Articles by Alessandra Baldacchino on the GC Blog and GC analysis
The European Commission’s new legal guidance on the participation of third country bidders in the EU procurement market sends an important signal. It signals that greater reciprocity in public procurement will be an important element of Brussels’ industrial policy agenda. As I set out in a recent GC paper, the commission is demonstrating that it is unafraid to put words into action.
The European Commission’s decision to block the merger of Siemens and Alstom has triggered a new phase in the debate on European industrial policy. Wary of conceding its own prerogatives on competition to Paris and Berlin, the commission has proposed a range of alternative tools, including a renewed push for the International Procurement Instrument (IPI). Like last year’s new EU foreign investment screening framework, this is an idea that has been around for a while, but whose political time may now have come. In theory, the IPI would add an important new tool to the EU’s growing set of defensive mechanisms on Chinese trade and investment, allowing Brussels to penalise bidders for EU public procurement contracts from jurisdictions determined to be providing less-than-reciprocal market access in this area. Will it be adopted? And if it is adopted, will it ever be used?
The initial promise of the internet age was for a free and open space to exchange information. However the advent of algorithm-driven content raises important questions about what we see, how much we share a common information landscape and the reliability of what we rely on for news.
The ubiquity of social media platforms is raising increasing concern within the UK government, resulting in urgent calls for more scrutiny on technology companies - this time on child protection. In the past weeks, the chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS), Simon Stevens, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and culture secretary, Matt Hancock, have all spoken out about the need to protect children against the alleged harmful mental health effects of social media platforms.
Facebook’s recent decision to run newspaper adverts promoting the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which enters into force today, have raised some eyebrows. It is, of course, interesting to see one of the world’s largest technology companies resorting to old fashioned long-copy. The more pertinent question is how well it is likely to work and what it suggests about the next tactical moves for big tech in general.