Trade, Economics & Finance

Do We Need Data Donations?

In the age of Big Data, do we need new "data ethics" in healthcare? What could be the cornerstones of such ethics? The medical ethicists and chairwoman of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), Professor Christiane Woopen, Executive Director of the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health (CERES), shares her position. (Foto: Reiner Zensen) View

eHealth - Tele-Monitoring and Tele-Medicine - Digital Innovation in the Life Science Sector in Germany

Dr. Wolfgang Rehmann discusses a wide range of legal topics associated with the tele-medical services offered, ranging from regulatory analysis of the devices used in tele-medicine and questions with respect to data protection and professional law for physicians to liability legislation. View

Digitalisation - Top Priority for the Health Care Industry

Dr. Kai Bindseil from Berlin Partner GmbH provides an overview of developments within the digital healthcare sector in the German capital region Berlin-Brandenburg - one of Europe’s most attractive life science and healthcare locations. While today’s focus is a regional one, it has global implications. View

Improving Elderly Care with Technology

Dr. Oliver Hüfner discusses how sufficient care for the elderly has been a major societal problem for many years. However, with advancements in technology, we have the potential to eliminate this problem. Standard smart home technology can transform an ordinary home into a caring home, helping its elderly inhabitants to stay there longer. View

A Laboratory in Your Pocket

Jennifer M Radin, Eric J Topol, Kristian G Andersen and Steven R Steinhubl discuss how rapid, point-of-care (POC) identification of pathogens could help efforts to control and manage infectious diseases. New techniques have enabled the development of mobile POC genomics-based diagnostic tests, which have the potential to provide faster throughput, simplify use, reduce costs, and improve portability. View

Assistive AI-Technologies Will Help Healthcare Providers Put the Patient First

Florian Bontrup argues that innovation in general and specifically artificial intelligence has the potential to turn the healthcare sector upside down. In his article, he explains how it will make healthcare more individual and personal, enable service providers to help people they have not properly served so far, and improve the lives of millions who suffer every day with new treatments. View

Opinion: Big Data Can Prevent Global Health Crises - It's Time to Make the Most of It

Gary Finnegan, Pratit Samdani, and Kamran Rafiq discuss how the use of wider disease surveillance data can help to build comprehensive pictures of real-time epidemic outbreaks. Every year, more than 1 million people die from vector-borne diseases. Big data and the use of technology can play a vital role in measuring impact and preventing the spread of disease outbreaks. View

Montenegro is in NATO. What's next for the western Balkans?

On June 5th, Montenegro has become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This is the only success story coming from the Western Balkans in a long time. As such, it gains a particular importance beyond the reach of the small country of 620,000 inhabitants in the Southern part of Europe and has multiple implications. View

How Germany and the United States Can Strengthen Cooperation

“Federal governments should no longer be viewed as the sole source for action and solutions both because of the current administration in the US and a continued power shift towards NGOs and local actors. Engagement at the subnational level is ever more critical.” This is one of the key conclusions from the first “Atlantic Expedition”. View

It's the State of our Democracy, Stupid! Why Transatlantic Relations are in Trouble

The transatlantic relationship is in trouble mainly because both the US and Germany struggle with domestic political problems. This is evident particularly in light of the current populism – more and more people do not feel represented any longer by political elites. In order to revitalize transatlantic relations, domestic homework needs to be done first. This is a summarized and updated version of a Key Note at the Harvard Council Forum, Soho-Haus Berlin, October 22, 2016. View

Remedies Against Populism

Democracy is not “the rule of the people” and not even “the rule of majority”. It is a compromise between four principles: the will of the people, the wisdom of the elected, respect for rules and social commitment. The second principle is under attack by populists and needs protection as democracy should be strictly representative. How can we gain a balance between the necessary distrust and the equally necessary confidence towards politicians? View

Sharing, Gigs, On-Demand: Opportunities and Risks of the New Digital Economy

The old classifications of employed or self-employed seem not to fit in the new growing digital economy. If we do not address the role of the employers, the status of the workforce and the status of wage-dependent work in general, inequality in Europe and the US could become more pronounced. Digital labor might become a strain on the welfare system as well, when young digital workers do not contribute to the social security and health care systems. View

The US needs TPP as much as TPP needs the US

Abandoning TPP by the US, which seems increasingly likely after the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections in November, will be a huge blow to American economic interests abroad and a golden opportunity for China to wield greater influence in the Asia-Pacific. President-elect Trump needs to rethink his campaign promises and embrace a more liberal foreign economic policy agenda both for the sake of America and the world. View

Jeremy Corbyn: An Underrated Threat to NATO

The United Kingdom’s two main political parties, the ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party, have been seized by isolationist doctrine in the past year. The UK’s decision to leave the EU and its dangerous consequences have been extensively documented. Underrated, however, is the threat posed by Jeremy Corbyn, the far-left leader of the Labour Party, to the UK’s status within the transatlantic community – namely NATO. View

Corbyn and Trump: Two Sides of the Same Anti-NATO Coin

Though seemingly worlds apart in their political leanings, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's Labour Party, and Donald Trump, the divisive Republican residential candidate, share common ground in being critical of NATO – though for quite different reasons. Even if neither appears likely to make executive office, the sentiment which they represent and the movements which they have stewarded will continue to thrive while NATO's mainstream politicians fail to make the positive case for the Alliance. View

Enhancing NATO Cohesion: A Framework for 21st Century Solidarity

Memo 52: A diverse set of policies is needed to unify a diverse set of peoples against a diverse set of threats. NATO should reorganize itself, develop a shared clean-energy grid and strengthen links between different national publics. View

China vs US or China vs Law: How Europe Can Make the Difference

Terrorism, a belligerent Russia, and the refugee crisis are no excuses for Europe forgetting its international duties, like the preservation of the rules-based world order. The EU must affirm its commitment to international law by supporting the Permanent Court of Arbitration's ruling that China has no claim to expanded control of the South China Sea. The EU and the international community can show that this conflict is not China vs USA, but China vs international law. View

Georgia and Russia: Smoldering Conflict at a Geopolitical Intersection

Georgia can be a strategic pillar of stability in an otherwise volatile region and we should consequently place it much higher on our political agenda. Georgians want nothing more than NATO membership and the West cannot deny the evident successes of democratization and economic reform. The internal logic of realist politics however demands other factors also be considered. Georgia joining NATO would further exacerbate the conflict with Russia. View

Future-Proofing NATO: A Forthcoming Decade of Change

Memo 50: NATO must adopt hybrid models of national defense, coordinate efforts on economic and electronic warfare, and secure its space-based infrastructure. The Alliance should also establish a partnership with China and strengthen its presence in the Arctic. View

Brexit and the End of Europe's Golden Age

Britain’s vote to secede from the European Union poses a greater existential threat to NATO than any foreign military. In leaving, the United Kingdom has accelerated the political disintegration of Europe and threatened to rob NATO of the prosperous European economy it relies upon. Consequently, NATO must fully transition to a new role it has only just discovered: that of a politico-economic confederation, not just a defensive organization. View

Moving Beyond the 2 Percent Promise

NATO's member states failed to abide by the solemn promise to spend 2% of their GDP on defense spending. Jumpstarting NATO resolve while understanding economic constraints requires a strategy that advocates pooling and sharing and cooperation among member states. View

Winning Asymmetrical Warfare with Economic Policies and Measures

When facing asymmetric warfare conventional military measures are often highly ineffective. Thus, incorporating well-thought-out market and economic policies and measures into NATO’s politico-military “toolbox” seems essential. Failing to do so, and failing to understand or comprehend market realities might even be directly harmful to NATO’s goals as demonstrated by the case of Afghan drug industry and by the counternarcotic eradication programs in this article. View

Promoting NATO's Mission and Vision at the Grassroots Level

Due to the lack of recent conflicts on European soil, people have forgotten about NATO's relevance. Consequently, European leaders do not dare spend more on defense capabilities. The lack of support for NATO funding is an easy target for nations seeking to destabilize the Alliance. Improved Public Relations can help NATO member states reach their 2% of GDP benchmarks. Not all armies seek to destroy but rather to protect: it is time that NATO shows people this side of the Alliance. View

How NATO Underestimated Russia

NATO redefined itself by expanding its membership in three waves, but underestimated Russia's future capabilities. These waves of enlargment provoked Russia, which responded through a first step of testing the Alliance, in 2008, through the Georgian war. Putin continued with the decision to test at a fully-length pace, NATO's response, through the annexation of Crimea and the start of the Ukrainian war in 2014. View

Enable German Rearmament to Kickstart NATO's Transformation

To transform NATO, rearm Germany. The Euro-Atlantic security community should welcome Germany's military growth, and help turn it into a wider process leading to a necessary and long overdue shift of security responsibilities away from the U.S. and towards major European powers. View

NATO Should be Targeting the Financial Infrastructure of the Enemy

NATO is the most powerful military alliance on the globe; this will not change in 2026. Consequently, the future conflicts involving NATO will be asymmetric. Economic warfare is a tool to both address this changing environment, and respond effectively to future threats and imbalances. Targeting the elements of the financial infrastructure of the enemy will complement and increase the effectiveness of NATO’s regular military efforts. View

The Battle for Tallinngrad: New Ways to Fight an Old War

NATO is failing to respond to a revanchist Russia and must do much more to deter further aggression. An imbalance of force parity in the Baltics and a one-sided information war is sending all the wrong signals to Moscow. By examining a potential conflict ten years in the future, this article outlines the nightmare scenario facing NATO if steps are not taken now to win the goodwill of Estonia's Russian population, thereby thwarting Russian influence. View

Why NATO Should Get Involved with Bitcoin

Bitcoin has the potential to fundamentally transform the global financial system. It also poses a serious threat to international security. NATO needs to play a role in protecting the Bitcoin market economy from cyber-attacks, aggregate the human and technological capital necessary to thwart prevent Bitcoin from being used in the funding and orchestration of terror attacks, and proactively address potential privacy concerns. View

Increasing Influence on International Trade with TTIP

TTIP is not just a great chance for signatories to improve free trade. An agreement characterized by well-designed regulatory cooperation has the potential to become the framework for future international agreements encouraging free trade and strengthening Western influence in countries that opposed the end of recent WTO negotiations. This neglected potential is a reason to have small regulatory cooperation rather than no such cooperation at all. View

Rough Road Ahead for TTIP, but not Because of Leak

Andreas Dür and Rodrigo Polanco explain how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) became so unpopular. Recently, Greenpeace leaked 248 pages of classified documents from the negotiations. ResearchGate interviewed two researchers, who explain how groups like Greenpeace are shaping the discussion surrounding the agreement, and debate whether the deal still has a chance. View

Could TTIP Discourage Brexit?

Three years ago, during the G-8 Summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron called TTIP a "once-in-a-generation prize". Today, the negotiation of the TTIP is being called into question by the British referendum and a potential Brexit from the EU. The main question is whether Britain could allow itself to lose its trade competitiveness by exiting the common European market at a time when domestic economic growth rates are in decline? View

The Implications of TPP for TTIP

Given the discriminative nature of the TPP on non-participants, the signing of the agreement on February 4, 2016 will augment pressure on the EU to accelerate their own path to finalizing a transatlantic trade deal. Notwithstanding the strong opposition to the TTIP, negotiations are poised to produce an ambitious deal in line with US preferences and allow the EU to consolidate its leading position within global markets thereby reducing the potential pernicious effects of TPP. View

Stop Blaming the West for Russia's Aggression

Adam Reichardt, Editor in Chief of New Eastern Europe, argues that Russia's actions in Eastern Europe should be viewed similarly to that of a bully in the schoolyard. The bully will force you to hand over your lunch money and will beat you up if you refuse to play by his rules. No one ever blames the victim (or his friends) for the bully's actions; so why are we blaming ourselves for Russian aggression? It is absurd and only proves to Putin that he is right in his assumptions that the West will not stand up for its own principles. View

Misconceptions about German Business and Russia

Dr. Marcus Felsner, President of the Eastern Europe Business Association of Germany, dispels the commonly held belief that German businesses have a “special affiliation” with Russia. In his guest article he writes that the new generations of German business leaders are guided solely by the allure of profits and competition. There is indeed little space for unprofitable German-Russian sentimentality. The EU and Euro-Atlantic partners should take note. View

Political Risks Threaten the Global Economy

Political risks have increased in recent years, while policy makers, including central banks, have less power to mitigate those risks. Global stock prices, however, do not reflect these developments as the markets have been distracted by cheap and abundant liquidity. "Great Power Sclerosis" and the weakness of Pax Americana have created a vacuum in global governance. The bank Citi raises awareness about the "new convergence between geopolitical and vox populi risks". View

Corporate Political Responsibility: Why Companies Should Get more Political

Citizens expect companies to prove that they are good corporate citizens. While Corporate Social Responsibility is a nice-to-have, Corporate Political Responsibility means that companies meet societal expectations. It’s not just about looking good, but rather engaging with one’s own community – on one hand, to positively and transparently influence the framework conditions for the company, and on the other to strengthen the structural constitution of the community. View

Labeling Israel: The Power of Grandstanding

The European Union is righteous but hypocritical to decide that goods produced in Israeli settlements occupied since 1967 no longer be labeled “Made in Israel” or “Product of Israel.” This will not help Palestinians, many of them work for settlement businesses. As the EU is negotiating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, this signals that Europe sees trade as an avenue for meaningless political posturing. View

Navigating the Post-Safe Harbor Waters

A month after the European Court of Justice handed down its ruling invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor framework, the German Marshall Fund of the United States's Berlin office invited US Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill to address data privacy to kick off a newly relaunched series of discussions the institution is calling Transatlantic Talks. She argued that Europeans had missed the resulting "robust conversation" that took place over data privacy in the US. View

How TTIP Could Become a Game-Changer for SMEs

Lena Muxfeldt and Matthias Goetz respond to our recent article about SMEs. "With the outcome of the negotiations still open, we argue that TTIP still has the potential to become a "real deal" for SMEs. However, TTIP benefits for SMEs will not happen without innovative solutions for rules of origin, real progress on custom facilitations and new communications channels between negotiators and the SME community." View

Striking Down the Safe Harbor Agreement

With a cornerstone decision for the future of data transfers and the world's digital economy, the Court of Justice of the European Union, following the proposal of the Opinion of its Advocate General, has declared null and void the Safe Harbor Agreement, the regulatory scheme that governed (digital) data transfers between Europe and the US for the past 15 years. Although this decision may not have been made for the most crucial reasons, nonetheless it is a step in the right direction. View

The Transatlantic Internet: A New Geo-Economic Frontline

For almost a generation, the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement has been the transatlantic digital passport that allowed 4,400 US tech companies to provide services to Europe’s 500 million consumers. But an Oct. 6 decision by the European Court of Justice smashed that little-known, but extremely important fifteen-year-old agreement and opened up questions about the future of the thriving transatlantic digital corridor that allowed trillions of dollars of interactions. View

TTIP, Farming and Food

There is a very real risk that TTIP will only benefit big agriculture and thus will be detrimental to the viability of smaller farms. One of the conclusions from a recent European Policy Conference was that agriculture should be excluded from TTIP. There are many proponents of this view on both sides of the Atlantic with strong arguments about the negative effects of TTIP, saying that the agreement will trade away good food and good farming. View

Transatlantic Energy Plan Crucial For Tackling Climate Change

The European Union and United States have an opportunity to formulate a cohesive climate policy at the UN Climate Summit that could vastly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Presently, the Obama Administration and the European Commission contain both the political will and resources to implement a shift towards renewable energy technologies. This could yield a systematic divestment from fossil fuels, particularly crude oil, but this may not be enough. View

A Modest TTIP Deal Not an Option for the US

A modest TTIP deal does not seem to be a plausible option for the US. Firstly, it will provide limited value added for the US, while the prospects of upgrading it to a more ambitious agreement once it has been passed look infeasible. Furthermore, a modest deal will set a wrong precedent and will signal potential US RTA partners that it will compromise on issues it has been pushing for ever since the NAFTA negotiations. This would contradict the trade policy the US has been pursuing for the last quarter century. View

EU-US Safe Harbor Invalidated: What Now?

Kurt Hunt and Adam Vernick, associates at the American law firm Dinsmore, have written about the implications of the recent invalidation of the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework following a decision from the CJEU. "As a result, companies that transfer the personal data of European Union residents into the United States now face significant uncertainty about the legality of their data transfer practices." View

TTIP Bibliography

We are presenting thoughtful analyses from think tank, government and media outlets representing both positive and negative opinions on the following topics: Economic Projections, Official Statements, Geo-Strategic arguments about TTIP, the controversy over ISDS, Democracy and Transparency, Standards and Regulatory Cooperation and conflicting opinions about the effects of TTIP on SMEs. Have a look at our updated recommendations for informative articles about TTIP. View

Europe and the US-China Rivalry

While President Xi Jinping aims to establish a “new type of great power relations” with the United States and Washington is responding with a policy of cooperation and containment, Europe still needs to define a common and coherent approach to China and its foreign policy. Germany could and should play a leading role in the formulation of this strategy. But in order to do so effectively, Berlin will need to overcome its aversion to geopolitics and power plays. View


A major issue in the TTIP debate pertains to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and whether they will really benefit from the free trade agreement or rather be overshadowed even more by large companies. Official EU and US publications insist that TTIP will reduce policy and language barriers, as well as currency risks currently impeding SMEs to export across the Atlantic. Still, issues such as rule of origin regulation pose a particularly difficult barrier to easing market accessibility for SMEs. View

TTIP: New Strategies and Hope for an Agreement

The 11th round of TTIP negotiations are underway in Miami this week. Many people on both sides of the Atlantic are hoping that this round of negotiations is more decisive than the last round, and will even bring some positivity to the TTIP debate which has been scarred by heavy criticism lately, notably in Germany, or overshadowed in the US by the TPP agreement. Here are some official statements from both sides of the Atlantic bolstering TTIP. View

TPP Completed, on to TTIP?

The new TPP and TTIP agreements are the greatest deepening OECD has ever seen. True, they deepen it in two halves, one Atlantic, one Pacific; this is because some of the socio-cultural issues are different, and it enables the inclusion of several non-OECD allies from the diverse Pacific region, laying grounds for a further OECD widening when some of these countries become socioeconomically ripe. The two agreements could nevertheless be fruitfully linked later on. View