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Politico Europe – May 24, 2018

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ISSN 2406-5250 | ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN BARTLETT FOR POLITICO
S P EC I A L T EC H ED I T I O N | M AY 2 4 -3 0, 2 0 1 8 | VO L U M E 4, N U M B ER 1 9
It’s time.
European data protection
regulations kick in this week.
NINE PAGES OF
TECH COVERAGE
BEGINS ON PAGE 15
OPINION
POWER MATRIX
HIT LIST
COMPETITION
Privacy is power — as a series
of recent election scandals have
so vividly illustrated. Page 15
Who’s hot and who’s ready
when it comes to Europe’s new
data protection rules? Page 16
Privacy activists are already
sharpening their knives. Here
are their first targets. Page 17
Uber fought Europe and lost.
Now its CEO is warning others
not to do the same. Page 21
2
POLITICO
MAY 24, 2018
WTF?!
CATCHING OUR EYE
ROYAL
WEDDING
The seventh
scenario: Disco sour
Diplomat
before
princess
Never Mind the Balkans, Here’s the Juncker: At last week’s EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia,
Bulgaria, leaders were asked to sign the paperboard-covered table, as a sort of guest book. We would
welcome your thoughts on what the Commission president wrote (but we’re pretty sure that’s a heart).
EU
COnFIDEnTIaL
TECHNOLOGY
The dead-tree version of the No. 1 EU news
and politics podcast. Your guide to the good,
the bad and the absurd in European politics.
BY RYAN HEATH
Tristan Harris
CO-FOUNDER OF THE CENTER FOR HUMANE TECHNOLOGY
Fast facts
Tech’s
conscience:
The Atlantic
called him
the “closest
thing Silicon
Valley has to a
conscience.”
Ethical
designs: Spent
three years as a
Google “Design
Ethicist.”
Shared motto:
In 2018, Mark
Zuckerberg
embraced
“time well
spent,” a Harris
phrase, as
a Facebook
design goal.
Listen to the podcast
COFFEE TIP
GDPR is bringing out
the worst in people
THIS WEEK’S GUEST
Tristan Harris, a consummate
Silicon Valley insider, says the
tech industry needs to abandon
its assumption that it’s a force for
good in the world. It’s better to ask
“what if everything we were doing
is bad,” he told EU Confidential.
“There’s a fundamental misalignment between what’s best
for business — which is sucking
attention out of 2 billion people’s
brains and making it as manipulable as possible to a third party
— and what’s best for democracy,
for truth, for society or for mental
health,” he said.
Harris compared the addictive
qualities of social media to “an
extraction-based economy” that
“becomes this kind of race to the
bottom of the brainstem.” The
knock-on effects extend “across every single domain” of life.
Unusually for a tech evangelist,
Harris embraces the prospect of
regulation: Fundamental change,
he said, “is not going to happen alone through self-regulation
[though] I would love for it to be
true.”
Harris has signed up several
Facebook alumni to his Center for
Human Technology, people “who
actually understand the dynamics of how this stuff gets made. So
When Jean-Claude Juncker, above, implored us to
imagine different scenarios for the future of Europe, and came up with six of his own, he probably didn’t consider civil war and a Tinder-like app
replacing the European elections as options. But
in this era of political bots, fake news and digital
propaganda, Giuseppe Porcaro of the think tank
Bruegel has taken a radical approach to EU reform and come up with a dystopian novel called
“Disco Sour.” It launches Thursday at Beurscafé —
Beursschouwburg in the center of Brussels.
Meghan Markle
is both the first
descendant of
slaves and first
former State
Department
intern to be
married into
the British royal
family.
from that perspective we can offer
common sense kinds of protections and regulations.”
Back in the 1970s, the work of
Harris’ center was done by the U.S.
government’s Office of Technology
Assessment. The shutting of that
office coincided with the Wild West
era of tech innovation we’ve seen
up until now.
Harris said the pricing of election campaign ads is a practical example of how broken tech
platforms are. He said an ad space
should cost the same for all candidates but that “in some cases there
is like a 17 to 1 price difference for
one campaign over another.”
Facebook, he noted, is “steering 2 billion people’s thoughts in
languages that the engineers don’t
even speak, which can have resulting effects downstream in Sri
Lanka or Myanmar.”
To get out of this loop, Harris
suspects tech platforms need a
new business model.
“So long as the business model
of these companies is advertising they’re in a race to get more
aggressive and persuasive and
manipulative to get that attention,
which is why it feels like we’re losing control and we’re addicted all
the time,” he said.
Brendan Barnes, the newly appointed data protection officer at EFPIA, a pharmaceutical lobby
group, didn’t get off to a good start. In an email
seen by POLITICO, he asked a bunch of EFPIA’s
contacts to consent to continue having their data
processed. The problem was he put them all in
the cc line (not bcc) and also asked them to reply
all to the email. We hate to break it to EFPIA, but
that’s not the point of GDPR.
Meanwhile, EU DisinfoLab, an NGO that bills
itself as working “to fortify the European fake
news-fighting front,” also landed in hot water.
They accidentally emailed out the addresses of
340 of their key contacts. Their apology email
read: “A few days ago, an email has been sent to
you from the EU DisinfoLab, inviting you to participate to one of our events. This email publicly
exposed your contact details to our entire mailing list ... The person who sent this email is no
longer working for our organisation.”
TRAVEL CORNER
Café Coop at
Demetskaai
23, on the
Anderlecht side
of the Brussels
canal. It’s on
the fifth floor
with a huge
outdoor terrace
and views.
And best of
all — you paid
for it, with
EU regional
subsidies.
BAR TIP
First-world problems
The gap between the Diamond Lounge (managed
by the roadside food chain Autogrill) and Brussels Airlines’ Loft lounge is growing at Brussels
Airport. There are now nap and steam rooms
in the Loft. The Diamond Lounge, on the other
hand, won’t even let you keep the newspapers
and magazines, and won’t allow customers to
take bottles of water with them when they leave.
SEPARATED AT BIRTH
Lucky
commuters
were treated
to free (low
or no alcohol)
Maes beer at
8 a.m. at
Brussels Midi
Station on
Tuesday.
Former Russian ruler Joseph Stalin and
current Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.
New episode every Friday | Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/politicoeuconfidential | Apple devices: Search podcasts for EU Confidential
Corrugated paper packaging,
the recycling champion
A new role for
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by becoming valuable raw material after use.
When collected and sent for recycling, paper-based packaging is
transformed into new corrugated packaging, made up on average
of 88% recycled content.3YVƼFVIWGERFIused again and again
– at least 25 times.
Corrugated paper packaging has a role in the natural cycle of life.
www.fefco.org
4
POLITICO
Agenda
BRUSSELS BEAT
HEALTH
Thursday:
Meeting of
the Eurogroup
of eurozone
finance minsters,
Brussels.
European
Economic and
Social Committee
plenary session,
Brussels.
European
Business Summit,
Brussels.
Friday: EU
finance ministers
meet, Brussels.
Monday: EU
foreign ministers
meet, Brussels.
MondayTuesday: EU
ministers for
competitiveness
meet, Brussels.
MAY 24, 2018
AROUND TOWN
TRANSPARENCY
Call for health
over tobacco in
trade talks
Potential Italian
prime minister’s
CV inflation
The European Public Health Alliance has written to European
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and First Vice President
Frans Timmermans arguing that
health must take precedence over
tobacco interests in the EU’s trade
negotiations with Mexico, Chile
and the Mercosur trade bloc. They
want the EU to “drop tobacco as an
‘Offensive Interest’ in its negotiations with Mercosur and commit to
excluding tobacco lobbyists from
influencing policy positions on international trade.” “Campaigners
have a habit of succeeding in marginalizing the tobacco industry,”
Nina Renshaw, EPHA secretary
general, said. “By pushing tobacco
interests in negotiations with Mercosur, the European Commission
is betraying its own commitments
and those of EU governments to
the U.N. Framework Convention
on Tobacco Control.”
Giuseppe Conte, the obscure law
professor put forward as the Italian
prime ministerial candidate by the
5Star Movement and the League,
appears to have exaggerated his education at prestigious universities.
While Conte said he had “perfected
and updated his studies” at New
York University, a spokesperson for
the institution told the New York
Times that “a person by this name
does not show up in any of our records as either a student or faculty
member.” Such CV inflation is relatively easy to do in Europe where
there is often less scrutiny of public
figures than in the United States.
Do you know of anyone artificially
boosting their CV? Politician or otherwise, we’d love to hear about it.
Conte was summoned to see President Sergio Mattarella Wednesday.
A stone-faced Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, welcomes Mark
Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, to the institution in Brussels for a grilling on data privacy
from MEPs. JOHN THYS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Corrections
— Ryan Heath
POLITICO is committed to correcting errors. To contact the newsroom regarding a correction request,
please email editorial@politico.eu or call (+32) 02 540 9090.
Career track
DIGITAL FUTURE: EDRI, the European
Digital Rights Initiative, is looking for a new
leader now that the General Data Protection
Regulation is coming into force.
ATLANTIC CROSSING: Ketli Lindus
has been promoted to office and project
manager at the Estonian Atlantic Treaty
Association.
INSTITUTIONAL SWITCH: Eva Egido
Cano is now a press officer at the European
Parliament, after six years at the European
Commission’s DG CNECT.
COMMISSION HIRE: Costica Dumbrava
is now a program officer at the European
Commission.
BUSINESS ADVICE: Jessie Fernandes
is starting a new job as an adviser at
BusinessEurope.
MEDIA MOVE: Beatriz Ríos, previously
with various Spanish media, is now a
reporter at EURACTIV.
ESTONIA: Former Estonian PM Taavi
Rõivas is now vice chairman of the finance
committee of the Estonian parliament.
AMCHAM GOODBYE: JPMorgan’s
Richard Kaye is chairing his last meeting
of the financial services committee of
AmCham this week.
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POLITICO AND AXEL SPRINGER
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MANAGING EDITOR, EXPANSION
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
ENTERPRISE EDITOR
SENIOR POLICY EDITOR.................................................................JAN CIENSKI
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NEWS
MAY 24, 2018
Greece’s
creditors
push bailout
in name only
POLITICO
5
Zuckerberg
dodges
punches at
European
Parliament
Facebook CEO’s
performance leaves
lawmakers furious
— and desperate for
another chance
BY LAURENS CERULUS
Eurozone
diplomats
working on
Greece’s
post-program
package are
adamant that
the heavy
demands on
Athens are
warranted.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP
VIA GETTY IMAGES
Eurozone diplomats are wary more Greek
political drama will dismantle 8 years of progress
BY BJARKE SMITH-MEYER
For Greece, the impending exit from
its bailout program is a chance to finally throw off the shackles of austerity. For the past eight years, Athens
has not had control of its economic
policies, having accepted a series of
constraints and reforms in exchange
for loans that prevented it from tipping into bankruptcy.
The country’s creditors, however,
have a different view. Officials from
the so-called troika — the European
Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) — all agree that
the time has come to formally end
the bailout program.
What they’re less eager to do is
give Greece the full freedom they
have given other countries that went
through similar programs.
“When you owe the bank a million
euros, it’s your problem — but when
you owe a billion euros, it’s the bank’s
problem,” one eurozone treasury official said. “They owe us more than
€200 billion, so we can’t ignore what
happens in Greece.”
‘A SHORT LEASH’
The eurozone finance ministers gathering in Brussels on Thursday hopes
to finalize Athens’ exit package by
June 21, in preparation for the formal departure in August. But they
have already decided that Greece will
be subject to more scrutiny than Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal and Spain —
the other countries that successfully
completed an EU bailout program after the 2009 sovereign debt crisis.
Where the other governments are
subject to two audits a year by the European Commission and the European Stability Mechanism, Greece will
receive what the Commission calls
“enhanced surveillance” — four visits a year from the monitoring team.
As with other countries, visits from
the Commission will continue until
Greece has paid back 75 percent of
the roughly €230 billion it owes its
eurozone creditors, while the ESM
will continue its scrutiny until the last
euro is paid back.
“This will be a short leash,” said another eurozone official. “Remember
they have a lot of debt [to pay off ].”
Greece will also be required over
the next two years to implement the
tax hikes and pension cuts it agreed to
as part of the bailout negotiations. It
has also agreed to maintain an annual
budget surplus target of 3.5 percent
of economic output for the next five
years, and then roughly 2 percent
until 2060.
A senior official from the opposiSEE GREECE ON PAGE 23
Mark Zuckerberg has left the building. And he left many European lawmakers outraged after avoiding their
questions on everything from data
protection to fake news and election
security.
The long-awaited hearing in Brussels had been billed as a showdown
between the Facebook CEO and European Union lawmakers who drew
up the world’s most stringent privacy rules, especially after Zuckerberg
agreed to have the event broadcast
live on the internet.
But the event, which lasted an
hour and a half, saw Zuckerberg fail
to satisfy European demands for answers and the European Parliament
roundly mocked for using a format
that let the Facebook boss get away
with it. European lawmakers asked all
their questions before the Facebook
boss had to respond, leaving them
with no time to follow up.
It ended with Zuckerberg vowing
to get back to his questioners with
more specific answers at a later date
— before heading to Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel
Macron.
“The responses we received today
from Mr. Zuckerberg, and indeed the
restricted format of the hearing,
were totally inadequate,” Guy Verhofstadt, a Liberal member of European Parliament who fired some of
the sharpest barbs during the hearing, said in a statement.
“I have no doubt that Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius, but there is a risk
his legacy will be that he created a
company akin to Frankenstein’s monster, which spiraled out of his own
control.”
Udo Bullman, the leader of the Socialists & Democrats group, echoed
that frustration and called for another meeting to grill Zuckerberg
on privacy.
“The format of the meeting was a
farce,” he said. “Zuckerberg did not
answer many of the direct questions
put to him, and the few answers that
we heard were disappointing.”
The chorus of frustration underscores the European Parliament’s limited powers, and exacerbates a standoff between the EU and the world’s
largest social network over data collection practices that has sparked a
global scandal over alleged privacy
infringements.
MEA CULPA — AGAIN
Zuckerberg, who agreed at the last
minute to have his European Parliament hearing broadcast live, started the meeting with a cheerful: “It’s
good to be back in Europe!”
He then launched into a well-rehearsed mea culpa routine over Facebook’s data protection record, saying: “We didn’t take a broad enough
SEE FACEBOOK ON PAGE 23
6
POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 24, 2018
The stalled quest for a more democratic EU
No parties plan to hold
open primaries to select
their ‘Spitzenkandidat’
for the European election
in 2019
BY MAÏA DE LA BAUME
So much for the flowering of a European Union demos.
When the EU introduced its Spitzenkandidat or lead candidate system
for selecting the European Commission president in 2014, many hoped it
would be a first step toward a genuinely democratic method of selecting the bloc’s most powerful figure.
The idea was to get away from the
opaque appointments of the past,
where the Commission top job was
selected by backroom deals among
the 28 leaders of EU member countries, in favor of a system where lead
candidates for the job were selected
in advance by pan-European political
parties. And to involve citizens even
more deeply, the hope was the selection of those candidates would be
opened out — via U.S.-style primaries
in which any interested citizen could
participate, not just party members.
It hasn’t turned out that way.
Despite efforts to improve democratic accountability in Brussels, all
of the main European political parties have shied away from the idea
of open primaries. Though some,
like the Party of European Socialists, have not yet finalized their selection procedures, most parties are
planning for party members to vote
for a candidate.
With the European election a year
away, advocates argue giving citizens
a democratic stake in Continent-wide
candidates would create a coherence
to the vote that is currently lacking.
Even the Greens, who had an open
primary last time around, have
ditched the idea.
Instead, MEPs and some national
party delegates will vote for their Spitzenkandidat at elections that will be
held (mostly) outside of Brussels. To
advocates of a more democratic EU,
that is a dangerous retreat that plays
into the hands of Euroskeptic parties
that argue Brussels is run by remote,
unaccountable bureaucrats.
“The Spitzenkandidat as it is done
now is an artifice, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig,” said Fabrice Pothier,
the former head of policy planning at
the office of NATO’s secretary-general
and current chief strategy officer at
Rasmussen Global.
“It is a pity for European parties
to remain on the same vertical and
controlled modus operandi,” he said.
With a new EU budget, the first EU
election after Brexit, and the arrival
of Emmanuel Macron, a new pro-European French President, this 2019
election is a test for Europe’s “democratic health,” and “the most important elections” since 1979, when EU
citizens directly elected their MEPs
for the first time in Europe’s history,
Pothier said.
A primary election with the use of
social media, he said, would “enlarge
the voting base” and could also produce a “real pre-campaign,” citing the
example of the French Socialist Party,
which held successful open primaries
in 2011, giving “a real dynamic to the
presidential election.”
Paolo De Castro, an Italian Socialist MEP, said holding open primaries
is “an aspiration, and a necessity.”
“For the Socialists, it is a way to
present a real competitor to the EPP
[European People’s Party],” De Castro said. “Plus, after Brexit, we need
more integration, and more democratic involvement.”
Many in Brussels are wary of rushing into more democracy though.
“It’s a humble election,” a senior EU
official said. “We are building things
brick by brick. We prefer evolution
to revolution. How can you expect
a citizen from Italy’s deep south to
vote for a Finnish Spitzenkandidat?”
“We already have trouble to bring
people to vote in decisive elections,”
said an official with the EU’s largest
political grouping, the European People’s Party, “so what would be the
goal of imposing a vote that is not
mandatory?”
“Europe is more and more a representative democracy,” the official
said, even without open primaries
for the Commission president race.
Some are concerned that open primaries could result in having a Euroskeptic candidate or a candidate
from the fringe.
Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy — who heads the French delegation of the Socialist group in the
Parliament — said the Party of European Socialists supports the idea
of primaries but the risk is to have
an election that looks like “pigeon
shooting,” she said, “with citizens
who come only to vote against a candidate rather than for.”
Even the European Greens Party, who embraced an open online
primary in 2014 in which citizens
over 16 could vote for their two candidates, has dropped the idea this
time around.
“Those who know best the candidates are not citizens but party
members,” said Philippe Lamberts,
the co-leader of the European Greens
Some are
concerned that
open primaries
could benefit
Euroskeptic
or fringe
candidates.
CARSTEN KOALL/
GETTY IMAGES
Party and a Belgian MEP. The current
system of party primaries, Lamberts
said, “already carries the germ of a
European demos.”
The Greens are reluctant to call
the 2014 experiment a “failure” but
turnout was well below their expectations, with only 22,676 people casting a ballot Continent-wide. Lack of
interest is a broader problem for EU
democracy, with turnout in European
elections falling from 62 percent in
1979 to 42.6 percent in 2014.
The other main parties are sticking to a closed system for selecting
their candidate for the Commission
top job. The EPP will have representatives from its 50 or so affiliated parties
voting to select a Spitzenkandidat at a
congress in November in Helsinki. To
be nominated, the EPP candidate will
need the support of his or her own
member party, as well as the endorsement of two member parties from
two EU countries other than their
own country of origin.
The Party of European Socialists
will select its candidate at a congress
in late 2018 though a “procedure
of direct consultation among party
members that can include internal
primaries and the possibility to hold
open primaries.” But a PES spokesperson said that a common candidate committee had been set up to
discuss the system “which has not
been finalized yet.” Last time around
there was only one candidate in any
case, Martin Schulz, who went on
to become European Parliament
president.
Leaders of national parties that
are affiliated to the liberal ALDE
Party will hold a “consultation on
lead candidate status” meeting on
December 14 in Brussels, followed
by an electoral congress in February, during which the candidate or
candidates will be elected. Didrik de
Schaetzen, the ALDE party’s spokesperson, said however, that similarly
to 2014, individuals will be able to
participate. “Any individual living in
the EU can participate to the election by joining as an individual member to the party and select delegates
to elect the lead candidate[s],” de
Schaetzen said.
But for some, the in-house approach of the parties does not go
nearly far enough to solving the democratic deficit in Brussels and indeed
risks perpetuating the perception of
a stitch-up.
“Do we want to continue with the
same old recipes while pretending
that we want a different outcome?”
Pothier said.
Germany urges EU not to fall into tit-for-tat tariff war with Trump
Economy Minister Peter
Altmaier concedes there
will be strong opposition
to a softly-softly
approach
BY HANS VON DER BURCHARD
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned Tuesday against a trade
war with the U.S. and suggested the
EU should avoid retaliatory duties if
President Donald Trump imposes tariffs or quotas on June 1.
“We want to avoid a trade war,”
he said upon arrival at a meeting of
EU trade ministers in Brussels. “We
want to avoid tariffs being mutually
increased, because this would lead
to citizens and consumers paying
the price.”
Altmaier’s comments came as EU
trade ministers are expected to discuss how to react in case the EU does
not win a permanent exemption from
Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.
European Commissioner for Trade
Cecilia Malmström said Tuesday she
does not think the U.S. administration is satisfied with the offer the EU
presented last week in exchange for
such an exemption.
Germany is concerned that imposing retaliatory levies against the
U.S. will only lead to an escalation, in
which Trump slaps additional duties
on European products such as cars —
something the president has consistently threatened. Altmaier appeared
confident that his soft approach toward Washington was backed by other EU countries.
“In the talks that I had before this
Council meeting I became aware that
the German position is shared by
many other countries,” he said. Berlin
needs the backing of other states to
block the imposition of any retaliation measures.
Other countries such as France
have previously demanded a strong
response in case the EU is hit by tariffs. Quizzed by reporters on arrival,
French Secretary of State for Trade
Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne did not directly respond to a question about Altmaier’s comments but stressed that
“[Mutual
tariff
increases]
would lead
to citizens
and
consumers
paying the
price.”
Peter Altmaier
Brussels last week notified a retaliatory list targeting $7.1 billion worth
of U.S. imports to the World Trade
Organization.
Austrian Economy Minister Margarete Schramböck was more direct in
rejecting the German approach: “If
the U.S. tariffs come, then we support the position of the EU, which is
to implement retaliatory tariffs from
our side,” she said.
Spanish Secretary of State for
Trade Marisa Poncela García said
that Germany understood that “we
all need to be united” and that “by
stonewalling ourselves in our positions, we’re not going to advance.”
Altmaier admitted that discussions
will be tough. “We will certainly have
very intense talks,” he said.
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how well the elevator is functioning.
BY KEN HU, ROTATING CHAIRMAN AT HUAWEI
Europe has made incredible progress in digital transformation. Policymakers now face the challenge
of building on that progress by enacting regulations that encourage
investment in digital infrastructure,
while stimulating demand for digital services.
By Factory_Easy via Shutterstock Photos
European governments and industry are already leading by example.
The government of Estonia, for instance, invested early in digital solutions for public services such as
health care, voting, and taxes. Today, 99 percent of Estonian state
services are delivered online.
Other examples in traditional industries abound. The National
Opera of Paris is using digital platforms to promote art and education. Even traditional winemakers
are exploring IoT solutions to reduce water waste and keep their
grapes healthy.
When governments lead, industries
follow. The World Bank currently
ranks Estonia 12th in the world for
ease of doing business. You can
apply for Estonian residency on
your smartphone and start a business online. Filing tax returns takes
DERXWƓYHPLQXWHV%\JRLQJGLJL
tal, the Estonian government has
created huge growth opportunities
for its citizens.
European industry is also leading
the way. The world’s best basic
research starts in Europe, fueling
business growth and contributing to quality of life for European
citizens. For example, Deutsche
Telekom and scientists in the U.K.
have developed a virtual reality
(VR) game called Sea Hero Quest
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into dementia. The game increases
understanding of spatial navigation
— the loss of which is one of dementia’s early signs. Millions of users
spend hours each week playing
online games. Through sensors in
VR equipment, every two minutes
of game play provides researchers
with as much data as they would
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scientists have collected more than
12,000 years’ worth of data. It’s the
largest dementia study in history.
These and other innovations show
that, far from being a distant
dream, a digital Europe is already
here. Broadband is available to all
EU residents, transmission speeds
are rising, and more than 40 per-
Data from elevators is collected
and sent to the Schindler control
center for analysis. This allows the
company to perform preventive
maintenance on its entire global elHYDWRUŴHHWKHDGLQJRIISUREOHPV
before they occur. That, in turn, has
reduced downtime by 90 percent
and cut maintenance costs in half.
It also reduced wait times for passengers.
By Iaremenco Sergii via Shutterstock Photos
“First, governments
should
enact policies that
encourage
investment
in future
digital
infrastructure. Fiber,
cloud, 5G,
and the
Internet
of Things
(IoT) are
the keys
to digital
transformation.”
cent of rural EU homes are covered
for next-generation access. This
puts Europe at the forefront of
global economic, social, and political change.
tors to make the necessary investments is a challenge. They want a
return on those investments within
a reasonable period.
While Europe has achieved a great
deal, the rest of the world is also
accelerating its digital progress.
Huawei has been in Europe for 18
years and, as a committed partner
in Europe’s digital ecosystem, we
believe more can be done to secure
Europe’s leadership position.
If Europe hopes to stay competitive,
regulators should provide greater
market certainty by enacting policies that create a pro-investment
environment. Huawei works with
every major carrier across Europe
and we see carriers facing two distinct, but related issues: one in the
sky; the other underground.
First, governments should enact
policies that encourage investment
in future digital infrastructure. Fiber, cloud, 5G, and the Internet of
Things (IoT) are the keys to digital transformation. They form the
foundation of Europe’s vision for
Industry 4.0 — also known as digitalization or the fourth industrial
revolution — ultra-fast broadband
and high-performance computing,
DVZHOODVDUWLƓFLDOLQWHOOLJHQFH
In the sky, carriers lack the spectrum resources needed for 5G.
Europe needs to harmonize and
release more spectrum and act
faster. Underground, carriers need
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QHHGVXSSRUWERWKLQƓQDQFHDQG
in policy. For example, greater infrastructure-sharing, where power
OLQHVDQGRSWLFDOƓEHUDUHLQVWDOOHG
together, will help operators cut
costs and speed up deployment.
Such infrastructure is not cheap,
and encouraging telecom opera-
(XURSHPXVWDOVRƓQGZD\VWRVWLP
ulate demand for digital technolo-
These advancements are offset
by two troubling facts: According
to the European Political Strategy
&HQWHU RQO\ RQH LQ ƓYH (XURSHDQ
companies uses e-commerce or
cloud computing; and less than 2
percent of European companies
use digital technology to innovate
in products or processes.
To address these shortcomings,
Europe should encourage collaboration across sectors and borders.
It should form more industrial alliances such as the 5G Vertical Industry Accelerator in Munich, a good
example of a test bed that enables
vertical innovation with 5G technology.
Digital Europe is here. European
governments, industries, and other
stakeholders have laid a solid foundation for Europe’s digital future.
Now it’s time to give the continent
the boost it needs to secure its
reputation for technological leadership and governance in a changing world. Such a collaborative effort will create jobs and transform
economies. Huawei has more than
11,000 people working across Europe. Together with European citizens, Huawei looks forward to exSHULHQFLQJ WKH EHQHƓWV RI JUHDWHU
connectivity, convenience, and new
economic prospects.
“With our app,
we can transform the
lives of the blind.”
Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Founder of Be My Eyes, Denmark
A few years after being diagnosed with an illness that would lead to
blindness, Hans created an app for people with low or no vision to get
immediate assistance from sighted volunteers. To reach the greatest number
of people, he developed his app Be My Eyes on Android’s open-source
operating system. The app has built a network of 860,000 volunteers giving
58,000 blind and partially sighted people back their independence.
Watch the mini-documentary about the app designed to bring sight
to the blind: g.co/androidstories
10 POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 24, 2018
Spanish
Socialist’s
survival
strategy
Pedro Sánchez on why his party and the
conservatives faces common threats, in
Catalonia and from Ciudadanos
BY STEPHEN BROWN
AND DIEGO TORRES
IN MADRID
“The
secessionist
challenge
in Catalonia
is also a
threat
to the
European
project as a
whole.”
Pedro Sánchez
Pedro Sánchez is making up for lost
time.
After an internal power struggle
steered his Spanish Socialist Workers’
Party (PSOE) to the left and kept it
largely on the sidelines in the Catalan
crisis, he has latched onto the independence struggle as the single most
important issue that has faced Spain
in 40 years of democracy — which he
cannot avoid if he is to stand a chance
of becoming prime minister.
Sánchez is trying to regain the initiative on an issue he believes will
absorb Spain’s leadership for years
to come — a view shared by Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party (PP) and Albert
Rivera’s liberal Ciudadanos. These
parties, which lead most polls, oppose self-determination for Catalonia but disagree on how to resolve
the conflict.
“We’re facing a crisis that isn’t
going to be solved tomorrow or the
following day,” Sánchez told POLITICO in an interview. “It’s going to
transcend the actions of one single
government, because we’re talking
about years.”
That means, of course, whoever
succeeds 63-year-old Rajoy after the
next general election due by 2020.
Sánchez, an energetic, photogenic 46-year-old, has been hypercritical of Rajoy in the past but now has
a chance to burnish his credentials
as a guarantor of Spanish unity, who
can be at least as tough as the conservatives on the separatists while doing a better job at offering solutions.
The Madrid-born Socialist leader
is offering constitutional reform that
would give Catalonia increased autonomy, but not independence. “The
secessionists are going to meet the
wall of Spain’s rule of law if they go
back to the unilateral path [to independence],” he said.
The appointment last week of
hard-line independence activist Quim
Torra as Catalan regional president
makes it even less likely that the crisis is going to cool off in the short
term. At the same time, supporters
of Spanish unity have discovered a
propaganda goldmine in Torra’s antiSpanish writings and tweets.
‘THE SÁNCHEZ EFFECT’
Speaking at his office in the Madrid
headquarters of the nearly 140-yearold PSOE, Sánchez repeatedly referred to the new Catalan leader
as “xenophobic,” “fascist” and “supremacist” — the same terms used
for Torra by the PP and Ciudadanos.
On Twitter, he labeled Torra the “Le
Pen of Spanish politics.”
Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez is fighting back.
The Socialists are currently the
second-biggest party in parliament
after Rajoy’s conservatives, with the
far-left Podemos in third place and
Ciudadanos fourth. But recent polls
of voter intentions put Ciudadanos
either in the lead or second while the
PSOE is most often ranked third after
Rajoy’s party and Rivera’s.
Having enjoyed a wave of sympathy and a surge in the polls following
his reelection to the party leadership
one year ago — against all odds and
the opposition of most Socialist cadres — the PSOE leader has struggled
to maintain what was dubbed “the
Sánchez effect.”
Completely open about his ambition of following his predecessors in
the PSOE leadership to the Moncloa
palace — Felipe González was prime
minister for 14 years, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero held the job for two
terms — the former economics professor needs to make his voice heard
on an issue that has so far benefited
only Ciudadanos in electoral terms.
The liberals are enjoying a honeymoon in the polls as they relentlessly
portray Rajoy as being soft on the separatists. Last week Rivera demanded
an extension of direct rule in Catalonia and accused the prime minister
of “running away” from the issue.
“Rivera is wrong to question unity
on this issue,” countered Sánchez, accusing Ciudadanos — a party founded
in Barcelona in 2006 — of being “opportunistic” and using the Catalan
crisis as an “electoral weapon.”
Rajoy’s conservatives share this
criticism.
“The atmosphere in Spain is somewhat embittered regarding Catalonia,” said Íñigo Méndez de Vigo,
government spokesman and minister of education, culture and sports.
“Ciudadanos is placing itself on the
very right (of the ideological spectrum) trying to capture very nationalistic voters who are demanding a
firm hand at this moment.”
While Ciudadanos has poached
voters from the PP and the PSOE, it
is a more natural fit for disenchanted
conservatives than leftists. Sánchez
argued that the “fracture” on the
right, in the context of a more fragmented political scenario where votes
are split four ways rather than the
traditional two-way PP-PSOE rivalry,
means he is in a good position to win
the next national election.
“A general election can be won
ANDREU DALMAU/EPA
in Spain with under 30 percent [of
votes],” he said, describing the current situation as a “triple draw” between the PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos
— with Podemos struggling to maintain its momentum.
Sánchez dismissed the chances of
Pablo Iglesias’ Podemos taking away
more leftist votes, saying “the battle we had with Podemos has been
resolved.” Podemos have been hit
hard by their position in the Catalan conflict, where they advocated
a Scottish-style agreed referendum
on secession. Most polls now rank
them in fourth place.
‘LOYAL’ OPPOSITION
Most polls predict a tight race. The
four main parties are within a range
of 19.6 percent to 24 percent of voters’ intentions, according to the latest
survey by the publicly-funded Center
for Sociological Research. However,
there is a clear trend in the polls for
Ciudadanos to keep rising while the
PP and PSOE both decline.
The ascendancy of this common
rival has brought the Popular Party
and the Socialists closer together in a
remarkable turn of politics: Sánchez
ran a fierce campaign against Rajoy
in the party primaries and his victory
aroused fears among conservatives
that the PSOE may no longer back
the government on Catalonia.
Catalonia has been under direct
rule by Madrid since the regional
parliament’s unilateral declaration
of independence in October. Rajoy
is expected to lift it once Torra presents a Cabinet that doesn’t include
independence leaders who are jailed
or on the run.
A day before he spoke to POLITICO,
Sánchez appeared beside Rajoy on
Spanish television to present a united
front on the state’s right to intervene
again, via Article 155 of the constitution, should Torra follow his predecessor Carles Puigdemont’s defiant
example and violate the constitution.
Remarkably, they did not consult
beforehand with Rivera and only invited him to join their common position afterward. Rajoy met the Ciudadanos leader two days after his
talks with Sánchez.
This show of unity is a dramatic
turnaround from two years ago, when
after leading the PSOE to its two worst
ever election results in 2015 and 2016,
Sánchez contributed to a 10-month
political deadlock by refusing to back
Rajoy for the premiership while failing to win it himself.
Besides this rapprochement with
Rajoy on the Catalan question, Sánchez — a former basketball player described even by his rivals as a tireless
workaholic — has in recent weeks engaged in a frenzy of legislative proposals and European trips focused
on Catalonia.
In April he spoke at the Social
Democrats’ party congress in Germany and met its new leader, Andrea
Nahles, and this month he spoke on
Catalonia at the London School of
Economics and met U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Up next are Brussels, Flanders and Portugal.
In London and Berlin, Sánchez
said he wants to push back against
the separatists’ “propaganda machinery,” a task which, in his view, Rajoy
has largely neglected. “The secessionist challenge in Catalonia,” he said
in Germany, “is also a threat to the
European project as a whole.”
Last week, the Socialist leader
launched a series of initiatives on
the Catalan crisis such as updating
the definition of “rebellion” in the
criminal code, which is the charge
brought against Puigdemont and his
colleagues, and legislation to force
elected officials to swear loyalty to
the constitution — something the new
Catalan president, and other independence supporters, have refused to do.
However, while Spain’s conservative government welcomes Sánchez’s
attempts to boost dialogue on Catalonia in the Congress of Deputies, Méndez de Vigo described the PSOE’s
proposals on constitutional change
as “a bit naive.”
The education minister said PSOE
leaders, including Sánchez and Rodríguez Zapatero have in the past
shown worrying “wobbles” on the
concept of Spanish nationality. But
on Madrid’s decision to apply Article
155 and intervene in Catalonia, “the
PSOE’s behavior has been loyal,” Méndez de Vigo told POLITICO.
LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER
Sánchez’s recent hyperactivity hasn’t
gone unnoticed by supporters of secession in Catalonia. He’s “competing for the first place in the contest of
repressor of the year,” wrote Pilar Rahola, one of the most popular journalists within the independence camp.
Many of the cadres that opposed
Sánchez’s bid for the PSOE leadership remain unconvinced of his strategy too.
A critical lawmaker who wanted to
remain anonymous argued that Sánchez had “demonized the PP,” only to
find out later that he had to work with
Rajoy to tackle the Catalan conflict,
even though this should have been
obvious at the time.
Yet Sánchez, whose perseverance
has proven his doubters wrong in the
past, already envisages leading a minority government inspired by the
model of Portugal’s Socialist Prime
Minister António Costa, where he
could reach legislative agreements
on different topics with different rival parties.
The first step, he said, will be May
2019’s European Parliament election,
which in Spain coincides with local
and some regional ballots. “I firmly
believe we can become the biggest
Socialist delegation in the European
social-democratic family,” said Sánchez, whose early career included
a spell in Brussels advising an MEP.
In any case, Sánchez said he
wouldn’t quit even if he did face a
new electoral defeat, adding that he
sees his leadership of the PSOE as a
10-year project.
“Politics is a long-distance race,”
he said, with the conviction of someone whose idea of relaxation is to do a
10 km run three or four times a week.
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12
POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 24, 2018
A step closer to power
PHOTO BY ZUMAPRESS VIA BELGA
Luigi Di Maio, leader of Italy’s 5Stars, is swamped by photographers in Rome after proposing Giuseppe Conte as the country’s new prime minister.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACCESS TO MEDICINE FOUNDATION
CARLO PETTINELLI
DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER, ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH
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14 POLITICO
Cecilia
Malmström
PRO BRIEFING
MAY 24, 2018
ENERGY & CLIMATE
FINANCIAL SERVICES
UK outlines new clean air
strategy
UK court dismisses Barclays
fraud accusations
The British government proposed to halve
the number of people living in areas above
World Health Organization’s limits for
particulate matter by 2025 in a clean air
strategy published May 22. The strategy
gives the U.K.’s transport minister powers
to force car manufacturers to recall vehicles
for failures in their emissions control
systems and also promises new plans to
cut road transport pollution. It also tackles
air pollution from heating and agriculture,
pledging to reduce ammonia emissions
from farming by 16 percent by 2030.
A London court on May 21 dismissed
all charges brought against U.K. bank
Barclays by the Serious Fraud Office,
after the regulator conducted “a criminal
investigation into Barclays and its capital
raising arrangements” with Qatari investors
in 2008. The investigation, announced
in 2012, also focused on a $3 billion loan
facility that Barclays made available to the
State of Qatar. According to the bank’s
statement, the crown court found there
had been “no conspiracy to commit fraud
by false representation and there was no
unlawful ‘financial assistance.’”
AGRICULTURE & FOOD
ENERGY & CLIMATE
Commission reassures sugar
producers
EU bids to save Iran nuclear
deal
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia
Malmström wrote to sugar producers
in the French regions of Guadeloupe
and Réunion to contain concerns about
granting access to the EU market to Mexico
and the South American Mercosur bloc.
In a letter to the presidents of the regions’
workers unions dated May 16, Malmström
said the EU had considered their concerns
when holding trade talks and decided to
“exclude all special sugars from its offer to
Mercosur” and “propose a very limited tariff
quota for special sugars to Mexico.”
The EU told Iran the bloc is keen to save
the nuclear deal and boost the regions’
trade relationship during a visit by
European Commissioner for Climate Action
and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete to Tehran.
Arias Cañete met with several high-level
officials May 19, including Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iran’s nuclear
chief Ali Akbar Salehi. “The European Union
will remain committed to the continued full
and effective implementation of the [deal],
as long as Iran continues to implement
its nuclear-related commitments,” the
Commission said.
Ryanair is worried about the propsect of a hard Brexit. ARNULF STOFFEL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Matt Hancock
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EU BUDGET
TRANSPORT
TECHNOLOGY
SUSTAINABILITY
Brussels to strengthen
cohesion funds conditionality
Ryanair warns of costs, in
event of hard Brexit
Sippel takes rapporteur role
on e-evidence
Chemicals agency warns of
BPS in receipts
The European Commission will propose a
stronger link between cohesion funding
and economic and structural reforms,
according to the draft Common Provisions
Regulation, seen by POLITICO and to be
published May 29. It establishes the rules
by which EU money should be spent across
eight programs from 2021 to 2027. The
Commission will also have the option to
“make a proposal to the Council to suspend
all or part” of EU grants to countries that
“fail to take effective action in the context
of the economic governance process,” the
draft said.
Rising fuel and staff costs and the risk
of a no-deal Brexit risk hurting Ryanair’s
profits in 2019, the airline said May 21,
despite reporting a 10 percent increase
in post-tax profits for 2018. The outlook
“is on the pessimistic side of cautious,”
the carrier said. To prepare for Brexit
risks, CEO Michael O’Leary said the airline
would restrict the voting rights of non-EU
shareholders to “ensure that Ryanair is
majority owned and controlled by EU
shareholders.”
German Socialist Birgit Sippel will be the
European Parliament’s lead rapporteur
as it draws up new rules on how police
investigators get access to data from tech
companies across the world. European
prosecutors and investigators would get
much faster access to tech firms’ data,
including messages, voice recordings
and location data, under a legislative
proposal presented in April by the
European Commission. Sippel already
leads on the e-Privacy Regulation, which
boosts safeguards for confidentiality of
communication.
Paper manufacturers in the EU are
increasingly using a “worrisome” substitute
for the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in
paper to print receipts, a survey by the
European Chemicals Agency said May 22.
The number of manufacturers using the
substitute, bisphenol S (BPS), in thermal
paper nearly doubled between 2016
and 2017. A risk assessment committee
previously found BPS “is suspected to have
many of the same adverse health effects as
BPA.” It advised that if a substitution trend
is observed, restrictions on BPS should be
considered.
COMPETITION
HEALTH CARE
UK unlikely to block
Comcast’s Sky bid
Health chiefs pitch Paris deal
for superbugs
U.K. Digital Minister Matt Hancock said that
the proposed merger of U.S. cable giant
Comcast with the U.K. telecommunications
company Sky does “not raise concerns in
relation to public interest considerations
which would meet the threshold for
intervention.” Comcast threw its hat into
the ring to take over Sky at the end of April,
prompting the independent directors of
Sky to withdraw a recommendation to
accept a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox
News. The Fox offer is under investigation
by U.K competition authorities.
An international legal agreement is urgently
needed to fight antimicrobial resistance,
according to a letter from global health
policy leaders published in the Lancet on
May 19. The signatories, including U.K. Chief
Medical Officer Sally Davies and former
Global Fund chief Mark Dybul, set out a
governance structure, including a global
steering board. It recommended an expert
advisory panel similar to the one advising
on how to meet the 2015 Paris climate
change agreement to ensure people have
access to effective antimicrobials.
An attendant disinfects shoes at a hospital in Mbandaka, in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, where there has been an Ebola outbreak. JUNIOR KANNAH/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
FINANCIAL SERVICES
HEALTH CARE
TRANSPORT
TRADE
EIOPA: Hard Brexit could
challenge insurers
WHO confident Ebola can be
controlled
China slashes import duties
on cars
EU to open talks with
Australia, New Zealand
The European Insurance and Occupational
Pension Authority warned insurers may
have to hike their capital buffers for
undertakings in the U.K. in an opinion
to national EU supervisors May 18. The
opinion cites 14 areas of regulatory risk that
could emerge in the event of a hard Brexit.
“It is important that national supervisory
authorities monitor and assess the risks to
their national markets and take timely and
effective supervisory actions,” said EIOPA
Chairman Gabriel Bernardino.
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo does not pose
a major international health threat, an
emergency committee of the World
Health Organization said May 18. At the
time of the decision there had been 44
cases in remote areas, and WHO had
raised the regional threat level. However,
the “immediate response” by the DRC
government, the WHO and other actors
“provides strong reason to believe that this
situation can be brought under control,”
the committee said.
China will slash import tariffs on vehicles
and auto parts to 15 percent as of July 1,
the finance ministry announced May 22.
The move is designed to allay the looming
threat of a trade war between the U.S.
and China, and is a boon to European car
manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen
and Daimler. China’s Xinhua news service
said tariffs on 139 car items currently
pegged at 25 percent would be cut to 15
percent, with additional reductions on lines
with lower tariffs.
EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström will visit
Australia and New Zealand “in the coming
weeks to officially launch our [trade]
negotiations” with both countries, she
said following the approval of negotiation
mandates by EU trade ministers May 22.
The start of talks with the Australasian
countries has been delayed for several
months by protracted internal discussions
among EU countries on the mandates.
European Commission President JeanClaude Juncker said he wants to finalize talks
before the end of this Commission in 2019.
DATA PROTECTION
16 POLITICO
MAY 24, 2018
MOST INFLUENTIAL
Facebook
European
Court of Justice
European Data
Protection Board
Google
Andrea Jelinek
Austria and Europe’s
chief regulator
Amazon
Helen Dixon
Irish chief regulator
Big banks
German DPA
Irish High Court
Smaller European
data protection
authorities
Hamburg
state court
Emmanuel Macron
Uber
Martin
Selmayr
Microsoft
IBM
Věra
Jourová
Isabelle
Falque-Pierrotin
Angela Merkel
French chief regulator
Margrethe
Vestager
Elizabeth Denham
British chief regulator
Apple
U.S. Federal
Trade Commission
Leo Varadkar
Max Schrems
Bruno Gencarelli
Privacy activist
Chinese government
Equifax
Japanese government
Xavier Bettel
La Quadrature
du Net
Cloud
companies
Head of unit for
international data project,
European Commission
Korean government
Online
marketers
Alibaba
Indian government
Telecoms
companies
Tencent
BSA
The Software
Alliance
Indian
Supreme Court
MOST PREPARED
LEAST PREPARED
Data brokers
BEUC
European Consumer
Association
Olivier Micol
Head of unit
for data protection,
European Commission
U.K. High Court
Eduardo
Ustaran
Hogan Lovells’
lead privacy lawyer
Digital Rights
Ireland
Birgit Sippel
e-Privacy rapporteur
Finn Myrstad
Axel Voss
Center-right
lead tech MEP
Sajid Javid
U.K. home secretary
Norwegian consumer
rights activist
Sophie in ’t Veld
Liberal lead privacy MEP
Regulatory
technology firms
Renate Nikolay
Jourová’s Cabinet chief
Yahoo
European
Digital Rights
Wilbur Ross
Jan Philipp Albrecht
U.S. commerce secretary
Alexander Hanff
Jeff Sessions
Privacy activist
U.S. attorney general
Paul Nemitz
Cambridge
Analytica
The
GDPR
matrix
Plotting the influence and readiness of
the people and organizations charged
with defending Europe’s privacy regime
REGULATOR
GDPR rapporteur
Digital Europe
POLITICIAN/
GOVERNMENT
NGO/
ACTIVIST
BUSINESS
COURTS/
LEGAL
LEAST INFLUENTIAL
BY RYAN HEATH,
LAURENS CERULUS,
JOANNA PLUCINSKA
AND MARK SCOTT
W
hen the European
Union’s General Data Protection Regulation enters
into force this week, the political
calculus around it shifts. The authors and midwives of the law in
Brussels slide down the power ladder, for the most part.
The national regulators in
charge of keeping an eye on companies holding and processing and
exploiting your data move up.
The companies themselves
wield significant influence. As we
have seen with Facebook, questionable use of personal data can
blow up in Big Tech’s face. Companies will also be at the center of key
court cases that will define much of
how the law is interpreted in coming years. GDPR also goes beyond
the tech industry: Health care companies, banks and financial companies, and telecoms would also
International
Association of Privacy
Professionals
Former director,
European Commission
Companies will be at the center of key court cases that will
define much of how the law is interpreted in coming years.
influence how the law is used.
This power matrix is based on
POLITICO’s reporting on who calls
the shots, as well as answers given
in questionnaires and interviews
with a wide range of players active
in data protection. We measure
both influence and preparedness.
Those interviewed and polled
consider European courts — and
especially the European Court of
Justice — as top influencers once
GDPR is in force, flanked by the
Continent’s national and EU data
protection authorities (DPAs). Tech
companies were considered relatively influential, ahead of NGOs,
politicians and non-EU regulators.
Of Europe’s top data protection regulators, Austria’s Andrea
Jelinek and Ireland’s Helen Dixon
were deemed most influential. The
former will head the European
Data Protection Board, coordinat-
ing enforcement across the Continent, while the latter enforces the
law in a country host to many of
Big Tech’s European headquarters.
Unfortunately, many of Europe’s
DPAs are woefully understaffed
and largely unprepared to take up
their role.
Non-European authorities will
have an impact too, even if they’re
not always well prepared. That
includes the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission, Japanese, Korean and
Indian authorities, and even the
Chinese government.
Of all the EU politicians, Justice
Commissioner Věra Jourová and
the Commission’s Secretary-General Martin Selmayr top the charts in
terms of influence. Just below them
are EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager and the Commission’s key bureaucrats in the data
protection units.
DATA PROTECTION
The
GDPR
players
U.S. Senator
Ed Markey,
above, is a fan
of Europe’s new
regulations,
calling them
“directionally
excellent,
because [they]
deal with the
core issue of
receiving opt-in
consent from
the consumer.”
Seven key people
shaping the future of
Europe’s digital privacy
DREW ANGERER/
GETTY IMAGES
THE FUNNY PAGES
OF DATA PROTECTION
ILLUSTRATIONS
BY TOM JAY
FOR POLITICO
Lest you think that humor can’t be found
in just about anything, here are a few of
our favorite Twitter-sourced GDPR jokes.
Because yes, those are a thing.
MAY 24, 2018
V
18 POLITICO
BY MARK SCOTT
IN LONDON
After years of waiting, Europe’s
revamped privacy standards are
about to kick in.
The General Data Protection
Regulation, or GDPR, is the largest
overhaul of the region’s rules in
more than 20 years. It’s aimed at
giving the Continent’s more than
500 million citizens greater control
over how their digital information
is used by companies and governments.
What can be expected from the
new standards? And what are people’s hopes — and fears — for the
new rules, which are already being
copied by countries worldwide eager to maintain access to Europe’s
well-heeled consumers?
What follows are the perspectives of the regulators, tech executives and privacy campaigners
with crucial roles in determining
how Europe’s privacy rules will be
implemented. These people also
will determine, to a large degree,
whether the Continent’s data protection standards succeed or fail.
THE REGULATOR
THE PRIVACY ADVOCATE
Helen Dixon
Max Schrems
Irish data protection commissioner
Data protection campaigner
More than almost any other European privacy regulator, Dixon —
whose agency oversees data-hungry companies including Google
and Facebook — will have her work
cut out when Europe’s new rules
kick in on Friday.
For Dixon and her 100-person
team, the challenge will be to find
a balance between an influx of data
protection complaints due to land
on her doorstep and long-term investigations into complex topics,
such as how big tech firms explain
their privacy policies to users. “It’s
a balancing exercise,” she said.
“How many big investigations can
we take on?”
After spending much of the last
year educating locals and the big
internet players about how the
new standards will affect them,
Dixon believes the biggest shift
is how companies will become
more accountable for their use of
people’s data — and the enforcement powers that will back that up.
But she remains concerned that
each EU country is implementing
the rules in slightly different ways,
potentially hobbling region-wide
efforts to give people greater say
over how their data is used.
“The intention was to modernize the law and harmonize it across
Europe,” she said. “It’s clear we’re
moving away from that.”
As a veteran of various privacy battles, Schrems is already gearing up
to file multiple complaints when
the new rules finally take effect.
But even the Austrian campaigner
— who has fought Facebook in several European courts on and off for
almost a decade — is overwhelmed
by the complexity of the new
tools at his disposal. “I don’t know
where to start,” he told POLITICO.
Schrems is concerned that many
companies whose businesses do
not rely on harvesting people’s
online information will be caught
up in the regulatory burdens that
come hand in hand with Europe’s
new rules. For that, he blames the
tech industry’s lobbying, which he
says pushed lawmakers to make
the standards as indecipherable as
possible.
Schrems is also worried that
digital companies are already rewriting the standards as they see
fit. That includes making their
updated privacy policies overly
broad, allowing these firms to arbitrarily collect people’s information
without much regard to the new
constraints on such data-collection
practices.
“Even before it starts, they are
violating the rules,” Schrems said.
“The main question is how will
regulators react to these privacy
changes?”
Kids haven’t responded to my
GDPR requests so I don’t think
I’m legally allowed to tell them
when dinner’s on the table.
What idiot called it Data
Protection Law, and not
The Silence of the Spams?
— @mrdaveturner
— @SadFaceOtter
POLITICO 19
THE COMMISSIONER
V
Stephen Deadman
Věra Jourová
Katharina Lemke
Senator (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Facebook’s data protection officer
European commissioner for justice
German citizen
For decades, Markey has been on
the front lines of the privacy debate in Washington — animated,
he told POLITICO, by the idea that
as he helped to write U.S. legislation to aid the spread of technology, he also had a responsibility to
advocate for policies that protected
Americans’ data, which may also
have become exposed by these latest tech innovations. “It’s directionally excellent,”
Markey said when asked about Europe’s new privacy standard, “because it deals with the core issue of
receiving opt-in consent from the
consumer.”
For all the talk about how Europeans’ and Americans’ expectations on privacy may differ, these
transatlantic views, he says, overlap when it comes to control of
data. “The American people are
going to wonder why they’re getting second-class privacy,” Markey
added. “If American companies
can devise a way to create a privacy regime that is opt-in consent
for more than 400 million Europeans, they have a lot of explaining to
do to the 320 million people in the
United States.”
The new EU law, according to
Markey, will no doubt shape where
the U.S. privacy debate goes from
here: “You can’t tell the story of
what’s going to happen in America
without telling the story of what’s
about to happen in Europe.”
Even before the recent scandal
involving Facebook users’ data,
Deadman knew that the social
networking giant would be under
greater pressure than most to comply with Europe’s new data protection standards. The company had
a team of more than 300 lawyers,
coders and designers working for
more than two years on overhauling Facebook’s privacy settings,
though not all of these upgrades
will be offered to non-EU users.
“Because of the scrutiny we’re under, we’ve had to scrutinize all of
our processes,” he told POLITICO.
For Deadman, who serves as the
company’s executive in charge of
ensuring the company complies
with the new standards, Europe’s
privacy rules are more evolutionary than revolutionary. Many of
people’s new rights, including the
ability to pull consent from datacollection practices whenever they
choose, build on existing standards. One improvement, he adds,
is that only one European privacy
watchdog — not a series of often
warring EU agencies — will now
hold sole responsibility for how
Facebook and others comply with
the region’s privacy rules.
“In the past, there was uncertainty about who got to regulate
whom,” Deadman said. “Now,
there’s a clearly-established authority. That’s a good thing in the regulation because it makes things clear.”
Jourová has a simple message:
Europe’s new data protection
standards mark a cultural shift in
how people, and companies, view
privacy.
The recent Facebook data scandal, she adds, raised awareness
that many were blindly handing
over their information without
much thought. And with new
rules taking effect on Friday, the
EU justice commissioner acknowledges that it will take months, if
not years, before Europeans become comfortable with exercising arguably some of the most
wide-ranging rights anywhere in
the world.
“People will get used to the new
situation, they’ll become more
aware of what happens with their
data,” she said. “But that will take
time.”
The commissioner is aware that
her job does not finish on May 25.
Jourová said she will be actively
cajoling national lawmakers and
regulators to stay on track, particularly in countries that still have
not passed their own domestic versions of the new privacy rules.
Part of that role, she says, also
includes ensuring Europe’s new
standards are upheld in the same
way across the 28-member bloc.
“In some states, privacy is a political priority. But in others, people
are pretty relaxed about it,” she
said.
The first that Lemke, a higher education expert in Frankfurt, knew
about the upcoming privacy changes was the slew of emails she began
receiving from companies asking
her to opt in to their new data protection policies.
Like many Germans, she is more
conscious of protecting her privacy
than many other Europeans. But
even Lemke succumbed to using
services like WhatsApp, Twitter
and Facebook after initially trying
to wean herself off them. “I found
that I was missing out,” she told
POLITICO.
She is aware that Europe’s new
privacy standards will give her a
bigger say over how her information may be used, and Lemke has
been watching videos and reading
up online about what that could
mean for her. Yet with everything
going on in her life, the 30-year-old
doesn’t think she’ll have the time
to send requests to companies asking about how they use her digital
data, let alone file complaints to
stop the most egregious activities.
“When I get emails from companies, it’s lot of text and I usually
scroll over it and just accept the
policies,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity to protect my privacy,
but maybe it’s all too much.”
V
THE TECH EXECUTIVE
Ed Markey
THE U.S. LAWMAKER
Stephen
Deadman is
in charge of
Facebook’s
compliance with
the new privacy
standards.
“People will get
used to the new
situation,” says
Věra Jourová,
the EU justice
commissioner.
“But that will
take time.”
THE CONSUMER
Nancy Scola contributed reporting from
Washington.
V THE PRIVACY EXPERT
Trevor Hughes
President, International Association of Privacy Professionals Hughes, like many privacy professionals, has
spent the last two years dissecting Europe’s
new rules. But with days counting down to
their implementation, he is still struck by
how many unknowns there still are, particularly when it comes to enforcement. “There’s
just a lot that we don’t know,” he said.
As president of one of the world’s largest privacy trade groups, Hughes believes
the biggest change on May 25 will be how
companies and governments approach data
collection. Instead of indiscriminately vacu-
uming up people’s information, institutions
must soon become stewards fully accountable for how they collect, store and manage
data.
Hughes does fear, though, that the complexity of Europe’s new privacy standards
will make it tough for anyone without a deep
knowledge of the region’s data protection
rules to truly grasp these new relationships
that they have with so many companies.
“Consumers really don’t have the time to be
making all of these decisions,” he added.
He’s making a list; He’s checking it twice;
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice;
Santa Claus is in contravention of article 4 of the
General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679
My mum is leaving it awfully close to the
GDPR deadline to ask if I want to opt in
to receive her emails, calls and texts.
— @mutablejoe
— @sharonodea
20 POLITICO
OPTICS
MAY 24, 2018
Look familiar?
GDPR has been good for one thing, even before the regulations kick in on Friday: An honest look at just how many email lists you’re subscribed to.
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starts with an interview of Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Science, Research
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FEATURED SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
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MAY 24, 2018
POLITICO 21
Uber CEO warns tech companies
to take greater responsibility
Uber fought the state in
Europe — and lost. Now
its CEO is warning other
tech companies not to
go down the same risky
path.
BY MARK SCOTT
IN AMSTERDAM
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, has a simple message for the
tech industry: take greater responsibility or get ready for more regulation.
Uber knows what it’s talking about.
It learned the hard way.
Since taking over the mantle at
Uber last summer, Khosrowshahi
has been on a mission to clean up
the company’s act, play nice and start
getting along with governments, cities
and taxi associations that Uber once
regularly battled in court.
“While the digital companies build
platforms, they have to be more
aware of the power of the platform
and they have to be aware of the content within the platform,” Khosrowshahi told POLITICO. He has spent the
last nine months trying to rehabilitate
the company’s image with lawmakers across Europe, the United States
and elsewhere.
“If the shift doesn’t come from
the industry, then the government
will take over,” he added. “Regulators are going to play a part and it’s
their right to play a part. These are
important dialogues that are happening right now.”
His comments come as politicians,
regulators and the general public
grow increasingly wary of the central role that companies like Google,
Facebook and Uber play in people’s
daily lives, and how these digital ser-
vices — used by billions of individuals
each day — may now be used by digital tricksters and aggressive national
governments, notably Russia, to push
their own agendas.
Uber, whose ride-booking services
in Europe have faced a litany of legal
and regulatory charges, is similarly
looking to reinvent itself amid this
anti-tech backlash as a different kind
of tech company. Its efforts include
looking to build partnerships with cities and taxi associations across the
Continent, many of which have been
actively hostile to Uber’s presence in
the region. It’s contributing to clean
air initiatives and looking to emphasize its strengthened commitment to
passenger safety.
Khosrowshahi’s efforts to restyle
Uber’s image will not be easy.
Where Travis Kalanick, the company’s former chief executive who
was ousted in a boardroom spat
last year, was known for his brash
take-no-prisoners attitude, Uber’s
new boss has a reputation for being
more conciliatory, willing to listen
to others’ views.
Soft-spoken and sporting the dressdown uniform of Silicon Valley’s bestand-brightest, the U.S. executive, who
emigrated as a child to New York just
before the Iranian revolution in 1978,
comes across as earnest in his efforts
to revamp Uber.
But his ability to woo European
officials has yet to be tested.
UBER’S TAKE-NO-PRISONERS
ATTITUDE
There’s much that needs fixing.
Since the ride-booking service first
arrived in Europe in 2011, the company, whose valuation now reaches
roughly €61 billion, or larger than
almost all of the Continent’s publicly-listed tech companies, gained a
reputation for moving fast and asking questions later. Such strong-arm
tactics led to a series of stand-offs
with national politicians, who often
viewed the company as playing fast
and loose with local transport and
employment laws.
In London, one of the company’s
largest markets outside of the U.S.,
Uber, for example, will go to court
next month to overturn a decision by
local authorities to revoke its license
to operate in the British capital.
Uber’s new chief executive acknowledged that there had been mistakes in the past. But, he added, the
company was now looking to partner
with cities and even traditional taxi
associations — many of which have
led the legal challenges against Uber
across Europe — as part of the company’s efforts to rehabilitate its image
and expand across the region.
“We’re open to doing business
with cities in the way in which cities
want to do business,” Khosrowshahi
said. “We’re not going to be absolutist in our approach, we will adjust on
a local basis.”
As part of this overhaul, Uber announced Wednesday that it would
provide insurance for the roughly
150,000 independent drivers and
couriers in Europe who operate on
the company’s digital platform.
The program will begin on June
1, and Uber said it would cover the
additional costs — expected to run
into the millions of euros each year.
“We don’t think you deserve to
have first-class and second-class citizens,” Uber’s chief executive said.
“We think that you should have access to many of the universal rights
that people take for granted in Europe, including benefits and medical coverage.”
Uber’s move to provide employment insurance to its European drivers marks a shift after the company
fought a series of legal challenges
across the Continent and the U.S. to
give so-called “gig economy” workers, or individuals on short-term or
freelance contracts, greater employment rights. In November, the ridebooking service, for example, lost its
appeal in the United Kingdom that
said its drivers should be classified as
workers with a right to a minimum
wage. A California court made a similar ruling last month.
Dara
Khosrowshahi
has been on
a mission to
clean up Uber’s
act and have
the company
get along
with national
governments.
CULTURAL CHANGE
BRENDAN
SMIALOWSKI/AFP VIA
GETTY IMAGES
Khosrowshahi said that he had spent
much of his time as Uber’s boss trying to change the culture within the
company. Before his arrival in 2017,
a series of scandals, including accusations of sexual harassment and a
major data security breach that the
company tried to conceal, had tarnished its reputation globally.
“This was a company that had a
very particular culture that worked
for it during the unbelievable growth
years, during the startup phase,”
Uber’s chief executive acknowledged.
“But it was time for the culture to
change.”
He also said the company was
again looking to expand in Europe
as part of a revamped strategy to focus more broadly on different transportation options in cities, and not
just on cars. That shift comes as SoftBank, the Japanese multinational that
is Uber’s largest shareholder, told the
company to refocus on its core markets like the U.S. and Europe.
“If we’re going to be in Europe, we
need to be in Germany, Spain and,
hopefully, Italy as well,” said Khosrowshahi, who traveled to Paris on
Wednesday for a tech event organized
by Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, and is expected to visit Berlin
next month. “If you want to have a
voice in the debate, you first have to
engage. And for us, we want to engage in Germany. It won’t be perfect,
but it will be better.”
22 POLITICO
ONLINE INFLUENCE
Ireland’s
online
abortion
campaign
“We have a
completely
rudderless,
completely
unpoliced
situation
online
at the
moment.”
MP James
Lawless, who
belongs to the
Fianna Fáil party,
which lends
support to Prime
Minister Leo
Varadkar’s ruling
coalition
Facebook and Google
banned foreign ads,
but outsiders still carry
outsize influence
BY NAOMI O’LEARY
IN DUBLIN
A ban on foreign Facebook ads will
not keep activists like Mitch Peace
from running an international campaign to keep abortion illegal in Ireland.
The 23-year-old — who’s originally from the United States and took
up Irish citizenship in November
— is working with Facebook activists around the world to run a feed
that pumps out anti-abortion memes
ahead of Friday’s referendum.
The grassroots input for Peace’s
“Fact of the Day” group fits in with
more professional global efforts to
influence Ireland’s vote from the outside. Social media experts from the
United States are also helping Irish
campaigners fine-tune their online
outreach — a powerful tool in a country where more than a third of the
population checks social media daily.
The foreign help for campaigning in Ireland is ramping up despite
outcry against foreign influence on
social media, and a ban on foreign
aid for traditional campaigning. Facebook and Google both announced
this month that they were suspending
all foreign-funded ad campaigns; the
MAY 24, 2018
A mural in Dublin — based on a work by Banksy — urges a yes vote in this week’s
referendum to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, a subsection
that effectively outlaws abortion in the religious nation. ARTUR WIDAK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
latter ban extending to all advertising.
Yet none of those measures would
stop Peace from coordinating with
social media activists in the United
States, or outsiders from helping the
Irish via contributions in kind. Polls
suggest the side in favor of repealing
the ban is likely to win, but its lead
is narrowing.
MP James Lawless, who belongs
to the Fianna Fáil party, which lends
support to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s ruling coalition, says the time
has come for Ireland to start regulating how online platforms deal with
political content, and stop being satisfied with self-policing.
“We have a completely rudderless,
completely unpoliced situation online at the moment,” said Lawless,
who’s behind a bill to regulate political advertising online. Deciding rules
for political content “shouldn’t be up
to the companies. We need regulations.”
Some campaigners argue that social media campaigning is unlikely
to sway the final vote, as most Irish
people continue to get their news
from traditional sources.
But for Lawless and Peace, much
of the real political conversation has
now moved online to sites like Facebook and Twitter.
TARGETING THE UNDECIDED
Peace’s “Fact of the Day” feed is a
one-stop shop for anti-abortion material. One example from his page features a quote from English alt-right
vlogger Paul Joseph Watson, which
reads: “Your great-grandmother: 12
kids. Your grandmother: 6 kids. Your
mother: 2 kids. You: an abortion and
a dog.”
Such “meme” material — content
designed to go viral — can come from
anywhere. “A lot of people message
me trying to give me facts of the day,”
Peace, who works in a bank, said in a
phone interview. “A lot of reputable
people. There’s lawyers in there that
are sending me stuff. There’s doctors,
all sorts.”
Peace said he does not work directly with U.S. activists but is “wellconnected” with them and admires
their work. “I know people in America who are very well-known, across
the country. They’re doing great stuff.
I know a guy who single-handedly
closed down Planned Parenthood in
the whole of Kentucky,” he said, adding: “I’m not working with them but
I know them and we’ve learned a lot
from them.”
Ireland’s official campaigners are
also learning a lot from U.S. peers.
ProtectThe8th, an officially registered campaign group, run by the
anti-abortion group Family & Life,
got help from a Houston, Texasbased Catholic activist and marketing expert who calls himself Fuzati.
On April 23, Fuzati posted on Facebook: “We are here in Dublin with
Protect The Eighth this morning. Pray
for us! #warroomsessions.”
Fuzati did not respond to repeated
requests for comment.
A website titled “Undecided on the
8th,” in reference to the Irish constitution’s eighth amendment banning
abortion, cropped up in late April.
The pages were designed to identify and gather data on undecided
voters, who could then be targeted
with paid posts. Its campaigns were
designed to look neutral. It has since
been taken down.
“Yes? No? Unsure? Here are some
unbiased facts to consider before you
vote,” read one post under a picture
of a woman thinking.
Upon closer inspection, the facts
appeared to lean heavily against abortion rights. “The Supreme Court recently ruled that the right to life in
the 8th amendment is the only right
fetuses have under the Irish Constitution. So if the 8th Amendment is
removed, fetuses will have no constitutional rights whatsoever,” the
undecided8.org text read.
The website’s presentation was
similar to that of the Referendum
Commission, the official unaffiliated body overseeing the vote. While
nothing on the pages suggested who
was behind them, a website address
contained in the code of the undecided8.org page showed it was one
of several using the same account on
Leadpages, a digital marketing tool.
A search for that unique website
address revealed it had been used
in other social media campaigns.
The Facebook page “Ask a Catholic
Priest” used it to direct followers to
join U.S. religious order the Community of Saint John. Another Facebook page called The Catholic Church
used the same URL to direct Facebook
users to the website of the New York
Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.
Pre-roll ads, which play ahead of
videos on YouTube, on a channel run
by Protect the 8th initially instructed viewers to go to undecided8.org,
before being redirected to protecttheeight.ie. The pre-roll ad videos, all launched
April 28, were watched almost
700,000 times together before
Google announced all referendum
ads would be banned, including on
YouTube, on May 9.
Protect the 8th also declined to
answer requests for comment, but
in an email to supporters, the group
accused Google and Facebook of targeting the “No” side, which is against
repealing the ban, and appealed for
help. “With the internet giants trying to
shut down the Protect the 8th message, it is more urgent than ever
that we use every possible channel
to reach out to voters,” the email
reads. Other emails urge supporters
to donate to make campaign videos,
volunteer, and join their efforts on
Facebook.
The undecided8 website was taken
down April 29, but it may have already served its purpose: to gather
data on whom to target with online
advertising to push them from undecided toward a No vote in the last
days of the campaign.
‘WE NEED REGULATIONS’
Lawless, whose bill to regulate political advertising online is snaking
its way through parliament, called
Facebook and Google’s moves to stop
foreign ads “positive steps,” but insufficient.
“It’s certainly welcome, it certainly
makes sense and it’s a positive step,
but I think it’s far too little far too
late.”
According to the Transparent Referendum Initiative, which analyzes
social media activity during the campaign, foreign social activity boomed
in the weeks preceding the Facebook
and Google ban. Its analysis shows an
increase of about a third in social media advertising, with ads coming from
the United States, Canada, the United
Kingdom, and many pages with an
untraceable location, according to
co-founder Craig Dwyer.
Polls indicate a once-comfortable
lead for the Yes side has narrowed
significantly, with as much as a fifth
of voters undecided. The most recent
poll by the Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown showed Yes on 45
percent and No on 34 percent, with
18 percent undecided.
“Our electoral laws are completely
outdated, they do not reflect modern campaigning or advances in technology,” said Dwyer, who worked as
the social media director of the Yes
Equality campaign to legalize samesex marriage in Ireland in 2015.
“In the Trump and Brexit campaigns, it was only in the aftermath
that people started to question
whether social media had influenced
the outcome. What we’re trying to
do is to facilitate that conversation to
happen now, during the campaign, to
let people know that this is an issue.”
He welcomed the announcement
from Facebook but emphasized that
Ireland’s electoral laws need to be
reformed and social media advertising regulated.
“It’s not open and subject to scrutiny in the same way that posters,
billboards or the print media is, so
that’s where the issue lies.”
Gavin Sheridan contributed reporting.
NEWS
MAY 24, 2018
At right,
European
Parliament
President
Antonio Tajani
welcomes Mark
Zuckerberg to
the Brussels
institution.
JOHN THYS/AFP VIA
GETTY IMAGES
FACEBOOK
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
view of our responsibilities. That was
a mistake, and I’m sorry.”
The leaders of the Parliament’s political factions had prepared for the
encounter, hoping to corner the CEO
on specific issues including privacy,
competition and election manipulation. The tone of questions from the
start was much sharper, and much
harsher, than those that Zuckerberg
faced on Capitol Hill in Washington
a few months ago.
“Will you guarantee that no manipulation from foreign and hostile
interference ... on your platform
can happen?” asked Bullmann. “In
which way will you adapt your business model to make sure that doesn’t
happen?”
Zuckerberg responded: “We
weren’t prepared enough for the kind
of coordinated misinformation campaigns that we’re now aware of.” He
said applications like the ones used
by Cambridge Analytica were now
being more thoroughly checked before being granted access to users’
personal data.
Manfred Weber, leader of the center-right European People’s Party
group, came out swinging.
“It is time to discuss breaking the
Facebook monopoly,” he said, asking Zuckerberg to convince him that
the social network should not be broken up.
But the tech CEO, who divided
questions into themes that he could
address generally rather than one by
one, had an answer ready. Facebook,
he said, controls only 6 percent of the
global advertising market and faces
plenty of competitors, adding that
there are “18 million small businesses that use Facebook tools” to grow
their business.
The European lawmakers then
played their strongest card: Face-
Parliament’s leaders worked hard
to bring the social media boss to Brussels. Parliament President Antonio
Tajani had lobbied Facebook for
weeks to send its CEO but only last
week landed a confirmation.
Initially, Zuckerberg would speak
only behind closed doors, prompting a wave of protest from politicians
who argued that the event should be
public. Tajani tried to set the record
straight at the outset of the meeting.
“Today’s meeting is just a starting
point as we move towards a new form
of governance for platforms,” he said.
“We are the regulators.”
And yet, just minutes after the
meeting ended, Tajani faced criticism about the format he had negotiated, which many said did not
allow for proper scrutiny of the chief
executive responsible for a privacy
breach that affected millions of Europeans.
Jan Philipp Albrecht, a key lawmaker on data protection issues
who was invited to the meeting, said
Parliament should have insisted on a
question-and-answer format and “not
lengthy statements and a lengthy answer from Mr. Zuckerberg.”
But he added the tech CEO
wouldn’t agree to anything else.
Tajani told POLITICO that “it was
an open debate.”
“We need more answers in the
next days,” he said.
Pompeo says TrumpKim summit still on
GREECE
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
tion New Democracy party pointed
to the coming pension cuts, tax hikes
and the high levels of post-program
surveillance as proof of continued
austerity, stressing that the “additional fiscal measures” would cost
Greece around €5 billion.
The government’s claim that
Greece’s exit from the bailout program will be “clean” is “another dirty
lie of the government, to sweeten the
impending measures,” was how New
Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently put it.
book’s compliance, or otherwise,
with the European Union’s new privacy regime, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which enters
into force on Friday, and includes a
range of beefed-up protections and
safeguards.
“You have to remember that you’re
here in the EU where we created
GDPR,” said Claude Moraes, chairman of the civil liberties committee
that led the drafting of the bill.
Yet Zuckerberg wasted little time
explaining how his company would
comply with the rules. His answers
on GDPR lasted about three minutes.
POLITICO 23
Klaus Regling, managing director of the
European Stability Mechanism.
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
STRICTER CONDITIONS
“You need
a way to
stop the
Greeks
from going
back to
their old
ways.
They need
to stick
to their
reforms.”
Eurozone official
Eurozone diplomats working on
Greece’s post-program package are
adamant that the heavy demands
on Athens are warranted, following
years of political crises and broken
promises.
If anything, they’d like the restrictions to be stricter.
Eurozone diplomats close to the
talks are wary that more Greek drama could re-emerge from the current
or a future government, which they
fear might be tempted to dismantle
everything that’s been achieved in
the last eight years.
The ESM’s managing director,
Klaus Regling, has expressed concerns behind closed doors that reforms put in place during the program will be rolled back after it’s over.
“Greece will look for as much independence from this [exit],” another
eurozone diplomat said. “[But] if the
markets reject them, they’ll be back
in a program.”
The Syriza-led government, facing
a new election next year, is eager to
portray the end of the program as a
full break from its creditors.
“There is neither a bailout extension nor a fake exit, a non-clean or a
dirty exit — call it anything you want —
in sight,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras told his party’s lawmakers last
month. “There is a clear completion
[of the program], a clean exit.”
The government has already re-
buffed calls by ECB President Mario
Draghi that it take a precautionary
credit line. That would have provided a financial safety net should the
government encounter unexpected
expenses, but it would have come
with unspecified “policy conditions,”
according to the ESM.
DEBT RELIEF
Greece’s creditors are also pushing
to include new conditions as part of
a negotiation over debt relief.
In an attempt to make Athens’
debt more sustainable, countries
like France and Italy have proposed
putting in place a program in which
the country’s debt burden would automatically be lowered if its economy
runs into trouble.
That has raised fears among other
creditor countries that future Greek
governments might deliberately sabotage the country’s economy to reduce
its debt pile.
While Italy, France and the IMF
seem ready to accept offering this
type of debt relief without condition,
Germany, Finland and the Netherlands are insisting that Athens accept
measures that would ensure it does
everything in its power to maintain
growth.
“You need a way to stop the Greeks
from going back to their old ways,”
a third eurozone official said. “They
need to stick to their reforms.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Secretary of state spoke
about the preparations
during an appearance
before a congressional
committee
BY NAHAL TOOSI
IN WASHINGTON
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says
President Donald Trump’s meeting
with North Korean leader Kim Jong
Un is “still scheduled for June 12,” despite suggestions by Trump that the
historic gathering could be delayed.
Pompeo spoke about the preparations on Wednesday morning during
an appearance before the U.S. House
foreign affairs committee. He said
the U.S. will push Pyongyang for an
agreement that will lead toward “the
complete, verifiable denuclearization
of the Korean peninsula.”
ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES
“We’re optimistic that we can
achieve an outcome that will be great
for the world,” Pompeo said.
On Tuesday, alongside visiting
South Korean president Moon Jaein, Trump sowed doubts about the
meeting, which is supposed to be
held in Singapore.
“It may not work out for June 12,”
Trump said. “If it doesn’t happen,
maybe it will happen later.”
Pompeo sounded more optimistic.
He has met on at least two occasions
with Kim. The secretary of state told
lawmakers that the reclusive North
Korean leader wants to improve his
country’s brittle economy and that
he is eager for Western investment.
But the two sides have many difficult issues to work through before
an agreement can be reached. One
major sticking point is that North Korea has generally defined denuclearization of the peninsula as involving the removal of U.S. troops from
South Korea.
24 POLITICO
FORUM
MAY 24, 2018
A ‘ H E R E T I C ’ I N T H E VAT I C A N
Despite
Pope Francis’
unflagging
demeanor, there
are signs that
the personal
attacks may be
wearing him
down.
ANDREAS SOLARO/
AFP VIA GETTY
IMAGES
Pope Francis faces pushback from the church’s arch-conservatives
BY HANNAH ROBERTS
IN ROME
“They call me a heretic.” Not the
words you’d expect to hear from
the head of the Roman Catholic
Church. But that’s what Pope Francis told a group of fellow Jesuits in
Chile earlier this year, acknowledging the fierce pushback from archconservatives in the Vatican.
Celebrated by progressives
around the world for his push to
update and liberalize aspects of
church doctrine, Francis is facing
fierce blowback from traditionalists
who take issue with his openness
to Muslim migrants, his concern
for the environment and his softer
tone on divorce, cohabitation and
homosexuality. Opposition has be-
come so heated that some advisers
are warning him to tread carefully
to avoid a “schism” in the church.
Father Thomas Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops’ committee on doctrine, has
accused Francis of causing “theological anarchy.” Another group of
bishops has warned Francis risks
spreading “a plague of divorce.”
Last fall, more than 200 scholars
and priests signed a letter accusing
Francis of spreading heresy. “This
was not something I did lightly,”
Father John Rice, a parish priest
in Shaftesbury in the U.K. said,
claiming the pope’s liberal push
has caused “much division and disagreement, and sadness and confusion in the church.”
“It’s not merciful to let people
continue to sin and say nothing,”
Rice said. “If you see a child trying
to put his hand in a fire you say
stop.”
On becoming Pope, Francis
set a new tone by setting up his
headquarters in a humble guesthouse for priests rather than the
grand apostolic palace — a gesture
of humility that carried with it an
implied criticism of past excesses.
He also did away with the system
of automatically giving a cardinal’s
hat to bishops in certain posts.
Conservatives have been irked by
some of his more liberal stances.
In 2015, Francis ordered every
parish to host two refugee families. And last week, in his most
explicit acceptance of homosexuality yet, he told a gay Catholic
that God had made him that way
and that his sexuality “does not
matter.”
The focus of most traditionalist
dissent has been Francis’ Amoris
Laetitia, an “apostolic exhortation”
— a type of papal communication
— in which he called for a “merciful” approach to divorcees and
opened the door for those living
with new partners to take communion with their priest’s permission.
By rendering doctrine more
ambiguous, Francis is effectively
undermining the church’s authority and reducing the role of priests
to that of companion and advisers
to their parishioners — a thorny issue that dates back to the Vatican
II reforms of the 1960s, according to one diplomat. “The battle is
between [loyalty to retired Pope]
Benedict, vestments, liturgy and
rules, and Pope Francis, who
wants priests to use their own judg-
POLITICO 25
ment and humanity in their reading of individual situations,” the
diplomat said.
The shift may seem like small
beer to non-Catholics — and Francis’ suggestions are already the
practice among many priests.
But the changes have become
the touch-paper for conservative
dissent, enflaming mutterings of
disapproval into open mutiny. The
Vatican’s conservative flank is increasingly taking action.
The rebellion has grown to
include not just arch-conservatives but also more middle-of-theroad Catholics who adhere to the
church’s teachings on abortion and
marriage and resent Francis’ flexible approach.
At a conference on “the limits
of papal authority” in Rome last
month, Cardinal Raymond Burke,
one of the key figures leading the
charge against Francis, reminded
the audience the pope’s power is
not “magical.” If a pope has “deviated from the faith” he “must as a
duty, be disobeyed,” said Burke.
DEVIATING FROM DOCTRINE is
bad enough. But Francis is also
under fire from the Vatican’s civil
service, known as the Roman Curia. With John Paul II ill for the last
10 years of his life and Benedict
XVI little inclined to engage in matters of the mundane, the Curia was
used to running itself, said David
Willey, author of “The Promise of
Francis.” For close to 20 years, the
Vatican was “rudderless.”
The Curia Francis inherited was
riddled with financial irregularities,
and inclined to lobbies and leaks.
Cardinal Bertone, the pope’s No. 2
when he took over in 2013, called
it “a nest of vipers and crows” after
he was sacked. “There are factions,
pockets of opposition,” said Willey.
“It’s a very cliquey organization.”
In trying to make the Curia more
service-minded, Francis has also
repeatedly berated its members for
their careerism and ambition. “He
has been very tough on the Curia
— too tough really,” according to a
former Vatican consultant. “Most
are very educated, trying to do the
right thing, and they have been disappointed by that.”
“Like any huge bureaucracy, the
Vatican is set in its ways,” said Lord
Patten of Barnes, a former chairman of the BBC who led a committee commissioned by the pope to
identify potential reforms in the
Curia’s communications departments.
He was warned of the sensitivity of the job when he took it on,
he said: “I was told ‘It’s like peeling
an onion, you have to go a skin at
a time.’ But in my opinion if you
peel an onion like that you end
up crying.” Although he initially
expressed frustration at the lack of
progress, Patten now says Francis cannot be expected to run the
Vatican “like the chief executive of
McKinsey’s.”
To others, Francis has not been
firm enough in his resolve to reform the Curia. Campaigner Marie
Collins, who was recruited to advise the Vatican in tackling its clerical abuse scandal, resigned earlier
this year, citing a lack of decisive
action by Francis and the strength
of resistance to some reforms. “We
were told, ‘This is our business,
we’ve been doing it for years,’” she
said.
The Curia, Collins said, resented
the fact that her committee was
independent and reported to Francis directly: “They did not want
outsiders, with lay people and
women, judging them. There is a
culture of clericalism: Lay people
are not respected.”
Meanwhile, many liberals in
the church are frustrated because
change hasn’t gone far or fast
enough. Francis promised to put
women in positions of power, but
his appointments so far — such
as his nomination of a woman as
director of the Vatican Museums
— have been timid. Neither were
progressives impressed by the Vatican’s decision to block the former
Irish President Mary McAleese
from speaking at a conference on
women last month. The decision,
they said, reflected poorly on Francis.
When the conference was eventually moved outside the Vatican,
McAleese was vocal about her
displeasure about the arrangement, calling the Vatican “a male
bastion of patronizing platitudes to
which Pope Francis has added his
own quota.” The Church, she said,
is limited to “recycled thinking
among a hermetically sealed, cozy,
male clerical elite.”
FRANCIS APPEARS TO BE under
siege. But many describe him as a
canny political operator, and doubt
he’ll buckle under the pressure.
“I don’t think a political innocent
could be a senior Jesuit, run a huge
diocese in Argentina and be pope,”
Patten said.
Francis is a “master strategist” who achieves his agenda “by
stealth and cunning,” according
to the diplomatic observer. He
prefers shuffling people around
rather than directly confronting
or sacking them. But he has on
occasion shown that he doesn’t
shy away from direct conflict and
has successfully faced down challenges to his authority, instigated
by Burke, from the Order of Malta.
“He doesn’t back down, he is re-
ally tough and steely,” the observer
said.
Last week, after meeting and
apologizing to victims of sexual
abuse by priests in Chile, Francis
summoned the county’s entire conference to Rome, rebuking them
so severely that they resigned en
masse. Close allies claim Francis is
not worried about public disagreement. “He tries to draw [dissenters] into the open. He thinks that’s
healthy,” a person close to the
pope said. “But some of it is coming from a very bitter place.”
Some, such as long-term Vatican
watcher Massimo Franco, claim
that the “crows” that crippled
Benedict and shaped the poisonous end of his reign have returned
— and are behind a string of recent
attacks on Francis’ allies. Figures
close to the pope have been linked
to a series of scandals, which,
some claim, are intended to discredit Francis and make his regime
look as chaotic and dysfunctional
as his predecessor’s.
The most frequent targets are
those charged with tackling the
Vatican’s murky finances. A vice
director was sacked in November
for “administrative violations,” and
a month later, a letter in which
the bank’s director appeared to
confess to wrongdoing was sent
to clerics and staff. (He denied
writing the letter and rejected its
contents.)
The outspoken and bullish Cardinal George Pell — who had taken
it upon himself to clean up the
church’s finances — is also currently facing trial in Australia over allegations of sexual abuse. Cardinal
Oscar Maradiaga, the coordinator
of a powerful group of cardinals
who advise Francis on reform, was
accused of drawing €35,000 euros
a month from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa, Honduras — a
major blow to the pope’s vision of
a church for the poor.
Not everybody — even on Francis’ side — is convinced that the
charges are entirely without warrant. “Talk of a plot is overblown,”
said one senior member of the
Curia. “We need to ask, did these
accusations have substance, rather
than assume they are a conspiracy.”
Despite Francis’ unflagging demeanor, there are signs that the
personal attacks may be wearing him down. He has said that he
avoids engaging with online haters
for his own “mental health.”
The fight, and the threat of a
schism, won’t end with his death
or retirement. For some faithful, he
represents longed-for change and
reform. “There is so much enthusiasm from the grassroots,” said a
close ally. “Anyone trying to wind
the clock back would find themselves alone in the church.”
But if Francis fails to ensure a
liberal succession before he’s gone,
his conservative opposition could
yet prevail.
A pope’s real power lies in his
mandate to appoint the cardinals
who will vote in his successor, and
there too Francis has been making
strides. In June, he will hand out 14
new red hats, including three to key
collaborators. At that point he will
have selected 47 percent of the 125
voter-cardinals eligible to choose
his successor, just shy of a majority.
If Francis can hold on for several more years until he can rally
enough cardinals, he may be able
to guarantee that his legacy is
not lost. “It’s a numbers game,”
said Willey.
Hannah Roberts is a British freelance
foreign correspondent and producer based
in Rome.
If Francis
can hold on
for several
more years
until he
can rally
enough
cardinals,
he may
be able to
guarantee
that his
legacy is
not lost.
26 POLITICO
OPINION
MAY 24, 2018
CHINA’S
DIGITAL
RISE IS NOT
INEVITABLE
ANDREA
ZORZETTO
is a graduate
student in digital,
new technology
and public policy
at Sciences Po,
and the director
of Poliferie, an
Italian NGO that
fights urban
inequalities.
While
China’s
rate of
economic
growth
is still
very high
relative
to other
leading
nations,
social
divisions
in the
country
between
rich and
poor are
widening.
PHOTO BY CHANDAN
KHANNA/AFP VIA
GETTY IMAGES
Its success has been
spectacular. But
instability looms.
BEIJING
iven China’s rapid emergence as a powerhouse of
digital innovation, it’s easy
to see why some are worried the
West will soon be outpaced and fall
behind.
They needn’t be so alarmed. The
road ahead for Beijing is likely to
become far rockier, as an explosive
mix of economic, social and political issues threatens to derail its
progress in the years ahead.
European doomsday prophecies aside, China’s domination on
the global stage is not inevitable
— rising inequality and social divisions could still easily undo its
advances.
China developed so quickly that
it is now grappling with many of
the same issues that plague most
advanced economies — with the
difference that it still has a relatively low average income and significant poverty levels in the countryside.
To be sure, the Asian giant’s success has been spectacular. Only five
years ago, China was considered a
“copycat.” Today, it is competing
directly with the U.S. in developing
the key technologies of the future.
With more than 700 million
internet users, China is the biggest digital market in the world. Its
internet giants, above all Tencent
and Alibaba, operate in countless
sectors and have access to an incredibly varied amount of data as
a result. And in the platform economy, data is more important than
the algorithms themselves — meaning China is sitting on a goldmine.
Take facial recognition. With
obvious interest from the government, which owns an enormous
network of cameras around the
country, and with users’ enthusiasm in using the technology, China
has made fast progress. A Chinese
facial recognition company is currently the world’s most valuable AI
startup at a record $3 billion valuation.
Meanwhile, China has paradoxically benefited from having had
to play technological catch-up. A
wide range of services are not as efficient in China as they are in Western countries, increasing demand
among users for better services
G
powered by digital technologies.
China never developed a widespread payment system based on
credit cards, for example. This
made businesses and consumers
quick to embrace mobile payment
systems such as Wechat Pay and
Alipay. The annual volume of digital payments in China in 2016 was
11 times greater than in the U.S.
This is the perfect environment
for “leapfrogging” — skipping a
few stages to get to the innovation
frontier.
But as Western countries have
experienced first-hand, not everyone benefits from technological
change.
After a long surge in average
wages, Chinese firms are heavily
investing in automation. Manufacturing giant Foxconn, which puts
together many of the world’s most
popular electronic devices, including iPhones, is gradually replacing
most of its workers with robots.
An economy that relies on cheap
labor is just as much at risk of technological unemployment as in the
West. Historical precedents show
that even if Beijing manages to
make the Fourth Industrial Revolution work for its population, the
economic transition is bound to be
painful.
As its economy develops, China
also faces the momentous challenge of shifting its economic engine to domestic consumption, at
a time when its population is aging
even more rapidly than in many
rich countries. No economy in history has escaped the downturns
involved in this type of structural
transformation.
And while China’s rate of economic growth is still very high relative to other leading nations, social
divisions in the country between
rich and poor are widening.
Urban residents enjoy the privileges of China’s progress, but rural
migrants still have very limited
access to services in the main cities. At the same time, skyrocketing
housing prices and the steep decrease in the value of a university
degree due to the growing number
of graduates make life much harder
for the average educated millennial
than for the previous generation.
As the pace of technological
change accelerates, inequality is
likely to increase even further as it
has in the West.
The economic and social challenges of China’s rapid digitalization is compounded by the fact that
its era of reforms and openness is
coming to an end as President Xi
Jinping continues to concentrate
power and crack down on dissent.
Some argue that these changes
will make it easier to manage an increasingly unstable country. But as
Carl Minzner, an expert in Chinese
law and governance, has argued, it
is far more likely that rolling back
the institutionalization and balance of power established in the
past four decades will undermine
China’s progress. As freedom of
opinion becomes limited, dissent
often becomes radicalized.
The downsides of technological change are making the need for
reform more and more acute. But
Xi appears more concerned with
his own political ambition and efforts to cling to power. He is creating a pressure cooker atmosphere
among his detractors in civil society that, sooner or later, will erupt.
To be the world’s technology
powerhouse, a country needs
peace and prosperity, as was the
case in Britain and the U.S. when
they made their great industrial
leaps.
Far from the unstoppable global
force the West makes it out to be,
Beijing is facing major potential
economic, social and political instability. Paradoxically, its rapid
digitalization exacerbates these
risks and is likely to accelerate its
trajectory toward the crisis that
throws it off course.
POLITICO 27
TECH COMPANIES
AREN’T THE ENEMY
Regulators need their
expertise when crafting
laws that will last
C
ould you help me fix my
printer while you’re here?
That was the punchline making the rounds on Twitter and social media following Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the
U.S. Congress in the wake of the
Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Mr. Zuckerberg has since appeared
before the European Parliament.
Aside from broader questions
about the right to privacy, the hearing in Congress highlighted an obvious flaw in the legislative process:
For all their political and oratory
skills, many politicians lack crucial
technical expertise. As policy becomes more complex and struggles
to keep up with rapid advances in
the tech world, this could become
a major blind spot.
To be sure, some politicians
have a great depth of knowledge
on the issue of data and the internet. Some even know the difference between pseudonymization
and anonymization — or between
the right to be forgotten and the
right to deletion. The EU is a leading voice in the goal of protecting
its citizens, and should be proud of
the rollout of its new privacy standards, the General Data Protection
Regulation (GDPR).
But technology is developing so
HELGA
STEVENS
is a Belgian
politician and
member of
the European
Parliament,
where she is the
data protection
spokesperson
for the European
Conservatives
and Reformists
Group.
The public
has a
crucial role
to play in
ensuring
their data
is properly
protected.
PHOTO VIA ISTOCK
quickly that some experts are already raising concerns that certain
elements of the EU’s new regulation — which is set to enter into
force on May 25 — will be difficult
to implement due to new advances.
Politicians find themselves in a
constant push and pull between
the need to regulate the use and
protection of personal data, and
the need to allow innovation to
flourish. We are reticent to regulate technology that is still under
development, but also wary of letting businesses exploit loopholes in
outdated regulation.
It’s a tough balancing act, and
one made even more difficult by
the pace of change. Keeping up
with new developments in the tech
world is a full-time job in itself.
To avoid creating regulation
that is outpaced by technology, we
need to craft laws that are based on
principles that encourage privacy.
But in order to get those principles
right, politicians have to understand the minutiae of what they are
regulating.
That’s why we need tech companies to be part of the discussion.
We are most likely to succeed if
we work hand in hand with those
whose full-time job it is to develop
and create the technology we are
trying to regulate.
Software developers and social
media companies need to have a
seat at the table when we discuss
the future of regulating the internet
— and not just at the beginning of
the process, but throughout. That’s
our best hope of reconciling the
conflict between boosting innovation and protecting personal data.
Politicians need to acknowledge
the gaps in our technical knowledge and the benefit of working
alongside experts. We also need
to be honest with the public and
make clear that good legislation
will only have a limited effect if citizens don’t also take on an element
of personal responsibility.
The public has a crucial role to
play in ensuring their data is properly protected. They need to realize that for all the fun and frivolity
of social media, the constant blogging, retweeting, checking in and
Instagramming has serious implications for the use of their data.
The government can legislate to
prevent data theft and demand fair
treatment when it occurs — as it
does for the theft of physical property — but the individual needs to
take responsibility for protecting it
in the first place.
Consumers need to read the
terms and conditions, and understand what it means when they tick
a box on a screen. The goal of data
protection rules is not to allow users to be passive but to give them
the tools to empower themselves.
The recent Facebook data
breach scandal has taught us that
trust is the most vital ingredient
in any business model, and that
politicians don’t have all the answers when it comes to legislating
cutting-edge technology.
In a world where Margrethe Vestager is almost a household name,
it’s clear that the politics, glitz and daily substance of antitrust are big
news.
From the inner workings of DG COMP to cartels, mergers, national
competition battles and more, Competition Pro maps out the complex
competition landscape, identifying trends and indicators of storms to
come.
CONTACT US AT PRO@POLITICO.EU TO REQUEST A TRIAL
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