As President-elect Joe Biden is busy with cherry-picking candidates for his team, it becomes clear that the new administration will be more cooperative on some issues while it will also retain Donald Trump’s antagonistic China policy on the others.
Countless articles have been written over the last weeks about the situation in Tunisia, ten years after the Arab spring. The prevailing tone is bitter. Observers are now more inclined to describe the political, economic, and social shortcomings as well as the daunting challenges of the Tunisian transition rather than to stress how exceptional and unique it has been.
In 2020, many of our forecasts and expectations were disrupted by a “Black swan” only few could expect: a global pandemic that rapidly turned into the deepest economic recession since World War 2. This year wraps up with few certainties and many questions: our annual dossier “The World in 2021” sets out to answer ten of them.
What are the main variables on which the success of Italy’s presidency of the G20 in 2021 depends? The question is particularly relevant with only a few days to go before the end of a year that has made the need for – and the absence of – effective global governance mechanisms so evident.
The long era of Angela Merkel's chancellorship will draw to an end in 2021, leaving a series of major question marks, some of which hang over not only Germany's destiny, but also that of Europe. On 26 September, Germans will head back to the polls, but it will be the first time an incumbent chancellor, at the height of her popularity, is not throwing her hat back into the ring. Merkel's exit could very well leave her party, and the country as a whole, in a sort of horror vacui. The election results will also have inevitable repercussions for the balance in Europe.
2021 approaches; Europe is filled with hope. Vaccines and medicines will help us fight our way out of the pandemic. Unprecedented rescue and recovery packages serve to soften the painful impacts of the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdowns. After a very tough 2020 with all of its losses and set-backs, relief is in sight.
Will 2021 be the year in which Europe finally learns to stand on its own two feet and find the strength and maturity to tackle its internal and foreign policy challenges? Before we embark on an answer, it is worth establishing one clear fact: 2021 will still be the year of the pandemic, both in Europe and worldwide. While we can hope that a vaccine might quell the health emergency, it will certainly not wipe out the devastating social and economic repercussions of Covid-19.
While the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the globe into an unprecedent state of immobility, a gradual reopening is beginning. The deep economic recession that has followed may spark new forms of migration and changing routes, even as it constrains other movements. What are some of the first indications as to the drivers of migration in a post-pandemic world? And is Europe geared up for dealing with a new migration wave?
We are experiencing unprecedented times. Less than one year ago the pandemic triggered the worst economic and financial crisis ever. At the end of 2020, the world is in an extremely indebted position. My understanding of debt issues is based on my personal experience.
Having been on the increase in most parts of the world for some time, economic and social inequality have now become more acute across the European Union as well, in the wake of two severe crises: the global economic and financial crisis of 2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic, both of which struck the region within the course of little more than a decade. Will rising inequality trigger a new wave of protests, social radicalisation and political instability? It is likely to do so, but unlikely to be accompanied by traumatic effects and political regime changes.
The Covid crisis did not affect every country in the same manner. We have long known that symmetric shocks almost always have asymmetric consequences. While there are marked differences even within homogeneous areas (such as the Eurozone), the differences between macro-regions are particularly striking. In October of this year, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook projected a 5.8% decline in GDP for advanced countries in 2020 (with an 8.3% decline for the Eurozone and a 4.3% decline for the United States).
We enter 2021 with stark reminders of how a pandemic can wreck a global economy and destabilize nations. After almost twenty years of steady poverty reduction through the Global Goals, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) sent more than 100 million people back to extreme poverty, and simultaneously collapsed oil markets, the airlines, and other industries.