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Portugal Prepares for the Aftermath of the Pandemic

Portugal will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, 2021. Lisbon is following Germany and preceding Slovenia as part of the so-called ‘GPS-presidency’ trio, marking the fourth Portuguese EU Council Presidency since the country joined the European Economic Community in 1986. The following overview has been developed in cooperation between the APCO team in Brussels and our partner agency in Portugal, ATREVIA. This Presidency Guide outlines the challenges that lie ahead and how companies can address them...
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Has Germany set the European Transport Sector on the Path to a Digital Transformation?

Following years of ideation and feasibility analyses, the real-world use cases of 2021 will provide the first benchmarks for governments and industry players throughout Europe and thereby serve as a first indicator of whether the upcoming Council Presidencies will progress with Germany’s “New Mobility Approach.”..
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Germany’s EU Council Presidency is Coming to an End, but the Financial Sector’s Digital Transformation is Here to Stay

Even with Germany’s EU Council Presidency coming to an end, it is expected that digital transformation in the financial sector will still be a widely discussed topic in 2021, in particular, as it intertwines with other legislative plans at the European level...
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Strange Bedfellows – EU and Chinese Dreams on Divergent Paths

Both the United States and China have been trying to engage Europe as a counterweight amid their rivalry. Despite China’s wish to sustain a cordial relationship, the EU’s harder stance towards China on a range of issues leaves more questions than answers...
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Von der Leyen’s Gambit: Turning Citizens into Champions of a European Health Union

As health policy is a hot topic in a COVID-19 world, it was hardly surprising that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen opened her State of the European Union address on 16 September with four health proposals. In the pre-COVID-19 era, EU health policy would rarely have been the first item on the presidential agenda, but plenty has changed this year...
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Solidarity, Sovereignty, Strength? What GAIA-X and the German Presidency Could Mean for the EU

Achieving technological sovereignty is one of the EU’s key priorities, not just in terms of its digital agenda, but also its strategic autonomy and place in the world. While digital hasn’t always been Europe’s strength, if German leadership can foster solidarity it may help Europe achieve its goal...
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Leadership for Global Security: Can Germany be an Honest Broker?

2020 is a turbulent year and global leadership is in short supply. But as the United States is focused inwards, the UK is hampered by Brexit, France is in perennial economic crisis, and China and Russia are engaged in promoting their own political priorities. Can Germany fill the void?..
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Advocacy and the EU Green Agenda in 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has put most of Europe on lockdown over the past few months—EU advocacy, however, is going strong. Having quickly learned the rules of the new “virtual” normal, the wide range of EU interest groups have not missed the chance to use these unprecedented circumstances to defend their interests, some even more actively and vocally than ever. The kick-off of the German Presidency of the EU Council on 1 July is likely to open the window for engagement around the EU energy and sustainability policies even wider...
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The EU’s New Political Landscape

The “Grand Coalition” between the S&D and EPP groups in the European Parliament has come to an end...
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