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TBG Global Intel — Season 1: Episode 1 — A.D. Turkic (B2EU)
By admin October 1, 2020

We’re excited to announce the launch of “TBG: Global Intel”, a new series featuring experts from all over the world and critical insights into timely topics. At The Bassiouni Group, we’re proud to work with exceptional strategic partners and over 500+ experts in over 150 countries. For this first episode of Global Intel, we sat down with A.D. Turkic, the CEO and Founder of B2EU Consulting, TBG’s strategic partner in the EU. We covered a host of issues including the EU’s response to COVID-19, the EU Green Deal (including B2EU’s B2Green initiative), the EU economy, the Transatlantic relationship, prospects of a Biden administration, Brexit and the future of the Single Market. Click below for the full episode.

 

Profile picture of white man wearing tie looking into camera

A.D. Turkic — CEO & Founder of B2EU

TBG: How would you characterize the EU response to COVID-19 versus the U.S. response?

A.D. Turkic/B2EU: The European Union is a very complex bureaucratic construction and reacting to crisis such as global pandemic is not something they had in their “operating manuals”. On top of it, the health of citizens is still responsibility of the national governments. So, having in mind complexity, EU’s response was quite good. Very quickly, the EU has centralized all purchase of medical equipment which would stop any manipulations of the market. In addition, when countries started to close their borders, the EU has insisted that the flow of goods remains a priority.

It is hard to compare the U.S. to the EU, but the main difference is that all EU countries have been listening to medical experts from day one of the pandemic. Countries and politicians were ready to make tough and unpopular decisions to save lives without big opposition from citizens.

Today, the EU has signed multiple agreements with Pharma companies that would guarantee vaccines for citizens and it is working hard on economic recovery.

 

TBG: What is the EU outlook now given some of the new spikes (second wave) and how will that impact economic activity/recovery?

Ado Turkic/B2EU: I would say that we all had a second spike during summer, when Europeans started to travel and cross borders. Countries started to track virus infections and managed to keep control as much as it is possible. Most of the countries agree that total shutdown of economy is not an option now. Everyone is learning how to live with the virus and remain focused on economic recovery. Most EU countries still have very strict rules in force that were introduced in order to allow people to work and to keep economy moving forward.

 

TBG: What are the key objectives of the EU Green Deal and how will it support the EU recovery and integration efforts post-COVID?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  The European Green Deal is about improving the well-being of people. Making Europe climate-neutral and protecting our natural habitat will be good for people, planet and economy. To overcome the effects post-COVID, Europe presents a new growth strategy that will transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, where

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.
  • economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
  • no person and no place is left behind.

The EU will also provide financial support and technical assistance to help those that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism. It will help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions

 

TBG:  How will the EU Green Deal work (i.e. what are the key mechanisms)?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  The European Green Deal’s Investment Plan mobilises public investment and helps to unlock private funds through EU financial instruments, notably InvestEU, which will lead to at least €1 trillion of investments in the upcoming 7 years for the transition to a climate-neutral, green, competitive and inclusive economy. The Just Transition Mechanism (€100 billion over the period 2021-2027) is a key tool to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way. The Mechanism will create the necessary investment to help workers and communities which rely on the fossil fuel value chain. It will come in addition to the substantial contribution of the EU’s budget through all instruments directly relevant to the transition.

 

TBG: What are the key (business and economic development) opportunities in the EU Green Deal?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  The EU aims to be climate neutral in 2050 require action by all sectors of our economy, especially:

  • investing in environmentally-friendly technologies
  • supporting industry to innovate
  • rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport
  • de-carbonising the energy sector
  • ensuring buildings are more energy efficient
  • working with international partners to improve global environmental standards.

 

TBG:  What is B2GREEN and what key services will you offer through B2GREEN?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  We have launched a specialised service dedicated to creating EU funding opportunities for companies and organisations representing “green” business sectors. B2GREEN is our response to the increasing demand for customised assistance in exploring the potential of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework for environmental and climate action projects and turning it into tangible business opportunities. It builds upon our extensive experience in assisting companies and organisations from the respective sectors and covers the following policy areas:

  • Biodiversity
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Clean Energy
  • Sustainable industry
  • Building and renovating
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Eliminating pollution
  • Water solutions

 

TBG:  What are the unique opportunities for Cleantech/Green-focused startups and companies as the EU Green Deal is implemented?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  Needless to say, the European Green Deal should be on the radar of every Cleantech/Green entrepreneur.

The significant potential in global markets for sustainable products and services and low-emission technologies offers the opportunity to expand sustainable and economic activity based on inclusive growth. The main goal is to stimulate economic innovation by supporting startups and companies. Definitely, the European Green Deal accelerates the transition.

 

TBG: Building a Green Economy is a core component in Vice-President Biden’s economic plan. If Biden wins, do you see an opportunity for a renewed Transatlantic relationship around Green Energy?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  Vice-President Biden has made it clear that in case he wins he will rejoin the Paris Agreement. He has also made couple of promises to turn the US economy greener. As you can imagine, the entire world is looking at the US at the moment.  In the EU, we hope that we can come together when it comes to “Green Agenda” and use that to re-build Transatlantic relationship. Only together with the U.S., can we move forward seriously.

 

TBG: What is the general consensus regarding the US-EU relationship now and is there an anticipation of a Biden win? Conversely, what could happen if Trump wins?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  As an observer in Brussels, I can say that the US-EU relationship was never this bad. Also, when it comes to individual Member States, it is also getting more complicated. The Trump presidency is clearly the “America First” presidency. However, since the U.S. left the Paris Agreement and Iran Agreement together with stalling trade talks with the EU, we have only been moving backwards. I think that most of the EU leaders hope for a change as of next year. For many, the ideal [scenario] would be new person in the White House. Biden would clearly mean a shift of the policy towards traditional partners and more constructive dialogue. In any case, I am sure that they all have their “plan B” on how to work with President Trump in case he is re-elected. In this case, we won’t be seeing big shift in policy but at least now everyone knows what to expect.

 

TBG:  What do you see as the three most critical challenges facing the EU right now and what solutions are being prioritized?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  EU is going through health and economic crises as we speak. We are in the recession and as we can see everyone is focused on that as the biggest priority. The EU is trying to find ways how to assist and help member states with their recovery. As a third critical challenge, it is the Green Deal. With the present crisis, we all fear that the Green Deal will be put aside. But unfortunately, time is running out quickly and we need to keep focus on all of these three challenges at the same time.

 

TBG: Finally, any thoughts on the 2021 outlook for UK-EU relations? What should we be looking for?

Ado Turkic/B2EU:  As we all can follow in the news UK-EU negotiations are not going well at the moment. The UK is setting irrational requirements from the EU that wouldn’t pass with member states. There is this general feeling that the UK would prefer a “no deal” scenario but these things are usually agreed at the last minute. We need to be reminded that the UK is one country leaving the block. Even the EU doesn’t show it, the strength is always on the side of the EU. The UK economy depends on close ties with the EU and many industries and companies are hoping for a very close relationship. Leaving the Single Market without any deal is not easy, because in one day you will lose access to almost 450 million people.  I am sure that the UK will remain a close partner with the EU but they are all playing tough till the last moment during negotiations.

ACTION: For more on B2GREEN and EU business opportunities, send an email to B2EU and TBG.

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Thanks for sharing !


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