The Sahel region is the theatre for one of the most significant developments in Italian foreign policy in the last decade. As a consequence of the intersection between external shocks, domestic pressures, and internal reorganisations, Italy is testing new approaches, instruments, and strategies in the Sahel to further its national interest, which is understood as much in terms of national security as domestic stability and international status.
Knowledge drives productivity and economic growth. Data are, in the least, a vital resource for every instrument of power.
Figure 1 the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW) construct
EU fiscal rules will very likely remain on hold until at least 2022. Last year, eurozone countries were able to implement sizeable fiscal easing after the EU triggered the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), relaxing budgetary constraints. The general escape clause will continue to apply this year and in 2022, allowing countries to continue to pursue loose fiscal policies.
The European Commission published its “European Green Energy Deal (EGD)” in December 2019 with the aim of reducing its CO2-emissions by 50-55 percent (instead of its previous goal of 40%) by 2030. The 27 EU member states have agreed to the EGD, a new climate law (codifying the new emission goal for 2030) and its “next generation fund”, which includes a €750bn economic recovery programme in the wake of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic .
As the world progressively recognizes the need for “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, renewed interest for hydrogen is surging. This need was implicit in the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention’s ultimate objective, which calls for the stabilization of GHG atmospheric concentrations, though no agenda —and hence no standards— were set. The Paris Accord, by setting the target to limit the global temperature change to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and striving to limit it to 1.5°C, has filled this void.
Hydrogen has drawn great enthusiasm in both the public and private sector, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Governments and companies have announced numerous ambitious hydrogen plans. Hydrogen is indeed considered to be a useful tool to achieve both national climate targets (especially in hard-to-abate sectors) and a key driver for the economic recovery.
In a statement released on April, 13th 2021, EU Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell Fontelles expressed deep concern about the ongoing political and constitutional crisis in Somalia. In his words, the European Union “could under no circumstances accept an extension of the government mandate” without the parties agreeing to their previous electoral deal.
The pandemic has caused a very large increase in public and private debt all over the world. The G20 is deeply involved, in particular, in dealing with sustainability issues of poorest countries’ debt. In order to advance on this front, several measures are under discussion, including debt cancellation, various forms of restructuring, international risk sharing, and an increase in common debt issued via multilateral financial institutions.
In 1994 Russia ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and subsequently took part in all of its Conferences of the Parties. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, was ratified by Russia in 2004. Developed countries, including Russia, have committed themselves to an annual 5% emission reduction compared to 1990 levels. But for Russia, these commitments do not imply a real "environmental breakthrough".
What does the future hold for the Middle East and North Africa? The second Rome MED Regional Meeting held last week provided an opportunity for experts to analyse and comment on the trends and challenges facing the region. The discussion was framed around MED’s 4 core pillars: Security, Prosperity, Migration, and Culture & Civil Society.
One year after it landed in Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a deep mark on the Western Balkans. On the one hand, it has exacerbated geopolitical dynamics that had been ongoing for decades, especially with regards to the activity of external actors. And while the EU has continued to be inconclusive, proceeding at a snail’s pace with its carrot-and-stick approach, China has seized on the opportunity and expanded its footprint.