The first of December (Antarctica Day) 2019 will not only mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Antarctic Treaty; it will also mark the 10th year since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. This second treaty furthered the EU on its path towards becoming a major actor on the global stage by establishing inter alia the function of High Representative and the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s own diplomatic network.
Major technological transformations such as artificial intelligence, big data, FinTech, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are putting the global economy on a new track. These innovations will bring immense economic opportunities as well as dramatic changes in industries, employment and required skills that will create major challenges for individuals, businesses and governments.
The G20 has the potential and responsibility to lead the world in developing more sustainable economic systems and life styles. Today’s patterns of consumption and waste generation are unsustainable. They contribute to social inequalities and the environmental degradation that is polluting our oceans, heating up the planet, threatening species survival, and contributing to the spread of disease.
After turning 10 in the Southern Cone and celebrating anniversary in Buenos Aires, G20 started its second decade of life in Osaka. The G20 was born to deal with the economic crisis and succeeded in the challenge. It was successful in handling the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 and containing its aftershocks. However, despite the importance of today’s global challenges, the world does not seem to perceive them with the same sense of urgency.
International trade is facing many risks, according to the WTO trade forecast of September 2018. Among these are rising trade tensions and global protectionism, as well as increased financial volatility as developed economies tighten their monetary policy. Consequently, the WTO downgraded world merchandise trade growth to 3.9% (2018) and 3.7% (2019) respectively.
At the end of their G20 Osaka Summit on June 29, 2019, the most powerful leaders of the world’s most powerful countries will release a communiqué containing many commitments to respond to the biggest challenges of today’s complex world. But their citizens, increasingly skeptical of the work of such governing elites, will doubt that these commitments will make any difference to their daily lives.
Ever since the foundation of the 16+1 cooperation platform with Eastern European countries, China has become one of the most influential players in the Balkans too.
China’s Increasing economic presence in the region has led many analysts to focus on the effects of rising Chinese influence. While this is a sound observation, it must necessarily be followed by two questions – to what end is China building its influence in the region and why are Balkan leaders so keen to accept Chinese propositions?
Although discussed for decades, the issue of cultural and religious values has been again brought into the political spotlight since the end of the 20th century. Today, a number of key political and state actors, including the European Union (EU), clearly consider dialogue and engagement with religious institutions and organisations vital resources for achieving stability, security and peace.
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.