Pubaffairs news & debates

SAVE THE DATE | Forest protection, biodiversity and artificial intelligence: what challenges ahead? (June 24)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Wednesday, 24th of June 2020 at 18.00.

The event will consist of an evening of discussion on the challenges ahead regarding EU and global forest protection and the use of artificial intelligence to counter biodiversity loss and improve environmental sustainability.

Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are publishing this event now to make sure you save the date

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event will be held in streaming

This event is kindly sponsored by

in partnership with

About the debate

Biodiversity decline has been widely recognised as the canary in the coalmine for a broader malaise. Indeed, several authoritative sources have pointed to biodiversity and climate change as the two main defining issues of our age with respect to environmental protection. As a result, given the vital role that temperate, tropical and boreal forests play in the global ecosystem regardless of borders, forest protection has emerged as a crucial question. In fact, forests cover roughly 30% of global land area, host 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and constitute a natural source of carbon capture and storage. Furthermore, forests are sources of clean water, regulators of weather, a factor in protecting against natural disasters, as well as a source of shelter and renewable energy. As acknowledged by both the UN and the European Commission, notwithstanding these facts, forests are rapidly disappearing as a result of deforestation and degradation. In addition, global deforestation and forest degradation also negatively affect many objectives of both Europe and the wider international community in several other important aspects of life on Earth, such as ensuring peace and good governance, as well as fostering the rule of law as highlighted by the goals of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

To counter these issues, the European Union has put forward several actions which have culminated in the recognition of the importance of forests in the European Green Deal, whereby the European Commission has pledged to prepare a new Forest Strategy to restore damaged or depleted forests, to improve the quality and quantity of European forests and to avoid creating deforestation outside the Union. Several environmental organisations have advocated for Europe, as one of the most active consumer zones, to take responsibility and act, while they have also praised the actions of the European Union regarding forest protection. Also, the convergence of the questions of forest protection and climate change were raised by Vice President Timmermans who stated “Europe will not meet its climate targets without protecting the world’s forests. The EU does not host the world’s major primary forests on its territory, but our actions as individuals and our policy choices have a major impact. Today we send an important signal to our citizens and our partners around the world that the EU is prepared to play a leadership role in this area in the next five years, and beyond.”

However, the question of forest protection continues to be a crucial feature of the global public debate on climate change as forests constitute not only an important aspect of the fight for protecting the climate, but also a litmus paper on the successfulness of the actions that the European and international institutions are undertaking. Within this context, the scientific community, the private sector and non-governmental organisations have started to deploy several efforts to counter these issues, and have cooperated to identify the tools which can support the fight against deforestation, as well as research and monitoring, along with the collection of data on this matter. As several authoritative commentators have highlighted, the question of forest protection, and the whole set of challenges enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals, will not be successfully overcome without the collaboration of all stakeholders along with the help of the most advanced technologies.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #Tech4Forests

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 24th of June 2020

SAVE THE DATE | How could Europe create jobs during the COVID recovery through the transformation of work? (June 10)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Wednesday, 10th of June 2020 at 18.00.

The event will consist of an evening of discussion on how Europe could create jobs during the COVID recovery through the transformation of work.

Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are publishing this event now to make sure you save the date

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event will be held in streaming

This event is organised in partnership with

and

 

About the debate

The nature, forms and organisation of work have been constantly transformed by technological progress, demographic shifts, the conditions of the labour market, and macroeconomic variables. While this paradigm also applies to contemporary global society, the technological factor, along with the sustainability imperative, requires all actors of society to adapt and reshape their respective established cultural and organisational references. These changes may not be as fast or as deep as some observers might suggest, however, it is clear that there are ongoing shifts towards more diverse and broader concepts of work both within Europe and around the world.

As highlighted by the European Commission, full-time employment with a permanent contract had become the norm in the 20th century. However, more and more people shift to other types of work in search of more opportunities to work and  flexibility. For example, a study conducted by the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford demonstrated that more than 80% of drivers operating on the Uber would prefer to remain independent contractors rather than be classified as an employee. Within this context, European social, political and economic institutions, which have established their respective objectives and operational frameworks after the middle of the last century, have become increasingly confronted with the question of how to adapt to the changing nature of work and ensure adequate social protection and rights for all types of work.

The Internet and the spread of digital technologies, apps and online platforms are notably accelerating the transformation in how citizens work and live, as well as how businesses are organizing their tasks. The looming unemployment crisis could last for years. Diverse forms of employment, including independent work, can be a way to introduce people back in the labour market and will continue to grow as salaried employment becomes scarce. The COVID crisis demonstrated that the social protection schemes within the Member States are often not fit for these diverse forms of work, thus the workers fall through the cracks of the system due to the difficulty of categorizing them.

As a result, in order to keep up with the pace of the technological and societal shifts brought about by digitisation, and address the critical changes that the financial crisis stemming from the global pandemic brings, it will be crucial to ensure that the challenges emerging from this process are translated into opportunities to offer the widest range of sustainable options to businesses, workers and society as a whole. Indeed, the challenge which lies ahead for Europe consists of helping the whole business environment to transform in order to succeed in the digital age, while finding ways to maintain and adapt the European social model.

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 10th of June 2020

INVITATION | Live Streaming | AI in Farming: making the “Farm to Fork” agenda a global standard for sustainability? (June 2)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion regarding AI in farming and the “Farm to Fork” strategy as a global standard for sustainability with our distinguished speakers Ms Eva Kaili MEP (S&D/GR), Mr Juha Heikkila, Head of Unit, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, DG CNECT, European Commission, Mr Gijsbertus Schilthuis, Head of Unit, Policy Perspectives, DG AGRI, European Commission, Mr Luis Neves, CEO, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Mr David Meszaros CEO, SmartKas.

Mr Jakša Petrić, Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Croatia will hold an introductory speech on behalf of the Croatian EU Presidency.

Mr Abraham Liu, Chief Representative to the EU Institutions and Vice-President for the European Region, Huawei will hold a keynote speech and take part to the panel discussion.

The debate will be moderated by Dave Keating, Journalist and Brussels Correspondent for France 24.

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event will be held in streaming.

Click here to have access to the live streaming

This event is kindly sponsored by

in partnership with

About the debate

In Europe and around the globe, biodiversity is disappearing as a consequence of unsustainable human activities. This loss is closely connected to climate change and is disrupting ecosystems that support life on earth. As a result, farmers are increasingly suffering from rises in crop disease, water stress, nutrient deficits and, more generally, from environmental damage. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states, has provided a shared blueprint for climate action and prosperity for people and the planet through the unfolding of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The importance of the SDGs for Europe has been reflected in the mission letters President von der Leyen sent to the Commissioners designate at the very beginning of the mandate whereby each member of the College has been exhorted to work towards the achievement of SDGs. Shortly after, the Commission has released the “Farm to Fork” strategy by acknowledging that farming is a crucial sector to make production and consumption sustainable, and to improve the health of European citizens and the innovation of the old continent’s businesses at the same time.

Within this context, several experts have highlighted that agriculture is impacted by global trends related to demographics, economics and climate change. For both the question of biodiversity and agriculture there are solutions but they require deep and transformative changes in the way we produce, consume and trade. In the domain of agriculture, the adoption of new digital farming methods based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), but also on robotics, the blockchain, high performance computing (HPC), the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G-related technologies can increase farm efficiency. At the same time, those technologies can valuably improve environmental sustainability. Indeed, smarter, digitally enabled farming has already proven to help achieving higher quantity and quality yields, as well as increasing resource efficiency and curbing substantially greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, IoT-based applications in agriculture have also been designed to reduce resource depletion and enhance productivity, whereas the future of farming lies in the benefits of connecting, collecting and analysing big data.

As highlighted in a study of the European Parliament ”a farm-tech revolution is emerging within the scope of global trends which generate structural changes in farms and the wider value chain in unexplored ways, comparable to what happened in the 1950s when tractors started to be used more widely”. Furthermore, the same research highlighted how collaborations rather than takeovers between established companies, start-ups and SMEs are becoming more common as there are mutual benefits to be gained by both parties. SMEs need to collaborate with partners to remain innovative. The framework for this collaboration needs to continue and thrive. However, it needs to be further clarified how Europe and the rest of the globe can adapt to the new technological advancements in order to maximise their benefits for a more prosperous and sustainable future.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #AIandAGRI

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 2nd of June 2020

Social bonds in response to the COVID-19 crisis: when financial markets save lives, by R. Karsenti, European Capital Market Institute (ECMI)

On the 20th of May, the European Capital Market Institute (ECMI) published  a Policy Brief by René Karsenti named Social bonds in response to the COVID-19 crisis: when financial markets save lives, which acknowledged that solidarity and concerted action should guide global emergency response.

A highly contagious respiratory virus is endangering humanity and our established order. Funding must be rapidly mobilised from all sources in the fight against COVID-19 and in the race to contain the resulting economic fallout and build resilience against future shocks. Several social COVID-19 bonds have already been issued by a number of multilateral institutions and public agencies and are already generating significant investor interest, paving the way for more issuances. The stage is now set for social bonds to move from a niche solution to a mainstream one.

A COVID-19 vaccine that is developed, licensed, manufactured and delivered on a global scale in 12 to 18 months would be an unprecedented achievement. Strong global collective action is critical to achieving this goal and bringing the pandemic to an end. Social bonds are poised to play a crucial role in these endeavours. In addition to direct contributions by governments and philanthropists, innovative finance mechanisms should be used to fund COVID-19 vaccines and health solutions. IFFIm Vaccine Bonds have shown that public and private money is available in the global financial markets to invest in an urgent and just cause – it only has to be allocated in the right way.

Please follow this link to download the full document

 

About the author

René Karsenti is Senior Adviser and former President of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), former Board Chair of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), Honorary Director General of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and former Chairman of the European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI) Board.

Asset Allocation in Europe: Reality vs. Expectations, by C. Amariei, European Capital Market Institute (ECMI)

On the 24th of April, the European Capital Market Institute (ECMI) published  a Policy Brief by Cosmina Amariei named “Asset Allocation in Europe: Reality vs. Expectations”, which acknowledged that capital markets in Europe are expected to play a more prominent role in corporate financing, retail/institutional saving/investment and private risk-sharing altogether.

In the current institutional cycle, CMU remains as relevant as ever. However, it needs rethinking at an EU level and real commitment from member states. The capacity of capital markets to enhance the resilience of our societies as a whole, especially when confronted with unprecedented shocks, should certainly be given more thorough consideration.

In order to contribute to the public debate, CEPS and ECMI invited relevant stakeholders– policymakers, supervisors, consumer associations, industry representatives, and academics – to take part in a dedicated Task Force on Asset Allocation in Europe: What challenges and opportunities lie ahead?”. A detailed overview of the overall proceedings is available here

The main objective of this initiative was to explore meaningful ways of activating long-term savings and investment channels across the EU, with a focus on households, asset/fund managers, insurers and pension funds, under the overarching theme of sustainability in the real economy. The recent developments related to COVID-19 were also taken into account.

To this end, we invite you to read the analytical sections in the final report as well as the accompanying list of policy and market recommendations.

Please follow this link to download the full document

 

About the author

Cosmina Amariei joined the European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI) in May 2014, as part of the Financial Markets & Institutions Unit in CEPS.

Photo Album | LIVE STREAMING | Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible? (May 5)

INVITATION | LIVE STREAMING | Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible? (May 5)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the prospect and the importance of a global consensus on non-personal data with our distinguished speakers Mr Christophe Kiener, Head of Unit, Services and Digital Trade, European Commission, Ms Helen Stylianou, Deputy Head of the Australian Mission to the EU, Mr Javier Lopez Gonzalez, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD, Mr Robert MacDougall, Head of Enterprise Public Policy, Vodafone Group and Mr Kevin Rogers, Head of Mobile Services, Panasonic.

Mr Alejandro Cainzos, Member, External digital connectivity, VP Vestager Cabinet, European Commission will hold the introductory remarks.

The debate will be moderated by Matthew Newman, EU Chief Correspondent, MLex

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event was held in streaming.

This event was kindly sponsored by

Vodafone

 

About the debate

Over the last decade, the question of data flows has become a primary issue of concern for businesses, governments and citizens alike, both in Europe and across the world. At the EU level, along with the GDPR and the other EU data protection rules, the entering into force of last year’s regulation aimed at fostering the free flow of non-personal data in the internal market has marked the European Union’s formal recognition of data flowing as a pre-requisite for innovation, research and a successful finalisation of the digital transformation of the economy. Furthermore, the recently released EU Data Strategy has confirmed this stance by highlighting that the increasing volume of non-personal industrial data and public data in Europe, coupled with the current technological shift in how data is stored and processed, will constitute “a potential source of innovation and growth that should be tapped”.

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Photo Album | LIVE STREAMING | Building synergies and optimising cooperation: how far can the EU cyber capacity go? (April 29)

Policy Insight | How is EU cooperation on the Covid-19 crisis perceived in member states? | CEPS

Even the most optimistic of observers recognise the coronavirus pandemic as one of the greatest challenges the EU has ever faced to its capacity to manage crises, muster solidarity and demonstrate supranational added value.

Drawing on the expertise of researchers in the EPIN network, Sophia Russack and Steven Blockmans asked how EU cooperation was perceived in their respective national contexts, via an expert poll. Nineteen institutes from 15 different countries, plus Iceland, responded to their call. The introduction and analysis below reflects the unique insights that were gleaned from this exercise.

See here for the brief reports of each country survey.

Download the publication here

INVITATION | Building synergies and optimising cooperation: how far can the EU cyber capacity go? (April 29)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the upcoming set up of a European Cyber Competence Centre and its partner national network and their role to enhance the EU cyber capacity with our distinguished speakers Ms Tamara Tafra, Counsellor for Cyber Issues, Croatian EU Presidency, Mr Miguel Gonzalez-Sancho, Head of Unit, Cybersecurity Technology and Capacity Building, European Commission, Mr Rasmus Andresen MEP (Greens/EFA,DE)  and Mr Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO).

The event will be moderated by Ms Vesela Gladicheva, Senior Correspondent, MLex

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event was held in streaming

 

About the debate

In the last decade, citizens, businesses and governments alike in Europe and across the globe have become increasingly dependent on digital technologies. However, along with the exponential increase of opportunities, the number, complexity and scale of cybersecurity threats and their impact on the economy and society have also grown. In addition, technological developments have de facto changed the very concept of security, as both strategic economic sectors, such as energy, finance, health and transports, and defence capacities largely rely on digital infrastructures. This trend is expected to increase with the roll out of Internet of Things (IoT), while the prospect of the shift from 4G-based to 5G-based technologies will further extend the array of opportunities and threats. For these reasons and as a result of the numerous EU initiatives aiming to foster and secure the Digital Single Market, the European Union is about to finalise, at an institutional level, the set up of a European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre, together with a Network of National Coordination Centres.

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