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The job description for such a post would certainly be attractive: using national democracy as a springboard to shape the future of supranational democracy. Youth organisations and civil society actors such as those organised within the European Youth Forum for example could be role models and valuable partners in reforming the European institutions.

So why not combining the future of democracy portfolio with the DG Education and Youth? Fifthly: A strong common foreign policy. Although Federica Mogherini can legitimately boast a few respectable achievements in the international arena, at the end of the day, even she fell short when it came to the expectations of a European foreign policy.

The Spanish think tank Real Instituto Elcano has already come up with some ideas for how this could work in practice. Sixthly: A cohesive and social Europe. Growing inequalities in all areas of economic, social and cultural life are not only a well-researched issue among academics in recent years, they shape the way all Europeans live their daily life.


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Balancing out social insecurities and deliver on one of the founding principles of Europe — social cohesion and convergence of living conditions throughout the continent — is a crucial point for how many citizens see their life and their future improved by the European Union. So why not combining the portfolios for Jobs and Cohesion and Reform? Create a counterbalance to the dominant economic approach with its still powerful DG to social affairs and underpin this social super portfolio with the money of the regional funds.

The new Commission President was smart to introduce at least six Vice Presidents, who also coordinate different specialised departments and head a team of Commissioners. If we want synergy and added value to be more than just empty phrases from soapbox speeches, then they have to become guiding principles for the everyday working practices of EU institutions. Nevertheless, maybe the new start for Europe, which has been somewhat forgotten in Germany, will still come — and rather fittingly from Brussels.

At the same time, new challenges such as the future of European democracy, global multilateralism and climate neutrality, an issue that will take generations to solve, need to be tackled with more transparency and political clout. If von der Leyen is really serious about pursuing her agenda, she will have to go on the offensive. Reducing the number of commissioners would have been a bold statement and would have demonstrated the necessary courage in the face of the heads of state and government to whom she purportedly owes a mountain of favours for nominating her to the post.

Her commission now has to deliver on a lot of promises on key issues and needs to go way beyond the invention of fancy job descriptions. Given that over half of all MEPs and members of the Commission will be taking up a new post, some kind of continuity is both necessary and very appealing. It would have been of course also a constructive signal of solidarity if the heads of state and government could have brought themselves to actually consent to the downsized Commission that has already been contractually agreed.

A new start would be a strong message from the new President and would also contain an element of surprise that would serve her own interests as it would distract from the fact that she was elected with just a small majority. This is a last resort, cherry-picked appeal layer that will only touch a fantastically tiny proportion of the content choices Facebook moderators make every second of every day — and from which real world impacts ripple out and rain down.


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The company is also giving itself the power to leapfrog general submissions by sending expedited cases directly to the board to ask for a speedy opinion. So its content questions will be prioritized. Funny that. Supreme leader is an accurate descriptor for Zuckerberg as Facebook CEO, given the share structure and voting rights he has afforded himself mean no one other than Zuckerberg can sack Zuckerberg.

Power without moral responsibility if you will. Anything to keep the data and ad dollars flowing. It is also an attempt by Facebook to paper over its continued evasion of democratic accountability. Privacy is never dead for Mark Zuckerberg. Evasion is actually a little tame a term.

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How Facebook operates is far more actively hostile than that. Its platform is reshaping us without accountability or oversight, even as it ploughs profits into spinning and shape-shifting its business in a bid to prevent our democratically elected representatives from being able to reshape it. Even though Facebook is spinning at the very highest level to try to make it so.

Zuckerberg agreeing to meet with parliamentarians around the world so they can put to him questions and concerns on a rolling and regular basis would be a truly incredible news flash. We can only speculate on how that meeting of minds went. Power meet irresponsibility — or was it vice versa?

Trump realDonaldTrump September 20, Malaysia maintains controversial sedition laws to silence dissent. Under its Lawyers at Risk programme, the Law Society of England and Wales raises awareness about human rights issues, including the plight of lawyers in south-east Asia.

Services of General Interest Beyond the Single Market (E-Book, PDF)

If large international firms are creating structures for Asean, the regional grouping is also stimulating cooperation among local firms across borders. For instance, Indonesia is one of our fastest-growing markets. At the 34th Asean Summit held in Bangkok in June, the 10 member states reaffirmed their commitment to further economic integration, including in the digital economy. The Asean Digital Integration Framework Action Plan and the Asean Innovation Roadmap both to aim to foster information and communications technology ICT cooperation between member states to transform the region into a global digital hub.

Key Points

As part of this mandate, RTA conducted benchmarking analysis into the legal and regulatory frameworks of Belgium, Peru and Thailand. The rise in cross-border investments in the digital economy partly reflects these Asean-led initiatives. Like other firms in the region, the Singapore office acts as the regional centre for activities in Asean.

Asean cooperation is not just economic.

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The region is prone to natural disasters and RTA advised the World Bank on the legal structure for the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility, a first-of-its-kind regional scheme for climate and disaster risk financing and insurance for all Asean countries to be domiciled in Singapore, explains Eng Beng. Liberalisation of services across Asean has been a gradual process, but recent initiatives and developments are encouraging.

Another is the Asean Good Regulatory Practice GRP , which has the potential to reduce regulatory complexity within member states and to facilitate integration of services across Asean in the long-term, Fahrni further notes. The GRP, whose guidelines were revised in December, aims to reduce barriers to trade. Protectionism varies across the region. The Philippines is a closed legal market — the practice of law is reserved exclusively to Philippine citizens.

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However, they may collaborate with local firms in instances where local law expertise is required, according to a recent guide on doing legal business in the Philippines published by the Law Society of England and Wales. There are proposals to introduce rules to allow limited licensing of foreign practices in the Philippines, but as Jared Amoroso, a lawyer at Quisumbing Torres, observes, a decision on this is pending in the Philippines Supreme Court.

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To discuss the draft of the proposed new act submitted to the attorney general in January the Law Society met the president of the Malaysian Bar Council, who said it would negotiate with the AG before the act was passed, and that it was committed to further liberalisation of their market. Singapore has a more open regime for foreign lawyers. It allows the firm to practise Singapore law through Singapore-qualified lawyers in certain key areas of its practice bar litigation. In Singapore, foreign firms can also set up formal law alliances with local firms which Clifford Chance did in with boutique litigation firm Cavenagh Law, allowing it provide litigation and other legal services from one platform.

Having world-class local talent practising law in Singapore is good for our firm, our clients, the profession and the business community in Singapore. Some argue that elsewhere in Asean formal restrictions tend to paint a negative picture of what is happening on the ground. International arbitration has become the preferred method for resolving cross-border commercial disputes in Asean, in no small part because of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre SIAC.

Parties hailed from over 60 jurisdictions with the US topping the foreign user rankings for the first time, followed by India, China, the UAE and Japan. Singapore is also the third arbitration seat after London and Paris.