ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 29/09/2017

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Politico—D. Herszenhorn & J. Plucinska / Europe’s ‘e-believers’ brave skepticism in Estonia

  • In Tallinn, Estonian officials are hosting a digital summit on Friday as the centerpiece of their presidency of the Council of the EU.
  • The relationship with technology, however, is far different in Western European capitals, where the aspirations are focused less on innovation than regulation and taxation.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Tallinn not with enthusiasm for Estonia’s agenda but with his own: a plan to impose a new tax regimen on digital giants like Amazon and Facebook.
  • But Europe risks losing out to global competitors if it does not embrace Estonia’s enthusiasm for innovation, a result that would leave no one laughing, said Klen Jäärats, Estonia’s director of EU affairs.

The Guardian—D. Boffey / Britain ‘unconditionally committed’ to European security – Theresa May

  • “When a nation like Russia deliberately violates the rules-based international order that we have worked so hard to create, we must come together with our allies to defend that international system,” British Prime Minister Theresa May May told British troops based in northern Estonia.
  • “The United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security and we will continue to offer aid and assistance to EU member states that are the victims of armed aggression, terrorism and natural or manmade disasters,” added May.
  • “While we are leaving the European Union, as I have said many times, we are not leaving Europe so the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.”

Financial Times—C. Clover, et al. / North Korean companies ordered to close in China

  • China’s ministry of commerce said in a statement on Thursday that it was giving North Korean businesses and individuals located in China, as well as joint ventures between Chinese and North Korean companies outside of its borders, 120 days to close up shop.
  • However, the statement did not order Chinese companies in North Korea to cease operations and said certain projects were exempt, “especially non-profit and non-commercial public infrastructure projects”.
  • The order could damage a vital artery of Pyongyang’s economy, as China accounts for 80-90 per cent of North Korea’s trade.

Financial Times—E. Luce / The world’s hopes rest with America’s generals

  • When asked whom they trusted to “deal with North Korea responsibly”, more than 70 per cent of Americans said the US military. Just 37 per cent opted for Donald Trump.
  • On several occasions, most recently last Sunday, Mr Trump hinted the US will attack North Korea first to take out its nuclear weapons. That is likely to play badly on Mr Kim’s state of mind.
  • Mr Trump’s semantic volatility boosts the chances that North Korea’s leader will risk firing a warning shot first and, since nuclear weapons are Mr Kim’s sole leverage, every war scenario involves a risk of rapid escalation.
  • Neither Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, nor White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, have departed from the traditional US doctrine on nuclear weapons. Yet their president does not always listen to them.

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

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