2020 Year Look Ahead
2020 Look Ahead

Happy New Year!

As we begin the new year, we look forward to sharing updates of our business, governance, and policy work in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and beyond.

In the United States...

  • On December 18, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald for abuse of power and obstruction of Congresssetting the stage for a trial by the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is required to remove the president from office. The Senate trial will begin after the House transmits its articles of impeachment to the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled that she will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate this week. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside at the Senate trial, where the formal impeachment trial proceedings will likely begin on January 21.

  • The U.S. holds national elections in 2020: Voters will head to the polls on November 3rd to elect 435 Members to the House of Representatives, 35 Members to the Senate (only one third of the Senate is elected every two years), and the President of the United States. Thirteen State and territorial governorships and state and local elections will be held.

  • In the campaign for the U.S. presidency, incumbent Donald Trump is the Republican party's presumed nominee. The Democratic party's nominee has not been selected as there remain 12 candidates vying for the party's nomination. The 2020 Democratic party debates will take place on January 14, February 7, February 19, and February 25, with the final two debate dates pending. Only those candidates meeting the Democratic party's specific polling and donor criteria will participate.

  • To determine the Democratic party's nominee for president, States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories will conduct a series of electoral contests (called caucuses and primaries) from February to June in which voters will choose their preferred candidate. The first four contests are scheduled as:
    • Iowa caucuses — on February 3
    • New Hampshire primary — on February 11
    • Nevada caucuses — on February 22
    • South Carolina primary — on February 29

  • The Democratic and Republican political conventions will take place July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, respectively—at which each party's nominee will be formally selected. The winner of the November 3rd election is scheduled to be inaugurated as president on January 20, 2021.

  • In the 116th U.S. Congress, among the major public policy issues likely to be debated in 2020 include the future of the Affordable Health Care Act; regulation of technology giants such as Facebook, Google, and Apple; trade negotiations with the UK and China; and environmental policy.

  • Key upcoming dates and deadlines include*:
    • February 4 — President's State of the Union address
    • February 4 President submits budget to Congress
    • February 15 Congressional Budget Office submits report on economic and budget outlook to Budget Committees
    • Six weeks after President's budget is submitted Committees submit reports on views and estimates to respective Budget Committee
    • April 1 Senate Budget Committee reports budget resolution
    • April 15 Congress completes action on budget resolution
    • June 10 House Appropriations Committee reports last regular appropriations bill
    • June 30 House completes action on regular appropriations bills and any required reconciliation legislation
    • July 15 President submits mid-session review of budget to Congress
    • October 1 Fiscal year 2020 begins
      *NCSL: Federal Budget Process

In Europe...

  • The European Commission for 2019-2024 was approved on November 27, 2019 by the European Parliament during the plenary session in Strasbourg. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission, presented the new EU’s priorities and ambitions set out in the political guidelines:
    • A European Green Deal, that includes the adoption of legislative and non-legislative measures to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent.
    • An economy that works for people, that includes the creation of private-public fund specializing in Initial Public Offerings of SMEs, the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and of the Banking Union, the adoption of an action plan to fully implement the European Pillar of Social Rights.
    • A Europe fit for the digital age, that includes the adoption of a legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of Artificial intelligence, and the adoption of a digital services act.
    • Promoting the European way of life, that includes the proposal of a New Pact on Migration and Asylum (including the relaunch of Dublin reform of asylum rules).
    • A stronger Europe in the world, that includes the establishment of a "fair trade agenda" (including the push for reforming the WTO), the launch of a comprehensive strategy on Africa, the reaffirmation of the European perspective of the Western Balkans and the implementation of a European Defense Union.
    • A new push for European democracy, that includes the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the increasement of the cooperation of between the Commission and the European Parliament (more implication of the EP at all stages of all international negotiations, respect of the Question Hour which is the regular debate between the two institutions).

  • Concerning Brexit, the UK is due to leave the EU on January 31, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. However, both the UK Parliament and the European Parliament must first approved the agreement. Following its departure, the UK will enter a transition period until December 31, in which it will still follow all the EU's rules and regulations, it will remain in the single market and the customs union, and the free movement of people will continue. Until June 30, the UK can still demand to extend the transition period up to 1 or 2 years. Before the end of the transition period, the UK and the EU might agree and ratify a trade deal.

  • Croatia and Germany will each hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first and second halves of 2020, respectively. The main two priorities of the Croatian presidency are a "Europe that protects", meaning that the presidency will focus on internal security and external borders issues, and "an influential Europe", through which the presidency will specifically focus on the EU neighbourhood policy and on the enlargement process. The main priority of the German presidency will be digital transformation.

  • Among the key elections set to take place in Europe in 2019 include:

    • Croatia presidential election on January 5
    • Slovakia parliamentary election on February 29 o Poland presidential election in May (date TBC)
    • Serbia parliamentary election on April 26
    • Lithuania parliamentary election on October 11 and 25
    • Romania parliamentary election in December (date TBC)
    • Croatia parliamentary election on December 23
    • Ireland (potential) legislative elections on February 7 or 14

In France...

  • The 2020 edition of the Choose France Summit is expected to be held on January 20, the day before the annual World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland). The 2019 edition gathered more than 150 of some of the world’s most influential CEOs, an opportunity to re-emphasize that France’s economic image is improving and so is its attractiveness.

  • The Paris International Agricultural Show will be held from February 22 to March 1.

  • Local elections (« élections municipales ») will be held on March 15 (first round) and March 22 (second round).

  • The 2020 edition of the Africa-France Summit for sustainable cities and regions will be held in Bordeaux from June 4 to 6.

  • Emmanuel Macron will welcome leaders from all over Africa, along with their ministerial delegations and mayors, local authorities, businesses and civil society organizations from France and Africa. The subjects of transport infrastructure, waste processing, environmentally friendly agriculture and access to healthcare, education, culture and sport will all be addressed.

  • France will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII on May 8th.

  • The IUCN World Conservation Congress will be held in Marseille from June 11 to 19.

  • The second referendum on the independence of New Caledonia will be held on September 6.

  • The senatorial elections are assumed to take place on September 28 (TBC).

  • The Mondial Paris Motor Show will be held from October 1 to 11.

  • The topics of focus likely to be debated in French Parliament this year include health, education, ecology, social justice and innovation:
    • The audiovisual reform bill will be examined in Parliament during the first half of 2020.
    • The pluriannual programing bill for research will be presented in early 2020.
    • The pension reform bill will be voted in Parliament during the Summer.
    • The budget bill and the health budget bill for 2021 will be examined and voted during the last quarter of 2020.
    • France’s constitutional revision, which has been delayed by the Yellow Vest movement and by the contestations following the pension reform bill, is still pending.

In Latin America and the Caribbean...

  • The Senate is expected to vote on USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement), a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in early 2020. The USMCA was first approved in the House of Representatives on December 19, 2019.

  • The new Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) will be elected on March 20 and will take office in May 2020.

  • Selection for the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will begin from March 16-22 at its annual governors meeting in Barranquilla, Colombia. The selection should be completed by September 2020. The IDB and IDB Invest will hold their annual meetings in Barranquilla from March 18-22.

  • The Co-operative Republic of Guyana was elected to serve as Chair of the Group of 77 (G77) and China for 2020.

  • Chile assumed the Presidency of the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration bloc comprised of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

  • Among the key elections set to take place in the region in 2020 include:

    • Peru: Legislative elections will be held on January 26.
    • St. Kitts and Nevis: No election date has been announced but General Elections are due by February.
    • Guyana: General and regional elections will be held on March 2.
    • Chile: Constitutional referendum will be held on April 26.
    • Bolivia: General election will be held on May 3.
    • Dominican Republic: General elections will be held on May 17.
    • Suriname: General election will be held on May 25.
    • Belize: Elections will be held in November 2020.
    • Venezuela: TBA legislative elections due in 2020.
    • Trinidad and Tobago: TBA (probably later in 2020 in December or January).
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines: TBA toward the end of 2020 ahead of the constitutionally due date in 2021.


  • World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland – January 21-24
  • NATO Summit at Camp David, United States – TBD
  • Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC – April 13-19
  • G7 Summit at Camp David, United States – June 10-12
  • UN General Assembly in New York City September 15-30
  • G20 Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – November 21-22

And finally, ten anniversaries of note for 2020...

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With our best regards and sincerest wishes for a happy, healthy, safe, and successful year ahead,

The Blue Star Strategies Team


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