Anti-EU Leaders' New Strategy: Attack It From the Inside
Nationalist and far-right parties are growing in popularity across Europe. Their new strategy: Join forces to gain influence within Europe's institutions. Photo: Getty Images
European leaders condemned an attack on democracy as chaos unfolded in a country they once relied upon for global leadership. China's trade balance after exports grew to 535 billion US dollars in 2020, lifting its surplus to a five year high. That, despite the coronavirus pandemic and a trade war with the United States. In December, exports surged 18% on the previous year. Supply problems elsewhere helped boosted demand for Chinese goods. China's robust recovery also drove domestic consumption of foreign products with imports also beating expectations.
A report just released by the European Chamber in China implies that the Asian powerhouse has long managed its interdependence with the world economy in a highly strategic and limited manner. What does this mean for foreign companies operating there? The bloc has revealed its new strategy to prevent, deter and respond to cyberattacks across the EU. The European Union unveiled landmark legislation on Tuesday that lays out strict rules for tech giants to do business in the bloc. The draft legislation, dubbed the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), outlines specific regulations that seeks to limit the power of global internet firms on the European market. Companies including Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and others could face hefty penalties for violating the rules. News agencies reported on the content of the drat The landmark draft law is set to be presented on Tuesday. EU antitrust czar Margrethe Vestager and EU digital chief Thierry Breton presented the draft on Tuesday, after the content of the new rules was leaked to the media on Monday.
EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that the bloc's new rules seek to bring "order to chaos" and update the bloc's previous digital rules to address — and reign in — the power of tech giants that dominate the market. The dual legislation sets out of rules sets out a list of do's, don'ts and penalties for internet giants:
- Companies with over 45 million EU users would be designated as digital "gatekeepers" — making them subject to stricter regulations.
- Firms could be fined up to 10% of their annual turnover for violating competition rules.
- The could also be required to sell one of their businesses or parts of it (including rights or brands).
- Platforms that refuse to comply and "endanger people's life and safety" could have their service temporarily suspended "as a last resort."
- Companies would need to inform the EU ahead of any planned mergers or acquisitions.
- Certain kinds of data must be shared with regulators and rivals.
- Companies favoring their own services could be outlawed.
- [Narrator] Europe's far right politicians have wanted to dismantle the European Union for years. (speaks foreign language) - [Narrator] But now, their tone has changed. (speaks foreign language) - [Narrator] Parties that once campaigned to abolish the European Union and its common currency, the euro, are now trying to attack it from within. And their strategy seems to be paying off. In many European countries, the popularity of anti-European leaders is on the rise, and in this year's European elections, far right and anti-EU parties are set to take up to 30% of the seats according to an opinion poll. So how did we get here? (dramatic music) (protesters shouting) - [Narrator] Just a few years ago, support for the European Union was at its lowest. - First of all, there was economic malaise and a lot of people were upset and angered at the economic policies in the Eurozone, especially where the financial prices had hit particularly hard and the governments were forced to impose austerity measures. And then secondly, in 2015, almost a million people came over this panel, a few months, mostly refugees from Middle East, but also economic migrants from North Africa and this gave people the feeling the impression that the governments are not in control of the borders and neither is the European Union. - [Narrator] Anti-EU-politicians like France's Marine Le Pen and Italy's Matteo Salvini capitalized on some people's sentiment that the EU was the cause of all problems. (speaks foreign language) - [Narrator] And then, in 2016... - The British People have voted to leave the European Union. - [Narrator] The spectacle of the UK's Brexit process, which is still ongoing, made many voters realize how complicated exiting the EU can be, and Britain didn't even have the Euro. - A lot of people who previously were toying with the idea of leaving the EU, suddenly started having second thoughts because they saw how difficult and painful and chaotic the Brexit process became and also how hard it is to untangle a country from the European Union, and therefore, also the populist leaders changed tactics so, instead of campaigning on referendums and leaving the EU, they started saying "We stay, but we want to change the EU from within." (speaks foreign language) (speaks foreign language) - [Narrator] So what do these parties do when they gain more power within an institution they had pledged to eliminate? - It's easy for them to say no, and to try to stop the EU, but on the other hand, it's very hard for them to agree what exactly the policies are, so what will happen most likely is that decisions will be much harder to take at the EU level and they will just stall as much as possible any new areas of European integration. - [Narrator] EU countries serving their individual interests over the Union has already led to misunderstandings and friction within the Bloc. Like when Italy decided not to allow migrant boats to disembark in its ports. As the rhetoric resonates with voters, traditional parties that are losing ground are also starting to become more critical of the EU. So while the European Union and the Euro's existence may not be threatened right now, it's government is said to be more divided than ever. (bouncy music)