Ebene News – AU – Biden’s Zoom European Tour

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The Biden administration’s first major multilateral engagements begin today with a NATO ministerial meeting, followed by a meeting of G-7 leaders and a speech from the Munich Security Conference by President Joe Biden on Friday Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to join a call with EU foreign ministers on Monday

OK, but what are we looking for? Is it just a welcome gala, a chance to organize behind the scenes or a series of traditional summits?

The organizers of every meeting await a ‘we’re back’ message from Biden and his team: ‘showing up around the world is a source of strength’ is Blinken’s latest framing As allies speak openly about their relief to have a committed multilateralist in Washington, they now want the conversation to move forward They want to know what the new administration expects from them

Munich Security Conference (MSC) organizers told Global Translations they wanted speakers, including Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UN Le Secretary General Antonio Gutrerres will deliver speeches based on concrete plans Tobias Bunde, political director of the MSC, said the key questions were: “How can we renew and reform large international organizations, and what does a new transatlantic market look like?” ”

Flashback to Biden in Munich 2019: “Without a stable Atlantic alliance, everything, in my opinion, collapses”

Since all gatherings are virtual, and in the case of the G-7 (which hasn’t had a leadership meeting for 10 months), three of the seven national leaders make their debut (Biden, Japanese Yoshihide Suga, and Italian Mario Draghi), don’t expect a lot of concrete results

Organizers are at least working hard to align their agendas Britain has directly raised the Biden administration’s ‘build back better’ theme for its press materials Italy (as G-20 chairman) works closely with the UK presidency of the G-7: “we pay the utmost attention to the importance of coordination between Rome and London,” said Filippo Manara, spokesperson for the Italian government British and US diplomats work to ensure continuity between their respective presidencies of the UN Security Council, and on Covid and climate diplomacy

The prevailing mood among the allies: Diplomats and other officials repeatedly tell Global Translations that they don’t underestimate Biden’s domestic political challenges – and want to avoid adding to that burden – but They also believe that time is running out for organized democracies in relation to China, and that there are global challenges that cannot wait for the national divisions of one country to be resolved

After a heated debate at the 2020 Munich conference over whether the West was losing its identity, Tobias Bunde said his organization’s diagnosis “has been confirmed by events, unfortunately” (in especially the G-7’s absence of Covid response efforts, and its members botched the management of the national pandemic), adding to “the continued erosion of liberal democratic standards”

– Multilateralism: EU institutional leaders and the bloc’s two most powerful national leaders – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron – all promote rules-based multilateralism A “communication” project of the EU on the subject, seen by POLITICO, goes further on democracy, promising to “work urgently with partners who share our values ​​and principles to strengthen democratic institutions, fight against corruption, authoritarianism and human rights violations “

– Climate: UK is making climate a priority in its countryN and the leadership of the G-7 (and Boris Johnson is very keen to green his Scottish rival Nicola Sturgeon), in what Johnson described on Sunday as a coordination close with the Biden administration It’s also a top EU priority If and when diplomacy fails on other issues in 2021, expect allies to cling to climate progress to defend themselves

– Economic recovery: every G-7 economy, and every EU economy for that matter, started 2021 in recession There is strong support for economic recovery with a green bias at all levels

– China: when Antony Blinken will meet 27 European foreign ministers by videoconference on Monday, he will wonder if the EU is a powerful ally in Chinese policy. Basically, Germany and France prefer to engage with China rather than forming a Cold War-style bloc against it: hence the new EU-China investment agreement This is in part because China has overtaken the US as the main trading partner of the EU in 2020, and because the EU puts climate collaboration with China high on its priority list Note: Most EU countries still allow Huawei in at least some parts of their mobile networks, and the EU has yet to impose sanctions on China for human rights violations against Uyghur Muslim minority

On the form: there is still no agreement on where democracies should organize Some think the Quad or Five Eyes Alliance is a better place Boris Johnson wants a D-10 forum

Meanwhile, NATO is quietly expanding its mandate to include China: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says alliance strategy must be based on defending democracy against China and Russia’s “authoritarian crackdown on rules-based international order” China scored 67 mentions and a second bill from Russia in recent assessment of medium-term threats facing the alliance

– Russia: EU and NATO allies fall apart in many ways over Russia’s strategy and tactics, especially Turkey which directly opposed the Trump administration, and over Germany’s unreserved support for the Nordstream II pipeline from Russia, which puts it at odds with the US, around half of its EU colleagues and the European Parliament (which also calls for sanctions inspired by Alexei Navalny against Russia)

– Tariffs and trade intimidation: for a group of around 30 countries that claim to be the world leaders in the free market, the transaltic allies still impose a lot of tariffs on themselves (European winegrowers certainly feel like pawns in a trade war) While the allies have expressed general concern, there is still no plan to tackle trade bullying from China, which currently focuses on Australia, but has targeted Japan and other democracies in the past

– Defense spending: Several European governments, including Germany, are blocked in their defense spending by a combination of parliamentary and public opposition A good analogy: Biden is similarly crippled by Congress on commitments climate Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote on Wednesday that the US is “ready to consult, to decide together and to act together”, implying – in much milder language than Trump – that this forces allies to invest also together in defense

To be confirmed – AFGHANISTAN: NATO defense ministers will debate the extension of their 20-year presence in Afghanistan on Thursday May 1 has been set as a withdrawal date in a peace agreement between the Taliban and the administration, but civilian NATO leaders support extension Meanwhile, a study group appointed by US Congress recently released a report calling for “an immediate diplomatic effort to extend the current withdrawal date of May 2021 “

Britain wants ‘new comprehensive approach to pandemics’: UK calls for an end to ‘the nationalist and divisive politics that marred the initial coronavirus response’, says UK government statement The evidence the clearest of a pivot will be if G-7, EU and NATO allies ensure that the COVAX global vaccination facility is fully funded Several billion dollars are missing for 2021 The Great Bretagne is also pushing for the “vaccine ceasefire” to be declared in conflict zones

President Biden echoed the UK in a White House press release, and stressed that developing countries need functioning health systems – which the US is helping fund – bring in vaccines in guns

Price of $ 4 trillion to $ 8 trillion for uneven vaccine distribution: If developing countries can only immunize half of their populations over the next year (and that’s optimistic), the economies of the G-7 to take a heavy blow “The US, Canada, Europe and Japan would shoulder almost half the burden of the continued disruption in world trade – even if they managed to immunize their entire population themselves. own population, ”said Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan, economist at the University of Maryland

The problem is even more serious if advanced economies cannot immunize a large part of their population due to vaccine skepticism or poor logistics, Kalemli-Özcan told Global Translations The price is about $ 1 trillion in lost production for 10% of the world’s population who are unvaccinated Read more: The Explanator | The full paper | Follow global vaccination rates here

A TRUE ALLY OR A PRACTICAL CUSTOMER? BIDEN’S SAUDI CHALLENGE: The Saudi government is the biggest buyer of US weapons, but deciding whether or not to schedule a conversation with the official poses a princely dilemma for President Biden, says Nahal Toosi

EBOLA IS BACK: Guinea has declared an Ebola outbreak which, because it is in a border region, could easily spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia The Democratic Republic of the Congo has declared an epidemic the last week Between 2013 and 2016, Ebola killed 40% of those who contracted the virus in a previous outbreak in West Africa The good news: there is an experimental vaccine against Ebola Local WHO teams n ‘did not respond to a request for comment

REALITY CHECK – MORE ESG INVESTMENT = LESS TAX, LESS JOBS: The ‘feel good’ investment strategy of 2020 – injecting liquidity into companies that claim strong environmental, social performance and governance (ESG) – is facing a backlash from some analysts

Vincent Deluard, of StoneX, a global institutional brokerage firm, told Global Translations that his research shows that the ESG investment rush is directing money towards “tax-dodging technology monopolies, pharmaceutical giants with few workers and financial networks”

While Deluard offers “kudos to the ESG movement for bringing important issues to light,” he adds, “there isn’t much you can do with private initiative” The problems, he added. he says, start with financial firms that measure the wrong things: “I’m sure it’s important to recycle paper, but taxes are the fundamental counterpart of citizenship How about being transparent about the amount of taxes you pay as a percentage of income? “

If companies don’t do it themselves, and if analysts keep cutting them (“only five of the 1,945 ESG metrics Bloomberg collects are tax-related,” Deluard said), maybe ESG measures “could be better dealt with with a government mandate “

There are no ESG shortcuts: “Correctly done ESG investing must be active A passive approach to ESG is a contradiction of terms ESG is inherently serious, boring and labor intensive You must engage with management, you need to get involved in the supply chain, ”says Deluard

Atkinson Spent 2020 Coping With Customer Pressure To Deliver More Value At A Lower Cost Instead of downsizing, PwC committed $ 3 billion to upgrade the skills of its 275,000 employees globally. : “People obviously had an obligation to rely on us” to navigate new technologies that would make it possible to offer more to customers

Automation as a benefit: Atkinson said there is little difference between generations and geographies when it comes to appetite for learning – provided employers define automation as a benefit to workers, rather than a stealthy way to eliminate them Atkinson said his goal was to leave his staff with “the most valuable work” and involve them in choosing which tasks to automate or transform “We told our staff, ‘We are going to invest in you, we are going to give you the skills to manage data and data cleansing, as well as visualization and automation.”PwC has the technology installed on every computer” it does not matter if you are an incumbent, partner or administrative assistant, you have the tools and training available And then we said, we want you to look at the way you work and improve it, ”Atkinson said

Should the government subsidize investments in skills? “If we couldn’t demonstrate the business benefits for the organization as a whole, we shouldn’t be doing it,” Atkinson said

TECH NO LONGER NEED TO BE ANYWHERE: Salesforce Has Joined a Growing List of Global Tech Companies Announcing They Don’t Want Their Staff Returning to the Office The Trend Affects More Than Just Shopping Districts and Rents : it has implications for all kinds of fiscal and housing policies, and even the extent to which tech companies feel connected to the communities they serve and operate “That said, the technology doesn’t have to be anywhere,” said John King, urban design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. One in 10 Households Packed and Left San Francisco in 2020, US Postal Service Data Shows

Joe Biden, Democratic Party, President of the United States

Ebene News – AU – Biden’s Zoom European Tour

Source: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/global-translations/2021/02/17/bidens-european-zoom-tour-491780