Brexit without a deal will be a “disaster”, warns BusinessEurope

Brexit without a deal will be a “disaster”, warns BusinessEurope

A shock exit by Britain from the EU without an agreement would be “a disaster”, European employers’ organisation Business Europe, warned on Monday (16 September). One of the EU’s most powerful lobbies, BusinessEurope issued the warning just hours before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg. Both sides are under intense pressure to mend fences just a month and a half before the Britain’s scheduled departure on 31 October. But Johnson, unlike predecessor Theresa May, has said he is determined that…

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EU defense funding falls short of big ambitions: report

EU defense funding falls short of big ambitions: report

EU’s objective to increase defence spending to €22.5 billion over the next decade is insufficient for its ambitions in the sector, the European Court of Auditors said Thursday (12 September) in its annual review paper on the bloc’s defence cooperation and policy. If the EU tried to defend itself without help from its big NATO ally, the United States, “it is estimated that an investment of several hundred billion euros would be needed to overcome the current capabilities gap,” the report underlined. “Significant and uncoordinated cuts in member states’ defence…

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The first “millennium” commissioner for solving problems for generation Z

The first “millennium” commissioner for solving problems for generation Z

Putting the youngest ever Commissioner-designate in charge of managing the most fearful threats for future generations of Europeans, such as environment protection and oceans’ conservation, is the biggest gamble Ursula von der Leyen took in composing her team. Lithuania’s economy and innovation minister Virginijus Sinkevičius was proposed by Commission President-elect von der Leyen as Commissioner for environment and oceans on Tuesday (10 September). Although a slight but significant change in the job title, with the environmentally friendly word ‘oceans’ replacing the old-fashioned ‘fisheries’, he could substantially inherit the very same…

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Trade Unions are worried about KPN involvement in Proximus

Trade Unions are worried about KPN involvement in Proximus

Belgian trade unions demand that telecom company Proximus breaks all contacts with top woman Dominique Leroy immediately, now that she has been nominated as KPN’s highest director. The unions fear that they will leave the Belgian telecom company in poor condition to “launch a telecom attack on Belgium from the Netherlands”. The call is in an open letter to the chairman of the board of directors, Stefaan De Clerck. The unions have delivered the letter to the Proximus headquarters. In the background is a transformation plan that Leroy announced earlier…

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Lagarde promises to continue with the free cash position of Draghi

Lagarde promises to continue with the free cash position of Draghi

Christine Lagarde promised on Wednesday (4 September) to respond with “agility” to the looming financial and economic turbulences once she becomes the president of the European Central Bank in November, while confirming that the current loose monetary stance will continue for a “long period of time.” Speaking before the European Parliament’s Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs, the outgoing International Monetary Fund’s managing director stressed that price stability is the “main anchor of the ECB”. A “clear mandate” is “vital for stability and welfare”, said the first woman elected to…

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Policy of artificial intelligence in the financial markets

Policy of artificial intelligence in the financial markets

Technology is and has always been a crucial part of finance. From the first promissory notes (banknotes) in the Netherlands and China, there was a race with counterfeiters that parasitically undermined trust. As in political communication, technology is the message, rather than merely “a tool”: when it comes to money, trust is not just instrumental, it is fundamental. With cashless payments being the norm and social media platforms weαving an additional layer of involvement in our social data web – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already…

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How Europe’s war with plastics affects the petrochemical industry

How Europe’s war with plastics affects the petrochemical industry

With oil use in cars expected to peak in the mid-2020s, oil companies are seeking shelter in petrochemicals – and plastics – where demand is still going strong. However, even that notion is now being challenged because of a global plastics backlash led by Europe. Peak oil – at least in passenger cars – is around the corner, mostly driven by fuel efficiency improvements and rapid electrification of the global car fleet, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA’s 2018 world energy outlook predicts that oil use in cars…

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Tech giants fall under pressure in the US

Tech giants fall under pressure in the US

Around twenty US states are worried about the monopolistic tendencies of tech giants, and are close to launching a joint antitrust investigation next month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (19 August). EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, this joint antitrust investigation would, therefore, supplement the one launched last month by the Department of Justice at the federal level. The investigation aims to determine whether a handful of players – including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – are using their dominant position to stifle…

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How do Power-to-X technologies actually work?

How do Power-to-X technologies actually work?

P2X, P2Y, PtG, PtL, power-to-gas… These somewhat cryptic terms stand for energy conversion processes that can be used to store surplus power from renewable sources and help meet climate targets. But whether they will actually reduce emissions depends on many different factors, EURACTIV Germany reports. Detractors of renewable energies often make the point that they are intermittent sources of electricity: solar panels and wind turbines need sunshine or strong winds to generate power at full capacity. This is why storing surplus electricity production at times of high output is seen…

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10% of India’s second largest retailer to be acquired by Amazon

10% of India’s second largest retailer to be acquired by Amazon

The Amazon corporation is nearing a deal to acquire 10% of India’s Future Retail, Bloomberg reports, allowing the US behemoth to move in one of the world’s fastest-growing retail markets. Future Retail is India’s second-biggest retailer and is privately owned and run by billionaire Kishore Biyani. The company operates 2,000 stores in 400 Indian cities and a 10% share of the company is currently valued at €250 million. Amazon is said to be negotiating an option to buy a bigger share in time. According to retail consultants Technopak Advisors, India’s…

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