#BlueStarBrief December 2021

This Month in the #BlueStarBrief

2022 French Presidency of the Council of the EU

Employment in Latin America: Education, Pandemic, & Technological Change

EU Recovery Funding in Central & Eastern Europe

Gabriel Zinny Meets 2021 Global Teacher Prize Winner

Karen Tramontano on Trade, Biden Presidency, & Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

And more...

France's 2022 Presidency of the Council of the EU

By Étienne Bodard and Mathilde Defarges

This December, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a marathon speech to present his country’s priorities for the six-month French presidency of the Council of the EU that will start on 1 January 2022. Under the motto "Recovery, Power, Belonging", President Macron presented three pillars: "A new European model," "EU Sovereignty," and "A more humane Europe."

The French president seems undaunted as he encouraged Europeans to think beyond 2022 and imagine a new European model for 2030.

Click here to read.

Employment in Latin America:
Education, Pandemic, & Technological Change

By Gabriel Sánchez Zinny

About 70% of jobs in Latin America are informal. The data, released in a recent study by the International Labor Organization, is overwhelming. This is the reality for millions of Latin Americans who are immersed in the difficulties of informal employment, people who cannot save for retirement, nor do they have maternity or sick leave, and they are a long way from having any kind of health coverage. In other words, they cannot exercise their most basic labor rights.

It is imperative that we put the quality employment debate at the forefront of the public policy agenda in Latin America, especially after COVID-19, which has increased poverty and informality in the region.

Click here to read.

EU Recovery Funding in Central & Eastern Europe:
Opportunities & Risks for International Investors

By Kesarev, Guest Firm Contributor

Kesarev is a public affairs advisory firm with focus on Central and Eastern Europe.

The European Union has started rolling out its major economic stimulus package as it looks to drive the post-pandemic recovery of its member states across the next decade. To do so, the EU will provide €750 billion in grants and loans to inject momentum and direction into key policy initiatives with particular focus on the green energy and digital sectors.

In this context, Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries are all looking to benefit from the EU's recovery funding facility, however three crucial CEE markets—Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland—have yet to receive approval from Brussels to access the funds. This comes at a time when Budapest and Warsaw are embroiled in crucial political debates with the EU that will define whether the two countries will receive EU recovery support.

Click here to read.

Gabriel Zinny Meets 2021 Global Teacher Prize Winner

Gabriel Sánchez Zinny met with Keishia Thorpe, 2021 winner of the Global Teacher Prize, an annual distinction awarded by the London-based Varkey Foundation. The award is known as the "Nobel Prize" of teaching.

Ms. Thorpe, an English teacher at the International High School at Langley Park in Bladensburg, Maryland, has dedicated her life to mentoring immigrant students on their path to higher education, working tirelessly to find ways for low-income and minority students to access the necessary tools to support their pursuit of quality education.

Gabriel, who previously served as Minister of Education for the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a strong education advocate, met with Ms. Thorpe to talk about her story and her plans to continue working towards a future where access to quality education is the norm.

Karen Tramontano Speaks on International Trade,
Biden Presidency, & Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

Karen Tramontano was a featured speaker at three recent global events:


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