2020 seems a year best forgotten as quickly as possible. That’s also true for Europe. Europe’s agenda for 2021 is interesting and has opportunities — but also presents a few pebbles in the shoe. But of course, compared to the unmentionable year we just left, anything is promising.

Europe has been hit hard by COVID and the focus right now is on getting through the winter and ensuring vaccinations to fight the pandemic; health, pharmaceuticals, and MedTech are high on the agenda.

But 2021 has more in store, including:

Economic Recovery: In December 2020, the European Union reached an agreement…


The past weeks have seen a strong focus on efforts for economic recovery to bring Europe out of the crisis. The Eurozone economy is expected to contract by 7.4% in 2020. Very large sums are being mobilized from the key players, namely the European Central Bank, the European institutions, and member states. The next months will have special focus on the joint budget for the next 7 years. The incoming German Presidency will be responsible for steering this process successfully. The focus in these efforts is on Green Economy, further digitalization, and health. We are seeing a very strong push…


The European markets are bleeding in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eurozone economy is expected to contract with 7.4% in 2020. The focus is on economic recovery. This poses challenges, but also consider the important opportunities ahead. Europe will need digital and tech-based solutions. Opportunities for innovation partnerships must be part of your go-to market strategy. Green agenda, health and data-based health and digital solutions for supply chain and logistics important elements through recovery. Competition law and state aid regimes have loosened through this phase. Going forward we could see a new balance between industrial policy and stimulus and competition policy.

Post Covid-19: Will we have a more relaxed EU Competition Law regime post Covid-19?

As part of efforts to stimulate the EU and Eurozone economies in their efforts out of the crisis, we may see changes to the normally tough regime enforced by the EU. The Commission has announced flexibility “to ensure that State aid can flow to companies that need it.”

The important question is - will the strict European regime of competition law be laxer for an extended period of time? Considering the serious impact of the crises, this is likely. The crisis may impact the general balance…


International financial sector initiative on corporate digital responsibility

Last week was spend travelling in Europe in preparation for the launch of a project on responsible digital management in the financial sector.

Together with a small group of sustainably minded international financial companies in banking and insurance we will through the coming year work to develop tools and models.

We will launch the project at a workshop at Stanford in Silicon Valley this fall focusing on data management, ethics, impact and responsible innovation. Through 2020 our goal is to stimulate awareness, dialogue and innovation at a number of conferences and workshops…


- A few business takeaways

In last weekend’s European elections 400 million voters elected the 751 members of the European Parliament.

Why is this important? Most European regulation is adopted at European Union level. Nearly all legislation adopted at European Union level is adopted in collaboration between the European Parliament and the member states represented in the Council. Areas include the internal market legislation, regulation on tech and digital economy (such as GDPR), the financial sector and more. The Parliament also has influence on trade policy and international affairs. …

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