It’s not just business, it’s the future of European sovereignty

future-of-european-sovereignty

Surely the scene is familiar to you. To give a gift, the discounts or just in daily life, we turn to e-commerce, so comfortable and tempting in these strange times when crowds make us feel apprehensive. And once we decide to buy ‘online’, the most reliable alternative is Amazon, with its huge offer, competitive prices and, above all, its efficient delivery system.

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Post-holiday business blues and the future of European sovereignty

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The Christmas holidays are over, extended in Spain to Three Kings Day, and the yearly ritual now heads directly to the sales season. A few years back it was a big social and economic event; now, in part because of the effect from Black Friday, it’s lost some relevance but is still marked on the calendar in red for many businesses.

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The battle for local businesses as a symbol of European digital sovereignty

battle-for-local-commerce

Should it be of interest, we are reproducing an article written by our president, Ricardo Rodríguez Contreras, in the Spanish newspaper El Economista, about our ‘Save your zone’ campaign.

All you have to do is walk down the shopping streets of any Spanish city to verify a reality: the lock downs and restrictions to fight the pandemic have put nearby businesses on the edge of a cliff. According to the Spanish Trade Confederation (CEC), some 67,500 establishments, 15% of the total, have already closed forever. And in the short term, almost 50,000 more could fall, estimates the same source. One in four businesses could disappear in just one year. 

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‘Save your zone’: A campaign going beyond local business

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Since the end of November, the European Association for Digital Transition has been doing the ’save your zone’ campaign in the four leading economies of the European Union – Spain, France, Italy and Germany. With this initiative, we are looking to defend nearby stores during a Christmas season that, for many businesses, will decide their survival. 

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After the US launch of Amazon Pharmacy, is Europe next?

amazon-pharmacy

Amazon’s announcement last week that it was launching its own online pharmacy not only shook the US drugs market but also raised questions here in Europe. The online retail giant has already reshaped the shopping and shipping landscape. Now, it plans to enter the prescription and over the counter medicine market worth the equivalent of €260 billion in the US alone.

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OK, Amazon is too powerful. What should we do?

amazon-is-too-powerful

Amazon was born in 1994 as a bookstore, because it was clear to Jeff Bezos that book sales were a perfect fit for e-commerce. The founder of Amazon developed the right idea at the right time, and the rest is an impressive story of business success: Amazon is worth more than a trillion and a half dollars on the stock exchange today. To give some context, this is a figure that far exceeds the combined GDP of Spain and Portugal.

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#saveyourzone: we call on European mayors to defend local business against e-commerce giants

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It is the decisive moment of the year for businesses with the arrival of  ‘Black Friday’ and the Christmas celebrations. But here, too, 2020 is different: for many European businesses, whether they close the year better or worse over the coming weeks isn’t what’s at stake. What’s at stake, frankly, is their survival. If they do not perform well, they will shutter the windows forever, impoverishing the social and economic fabric of European cities. 

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The European Recovery Plan and Digitalization: urgency mustn’t distract from the essentials

european-recovery-plan

The serious discrepancies between the European Parliament and the Council, chaired this six-month period by Germany, confirm what was already felt: It will not be easy to implement the historic EU post-COVID reconstruction agreement, closed last July by the heads of government. This is bad news for everyone, but especially for the countries most in need of this shot of investment, such as Italy and Spain. 

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Beyond Bitcoin and Libra: The European Commission regulates the expansion of crypto assets

beyond-bitcoin

It’s been 12 years since Bitcoin was born, and with it the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies, digital assets not issued by any central authority and transacted through blockchain technology. In these 12 years, Bitcoin has experienced dramatic swings in value, becoming established as a high-risk speculative item – in the last 12 months it has been revalued by 20% – but not as a commonly used currency. 

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Trump, Biden, and What Won’t Change Regarding the ‘Big Tech’ Companies

trump-biden

For years, the big American technology companies have grown without too many regulatory impediments to the point of becoming global mastodons. Thanks to attractive products and services that respond to market demand, with loose or directly non-existent regulations in some areas, and wrapped in the American dream aura of the entrepreneur in their garage who becomes a billionaire, the big Silicon Valley companies have achieved such a powerful market position that many consider them de facto monopolies. 

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