The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concluded at the end of March between China and Italy drove the global community into a frenzy of excitement. Indeed, Italy was the first amongst the Group of Seven industrialized nations (G7) and the founders of the European Union (EU) to commit to China’s infrastructure projects in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Relations between China and the European Union have been changing dramatically. As China’s presence in Europe increased, Brussels took a more assertive stance against bilateral agreements between Beijing and EU member states, advocating in favor of a multilateral approach and EU standards.
The EU-China Summit to be held in Brussels this week comes at a crucial and unprecedented juncture in EU-China relations.
When China’s President Xi Jinping launched his flagship project on the “Silk Road Economic Belt” in Astana in the fall of 2013, followed by the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in Jakarta a month later, few people in France took notice, except perhaps for a few experts in academic circles or research institutions focusing on China.
The Italian eagerness to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government over participation in the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) sent shockwaves throughout Europe. Under the Eurosceptic coalition government in Rome, Italy has found a friend in China, which sees the ‘forgotten’ port of Trieste as the perfect gateway to the heart of Europe for its 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
ISPI and the Trilateral Commission Italian Group organised a lunch talk with Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank (2003 - 2011).
Jean-Claude Trichet addressed the following topic: 'A decade after Lehman: what is the likelihood of the next big financial crisis?'.
By invitation only
Most ways to resolve the current stalemate in the UK parliament with respect to Brexit imply that the UK will no longer be part of the internal market for financial services. There is a risk that capital market services in the EU-27 will decline in scope and quality without the UK in the internal market but this risk can be mitigated. We propose that the EU and the UK form a joint high-level committee to develop proposals for simplified and better regulation that strengthens market discipline.
Shared visions make for strong allies. The US and EU interests in each other’s energy security run deep for a reason. Energy security and interconnectivity breed economic opportunity and stability as well as political security, all of which are of the highest priority on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 31 March presidential elections in Ukraine matter to Ukraine, its region and the EU. While the majority of experts deem it impossible to have a winner in the first round and, thus, expect a second one in April, the March contest will be a first important step in the crucial process of determining the direction the country will take. Thus, while we should not hold our breath on election day, we should definitely keep a close eye on the contest and its outcome.
Donald Trump's policies have introduced new tensions in the international order, an order that the U.S. had been defending and promoting since the Second World War. At the same time, China’s growth and Russia’s newfound assertiveness are increasingly challenging the Western liberal order. In short, the signs of the “end of a world” that many had taken for granted for decades are multiplying, with far-reaching consequences on the resilience of the international system, on multilateral organisations, and even on the institutional structure of individual states.