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Sovereign Europe

Newsletter on European Topics

February 2021


Newsletter on European topics, February 2021

Bertelsmann Stiftung's Newsletter on European topics


Tech Matters


Policy Brief

Fit for the digital age: The EU’s approach to regulating AI

The European Commission’s strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) was released just a few weeks before the global pandemic hit the continent. We set out how AI can help to guide us through it - and back on the path of economic recovery. More


Policy Brief

From Scale to Purpose: How the EU supports its tech startups

With the global race for tech dominance and digital sovereignty set to intensify, we look at what the EU is doing to strengthen its fledgling but ambitious startup sector.  More


Europe’s Economy


Policy Brief

European Stability Mechanism: Time to come home

As the Eurogroup sets its sights on reforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), we explain how lessons from the pandemic can serve to drop old plans and fully reinvent it. More


Policy Paper

Banking crisis: Prepare for the worst

Amid a severe health, social and economic crisis, banks are back on the political agenda. We explain why decision-makers are worried, set out the existing crisis management framework and address its shortcomings. More


Policy Brief

Sustainable Finance: Getting serious about going green

The European sustainable finance regulatory agenda of 2018 set out to increase transparency on climate risks. We argue that the next step is to incorporate them in the risk models and capital requirements of banks, pensions funds and insurance firms. More



Skilled-worker shortage: Germany and the benefits of migration

As the pandemic rages, companies in Germany are looking for skilled workers. We set out how migration can help to mitigate the effects of demographic change. German only, English abstract: More


Democracy and Values



Public goods and the distribution of competences in the EU

Public goods bring together the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity in EU law. We show how they can act as a point of reference for the distribution of competences between the EU and its member states. More


eupinions brief

What Europeans want from EU democracy

Brexit showed us what can happen when dissatisfaction with the EU and its perceived democratic deficit reaches an extreme. Our December 2020 poll of the 27 EU member states plus the UK paints a more positive picture of the health of European democracy. More


eupinions study

The role of empathy in European public opinion

During the Euro crisis of 2008, the blaming others was an obstacle to pragmatic crisis management. Our survey shows that things are different this time round, with strong popular support for a joint European approach to fighting the pandemic. More



Small country, great innovation: The Irish Citizens' Assembly

The Irish Citizens’ Assembly has reinvigorated democracy by giving citizens a greater say. We describe how an innovative combination of representative, deliberative and direct participation is a recipe for success. More



EU Commissioners in Citizens' Dialogue

Last autumn, one hundred randomly selected citizens from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Lithuania discussed making Europe more democratic, greener and digital. EU Commissioners Margrethe Vestager and Virginijus Sinkevičius were not the only ones impressed with the outcome. More


Global Europe



Brexit: UK-EU trade will suffer no matter what

Despite the last-minute trade deal, the UK has lost the benefits of EU membership. We look back at the Brexit process -  and forward to how EU-UK relations might evolve from here. More


Project News

The European Neighbourhood Policy 2021: new momentum for the south

The EU wants its policies in the southern Mediterranean to be more dynamic in aiming for a ”democratic, more stable, greener and more prosperous Southern Neighbourhood”. We analyse these objectives against the backdrop of new socio-economic problems resulting from the pandemic. More


Policy Brief

Covid-19: A new era of closer cooperation between the EU and its neighbours?

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the EU’s more immediate neighbours could become alternative production sites for at least some of the goods now supplied by China and India. We weigh the pros and cons of such a development. More



Africa: Exploring new partnerships on migration policy

Last autumn, the European Commission presented a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”, intended as a basis for future cooperation with the African Union and African states. We invited 50 representatives from politics, academia, civil society and organizations representing the African diaspora to assess it. More

Our earlier Policy Brief “Giving fresh impetus to Germany’s collaboration with Africa on migration” provides useful background information. More



Developing countries: A shock to the global system

The sharp economic downturn caused by the pandemic has created a crisis like no other. We argue that advanced economies need to overcome national reflexes and help developing countries. More



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We appreciate your questions and suggestions:


Jake Benford

Program Europe´s Future


Bertelsmann Stiftung

Werderscher Markt 6

10117 Berlin


Phone: +49 30 275788-157

Fax +49 5241 81-681302




The Bertelsmann Stiftung, based in Gütersloh, Germany, is a nonprofit, private

operating foundation in accordance with Section 1 of North Rhine-Westphalia's Foundation Law.

The district government of Detmold serves as its supervisory authority.

Founder: Reinhard Mohn

Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner J. Bauer

Executive Board: Dr. Ralph Heck (Chairman), Dr. Brigitte Mohn, Prof. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer