What’s the biggest priority facing EU Public Affairs this September?
We still do not really know how lobbying works without face to face meetings. Zoom is fine to keep contact with the people you know already, but making new connections in the digital only – working from home world is the big challenge. I also wonder how this is going to change the balance of power between the institutions, and whether some legislative dossiers will simply grind to a halt – because that unexpected meeting in a corridor, or a chat over a cup of coffee, does not happen.
Which EU leader has had the best 2020 so far?
In the EU institutions, probably Frans Timmermans – his European Green Deal has the funding in place, with the Financial Perspective for the next seven years now more or less set. At a national level, Angela Merkel – a calm head through COVID, and pulling her party back up to highs it has not seen for 5 years in the polls.
If you were giving gold stars, where would you post them?
Are they stars off the EU flag? If so then 10 Downing Street maybe. Greetings from the EU, where economically and in terms of COVID response, things are a lot better than in London. And Johnson needs something to give to the toddler.
Tell us one surprising fact…
There are not going to be any more Brexit diagrams. Probably. (If this does not make any sense, see: https://jonworth.eu/brexitdiagram-series-4/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/world/europe/brexit-flowchart-confusion.html )
What is the survey you would like to conduct? or What is the finding or information fact you would like to establish?
A question on my mind throughout lockdown has been how our transport systems have to be very different in the future – not only post-COVID, but due to the climate crisis we face. I’d like to work out what is really stopping more business travellers taking trains rather than planes cross border in the EU. The tracks are there, the journey times are good for routes like Frankfurt-Paris, Stockholm-Copenhagen or Amsterdam-Paris, but thousands used to fly these routes – how do we stop these people getting back on planes, medium term?
What are you reading?
“Chaos Monkeys” – Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio García Martínez.
LinkedIn or Twitter for you?
Twitter. I’m a news junkie.
Who do you follow?
My account (@jonworth) follows almost 14000 others! So let’s narrow it down a bit…
The EU and Brexit people I really rate are on my Twitter lists:
Twitter allows you to tap into extraordinary knowledge in politics that would never otherwise be available to you. These people have helped me enormously in that respect!
- Chris Grey @chrisgreybrexit
- Jean-Claude Piris @piris_jc
- Susie Symes @susiesymes)
- Monique Goyens @moniquegoyens
Jon Worth is a contributing author to How to Work with the EU Institutions: A Practical Guide to Successful Public Affairs in the EU