After the massive defeat of the Libyan National Army (LNA) at the hands of Operation Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) - which supports the internationally recognized Government of Accord (GNA) - the new frontline is just west of Sirte, a city 370 km southeast of Tripoli and 350 km southwest of Benghazi, strategically located at the entrance to Libya’s Oil Crescent.
Chinese officials have been repeatedly calling for closer cooperation with Europe, but the era of Covid-19 has made China-EU relations sour to an unprecedented low level since the two formally established diplomatic relations, 45 years ago.
Today’s global context indicates that disparities and inequalities in human development are widespread across the world and they will probably increase in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. The availability of natural resources is limited and global warming, linked to human activity, is putting the survival of forests, cities and people at risk. Geopolitical implications prompt policymakers to look at existing and new connectivity infrastructure more as a proxy of their sovereignty than as an opportunity for inclusive economic growth.
The coronavirus pandemic has deeply shocked the entire world, showing how fragile our societies and economies are when dealing with unexpected and unprecedented crises. A sudden health crisis has rapidly turned into a global economic crisis that is completely reshaping priorities for policymakers and economic operators. However, the urgency of climate change mitigation has not disappeared from the European agenda. Indeed, it has been included as a main pillar of the Next Generation EU – the Recovery Plan for Europe.
How will energy-climate scenarios evolve in times of pandemic? In a positive direction, one could argue, if one considers the clear skies, breathable air, cars missing from streets, declining energy consumption, and a significant drop in climate-altering emissions. But this perspective does not hold.
The many skeptics of the annual G7 summit of major market democracies have long doubted that the promises its leaders make together from their sunny summit peak are actually kept when they return to the dark valleys of domestic politics back home. Such skepticism has spiked as US president Donald Trump prepares to host the 2020 G7 summit, amidst a still deadly COVID-19 pandemic and massive economic pain.
Leadership from the Group of Seven (G7) is needed more than ever as the pandemic continues to devastate economies and as we begin to grapple with the many legacies this global crisis will leave in its wake. Given the increased need for G7 leadership at this time, it is notable that the next meeting is being postponed to September, if it will be held at all.
The 2020 G7, the fourth of the Trump era, has been postponed to September. It is no coincidence: in the US, the novel coronavirus continues to take its toll (with over 110,000 deaths as of June 9th), unemployment has more than quadrupled from 3% to 13%, and George Floyd’s death two weeks ago has sparked racial and social protests that continue to this day. Hosting a G7 summit under these circumstances would have been extremely risky. Yet, paradoxically, Trump hoped to be able to pull it off until just a few days ago.
On June 10 a virtual G7 summit was supposed to take place in the US. As the Covid-19 pandemic is still taking its toll across the world, Donald Trump tried to hold the G7 in person in late June. After a (very) cold reception by the other leaders he had to postpone the meeting until September. However, this decision is raising further doubts, as the US presidential elections will be just around the corner, and as President Trump plans to invite other countries, most notably Russia. Is the G7 still a meaningful summit?
The EU Recovery Fund proposed by the EU Commission would be an important building block of the region’s policy response to the coronavirus crisis. It broadly mirrors the Franco-German proposal, which should raise the chances of it gaining the political support needed for its approval. But given the opposition from some countries to the sizeable grants and implied transfers within the package, it will likely take lengthy negotiations by the 27 EU member states to achieve the required unanimous support.