announce the first item…

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