2021 Year Look Ahead
Remembering Guido Goldman (1937-2020)
Transatlantic bridge builder

As the founder of the German Marshall Fund, Guido Goldman played a transcendent role in strengthening transatlantic relations between the United States and Europe.

It is our hope that his vision will continue to serve as inspiration—in our own era and beyond—for the
principles of democracy, human rights, and international cooperation that he so championed and cherished.

We invite you to watch this moving tribute to him.

2021 Look Ahead

Happy New Year!

In this new year, we look forward to sharing business, governance, and policy updates from the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Thank you for your interest in the Blue Star Brief.

We invite you to follow us on social media and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

In the United States...

  • Tomorrow, January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. Inauguration Day marks the commencement of the four-year term for Mr. Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president. Typically, the new President and Vice President take their oath of office at a public ceremony attended by thousands. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the attempted insurrection, the in-person audience will be limited to Members of the 117th U.S. Congress, former presidents and vice presidents, and some selected VIPs.

  • Inauguration Day, the day the U.S. demonstrates to the world its peaceful transition of power, will take place amid unprecedented events and an ongoing attempt to overturn the 2020 election results that culminated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

  • With the Capitol secured and numerous insurrectionists arrested and charged, President Trump became the only president ever to be impeached twice when the U.S. House of Representatives on January 13 adopted by a bipartisan vote a single article of impeachment accusing the president of "Incitement of Insurrection"—for encouraging the Capitol riot to overturn Mr. Biden’s election win. The Article of Impeachment will be transferred to the Senate where a trial on the charges will be scheduled.

  • The 2021 inauguration marks the culmination of President-elect Biden's transition that began on November 3, 2020. While the sitting president typically invites the president-elect to the White House, President Trump has not invited President-elect Biden and will not attend his Inauguration. Mr. Trump's decision breaks with a 150-year-old tradition. Vice President Mike Pence will attend inauguration as will former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton and former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton. More than 25,000 National Guardsmen from multiple states will provide security in Washington, DC throughout the week. The mayor of the District of Columbia is asking area residents and tourists to avoid the city during inauguration.

  • The U.S. presidential transition period is a complex and important process. The President-elect appoints a "Presidential Transition Team" during the campaign to prepare for a smooth transfer of power following the presidential inauguration. United States law also requires the incumbent president to establish "Transition Councils" to facilitate the transfer of executive power. During the transition, President-elect Biden also appointed and nominated White House staff and Members of his Cabinet who await Senate confirmation.

  • The 2020 U.S. elections resulted in the election of 435 Members of the House of Representatives, 35 Members to the Senate (only one third of the Senate is elected every two years), 13 State and territorial governors, and state legislatures. The Democratic Party retained its majority in the House and captured control of the Senate with the tie-breaking vote of the Vice President.

  • The newly installed 117th Congress convened on January 3, 2021 and will end its tenure on January 3, 2023. It will be led by:
    • Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
    • Senate Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
    • Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California)
    • House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California)

  • Some Congressional Committee chairs have been selected, including:
    Senate: Democratic Chairs
    • Appropriations — Patrick Leahy, Vermont
    • Armed Services — Jack Reed, Rhode Island
    • Banking — Sherrod Brown, Ohio
    • Finance — Ron Wyden, Oregon
    • Foreign Relations — Bob Menendez, New Jersey
House: Democratic Chairs
  • Appropriations Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut
  • Foreign Affairs — Gregory Meeks, New York

  • The incoming Biden Administration will begin by issuing several key Executive Orders, including: repealing the travel ban on U.S. entry for citizens of some majority-Muslim countries; rejoining the Paris climate agreement; halting evictions and foreclosures and pausing federal student loan payments; implementing a mask-wearing mandate on federal property and for inter-state travel; and reuniting families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, the Biden Administration will govern using a robust and integrated policy process to determine the best approach to achieving its four key objectives: combatting COVID-19; economic recovery; racial equity; and addressing climate change.

  • In his first year in office, President-elect Biden has pledged to organize and host a global "Summit for Democracy" bringing together the world’s democracies to discuss strengthening democratic institutions and forging a common agenda to confront shared challenges. Mr. Biden’s vision on foreign policy centers on elevating diplomacy as a tool for U.S. global engagement; restoring and "reimagining" America’s historic multilateral partnerships such NATO and the Summit of the Americas; renewing U.S. commitments to arms control; and rallying the world to address the climate crisis.

  • Key upcoming dates and deadlines include*:
    • 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...

  • Portugal and Slovenia will each hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first and second halves of 2021, respectively. The Portuguese presidency’s objective is to deliver "a fair, green and digital recovery" with three fundamental priorities: promoting an economic and social recovery based on climate and digital transitions, developing the EU social pillar (with a social summit held in Porto in May), and reinforcing the strategic autonomy of the EU. It will also have to deal with the vaccination campaign throughout Europe.

  • Europe will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) treaty, which was the first step of the EU construction.

  • European states will have until April 30 to submit their stimulus plan to the European Commission.

  • The UEFA Euro 2020, the European football tournament which was supposed to happen in June 2020, will finally be held across the continent from June 11.

  • As Italy hosts the presidency of the G20, the G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in Rome on October 30-31. Alongside the European Commission, the Italian Presidency will also host the G20 Global Health Summit in Rome on May 21, in order to tackle the major challenges linked to the health crisis.

  • The COP26 climate summit will be held in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1.

  • 2021 will also be the European Year of Rail.

  • Among the key elections set to take place in Europe in 2021 include:
    • Portugal presidential election on January 24
    • Catalonia regional election on February 14
    • Albania parliamentary election on April 25
    • Netherlands general election on March 15-17
    • Bulgaria parliamentary elections on March 28
    • Scotland and Wales parliamentary elections & English local polls May 6
    • Cyprus parliamentary elections on May 23
    • Norway parliamentary elections on September 13
    • Russia parliamentary and local elections on September 19
    • Germany parliamentary elections on September 26
    • Czech Republic parliamentary election on October 8–9

In France...

  • The next One Planet Summit will be held in Marseille (South of France) on January 11, and will be dedicated to biodiversity issues.

  • In June 2021, France will hold regional and local elections ("élections régionales et départementales"). Initially planned in March 2021, the elections were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • May 15 will be the 200th anniversary of French Emperor Napoleon’s death.

  • The VivaTech show dedicated to start-ups and technology will be held in Paris on June 17.

  • The Africa-France Summit is supposed to be held in the city of Montpellier by the end of the year, as the 2020 summit was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • The topics of focus likely to be debated in French Parliament this year include ecology, security, and administrative organization as well as pensions:
    • The climate bill resulting from the Citizen’s Climate Convention will be examined in Parliament during the first half of 2021.
    • The budget bill and the health budget bill for 2022 will be examined and voted during the last quarter of 2021.
    • President Emmanuel Macron also promised a constitutional revision in order to include within the French Constitution the fight against climate change.

In Latin America and the Caribbean...

  • Mexico was elected to the United Nations Security Council and began its two-year term on January 1, 2021.

  • The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) incoming chairman, Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to assume role of incoming chairman for the six month term beginning January 2021.

  • United Kingdom/Caribbean Forum will be held the first quarter of 2021 to assess CARIFORUM/UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) under which trade has been conducted since the start of 2021.

  • Singapore plans to sign a free trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance (PASFTA) in 2021, which consists of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will hold its annual meeting of the Board of Governors on March 17th-21st in Barranquilla, Colombia.

  • The United States is due to host the Summit of the Americas in 2021, although this date has yet to be confirmed.

  • Peru will celebrate its bicentennial on July 28, 2021, celebrating two hundred years since Peru’s proclamation of Independence.

  • United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will be held October 3rd- 8th, 2021 in Barbados.

  • Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua will celebrate their shared bicentennial on September 15th, 2021, marking two hundred years since independence from Spain in 1821.

  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting will be held virtually the week of November 8th, 2021.

  • Key Elections and Referendums taking place in the region in 2021 include:
    • Ecuador’s presidential and congressional election on February 7, 2021, which will feature a record number of presidential candidates as incumbent president Lenín Moreno will not seek reelection.
    • El Salvador’s municipal and legislative elections on February 28, 2021.
    • Curacao’s Parliamentary elections on March 19, 2021.
    • Peru’s presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections on April 11, 2021. There are 130 seats up for election in Congress and 25 regional gubernatorial elections.
    • Chilean voters will select the 155 individuals to draft the new constitution on April 11, 2021, with a second constitutional referendum scheduled for 2022.
    • Haiti’s constitutional referendum on April 25, 2021.
    • Mexico’s gubernatorial, legislative and congressional midterms on June 6, 2021 will be the largest elections in the history of Mexico, with twenty-one thousand federal seats up for election.
    • The Cayman Islands parliamentary elections on May 26, 2021.
    • Saint Lucia’s parliamentary elections in June 2021.
    • Haiti’s parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on September 19, 2021.
    • Aruba’s parliamentary elections in September 2021.
    • Argentina’s midterm elections on October 24, 2021 will elect half of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, and a third of the Senate, the upper house.
    • Honduras’ presidential and congressional elections in November 2021.
    • Nicaragua’s presidential and legislative elections on November 7, 2021, which has been widely condemned as an election in name only after the National Assembly passed a law that would give incumbent Daniel Ortega the power to unilaterally declare citizens as terrorists and ban them from running as candidates.
    • Chile's presidential and congressional elections on November 21, 2021.


  • NATO Summit, Brussels (Date TBD)
  • U.S.-EU Summit, Brussels (Date TBD)
  • Summit for Democracy, Washington (Date TBD)
  • Munich Security Conference, Germany (Date TBD)
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15, Kunming, China (May 17–30)
  • World Economic Forum Special Annual Meeting, Singapore (May 18-21)
  • G7 Summit, United Kingdom (Summer)
  • WTO Ministerial Conference, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (Date TBD)
  • Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference, New York (August)
  • Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF, Washington, DC (April 9-11)
  • UN General Assembly, New York (September 14–30)
  • G20 Summit, Rome (October 30–31)
  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP26, Glasgow (Nov. 1–12)
  • Key dates for trade events in 2021 to remember,

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

The Blue Star Strategies Team


Copyright © Blue Star Strategies, LLC

Send Feedback

FAQ    |    Our Team     
|     Impact     |     Contact     |     Mail Preferences     |     Subscribe

Blue Star Strategies, LLC
Solving the complex problems facing today’s
lobal businesses, governments, and organizations.

Washington, DC | Brussels | Buenos Aires | Paris | Vienna

Want to change how you receive these emails?

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign