The German post-crisis recovery plan was unveiled by the coalition government on the night of June 3-4. With a total volume of €130 billion, and therefore much higher than initially expected, it provides for nearly €35 billion for climate-friendly investments, particularly in the transport sector and in the development of a hydrogen industry, partly based on the proposals made by Agora Energiewende.1 Although the initial assessment is rather positive, efforts are still required, particularly in the buildings sector, for the acceptability of renewable energies or the reduction of electricity taxation. The recovery plan as presented sends a strong signal regarding the direction the German economic and climate policy will take, as the country will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union as of July.
The lockdown period related to the Covid-19 pandemic was marked by the requirement to teleworking for those who could do so. The possibility of its large-scale development burst into the public debate. This blog post gives an overview of the associated issues, and suggests ways to explore in a broader way the possible impacts on our lifestyles of a generalisation of teleworking.
The full extent of COVID-19’s impact on global geopolitical balances cannot yet be assessed. Nevertheless, a number of trends are clearly emerging and these have already upset a number of balances which previously seemed unchangeable. COVID-19 is evidently not the cause of such changes, which had been well underway before the outbreak, but the pandemic has become a litmus test that has further thrust these developments under the political spotlight.
The Covid-19 pandemic not only threatens to undo development gains and reverse progress in achieving the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. It also presents an early and serious test for the reform of the UN development system (UNDS), where major reform decisions were taken in 2018 to reposition the UNDS for improved, integrated and strategic support in line with the 2030 Agenda’s interlinked nature.
This paper stresses the importance of filling the development financing gaps that have been widened by shrinking remittances and suggests adaptations and increases in official development assistance (ODA) as an immediate solution to cushion some of the short-run effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, the paper highlights the short- and medium-term measures that policymakers and development partners in both sending and receiving countries should take to lessen the decline in remittance flows.
This brief analyses current issues in the EU’s humanitarian aid and makes recommendations for responding to the challenges ahead. Specifically, it addresses the tensions between the Commission’s ambition to be a geopolitical actor and to better respond to multidimensional crises through a ‘nexus approach’ and the strong needs-based humanitarian assistance the EU provides. The analysis is based on a structured review of academic and policy sources, complemented by interviews with Brussels-based humanitarian aid policymakers.
As the Coronavirus pandemic expands, and peak contagion remains uncertain, policy responses are gradually emerging, being implemented in a number of domains.
The crisis has several important implications, but two are currently dominating the headlines: individual health and the sustainability of national healthcare systems, and the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Pandemic prevention and containment is a global public good, and its provision requires increased global coordination as well as adaptive, temporary, and coordinated decoupling. Cooperation can tackle cross-border health threats more effectively if well-known difficulties in coordination mechanisms, global governance and financing are addressed.
With the global economy going into a steep recession, developing countries are facing considerable financing shortfalls. Confronted with its most severe crisis since WWII, Europe needs to adopt a global perspective, as it cannot successfully address it in isolation. There is a moral imperative to help vulnerable people in distress and foster global solidarity to prevent catastrophic outcomes.
The Spanish flu was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, claiming up to 50 million lives worldwide between 1918 and 1919. It has many parallels with the current coronavirus and the international community would do well to learn from such past pandemics. For every flu death back then, four people survived, but became impoverished. In order to prevent such a scenario, we need to act now to utilise and adapt social protection systems to provide rapid, non-bureaucratic assistance to people.