The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 14/06/2017

POLITICO—D. M. Herzsenhorn & J. Barigazzi / Brussels prepares penalties over refugee inaction

  • The European Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of taking action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for refusing to comply with their obligations under the bloc-wide relocation scheme.
  • The relocation scheme legally obliges all member countries to make a pledge to take in refugees at least every three months — and it is failure to do this that led to Tuesday’s infringement proceedings.
  • Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that if the governments reconsider their position the Commission could change its decision.
  • The formal infringement process starts with a letter from the Commission and countries usually have up to two months to respond and make their case. In the worst case scenario, if the country still does not comply it can face financial sanctions.

Financial Times—G. Rachman / Emmanuel Macron will offer no mercy to Theresa May

  • There are some hopes in the Remain camp in Britain that the combination of a weak May and a strong Macron may help to get Britain off the hook of a hard Brexit. But that is unlikely.
  • Macron’s vision of a revitalised France, inside a revitalised EU, actually works better if Brexit proceeds uninterrupted.
  • A Brexit in which Britain is seen to suffer also serves a crucial domestic political purpose for Mr Macron, as it would hurt Marine Le Pen.
  • With Britain out and the big eastern European countries pushed to the margins, the EU might begin to feel a little more like the original “Europe of Six”.
  • With a hard Brexit, the City of London would lose its “passport” to do euro-related business and supply chains for British manufacturers would be disrupted. France has a unique chance to hoover up jobs in finance and manufacturing.

The New York Times—A. Higgins / On a tiny Norwegian island, America keeps an eye on Russia

  • An American-funded radar system is under construction on a Norwegian island in sight of the Kola Peninsula, a Russian territory studded with high-security naval bases and restricted military zones.
  • President Putin has vowed to make Russia the dominant player in the high north as climate change opens up new shipping routes from Asia to Europe, new gas and oil prospects and a new arena for great power rivalry.
  • The joint American-Norwegian radar project has infuriated Moscow, which sees it as part of a Pentagon drive to encircle and contain Mr. Putin’s resurgent Russia.
  • Russia’s generals and many Norwegians believe that the new radar is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to develop a global missile-defense system, making it a prime target for attack in the event of a conflict.
  • Russia views American efforts to develop a missile shield as a direct threat to the one area in which it can still compete — nuclear deterrence.

Brookings—D. Victor & K. Yanosek / The next energy revolution: The promise and peril of high-tech innovation

  • After the shale revolution, smarter management of complex systems, data analytics, and automation are remaking the energy industry once again, boosting the productivity and flexibility of energy companies.
  • These trends are likely to keep energy cheap and plentiful, responsive to market conditions, and more efficient than ever. In short, they are—for the most part—good news for the world.
  • However, they could destabilize countries whose economies depend on revenue from traditional energy sources, and cheap fossil fuels will make it harder to achieve the deep cuts in emissions needed to halt global warming.
  • To tackle climate challenges, countries must invest more in innovation. At the Paris climate change conference in late 2015, the world’s biggest governments pledged to double their spending on energy R&D. So far, however, they have not delivered.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.   

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