The coronavirus shock is threatening the eurozone on several fronts, not only from a purely economic perspective. And while there will be a further integration, the outbreak’s diverse impacts and the uneven eurozone fiscal response will result in further divergences this year, erasing the marginal improvements in GDP per capita convergence that occurred during the 2014-2019 recovery. Over the medium term, however, a very gradual level of convergence will resume.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments all over the world are enacting major stimulus packages to confront the health crisis, one of the biggest challenges since the end of the Second World War. But when the pandemic crisis has been tamed, bigger challenges will be waiting, since the major imperative would be to immediately re-launch the global economy.
International natural gas markets are, thanks to technological progress and the emergence of new major global players, undergoing a major shift from regional to global markets. Part of these tectonic shifts are due to the dramatic US shale gas revolution which started about a decade ago, but it is also due to the strong development of LNG (liquified natural gas) markets.
The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) was established in 2014, as the successor of the TEN-T Executive Agency, for the development of the Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T). INEA supports the Commission, the project promoters and the Member States by providing high quality programme management to infrastructure projects. INEA manages the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is the EU programme dedicated to co-financing infrastructure projects in the fields of Transport, Energy and Telecommunications.
The intense pressures of economic competition at a global scale are fueling the growth of major infrastructure investments at an unprecedented rate. These investments are frequently perceived as critical to the ‘success’ of major urban, regional and national development through their ability to affect significant socio-economic change (OMEGA Centre, 2012).
Investments in infrastructure represent a fundamental component of the economic and social development of a country and geographic area. State-of-the-art and efficient infrastructure provide substantial benefits such as new jobs, reduction in production and transportation costs, interconnected markets, and privileged access to key services like health and education. Sound infrastructure allows to effectively size the benefits of globalization and ensure such benefits are commonly shared among the population and among different locations.
As Earth’s southernmost continent, Antarctica lives by norms of its own. It is a de facto condominium over which seven sovereign states maintain territorial claims, but that is governed by a multilateral Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). China’s growing interests in the “White Continent” have spurred responses from the actors that have much at stake in Antarctica, such as Australia, Brazil and Russia, as well as the European Union.
In the past decade, the EU has shown the world its ability to struck ambitious trade deals and to create the conditions for win-win agreements. Today, its trade policy is endangered by the threat of a trade war initiated by the United States, the EU closest ally and main trade partner.
The increased protectionist turn taken by the United States, including steel and aluminium tariffs levied against the EU and other countries and a potential trade war with China, comes at an awkward time for the United Kingdom. While the United Kingdom is negotiating its exit from the European Union, it still remains within the EU and its customs union and so is dependent on the EU to negotiate on its behalf.