The European Commission's draft for a new “Comprehensive strategy with Africa” published in March 2020 deems the continent a top priority for the EU. The document proposed a renewed Euro-African political alliance based on five pillars: green transition and access to energy; digital transformation; sustainable growth and employment; peace, security and governance; migration and mobility.
The year 2020 was supposed to be a milestone in EU-Africa relations but the sixth AU-EU Summit planned in October was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time when the EU released its draft for a new “Strategy with Africa”, early in 2020, no one working on its preparation could prevent the Covid-19 crisis’ escalation.
After Ursula von der Leyen took office in November 2019, her first visit outside Europe was to Africa. Selecting Africa as her first foreign visit was a bold statement to seek a partnership of equals with the African Union. In her speech, she made clear that Europe strongly aspires to become a geopolitical partner and a more assertive actor in the global arena. She presented the fight against climate change as the EU’s first priority.
After more than two years of negotiations, only in part affected by the outbreak of Covid-19, on 3 December 2020 the chief negotiators from the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) reached a political deal on a new partnership to succeed the Cotonou Agreement for (at least) the next twenty years. This lengthy negotiation period was preceded by an equally long and contentious preparation process leading to the adoption of the two negotiation mandates.
In a progressively fragile and complex reality, the true social, economic and industrial revolution will start from space.
The evolution of the space economy has been defined by three phases, each of them marked by a different involvement of public and private actors. The first phase (1950-1969) was mainly characterized by governmental space programs, which contributed to the development of space technologies becoming part of the global collective imagination.
National and European policymakers have put together an exceptional fiscal response to the coronavirus crisis. The Next Generation EU (NGEU) fund, together with a reinforced European budget (MFF) for 2021-2027, should be one of the main tools to shape and boost the bloc’s recovery. In particular, the establishment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility within the NGEU is a major step in this direction.
Figure 1: How the NGEU spreads its grants around
In March 2020, the European Commission and the High Representative presented a draft for “Comprehensive strategy with Africa”, deeming the continent a top priority for the EU. The document proposed a renewed Euro-African “political alliance” built around five pillars: green transition and access to energy; digital transformation; sustainable growth and employment; peace, security and governance; migration and mobility.
Growing tensions between the US and China have challenged the rules-based international order. Despite tense transatlantic relations over the last years, the US remains Europe's strategic ally while economic ties between the EU and Beijing have deepened. The election of Joe Biden as US president could become a game changer to face global challenges and relaunch transatlantic relations.
The Food Coalition has been launched. It is a big opportunity for the international community to rally as one to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown in the path of the Sustainable Development Agenda and the drive to zero hunger.
The crisis generated by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the immediate future represents a social and economic disaster of global reach. Combining it with the precarious circumstances which affect Italy makes it extremely difficult but truly significant to consider this drama an enormous opportunity for rethinking the cities and the entire urban-territorial system of the country.
The most recent European policies promoted by the current Commission, and the opportunities arising from the availability of the Next Generation EU recovery instrument of €750 billion, have put the topic of urban renewal back in the spotlight of continental and national debates. This isn’t surprising at this point in time because since the end of the XIX century urban renewal practices have been master tools on which to boost the economic performance and social sustainability of a community by enhancing the urban fabric and buildings