This week, Bocconi University had the privilege of hosting the T20 Summit, a 3-day conference in preparation for the G20 Heads of State and Government Meeting that will be held in Rome it the end of the month. Among the speakers were the Secretary General of the UN, the managing director of the UN and several ministers of the Italian government. In other news, the first malaria vaccine approved by the WHO, the Nobel Prizes, the resignation of the Austrian Chancellor over corruption investigation and a French independent report unveiling the truth about sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church.
As the most prominent world leaders prepare to meet for the G20 Heads of State and Government Meeting in Rome on October 30th-31st in what will be the culmination of Italy’s 2021 G20 Presidency, Bocconi University, in collaboration with the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), had the opportunity to host the T20 (THINK20) Summit this week, which is the official engagement group of the G20. It is considered one of the most important events in the lead-up to the meeting between the G20 Heads of States and Government, as most of the topics discussed enter the G20’s agenda for the following year.
For this year’s edition, the 3-day summit featured interventions from representatives of major international organizations including United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, ministers of the Italian Government including Minister of Finance Daniele Franco and Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, and various global experts on various subject areas, including Bocconi Economics Professor Tito Boeri. Among the other speakers have been Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the general director of the WHO; Lawrence H. Summers, President emeritus Harvard University; Mario Monti, Bocconi President, and other Italian Ministers Vittorio Colao and Roberto Cingolani.
The purpose of the conference was to aid the G20 country leaders in understanding what are the areas of interest that need to be addressed in order to get past the socio-economic effects of the pandemic and to suggest viable and sustainable methods to do so. Tra i Leoni was there for the entire conference, with four of our members rotating during the 3-day Conference that took place between Monday and Wednesday, and as a detailed and complete overview of what was discussed is being prepared, we all agreed that a huge component of our future will depend on the extent to which the proposals that were advanced during the T20 will become a reality. You can find out more about the conference, including video recordings of some of the contributions of the guests, here.
Around the World
Facebook’s apps went down for more than 5 hours. On Monday, for more than 5 hours, the Facebook-owned social media services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram ceased working in the majority of the world due to an error in the connection to various servers worldwide. Although the services were eventually normally restored, the outage was a planetary-scale demonstration of how essential the company’s services have become for daily life, in ways that go far beyond picture-sharing and chatting but regard the spheres of business, politics and news-sharing.
The first malaria vaccine was approved by W.H.O. In a move that has been described as “historic”, last week the World Health Organization approved a vaccine against malaria, which is estimated to still be responsible for 500,000 deaths every year, especially in sub-Saharian Africa, the majority of them children under 5. WHO’s approval of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine should initiate a process of distribution of the vaccine to poor countries that will save the lives of thousands.
In Venice, high-tech tracking of tourists stirs alarm. The municipality of Venice is planning to install gates at key entry points of the city next summer. Those coming for a daytrip will have to book in advance and pay a fee to enter the city, and they might be denied entry if there is too much demand. Venice already uses surveillance cameras and cellphone data to monitor visitors and detect unwanted crowds. Dario Franceschini, the culture minister of Italy, called the gates “invasive”.
A French report casts new light on sexual abuses in the Catholic Church. An independent commission set up at the request of the Roman Catholic Church in France estimated that over 200,000 minors were abused by the clergy between 1950 and now in France alone. The 2500-page report by the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church laid out in detail how the church hierarchy repeatedly silenced the victims over the decades and failed to report or discipline the clergy members involved.
EU indecision is “jeopardising” its position in Balkans. At the annual Balkan-EU summit that was held on Wednesday in Slovenia, once again no clear and uniform position regarding the possibility of allowing Western Balkan countries, particularly the former Yugoslav republics that are not yet part of the Union, was built. Despite Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen’s remark that they “want the Western Balkans in the European Union”, there seems to be no consensus as to when or how that will happen. The last enlargement of the European Union, which occurred in 2013, involved the annexation of Croatia, the only country from the area besides Slovenia that has so far joined the Union, despite all the others, notably Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, having repeatedly attempted to do the same over the past years.
Facebook hid research to avoid regulation, a whistle-blower reported to the US Congress. Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, claimed in front of the U.S. Senate commerce committee that the company repeatedly chose to maximize online engagement even as that exacerbated addiction and the spread of misinformation.
Polish court rules EU laws incompatible with its constitution. Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that some provisions of EU treaties and EU court rulings conflict with the country’s constitution. The European Commission reacted with strong words, reasserting that “EU law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions” and that rulings by the European court of justice are “binding on all member state’s authorities, including national courts”. The ruling of the Polish constitutional tribunal is seen as a major step towards a “legal Polexit”, which might profoundly affect the movements of EU funds to Poland and Poland-EU relations.
Moscow’s EU envoy urged Europe to fix ties to avoid gas shortages. Russia’s envoy to the EU called on Europe to fix its relationship with the country to avoid future gas shortages but stressed that Russia has no responsibility in the current crunch. The move was seen as inevitable by analysts, as Mr. Putin’s government is trying to take advantage of the country’s position now that Europe desperately needs more gas.
U.S. troops have been deployed in Taiwan for at least a year. U.S. troops have been training Taiwanese forces for at least a year, in an effort by the U.S. to strengthen the island’s military and prepare it to face an eventual invasion. The U.S. claimed that the billion dollars in weaponry sold to the local government were not enough, and that Taipei has badly neglected its defence in the recent past. The Chinese government said it could be ready to invade the island by 2025.
Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov. A Filippino citizen, the former co-founded a digital media company for investigative journalism that exposed Duterte’s government’s corruption and wrongdoings. The latter, a Russian citizen, has resisted intimidations and kept the independent line of the newspaper he edits, Novaya Gazeta.
OECD countries reached a deal on taxation of multinational enterprises. An international agreement sponsored by the OECD was reached between 136 countries setting a minimum tax rate for multinational enterprises at 15%. The deal also aims at making it harder for such enterprises to avoid taxation. The breakthrough deal was reached shortly after Ireland, a longtime opponent, agreed to get on board.
Latin American democracy is in poor but surprisingly stable health. The latest Latinobarómetro poll revealed that democracy is the preferred form of government for less than half of the respondents. While support for authoritarian government is low, at 13%, more than a quarter of the respondents reported indifference to the political regime of their country, up from 16% in 2010. The indifference was seen to be more prevalent among younger people, especially those of the upper classes.
Austrian Chancellor Kurz resigns over corruption probe. Just days after being named as a suspect in the investigation by state prosecutors into grand corruption at the heart of the Austrian government dating back to 2017 and 2018, 35-year-old Sebastian Kurz has resigned from his role as Austrian Chancellor. Despite denying any wrongdoing, Kurz decided to take a step back from office while the investigation clarifies what exactly happened and who was responsible, making it clear, however, that he has no intention of leaving Austrian Politics. Alexander Schallenberg, the current Foreign Minister, is to take over as Chancellor.
An explosion in an Afghan mosque killed 46 people. An explosion in a Shite Mosque on Friday in Northern Afghanistan left 46 killed and 143 wounded, a Taliban official said. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the action.
Elezioni amministrative 2021, al centrosinistra Milano, Napoli e Bologna al primo turno. Le elezioni amministrative per i sindaci di centinaia di comuni italiani e per il presidente della regione Calabria che si sono tenute lo scorso weekend hanno visto il centrosinistra ottenere un risultato nettamente superiore alle aspettative, con vittorie al primo turno a Milano, Napoli e Bologna e un ballottaggio quantomento abbordabile a Roma e a Torino. Il centrodestra ha vinto in Calabria e a Trieste. I ballottaggi si terrano questo finesettimana.
Premio Nobel per la Fisica all’italiano Giorgio Parisi, Klaus Hasselmann, Syukuro Manabe. Questa settimana, è stato assegnato il premio Nobel per la Fisica del 2021 e tra i recipienti c’è anche Giorgio Parisi, 73enne professore ordinario alla Sapienza di Roma, il quale è stato selezionato “per la scoperta dell’interazione tra disordine e fluttuazioni nei sistemi fisici, dalla scala atomica a quella planetaria”.
Gli scontri a Roma. Sabato mattina, intorno alle 12, alcuni gruppi legati a Forza Nuova hanno provato a sfondare il cordone della polizia a protezione del Parlamento e di Palazzo Chigi, sede del governo. Sono le stesse persone che qualche ora più tardi, alle 17.30, durante la manifestazione vera e propria, sono riuscite a indirizzare un pezzo del corteo verso la sede nazionale del CGIL. Decine di persone sono entrate e arrivate fino al quarto piano, spaccando tutto quello che incrociavano.
Riforma fiscale, ok Cdm senza Lega. Riordino catasto, Draghi: «Tasse non cambiano». È composta da 10 articoli la bozza di delega al governo per la revisione del sistema fiscale, che è stata prima discussa in una riunione della cabina di regia, alla quale hanno partecipato il premier Mario Draghi, il ministro dell’Economia Daniele Franco e i capi delegazione delle forze politiche che sostengono l’esecutivo, e poi approvata dal Consiglio dei ministri, al quale però non hanno partecipato i ministri della Lega. Nella delega compare infatti anche un articolo per la modernizzazione degli strumenti di mappatura degli immobili e la revisione del catasto di fabbricati, soluzione su cui però il Carroccio è contrario.
During the last week, Bocconi has hosted, in presence, the graduation ceremonies for the undergraduate students that have completed their studies last July. The campus, in the last weekend, therefore, has been filled with the typical red gowns and flowers, as well as celebrations for the end of the three-year study period in Bocconi!
Over the past 18 months, the world’s economy was subjected to multiple shocks, both when the pandemic-induced closures contracted the global economy and when the governments of various countries, to address such contractions, injected trillions of dollars in the economy to stimulate growth. As demand is now rising furiously once again in response to a seeming mitigation of the pandemic, we must ask ourselves whether the supply will be able to keep up without giving up too many shortages. The Economist, for its cover story of this week’s edition, attempts to respond exactly to that question. You can find their full analysis here.
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Gabriele Bernard ha scritto sulla serie di richieste referendarie, tra cui le più discusse sono quelle riguardanti l’eutanasia legale e la legalizzazione della cannabis, che è stata al centro del dibattito pubblico nelle ultime settimane. Ha analizzato la situazione attuale focalizzando sull’introduzione della possibilità di svolgere la raccolta firme digitalmente.
Cansu Süt wrote about the event “A Masterclass with Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful”, whose participants were four of the most important and influential figures in fashion journalism. They explored many themes including diversity, digitalization, and brand identity.
Sergiu Lazar conducted an interview with Bocconi alumnus Annamaria Lusardi, who is currently a professor at George Washington University School of Business and the director of the Financial Education Committee in Italy.
For the TiL Rundown column, Liepa Seskeviciute examined the current state of French Politics ahead of the very uncertain Presidential elections that will be held in April, 2022, focusing in particular on the consequences of the clash between the center and the right-wing candidates, who as of right new are seemingly the most likely to have a shot at office.