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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 07/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 07/10/2020

Politico – Charlie Cooper / Boris Johnson denies funk as UK coronavirus cases spike

  • The U.K. prime minister is enduring some of his most difficult days in office. Yet his speech on Tuesday to the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference was an exercise in unflinching — some would say unwarranted— optimism.
  • Heavy on post-crisis ambition, limited in its engagement with the clear and present problems afflicting the government ahead of what most expect to be a long, hard winter, the speech looked not just beyond the pandemic but a full 10 years into the future when the U.K.
  • Johnson assured his remote audience that, by then, the UK would be greener, “happier” and “healthier.” Back in the present day, Johnson and his advisers know the worst may be yet to come.
  • The coronavirus second wave sweeping Europe has now firmly established itself in the U.K. and confidence in the country’s test and trace system remains fragile. Mass unemployment looms. If that wasn’t enough, the prime minister himself is unhappy in the job, in financial difficulty and not yet fully after having had COVID-19 in April.
  • The Atlantic – Tom McTague / Boris Johnson keeps defying gravity

Euractiv – Alexandra Brzozowski / Commission seeks to revive enlargement with new package

  • The European Commission published its long-awaited enlargement package on Tuesday (6 October) in a fresh attempt to revive the stalled process with promises of more substantial economic assistance in exchange for reforms. The package included country-specific reports on the progress of the six Western Balkans countries and Turkey.
  • The overall tone of the Commission’s documents was more positive than during the EU’s “enlargement summit” earlier in May, which had sent mixed signals by omitting the word enlargement altogether.
  • The country reports came together with a Commission investment plan for the Western Balkans region, which Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi warned need to be accompanied by concrete results in key reforms.
  • Varhelyi confirmed he would soon visit the Western Balkans and convey to politicians in the region “what they can lose if they do not meet the conditions”.
  • Project Syndicate – Joseph S. Nye, Jr. / Post pandemic geopolitics

The Washington Post – Erica Werner and Jeff Stein / Trump cuts off stimulus relief talks until after election, upending prospects for aid

  • Economic relief talks screeched to a halt Tuesday as President Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to stop negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi until after the election.
  • In a series of tweets less than 24 hours after he was released from a hospital, Trump accused Pelosi (D-Calif.) of failing to negotiate in good faith, after she rejected an opening bid from Mnuchin in their latest round of talks.
  • “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump wrote.
  • Trump’s surprising announcement stood in stark contrast with recommendations from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell, who had said in a speech hours earlier that more economic stimulus was needed to sustain the recovery.
  • The New York Times – Sydney Ember and Katie Glueck / From Gettysburg, Biden calls for healing of a house divided

Foreign Policy – Jason Bordoff / Everything you think about the geopolitics of climate change is wrong

  • Transforming an industry that has defined the modern era will have profound consequences on the global order. China will rise and petrostates will fall—or so says conventional wisdom.
  • In reality, the geopolitical fallout of a clean energy transition will be far more subtle, complex, and counterintuitive. Many of today’s predictions are likely to turn out wrong, or will take decades to unfold in unpredictable ways.
  • China might have power over a new market for clean energy equipment by producing it most cheaply, but if China curbed solar panel exports for geopolitical reasons, the lights would not go out.
  • During the many decades needed to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, petrostates could enjoy a veritable feast before the famine. As demand peaks and then gradually declines, it is the lowest-cost producers—such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—that will be able to keep selling their oil the longest. 
  • Bloomberg – Todd Gillespie / Scientists say 2020 may smash heat record

Today’s explainer:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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