Resources

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Briefing on the legal and policy issues attendant to the identification and tracing of Covid-19 cases

These past months, numerous international, European and national initiatives to develop digital tools to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic have sprung forth. These projects raise important legal, ethical and political issues, pertaining to both their architecture and their governance. To the extent they raise the issue of the protection of privacy in the digital age it would seem reasonable and appropriate to revisit the existing legal framework to ward against too much intrusion, or even the generalized surveillance of the population.

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Snapshot of the EU Digital Agenda in light of COVID-19

The European Commission published its Digital Package on February 19th, 2020, setting the framework for action over the next five years in the digital sphere. The COVID-19 outbreak has, however, forced the European institutions to rapidly switch into crisis management mode; political energy has been drawn towards containing the spread of the virus, with marginal reviews so far of its 2020 Work Programme. 

File to download Digital look at the EU Digital agenda in light of COVID19 - 21 April 2020.pdf

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Overview of the Law on the fight against waste and the circular economy

The adoption of the Law of 10 February, 2020 on the fight against waste and the circular economy is the result of the discussions with all stakeholders throughout 2019. 

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Biography of Thierry Breton - second French candidate to the European Commissioner role

Aged 64, and an engineer by training, former Economy and Finance Minister Thierry Breton is above all a recognized and respected business leader internationally. He was called in to head several major French IT and telecom companies to rescue them and was quite successful in turning then around. 

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Brexit: deal or no-deal?

State of play

After taking office as Prime Minister (PM) on July 24th, 2019, Boris Johnson has made it clear that leaving the European Union (EU) on October 31st, with or without a deal, was his central focus. The UK Parliament has yet upset Johnson’s applecart by forming a parliamentary majority opposed to a no-deal during the only time window the UK government allowed for Parliament to meet, September 3rd to 9th. Parliament passed two bills to prevent a no-deal.

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Biography of Sylvie Goulard, the French candidate to the European Commissioner role

Sylvie Goulard, a centrist figurehead (initially affiliated to UDF then Modem, member of the ALDE group at the European Parliament), is a staunch pro-European militant who is strongly in favor of a Federalist Europe.

 

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Results of the 2019 European elections and potential consequences in France

France, like the other Member States, saw its voter turnout reach a record-breaking level, with 50.12% voter participation, an 8% increase from the last elections five years ago.

In France, both the populist Rassemblement National (RN)party and the majority La République en Marche (LaREM) party emerged as the leading forces in this election. With 23.31% of the vote (22 MEPs, +1 after ‘Brexit’), RN has done slightly better than it did in the last presidential elections while maintaining its record score in the 2014 European Parliament elections. LaREM - which ran in the election for the first time - clearly attracted a center-right and pro-Europe electorate but with only 22.41% (21 MEPs, +2 after ‘Brexit’), narrowly lost its bid to become the first political force at the French level.

The results also confirmed the seismic shift reverberating in French politics since the last presidential elections: the two historical mainstream parties, LR and PS, have been overtaken, and with respectively 8.48% (8 MEPs elected) and 6.19% (5 MEPs, +1 after the Brexit), they will have little influence to yield at either the French or European level.

With 13.48% and 12 elected MEPs (+1 MEP after ‘Brexit’) the Greens (EELV) became the third force, attracting a center-left electorate and the youth vote.

The far-left party La France Insoumise (LFI) failed to recreate the momentum of the 2017 presidential race (+19%) and only attracted 6.31% of voters, giving them 6 MEPs. This is a clear failure for a party which self-proclaimed itself to be the leading force of the left and the Government’s strongest challenger.

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European Elections Overview

At the moment, the real winner of the European elections in France is the abstention. Traditionally, those elections fail to attract a large panel of electors and only see the most proactive citizens vote. The result is a polarization of the electorate, with on one side the pro-EU almost federalist voters and on the other populists against the Government. This should be once again the case with only 41% of people saying they intend to vote.

File to download 190508 EP Elections Review - May 2019 004.pdf

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Adoption of the PACTE Bill - New steps in the Government's economic policy

On April 11th, the Action Plan for Growth and Transformation of Businesses (PACTE) Bill was adopted by the National Assembly, after 28 weeks of parliamentary debates. The Government presented the text as the second stage of its economic reform program, following the Labour law reform that was adopted in 2017. 

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European Elections Review

As the Yellow Vest movement is slowly fading away, “old-school” politics is coming back. Intense negotiations between political figures, threats of departure, backstabbing and criticisms among allies over the last weeks. The idea of a Yellow Vest list for the elections has disappeared alongside the support from the population toward the movement. As it was credited with more than 10% at the climax of the social movement, it has now been reduced at a rate of knots.

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GAFA tax: no legal, economic or political sense

In view of the difficulties encountered in reaching a consensus at European level on the digital tax package, France, similarly to Italy, Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom, decided to introduce a domestic digital tax bill.

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Proposal for a EU Regulation on Platform-to-Business (P2B)

The European Commission has run an intensive work to assess the need for a legal framework for online platforms since the beginning of its mandate.

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💰 Draft Budget Law for 2019 (PLF 2019)

On Monday 24 September, the Government presented the draft Budget Law for 2019 (PLF 2019) to the Council of Ministers and submitted it to the National Assembly. The parliamentary debate will begin on October 9th. The examination of the draft Budget Law, together with the Social Security bill, will remain the top priority until the end of December. The traditional “budget marathon" is back.

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GDPR at a glance

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), entering into force on May 25th, 2018, replaces a 1995 EU Directive on data protection. Based on its expertise on privacy and data protection Cabinet SAMMAN has been appointed by several business organizations to work and be part of the dialogue on the GDPR implementation process with supervisory authorities and other public officials. Please find below a recap of the main elements of the GDPR.

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Priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the European Union (EU)

On January 1st 2017, Malta took over the rotating Presidency of the European Council, third in the EU Presidency Trio after the Netherlands (January – June 2016) and Slovakia (July – December 2016). More details on Malta's key priorities - finance, digital, telecoms, and energy - in our article below. 

File to download Maltese EU presidency_EN.pdf

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Brexit Insight n°2 - Decision Time

Four months after the “Brexit” vote, and while the various protagonists are starting to position themselves in view of the negotiations, we would like to share once again our analysis of the situation.

File to download Brexit Insight n.2 - Decision time - November 2016.pdf

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Brexit: What now?

Our analysis of the potential implications and next steps following the UK referendum in favor of an exit from the EU, with a presentation of the applicable legal framework, the current state of the political positions and a specific focus on two sectors which could be particulalry impacted: digital sector and financial services.

File to download Brexit What now - SAMMAN VEng.pdf

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The limitation of greenhouse gas in housing : a way to restore balance to the existing thermal regulation

Article (in French) by Thaima Samman and Antoine Vitela on the taking into account, as of 2018, of greenhouse gas emissions in the evaluation of buildings' energy performance, published on the website of the association “Equilibres des Energies”.

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The New French Government - Analysis and Scenarios

On August 25th, Prime Minister Manuel Valls decided to handle the resignation of his entire government to President François Hollande. He was immediately re-appointed to form a new Government, which was announced the following day. The note below proposes a short analysis of this governmental reshuffling taking place less than 5 months after the previous one (in April), including the bios of a few new ministers, and gives an over view of the potential forthcoming scenarios for the socialist majority.

File to download The new French Government - Analysis Scenarios.pdf

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An overview of the EU Council Italian Presidency

On July 1st 2014, Italy succeeded to Greece at the rotating Presidency of the European Union Council. The note belows gives an overview of the main challenges faced by the country, the objectives set as well as the major dossiers that it has to handle in three main areas: Digital Affairs, Energy and Financial Regulation.

File to download EU Council Italian Presidency - Objectives and Challenges July-December 2014.pdf