October 2017

  • Brexit Bowl – views from Brussels, London and Berlin

    When it comes to Brexit, clarity and certainty for business is a distant prospect. The reading of the tea leaves had been clear for weeks. October was not going to be the moment when Brexit talks would progress to their next stage. Last week’s Brussels European Council – the regular summit of EU leaders –…

  • Facing up to Cyber Threats – The new EU Strategy

    On 13th September, the European Commission (EC) published its new strategy to tackle the increased cyber threats by aligning the national governments, industry and civil society in a more unified European approach. The EC highlights that cybercrime will cause 3 billion euros in damages by 2020. In addition, tens of billions of “Internet of Things”…

  • Catalonia, out of business 2.0

    Recent developments in Catalonia have created turmoil in the Spanish economy. Following the 1st October referendum – considered illegal by both the Spanish government and the EU – and the Catalan intention to move ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence, the foundations of the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone are starting to shake.…

  • Brexit Bowl – A view from South East Asia

    We are back after the summer break. The holidays might be over but the Brexit negotiations continue. This week we have seen the fourth round and evidence of some progress. Elsewhere a German election and lots of political posturing and airy talk – whether in Florence, Brussels or Paris – continue to fuel speculation about…

  • Merkel’s bitter Victory

    Angela Merkel has won a bitter victory in Germany’s general election. On the one hand, her Christian Democrats, expectedly, gained the biggest share of votes by far. On the other hand, the Christian Democrats, unexpectedly, only won 33 per cent of the vote, which is their worst result since 1949, and stands at more than…

  • Catalonia: Out of Business?

    Catalonia is located at the North-Eastern extremity of Spain bordering with France. The region is similar in size to Belgium,  boasts a population of 7.5 million and amounts to 19% of the country’s GDP. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and seventh-most populous urban area in the European…

  • Europe: Foreign Direct Investment under Scrutiny

    Responding to recent calls from France, Germany and other Member States for stricter controls on foreign takeovers, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, has proposed a new EU framework for the screening of foreign direct investment. Although the proposed Regulation comes in large part in reaction to the rise in Chinese investment into…

  • O CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN – JUNCKER’S STATE OF THE UNION

    Among EU observers, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech was highly anticipated and widely expected to be more visionary and personal than in previous years. The speech was indeed much more optimistic and forward looking; Juncker claimed that the EU now had the wind in its sails. In this snapshot, we…

  • Energy Union – On Track?

    The Energy Union has had an impressive start, with 12 legislative proposals in 2016 alone the European Commission means business. However, publishing proposals is one thing, getting the legislation adopted by the European Parliament and Member States is a much harder challenge. While the security of gas supply package was adopted relatively smoothly, it is…

  • Third EU-UK Brexit negotiations: More questions than answers

    In this Brexit Perspective we discuss the third round of formal Brexit negotiations that took place in Brussels this week, amid continued disagreements between the EU and UK sides over the pace and scope of the talks. Despite another long week with dozens of negotiators and experts from both sides thrashing through complex political and…

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