Archive

Sector: Government Relations and Public Affairs

5 things to look out for in the European Commission’s new work programme

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Behind the headlines of the “Fit for 55” climate package and COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission has been quietly planning its work for 2022. The current legislative term will reach its halfway point next year, and the publication of the Commission’s annual work programme (CWP) on 19 October provides a roadmap on the measures to come.

While the 2021 CWP was highly anticipated for its details on the EU’s climate legislation overhaul, its sequel has faced lower expectations. It is however no less consequential to a wide range of economic sectors.

The planned proposals are intended to implement the key cross-sectoral strategies stemming from the European Green Deal, including on circular economy, pollution prevention, and sustainable mobility. The introduction of these new rules will be guided by the ‘one-in, one-out’, ‘do no significant harm’ and ‘digital-by-default’ principles to address administrative burden, sustainability, and digitalisation in all EU decision-making.

Here are the five things to look out for in the Commission’s 2022 work programme.

Plastics – Major steps on microplastics

Building on the EU’s circular economy and zero pollution action plans, the Commission is planning to adopt significant legislative proposals on microplastics in 2022.

These emerging pollutants are a major concern in the environmental strategy of President von der Leyen’s Commission, which has set a target to reduce the amount of microplastics released into the environment by 30% by 2030. To this end, the 2022 CWP foresees the adoption of measures to restrict intentionally added microplastics (Q4 2022) and measures to reduce the release of microplastics into the environment from tyres, textiles, and pellets (Q4 2022).

The planned restriction is expected to prevent 500,000 tonnes of plastic particles from ending up in the environment to an estimated cost of €11-19 billion on companies currently including microplastics in their products.

Chemicals – Streamlining a stricter framework

Like the ‘Plastics package’, the key chemicals proposals in the CWP are focused on tackling pollutants of concern, such as endocrine disruptors, from ending up in the air and waterways. Revisions of the Classification, Labelling, and Packaging Regulation (May 2022), the list of surface and groundwater pollutants (September 2022), and the Detergents Regulation (December 2022) are all intended to place new requirements on the making available and handling of substances in line with the Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

The higher costs on the industry from the new labelling obligations are expected to be offset by improvements to the functioning of the single market. These include the easing of some labelling requirements with new classification categories for chemicals, alignment of the electronics sector with the ‘one substance – one assessment’ principle, and streamlining the scientific and technical work of EU agencies on chemicals.

Health – Overhaul of pharmaceutical legislation

The COVID-19 crisis has pushed European health policy into the spotlight. While the Commission’s focus in 2021 was, understandably, on crisis response and preparedness – with key action notably on vaccine roll out and the proposal for a Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA) – 2022 will be another big year for health.

Under the ambitious Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe (adopted in 2020), the European Commission will revise the basic pharmaceutical legislation. This long-awaited overhaul of the legal framework aims to bring the rules into line with technological developments, ensuring patients can access affordable medicines, addressing ‘unmet needs’ (rare diseases and antimicrobial resistance), fostering innovation and reducing regulatory burden – as well as integrating lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic around issues such as security of medicine supply. A Commission proposal is expected for Q4 2022.

In parallel, the Commission will also revise EU legislation on medicines for children and rare diseases, simplifying current rules while revisiting how pharmaceutical companies are incentivised to fulfil these patients’ needs.

Digital – Geopolitical semiconductors

Introduced to the European Parliament as a part of Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech this September, the European Chips Act is intended to do no less that to ‘put Europe back in the tech race’. The Commission’s directorate for communications network (DG CNECT) is currently considering how to come up with major initiatives to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the European semiconductor – or “chip” – industry. The purpose of the act is to address the EU’s strategic dependencies on imported semiconductors by strengthening the security of supply and accelerate production capacities beyond domestic demand.

In lieu of concrete next steps, the Commission is expected to roll out a strategy on semiconductors in Q2 2022 to outline a package of future legislative measures.

Mobility – Single framework for multimodal travel

In addition to the proposal on a framework for measuring transport emissions foreseen for Q4 2022, the Commission is looking to set up legislative standards for EU-wide digital ticketing. While the adoption of a common ISO standard for emissions reporting can be expected to reduce administrative burdens on the supply side, the legislation on multimodal digital mobility services (MDMS) is expected to make it easier for the demand side to choose more environmentally friendly and efficient travel options as a part of their journey.

The European Green Deal sets a target for 90% emissions reductions in the transport sector by 2050. So far, the focus has been on transport companies and fuel suppliers, while less attention has been given to the practical solutions on how to empower travellers to decarbonise. The Commission’s initiative considers repealing the existing code of conduct for computerised reservation systems (CRS) – digital platforms used to search and buy airline tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars, among other activities – in order to incorporate these ticketing services into the regulatory push for more environmental travel choices.

The initiative is expected to be adopted in Q4 2022.

What happens next

The Commission will begin the preparatory work already this year, with the first public consultations on the planned proposals expected to be published within the next month. The full process from an impact assessment to the final legislative proposal will take months and provides numerous opportunities for stakeholders to be heard in the development of the new EU rules – as long as the positions are coherent and actively voiced to the right policymakers.

The subsequent legislative procedure will of course offer further opportunities to shape the legislation in the European Parliament and the Council, but by missing the early stages in the Commission, a concerned stakeholder has already given opposing interests a substantial head start.

 

Get in touch with our team in Brussels (brusselspa@grayling.com) and follow the conversation on the Fit for 55 package on Twitter @TheEULobby

What to expect at COP 26

   |   By  |  0 Comments

The clock is ticking to the start of the COP 26 climate summit with public, private and third sector organisations making final preparations for engaging with what may prove to be the largest ever UK-hosted international event. While COPs are held every twelve months, except for 2020 during the first year of the pandemic, Glasgow is the most important since Paris, and UK ministers have sought to learn key ‘lessons’ from that landmark 2015 conference.

One of those learnings is the importance of a long ‘run-in’ prior to the event with French officials engaging international stakeholders for two years before the start of Paris. The French Government threw the full weight of the state behind that 2015 event with then-foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who was in the 1980s France’s youngest ever prime minister, the most effective ever COP president.

Former UK business secretary Alok Sharma is this year’s COP president and he has done extensive diplomatic legwork having flown to more than 30 countries this year alone. Yet, while he has clocked up the air miles, UK preparations have been significantly hampered by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, and London is currently still scrambling to try to ensure attendance of key world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping who at the time of writing has still not confirmed whether he will attend.

Xi’s absence, if he doesn’t travel to Glasgow, could be a particular challenge for the UK Government delivering a successful summit. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and Xi, alongside then-US president Barack Obama, was a pivotal player in the build-up to Paris in 2015. This included the momentum he brought to the signing of the US-China climate agreement that year that helped pave the way for securing the new global climate treaty in France.

The fact that there is still much left to do, diplomatically, to get Glasgow on track was highlighted by Sharma earlier this month when he made a point of warning that “COP 26 is not a photo op or a talking shop. It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate. And that is down to leaders”.

Climate diplomacy super-surge in October and November

With ‘success’ in November far from certain, London along with key allies is now engaged in a global diplomatic climate super-surge.  This began in New York last month at the United Nations when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met counterparts from across the world to try to get progress in five key priority areas, namely;

  • The energy transition
  • The shift to zero-carbon transport
  • Adaptation and resilience
  • Nature and safeguarding of ecosystems
  • Unleashing green finance

It will be enormously hard to get substantive deals in all of these areas this Autumn. Privately, some key figures involved in the talks have admitted that a key headline goal of securing enough pledges on greenhouse gas emission cuts from major economies will most likely fall short of the halving needed this decade to limit global warming to the 1.5C cap agreed in Paris.

The goal instead may therefore become that of trying to keep 1.5C ‘alive’ with Glasgow potentially setting a pathway to avoid the worst impact of climate change in the decades to come. Any such Glasgow deal could allow for future updates to emissions pledges in the next few years to try to allow the world to stay within scientific advice on carbon levels.

Yet, even that goal remains in the balance for now, and that is why the UK Government is undertaking a diplomatic surge, including at this month’s G20 leadership summit in Italy. In New York last month, for instance, UK efforts were aided by several high-profile announcements, including US President Joe Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to try to quadruple the US financial commitment to help developing nations confront the climate crisis to 11.4 billion dollars per year.

However, even with this new money, the target for an important new fund of 100 billion dollars from industrialised countries for climate help to the developing world is still an estimated 10 billion dollars a year short. So other countries will also need to dig deeper into their pockets too.

With much therefore yet to fall in place, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres warned again last month that “if we don’t change course, we may be headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3C this century” above pre-industrial levels. He urged all countries to move as quickly as possible to carbon neutrality to limit temperature rises to no more than 1.5C. Both the UK Government, and the United Nations are therefore now doubling down on the process of encouraging countries to adopt tougher emission reduction targets to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C, and ensure that developing countries on the frontline of the climate crisis get increased financial support.

Creating a post-Glasgow summit roadmap

While Glasgow will be a key staging post in the battle against global warming, Guterres and other key players are already looking ahead too in case the COP fails to deliver on the high expectations surrounding it. Following the challenges of the Trump presidency, and with Biden in power till at least January 2025, and potentially for four years on top of that, there may now be a 3-7 year opportunity to act in what the US president has called a ‘decisive decade’.

What key UN officials and others are hoping, if this opportunity can be harnessed, is development and implementation of a clear roadmap into the 2030s. While this bridge to the next decade still requires greater definition, it involves not just setting ambition targets, but also creating the framework for meeting them.

This requires implementation of the Paris and any Glasgow deals through national laws where politically feasible to make them most effective. The country ‘commitments’ put forward so far, which will hopefully be enhanced in November, will be most credible — and durable — if they are backed up by legislation where this is possible.

In the United States, part of the reason then-president Donald Trump was able to go about unravelling Obama’s Paris ratification so relatively straightforwardly is that it was, politically, impossible to get the treaty approved in Congress. Obama therefore embedded the agreement through executive order, which Trump rescinded, before Biden reinstated it this year.

Compared to executive orders, legislation is more difficult to roll back. And this is especially when supported — as in many countries — by well informed, cross-party lawmakers who can put in place a credible set of policies and measures to ensure effective implementation.

While world-wide climate pledges made are not yet enough for 1.5C, domestic legal frameworks are being put in place that are potentially crucial building blocks to measure, report, verify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. In the future, the ambition must be that these frameworks are replicated in even more countries, and progressively ratcheted up. And there are some clear signs of this happening already in numerous states, from Asia-Pacific to the Americas, as countries seek to toughen their response to global warming.

Going forward, Glasgow therefore still has the potential to help co-create, and implement, what could be a foundation of global sustainable development for billions across the world. This must start with speedy, comprehensive implementation of Paris, but needs to move beyond this and capitalise on the greater climate ambition that November’s summit will hopefully offer.

Andrew Hammond leads Quiller Consultants, and heads the global affairs offer of Quiller and Grayling. He has been engaged in the COP process since Copenhagen in 2009, and is providing strategic counsel to clients before and after the Glasgow summit on ESG issues.

For more information, please contact: globalaffairs@grayling.com 

What to expect at COP 26

  |   By  |  0 Comments

The clock is ticking to the start of the COP 26 climate summit with public, private and third sector organisations making final preparations for engaging with what may prove to be the largest ever UK-hosted international event. While COPs are held every twelve months, except for 2020 during the first year of the pandemic, Glasgow is the most important since Paris, and UK ministers have sought to learn key ‘lessons’ from that landmark 2015 conference.

One of those learnings is the importance of a long ‘run-in’ prior to the event with French officials engaging international stakeholders for two years before the start of Paris. The French Government threw the full weight of the state behind that 2015 event with then-foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who was in the 1980s France’s youngest ever prime minister, the most effective ever COP president.

Former UK business secretary Alok Sharma is this year’s COP president and he has done extensive diplomatic legwork having flown to more than 30 countries this year alone. Yet, while he has clocked up the air miles, UK preparations have been significantly hampered by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, and London is currently still scrambling to try to ensure attendance of key world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping who at the time of writing has still not confirmed whether he will attend.

Xi’s absence, if he doesn’t travel to Glasgow, could be a particular challenge for the UK Government delivering a successful summit. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and Xi, alongside then-US president Barack Obama, was a pivotal player in the build-up to Paris in 2015. This included the momentum he brought to the signing of the US-China climate agreement that year that helped pave the way for securing the new global climate treaty in France.

The fact that there is still much left to do, diplomatically, to get Glasgow on track was highlighted by Sharma earlier this month when he made a point of warning that “COP 26 is not a photo op or a talking shop. It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate. And that is down to leaders”.

Climate diplomacy super-surge in October and November

With ‘success’ in November far from certain, London along with key allies is now engaged in a global diplomatic climate super-surge.  This began in New York last month at the United Nations when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met counterparts from across the world to try to get progress in five key priority areas, namely;

  • The energy transition
  • The shift to zero-carbon transport
  • Adaptation and resilience
  • Nature and safeguarding of ecosystems
  • Unleashing green finance

It will be enormously hard to get substantive deals in all of these areas this Autumn. Privately, some key figures involved in the talks have admitted that a key headline goal of securing enough pledges on greenhouse gas emission cuts from major economies will most likely fall short of the halving needed this decade to limit global warming to the 1.5C cap agreed in Paris.

The goal instead may therefore become that of trying to keep 1.5C ‘alive’ with Glasgow potentially setting a pathway to avoid the worst impact of climate change in the decades to come. Any such Glasgow deal could allow for future updates to emissions pledges in the next few years to try to allow the world to stay within scientific advice on carbon levels.

Yet, even that goal remains in the balance for now, and that is why the UK Government is undertaking a diplomatic surge, including at this month’s G20 leadership summit in Italy. In New York last month, for instance, UK efforts were aided by several high-profile announcements, including US President Joe Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to try to quadruple the US financial commitment to help developing nations confront the climate crisis to 11.4 billion dollars per year.

However, even with this new money, the target for an important new fund of 100 billion dollars from industrialised countries for climate help to the developing world is still an estimated 10 billion dollars a year short. So other countries will also need to dig deeper into their pockets too.

With much therefore yet to fall in place, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres warned again last month that “if we don’t change course, we may be headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3C this century” above pre-industrial levels. He urged all countries to move as quickly as possible to carbon neutrality to limit temperature rises to no more than 1.5C. Both the UK Government, and the United Nations are therefore now doubling down on the process of encouraging countries to adopt tougher emission reduction targets to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C, and ensure that developing countries on the frontline of the climate crisis get increased financial support.

Creating a post-Glasgow summit roadmap

While Glasgow will be a key staging post in the battle against global warming, Guterres and other key players are already looking ahead too in case the COP fails to deliver on the high expectations surrounding it. Following the challenges of the Trump presidency, and with Biden in power till at least January 2025, and potentially for four years on top of that, there may now be a 3-7 year opportunity to act in what the US president has called a ‘decisive decade’.

What key UN officials and others are hoping, if this opportunity can be harnessed, is development and implementation of a clear roadmap into the 2030s. While this bridge to the next decade still requires greater definition, it involves not just setting ambition targets, but also creating the framework for meeting them.

This requires implementation of the Paris and any Glasgow deals through national laws where politically feasible to make them most effective. The country ‘commitments’ put forward so far, which will hopefully be enhanced in November, will be most credible — and durable — if they are backed up by legislation where this is possible.

In the United States, part of the reason then-president Donald Trump was able to go about unravelling Obama’s Paris ratification so relatively straightforwardly is that it was, politically, impossible to get the treaty approved in Congress. Obama therefore embedded the agreement through executive order, which Trump rescinded, before Biden reinstated it this year.

Compared to executive orders, legislation is more difficult to roll back. And this is especially when supported — as in many countries — by well informed, cross-party lawmakers who can put in place a credible set of policies and measures to ensure effective implementation.

While world-wide climate pledges made are not yet enough for 1.5C, domestic legal frameworks are being put in place that are potentially crucial building blocks to measure, report, verify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. In the future, the ambition must be that these frameworks are replicated in even more countries, and progressively ratcheted up. And there are some clear signs of this happening already in numerous states, from Asia-Pacific to the Americas, as countries seek to toughen their response to global warming.

Going forward, Glasgow therefore still has the potential to help co-create, and implement, what could be a foundation of global sustainable development for billions across the world. This must start with speedy, comprehensive implementation of Paris, but needs to move beyond this and capitalise on the greater climate ambition that November’s summit will hopefully offer.

Andrew Hammond leads Quiller Consultants, and heads the global affairs offer of Quiller and Grayling. He has been engaged in the COP process since Copenhagen in 2009, and is providing strategic counsel to clients before and after the Glasgow summit on ESG issues.

For more information, please contact: globalaffairs@grayling.com 

German Election Brief: What’s next for business?

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Europe’s biggest economy held federal elections on Sept. 26 and the result is already changing rituals and the political power structure in Germany’s rather stable post-war landscape. Both the far-right and the far-left lost voters to the middle. Almost two-thirds of voters did not favour one of the two big parties, the Conservatives and the Social Democrats, with the latter nonetheless narrowly coming out on top, and the Conservatives, Chancellor Merkel’s party, dropping 8% compared to the previous election. While both parties governing by forming a ‘grand coalition’ is not a realistic option for the future, two smaller ones will be the kingmakers; the Green Party and the LibDems will decide upon the country’s next government in two possible 3-party coalitions and they have swiftly launched negotiation talks among themselves, a first in post-war history.

How the political landscape shifted

Germany has long sustained a three-party system with centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), its Bavarian sister CSU, centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), and the smaller LibDems (FDP) helping to establish two-party coalitions. In the 1980s the Green party arrived, becoming a junior partner in an SPD-led government (1998-2005); it is now a fundamental part of Germany’s political establishment. In this year’s election, its continuing success has led to the Green’s first credible shot in competing for the chancellorship, an opportunity that did not materialise as of last Sunday. Yet, with long-time Chancellor Merkel having moved the Conservatives to the centre, sometimes centre-left, her party has increasingly looked and felt like their Social Democratic competitor. Consequently, many voters felt that only Greens and LibDems would bring about the necessary changes in relevant policy areas.

 

Green Party and LibDems taking centre stage

German parties’ colour codes inspire potential coalitions’ names: for example, a ‘Jamaica’ coalition, with yellow Liberals, black Conservatives, and the Greens. While attractive for LibDems given their fiscal policies, the Conservatives’ weakness makes the ‘traffic light coalition’ (SPD, FDP, Greens) more likely. The two options will need Greens and LibDems, who both claim to represent Germany’s progressive centre. Their positions differ sharply in areas such as the state’s role, tax, and energy policies. Yet, shared priorities might prevail, with a boost for new tech, reducing bureaucratic burdens for the private sector and kickstarting the overdue digitisation of Germany’s public sector and infrastructure.

Regarding taxes, while timing differs, both parties support ‘super write-offs’, with companies investing in climate-friendly technologies to get deductions. Investment in public infrastructure, another contested issue, could be reconciled by a compromise: financing transmission networks, charging infrastructure for e-mobility, fibre-optic cables, and public transport from a sovereign wealth fund rather than exploiting state budgets. Controlling the state budget remains vital for the LibDems who, in contrast to the Greens, vehemently support preserving a government budget ‘debt brake’.

The Green Party’s stance is unwavering regarding climate protection policies: this is its core project; everything else comes second. LibDems and Greens agree on ETS being an important instrument in turning economies greener, with a high CO2 price also solving another potential bone of content, Germany’s continued phase-out from coal-fired electricity and further increasing the use of wind and solar power. While many of Germany’s top CEOs remain sceptical about introducing greener energies technology due to costs, the influential automotive sector has fallen into step, suggesting concrete targets for more ambitious climate policies.

Foreign policy absent from the elections – well then?

Foreign policy has played a startlingly small role in the election campaign. With its single-minded focus on climate change, the Green Party, not ruling out tax raises and even more public sector debt, is more likely to adopt a flexible approach on budgetary policy at an EU-level. Both Conservatives and LibDems have pledged against tax raises; both pursue a conservative budgetary policy and will definitely continue this approach on an EU level. The Franco-German relationship will continue to be prioritised to develop further and hold together the EU. The countries differ on energy policies, e.g., German Social Democrats need France to institutionalise international climate policies.

One can expect any new German government to support the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and protect German industry, locally rooted R&D and manufacturing, and the German health sector. As to handling ‘Big Tech’, another push on the international level is expected, with the Greens pledging to curb the power of platform companies and ‘monopolistic structures’. The Greens also advocate for an ambitious implementation of the DMA at a European level and look to establish a European digital supervisory authority under the umbrella of an independent European cartel authority.

Change is in the air

Though it remains to be seen who will finally govern Germany, one thing seems clear: many Germans feel simply carrying on with minor policy adjustments is not an option. They voted to tackle changes in several policy areas.

As a leading Public Affairs Agency, Grayling is committed to serving its clients in transformative environments. Building long-term relationships with decision-makers, especially with local, national, and global politicians, shaping the agenda on which your commercial and reputational success depends has never been more vital.

Are you interested in speaking to our experts in more depth? Please get in touch.
We are pleased to share our industry guidelines for health, energy, and tech.

 

 

Grayling nominated for Global Public Affairs Agency of the Year 2021

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Grayling is one of five agencies shortlisted for Global Public Affairs Agency of the Year 2021 by the SABRE Awards. The SABREs are the world’s largest communications awards program and among the most prestigious in the industry. The nomination follows Grayling’s win in the same category two years ago.

Richard Jukes, Global Chairman Grayling, said: “This nomination is another acknowledgement of the quality of our Public Affairs network, which continues to go from strength to strength. Covid has obviously posed challenges for everyone, but we have seen a growth in demand for high quality Public and Corporate Affairs support throughout the pandemic. We have also benefited this year from the launch of GPol, our proprietary political social media monitoring and digital advocacy service. GPol is helping us build smarter strategies, enhancing our advocacy capabilities and improving our ability to evaluate the impact of our work.”

This nomination is the latest in a string of awards acknowledgements for Grayling’s international Public Affairs offer. As well as winning both EMEA and Global Public Affairs Agency of the Year at the 2019 SABREs, the European network won Brexit-related Campaign of the Year and Public Affairs Agency of the Year at the Public Affairs Awards Europe in 2018 and 2016 respectively.

The winners of the 2021 SABREs will be announced at the PRovokeGlobal Summit on 27 October.

Eco-Score – the new labelling headache?

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Grayling Brussels explores the new French environmental labelling scheme and the wider European debate on sustainable labelling.

As the debate around Nutri-Score, the proposed EU-wide nutritional label, rages on, another player enters the arena. Eco-Score is the new environmental label developed in France and assigning food products a score depending on their environmental footprint.

The initiative is particularly timely as the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy foresees the development of an EU sustainable labelling framework by 2024. The Commission will examine schemes already in place at Member State level before making up its mind on an EU-wide scheme. France’s Eco-Score will therefore likely influence the Commission’s work.

Both initiatives respond to increasing demands by consumers across Europe for an ecological impact label. A 2020 study found that 57% of consumers would be in favour of compulsory sustainability information on food labels. More recently, the Commission registered a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on 30 June, calling for a “European eco-score”.

Image source: Eco-Score

Eco-Score will be familiar to many of you, as it is essentially the environmental sister of Nutri-Score. The system assigns food products and ready meals a score out of 100, with colour-coding and letters for consumer ease. The score takes into account various factors, such as the environmental policy of the producing country, the transport mode, or the seasonality of the product. Based on these factors, it presents an aggregate score, aiming at making every shopping decision quick and easy.

Nevertheless, the more environmentally minded among you may lament the lack of detail. Was this strawberry locally grown but out of season and with harmful pesticides, or was it grown across the globe but in a sustainable and organic fashion? Maybe you would favour one over the other, should the information be provided to you? This is the clear drawback with Eco-Score…

Eco-Score has already spread outside of France, with both Colruyt and Lidl currently running trial periods in Belgium and Germany, respectively. If Eco-Score continues to spread further and gain support, it does not seem unlikely that it could be taken up at EU level.

That said, the Commission has other alternatives at its disposal, including one of their own making. Indeed, the Commission already developed a pilot project on environmental labelling, called the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). A study on this scheme revealed, without surprise, that complex labels with more information had a bigger impact on people’s choices, but only if they actually took the time to read and understand the label. Conversely, simpler labels with less information reached a wider audience but had a lesser impact on their choices.

The dilemma is obvious; is it better to change a few a lot or to change many a little? This will be a tough nut for policy makers to crack…

We are still a long way away from the Commission’s proposal on a sustainability label, but the requirements and objective of the future label gives us some clues as to what it may look like. Most important of all, any future label is to be used across the EU. This speaks strongly in favour of simpler labels with less detailed information, reaching a wide audience and overcoming language barriers.

Eco-Score presents all the above qualities. It is an easily understood label allowing consumers to make a decision with the glance of an eye, no matter who they are and what language they speak. Most people are further already familiar with how the label works, due to its similarities with Nutri-Score. This makes it a strong contender.

Nonetheless, some issues remain. Eco-Score faces criticisms for oversimplifying the environmental impact of products, the trade-off for being easily understood. Further, with a nutritional and a sustainability label, are we really making consumers’ lives easier? Or are we putting them in a situation where they may need to choose between their health or the environment? One could also wonder, why stop there? Couldn’t we envisage a “Socio-score”, taking into account the social and labour conditions of workers along the supply chain of a product? While no one can argue against the importance of proper consumer information, let’s just hope that we won’t have to bring our reading glasses to the grocery store in the future!

 

Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU Former model student turns into a wild child

  |   By  |  0 Comments

The Current Slovenian situation

July 1st marks the official start of Slovenia’s second Presidency of the Council of the EU, which kicks off under the shadow of the current Prime Minister Janez Janša’s quarrels with Brussels over the rule of law, press freedom, and his autocratic style. A very different atmosphere to the one around Slovenia’s first Presidency in 2008, also during Janša’s reign, which was celebrated as a role model for new EU countries.

The key agenda of the Slovenian government is to use the Presidency to raise the country’s international exposure, but also to gain some political points at home by building up a positive image for the next general election coming up in May or June 2022.

The current political environment in Slovenia is unstable as Janša’s minority government is facing growing dissatisfaction from a majority of Slovenian citizens. According to the latest opinion polls, almost 70% of voters do not support or trust the current government. The administration has been criticised for denying financing of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and showing tendencies to reduce funding of several media outlets, many of which have reported critically on the government’s actions. On top of questionable media freedom policies, the government has been struggling to pass important legislation having lost their parliamentary majority (currently 38 out of 90 seats).

Internationally too, Janša’s administration has been battling allegations regarding media freedom. According to the International Press Institute’s report, “Slovenia has seen press freedom deteriorate ever since Janša returned to power in March 2020. Since then, the ruling SDS party has embarked on a multipronged campaign to reshape the media landscape in favour of a pro-government narrative, renewing tactics successfully during previous administrations and forging ahead with new forms of pressure.”

Hence, it is no surprise that there is growing concern about the tone of Slovenia’s leadership of the EU council over the next six months.  There is some speculation that Brussels has a Plan B, where the presidency could be run with limited engagement from Slovenia – in the event of an early election or further government instability.

Slovenia’s Presidency Programme

Together with Germany and Portugal, Slovenia has prepared an 18-month programme, which represents the priorities and key activities across the three Presidencies. In its separate agenda for the next six months, Slovenia has identified several important topics.  Though from a Slovenian citizen’s standpoint, the Programme could be perceived as overambitious and in contrast to the government’s actual intentions. While Slovenia wants to gain some exposure and importance in the EU arena, certain priorities in the Presidency plan diverge from the Slovenian government’s actions back home – particularly on rule of law, equal criteria for all and stability in the European neighbourhood.

Key priorities

1. The resilience, recovery, and strategic autonomy of the European Union

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all EU member states and countries around the world. This requires a collective response at the EU level, since many countries are unable to appropriately respond on their own. Slovenia will try to enhance the role of the European Union and provide appropriate tools for intervention in crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Resilience will be strongly connected to national recovery plans and will be based on green and digital transitions, which will create new and secure jobs, and overall strengthen the resilience of the EU.

The autonomy of the EU plays an important role in the National Recovery & Resilience Plan. Slovenia wants to intensify the debate on ensuring European autonomy on medicine, food, and medical equipment supply. A Green and digital Europe will be achieved through sustainable and smart mobility and improved digital infrastructure, which includes changes in railroad infrastructure and reducing dependency on key raw materials.  Slovenia will take action to promote e-mobility using energy from low-emission sources, as well as take steps towards a circular economy. The goal is to use green technology to maintain and raise the competitive advantages of European companies.  It will be interesting to see how nuclear energy, which makes as much as 42% of Slovenia’s energy production, will be incorporated into this agenda.

To sum up, the Slovenian Recovery & Resilience Plan seems overambitious. The green and digital transition is far too big of an issue for Slovenia’s six month presidency. The main aim here is for Slovenia to make sure this agenda item does not go backwards during its presidency.

2. Future of Europe

The European Union has faced many challenges over the past few years, leading to the growing feeling of a need for a comprehensive debate on its common future. The Conference on the Future of Europe will provide a platform for a Europe-wide debate on the many and various views of the future of the EU. The purpose of the debate is to bring European issues closer to its citizens and get acquainted with their views on the main issues we are facing.  For this purpose, a series of events with international participation will be organised to ensure an inclusive debate on the main issues of the future EU development.

3. A union of the European way of life, the rule of law and equal criteria for all

The Slovenian programme focuses on nurturing the European common values, way of life and the rule of law. In line with the European Commission’s annual report, the Slovenian Presidency will lead the annual dialogue on the rule of law at both EU and individual Member State level. The aim is to promote a culture of the rule of law and to learn from each other’s experiences. Slovenia’s presidency also aims to show how the law can be fully connected to the national constitutional system and different traditions.

On this issue Slovenia faces a potential credibility issue, as it was one of the countries refused to support the motion at the EU level to punish countries which do not respect the rule of law.  On the contrary, Slovenia supported Hungary, as Janša is one of the rare allies of Viktor Orban. Recently, Slovenia sided with those countries that kept quiet on Hungary’s discriminating law against the LGBTQ+ community. Even though the slogan of the EU says “united in diversity”, it seems Janša and his administration have a narrower definition of the concept in practice.

4. A credible and secure European Union, capable of ensuring security and stability in its neighbourhood

Slovenia supports the work of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and wishes to strengthen the EU’s transatlantic relations and strategic alliances. In April, media reported about a so-called non-paper which was linked to the Slovenian government, containing border changes or efforts to undermine Bosnia-Herzegovina’s territorial integrity and offer a solution for Kosovo. During its Presidency, Slovenia will try to cooperate with Western Balkan countries, improving their communication and connectivity with the European Union.

Slovenia will prioritise improving the EU’s territorial security by building a stronger, more united, and expanded Schengen area, as in the past few years it has not been possible to fully implement due to illegal migrations and Covid-19 restrictions. Slovenia will lead negotiations to develop rules which will allow the EU institutions to implement procedures and legislation pertaining to the financial burden of migration more easily. Slovenia will focus on strengthening the EU’s common foreign and security policies. Regarding the issue of migration, Slovenia will focus on the protection of the external EU border and establishing a functioning policy of returning persons who have not been granted international protection to their country of origin.

Key topics and sectors

1. Green and digital transformation

One of the most important topics Slovenia has pledged to cover in its Presidency is sustainability. In this respect, the Slovenian Presidency will strive for the prompt and ambitious implementation of the Green Deal agenda and the new European Climate law aimed at making Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. In line with the objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Facility on green investments, the Presidency will focus its efforts on the areas of climate change, biodiversity and the circular economy. Some of the key files it will be looking to move forward relate to carbon pricing (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme), energy (revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Taxation directive) and sustainable mobility (fuels standards for maritime and air transport, revision of emission standards for road transport).

Since digital technologies have become essential for doing business, working, and even socialising, it is now even more important to accelerate the process of digitalisation. Slovenia’s Presidency has prioritised regulating artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to kick-start a wider discussion on rules and definitions during its Presidency. They will also organise debates and lead negotiations on further regulations on limiting the potential risks which AI can bring. Slovenia is also keen on making good progress on two major EU digital files, the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and has set a highly ambitious aim of reaching an agreement in the Council within its term. However, this is highly unlikely to happen due to the complexity of the texts and vying interest between the EU Member States, EU institutions and other stakeholders.

The last digital priority of Slovenia lies in the areas of re-use, processing and exchange of data and the data economy, where the Slovenian Presidency will continue considerations of the Data Governance Act (DGA) and launch discussions on the Data Act. It aims to enter the final decision-making procedures on the DGA and reach a general approach or begin negotiations with the European Parliament by the end of the year.

2. Rule of law and neighbourhood stability

The rule of law plays an important role in Slovenia’s Presidency programme, and is strongly connected to policies regarding neighbourhood countries as well as European common values and way of life. The Slovenian government disagrees with the EU regarding the rejection of the nomination of the Slovenian prosecutors to a newly founded EU Prosecutor’s Office (it is worth mentioning here is that membership is voluntary). This led to the resignation of the Justice Minister mag. Lilijana Kozlovič and again raised the question of Prime Minister Janša’s respect for the rule of law. Media reports suggested that Janša refused to accept the two proposed prosecutors because they were involved in his criminal proceeding that later led to a prison sentence in 2014.

In its Presidency programme, Slovenia states it will strive to improve Western Balkan resilience, which is why Slovenia will host the EU-Western Balkans Summit on October 6th. There is a risk this will be perceived as controversial since European and local media have been reporting on the so called “non-paper” that the Slovenian government allegedly sent to the EU. The “non-paper” contains extremely controversial proposals such as border changes, especially as relations between countries in the Western Balkan region have been historically poor. Interfering with countries’ borders could adversely affect the stability of the region.

3. Cyber security

It is extremely important that cyber security is given greater priority.  The Slovenian Presidency will focus on strengthening Europe’s cyber resilience and security. They believe more needs to be done in this field, so that in case of a large cyberattack, the EU can respond in a collective and coordinated manner. The most needed improvement in this field is the exchange of information about cyber-attacks at the national and EU level. Centres for monitoring such information exchanges already exist, but the level of exchange is still too low. In particular, the smaller EU member states lack sufficient capacity for the essential clear-cut protocols of information exchange.

Slovenia will take action to boost cooperation in the field of defence and NATO, which will include dealing with cybersecurity and hybrid threats. Special attention will be devoted to disinformation and fake news, which can be solved with strategic communication. Slovenia plans to establish an EU-wide Joint Cyber Unit which will connect all member states and focus on implementing the new EU Cybersecurity Strategy. This means establishing The European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and a network of national centres that will be taking care of the issue.

Closing remarks

Although led by the same Prime Minister, Janez Janša, the two Slovenia’s Presidencies – the first in 2008 and the current one – are two different stories. Back in 2008, Slovenia was labelled as a role model student for other new EU member states to follow and former Yugoslav countries to aspire to.

Now, 13 years later, the situation is fundamentally different, not least economically. Slovenia’s 2008 EU presidency marked the last presidency before the global financial crisis spread to the whole world. Today the global and EU economy is still weighed down by the effects of the pandemic.

Politically, under Janša’s leadership, Slovenia is drifting closer to Hungary and Poland, the two EU members which are facing the biggest criticism from Brussels.

However, there is one positive: Slovenia’s EU presidency should be a turning point in the return to normal functioning – most meetings are expected to be held live and onsite!

A view from Brussels

From the EU-Brussels perspective, the Slovenian Presidency arrives at a strategically significant time – with several high-profile environmental dossiers coming out in the context of the European Green Deal, implementing economic and social recovery, and steering the European Union’s democracy project aiming to (re-)connect the EU with its citizens. Hence the anticipation, and the need, for the Slovenian Presidency to get it right – no pressure!

When it comes to Brussels’ opinion and expectations from the Presidency, the critical perception of the Slovenian Prime Minister cannot be ignored. The start of a Council presidency is typically a moment for the member state in question to showcase its priorities and perspectives. While Portugal placed social issues at the forefront of its priorities from the start, the Slovenian’s Prime Minister, Janša, used the opening days of his presidency to reiterate his defence of the controversial Hungarian legislation that has been widely denounced as anti-LGBTQ. The Hungarian law led to an emotional debate at a European Council summit in Brussels at the end of June.

Regarding green policy files, the Presidency will oversee publication of the highly anticipated ‘Fit for 55’ package which aims to bring various policy areas, such as energy taxation, energy efficiency, transportation, mobility, buildings, CO2 and methane emissions, in line with the EU’s ambitious goal of cutting net emissions by 55% by 2030.

The EU’s green transition and sustainable growth agenda represents an important driver for the post-pandemic world, making its climate action particularly powerful in a global context. For this reason, the Slovenian Presidency’s leverage and green diplomacy efforts will be crucial in global negotiations, such as the UN Climate change Conference (COP26), Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), and the G20 Summit taking place later this year. Some in Brussels are asking themselves whether the Slovenian Presidency are capable of taking this on?

The Slovenian Presidency will also host two European citizens’ events in October and December as part of the EU’s ‘New Push for Democracy’ asking the views of citizens on climate change, health policy, social justice and the future of EU democracy. While this provides a great opportunity for the Slovenian presidency to lead the EU towards its future architecture, without defined expectations, it also runs the risk of opening a Pandora’s box and leaving the voice of EU citizens unheard, again.

Overall, Brussels is getting ready for heated political discussions and bitter disputes over EU values and democracy, all while navigating external challenges, and delivering on a number of policy files. The EU institutions fear that Janša will use the Slovenian Presidency to promote aspects associated with Viktor Orban’s “illiberal democracy vision”.

Conversely, France, which is going to take over the EU Presidency in 2022, has already placed “belonging” and the promotion of European citizenship in the middle of its roadmap. The success of these two largely different paths is yet to be seen.

If we look back at previous Presidencies, the Slovenian Presidency in many ways is perceived as potentially one of the most polemic, and Brussels is already gearing up to what one commentator has said is likely to be “a very rocky, politically-charged 6-months…so we will be glad to be in January under the French”. This is a clear sign that the EU is not politically unified – but one could argue that this is the very essence of democracy: being able to discuss different opinions openly.  Nevertheless, EU leaders will be watching very closely how these 6 months unfold. It is certainly one to watch!

Fit for 55: the clock starts ticking for Europe’s climate neutrality promise

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Grayling Brussels explores the new package of legislation put forward by the European Commission to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. What are the main challenges ahead? What should businesses prepare for?

The EU’s legislative green makeover is finally here. As the name implies, the Fit for 55 package intends to bring the EU’s regulatory framework in line with the intermediate emissions reduction target of 55% by 2030 on the path to climate neutrality by mid-century. The targets themselves were made binding by the European Climate Law earlier this year.

The first instalment of the legislative behemoth comes with 12 proposals on both new legislation and revisions of existing rules, covering carbon pricing, renewables, and transport infrastructure, among others. These will be further complemented by the second instalment, including proposals on methane emissions and gas markets, this autumn.

How disruptive is the Fit for 55 package?

The legislative package will have far reaching implications for sectors throughout the EU economy – including on energy, transport, and manufacturing.

Energy

The revised Renewable Energy Directive will boost the use of renewables in all sectors by strengthening the targets (from 32% to 40% of renewables in the EU’s energy consumption by 2030) and sustainability criteria for their use and production. The new rules equally support the use of renewables-based hydrogen. With the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Commission will also enshrine the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ principle and set a binding energy efficiency target at the EU level.

Transport

To curb emissions from road transport, the Commission proposes to strengthen emissions standards for cars and vans and ramp up low and zero-emission mobility by rolling out approximately 3.5 million recharging points by 2030 through the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive. To reach substantial emissions reductions in the aviation and maritime sectors, the Commission is setting up new fuel standards. It is also relying on the revised Renewable Energy Directive to support the uptake of renewable fuels and on the Energy Taxation Directive to repeal exemptions on conventional fuels.

Manufacturing

The Commission puts forward a revision of EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) to adjust the cap of total emissions and remove tradeable allowances from the market. Apart from increasing the cost of carbon emissions, the revision brings new sectors under the ETS, such as maritime, road transport and buildings. To avoid “carbon leakage”, the Commission is also proposing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to put a price on carbon for energy-intensive imports of cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilisers and electricity from 2023.

Challenges ahead

Three key challenges surround the proposals launched under the Fit for 55 package: level of ambition, regulatory uncertainty, and international reaction.

First, its level of climate ambition. Previous negotiations on the Climate Law and the EU Taxonomy have demonstrated the high level of politicisation associated with climate files, and work around the new proposals will not be any different. An intensely political tug-of-war on the means of climate action from preferred technologies to sustainability thresholds is expected between the member states, European Parliament groups, and even the Commission’s Directorates. As a result, businesses in Europe and beyond need to prepare for a crucial 24 months ahead that will determine the outcomes of the legislative package for their specific industries.

Second, adding to the prospect of political unpredictability is the regulatory uncertainty caused by the full reopening of the energy policy files, most of which were recently revised as a part of the Clean Energy Package in 2016-2019. For example, the full national implementation of the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive recast was finalised only two weeks ago. It is also unclear to what extent the tightened climate rules will be retroactively applied to existing investments and assets in the different policy proposals.

Third, there will also be international ramifications from the regulatory overhaul of the world’s largest trading bloc. This is particularly true when it comes to the extension of the emissions trading system (ETS) and the establishment of a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). Reactions from the EU’s trading partners are likely to influence and complicate the internal legislative negotiations on the package.

The European Commission will also want to leverage Fit for 55 during the upcoming COP 26. It remains to be seen if the package can effectively become a stepping stone to secure an agreement ensuring global net-zero by mid-century and keeping the 1.5°C target within reach.

Managing stakeholders’ expectations, a balancing act

The ‘Fit for 55’ hype has created huge expectations. The EU institutions will have to find ways to reconcile competing interests without watering down the green transition, amid intense scrutiny from stakeholders. European Commission Executive Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, recognised that “there’s good and bad for everyone in these proposals, so we need to create a balance”.

BusinessEurope Director General Markus Beyrer presented the European Business community’s wish list requesting “that the package support large scale industrial projects, reinforce measures against carbon and investment leakage and give space for all low carbon and transitional energy sources”.

Along the same lines, civil society actors such as CAN Europe have called for a “Fit for 1.5°C package”. The NGO coalition requested that “the revised legislation go for their maximum of ambition when it comes to reducing emissions” to reach 65% emissions reductions by 2030.

Considering the pressure that handling so many key initiatives at the same time puts on the institutions, policymakers will have to rely on the sectoral expertise of industry stakeholders to determine the best way to foster cost-efficient decarbonisation.

Once the threats and opportunities of the package have been accounted for, it is up to businesses to demonstrate credible transition pathways and the necessity of their sector to a European economy that is fit for 55.

Get in touch with us (EU.energy@grayling.com) and follow the conversation on the Fit for 55 package on Twitter @TheEULobby

Targeted advertising in the EU: to regulate or to ban, that is the question

   |   By  |  0 Comments

The current European Commission has a strong digital agenda and has made Internet regulation one of its key priorities. Sofia Calabrese, Senior Consultant in Grayling Brussels’ New Technologies practice assesses what this might mean for targeted advertising.

“We are building a dystopia just to make people click on ads.” said sociologist Zeynep Tufekci in a popular TED talk, echoing concerns from policymakers, academics and civil society. It was 2017. Four years later, we still have not answered the question of whether should regulate online advertising – and if yes, how? This remains one of the essential questions around Internet regulation, particularly in the EU’s Digital Services Act and Artificial Intelligence Act proposals, encompassing issues ranging from data protection to Artificial Intelligence and from disinformation to democracy.

Since the adoption of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in 2016, targeted advertising has been a shadow looming over EU policy discussions. The current European Commission has a strong digital agenda and has made Internet regulation one of its key priorities. Although there is no legislation solely dedicated to targeted advertising (yet), some of the most political digital files would attempt to address such issues. In particular, the Digital Services Act will introduce new transparency obligations to inform users if, and why, they are targeted by each ad and who paid for it. Some policymakers went further and asked for an outright ban on targeted advertising. This could happen if EU policymakers do not manage to find effective rules to tackle the matter, despite the subsequent negative consequences on the advertising industry and the online ecosystem. But why is targeted advertising such a delicate issue for Internet regulation?

Digital advertising is a form of advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. Targeted advertising is a form of online advertising that exploits users’ data to recommend products or services it expects the user will like. It is said to be more efficient for companies, as it minimises advertisement to non-interested consumers, and more beneficial for consumers as they will only receive advertisements for products they are interested in.

To be effective, targeted advertising requires huge amounts of data. According to David Hansson, cofounder of web software company Basecamp, targeted advertising is one of the main causes for privacy concerns online. If companies could not use data to target ads, they would not need to obtain the data in the first place and misuse it later. If this sounds extreme, think about the Facebook hearing by the US Senate at the peak of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked how Facebook could make money by offering a free service: “Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg simply replied.

Regulating targeted advertising: is it possible?

Privacy is the first issue posed by targeted ads that has been addressed by EU policymakers, notably with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the e-Privacy Regulation; the latter contains rules on cookies and is still under discussion. IAB Europe, representing the advertising industry, argues that such rules are sufficient, if properly enforced. Some policymakers, however, are pushing to include additional rules on targeted advertising in the Digital Service Act, the new EU legislation to regulate online content. Such rules would not only be limited to privacy, but also include transparency obligations and codes of conduct.

Furthermore, targeted advertising is managed by algorithms and algorithms are known to pick up and perpetuate existing biases. It is common knowledge that women tend to see more ads for lower paid jobs, while people of certain ethnicities are more likely to see ads on legal advice for petty crimes. This reinforces stereotypes and increases inequality. Artificial Intelligence regulation is one of the top priorities in the EU with the recent proposal on an Artificial Intelligence Act. This legislation will attempt to avoid discrimination and ensure high-quality datasets for certain high-risk AI applications. Such applications do not include targeted advertising – yet. More discussions on the issue are still to come.

Finally, many think that issues related to the effect of disinformation on democracy are exclusively linked to political ads, but this is wrong. Algorithms favour news with controversial headlines and tendentious material, as users are more likely to click on the link and get access to the page containing the ads. This eventually favours one-sided, polemical and fallacious content leading to more disinformation around all sort of topics, including on politics. Judging from the severe consequences of disinformation in real life, such as the events of Capitol Hill or the anti-vax movements, policymakers are finding it hard to fight disinformation online. Attempts such as the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, transparency measures and promoting the role of fact-checkers do not seem to have succeeded yet.

Banning targeted advertising: is it worth it?

Currently, effective policies to address targeted advertising have not yet been found. Given the serious concerns around ads, it is therefore not surprising to hear requests for a more radical solution: an outright ban on targeted advertising. Some also argue that the benefits of targeted advertising are not as significant as they are presented, and that contextualized advertising would be a valid alternative to address some of the issues described above while maintaining equal profits for companies.

Is this the end of targeted advertising? There is no straightforward answer. At this stage, most policymakers are trying to find new rules that would not ban targeted advertising completely. Should that not work, banning targeted advertising altogether could represent the last resort. However, if policymakers manage to work with relevant stakeholders towards establishing efficient rules to address the main concerns – data protection, algorithmic discrimination and disinformation – it will be possible to make the Internet a safe environment for users while preserving the opportunities offered by targeted advertising.

 

Interested in further updates on the EU’s digital policies? Get in touch with our tech experts in Brussels: NewTechnologies@grayling.com.