Leading experts discuss in Athens the challenges of the Permacrisis era for businesses and governments
Celebrating ten years of ceaseless presence in the Greek and international public affairs scene, effectus organized a fireside chat entitled: “Businesses in the Era of Permacrisis: The Experts’ View”.
Three leading public affairs and corporate diplomacy practitioners – from Washington D.C., Brussels and Berlin- who walk the talk everyday advising some of the world’s top corporations and industry associations, met in Athens to discuss current geopolitical and policy trends and the ways through which businesses, in Greece, Europe and all over the world, can effectively respond to the mounting challenges of today and tomorrow.
The event-discussion, took place on November 21st, 2023 at the Athens Concert Hall and was moderated by the journalist Niki Lymperaki.
Among the many issues discussed, Gregoire Poisson, Partner, Head of Public Affairs EMEA and Head of Dentons Global Advisors office in Brussels, emphasized the issue of “regulatory inflation”, related to the multitude of new laws and regulations that are promoted by European institutions and their implementation can hide major problems for businesses, radically changing the operating conditions of many markets.
In the same spirit, Jan Kallmorgen, Founder and Managing Partner of Berlin Global Advisors, pointed out the return of the “big state” which on the one hand limits the free operation of markets and international trade, but on the other hand creates new investment opportunities in the form of private-public partnerships etc.
The discussion also focused on the issue of Europe’s energy security in the context of its imperative need to avoid dependence from Russian gas. In this context, special reference was made to the pivotal role that alternative energy sources (wind farms, solar energy, etc.) are expected to play in the future, hydrogen and the exploitation of gas and oil fields in the South-Eastern Mediterranean and the significant resources that the EU and key member states – such as Germany – are investing in this direction.
The leading experts, also, referred to the multiple elections slated for 2024, turning it into a puzzle year. Referring specifically to the US elections, Karen Finney, Political Strategist, CNN Political Commentator and Advocate, spoke of a possible repeat of the Biden-Trump confrontation, without ruling out a surprise in the Republican camp. Regarding the consequences from the outcome of these elections for business and the world in general, Jan Kallmorgen, expressed the ground-breaking position that – whoever the winner is – the U.S. will turn their attention to the Pacific and China, leaving a significant strategic vacuum in Europe and the Middle East.
In summary, the experts mutually emphasized the need for businesses to obtain accurate and timely information about world events and to take geopolitical and regulatory/legislative trends seriously into account when developing their business plans. Moreover, the need for effective support of their positioning in national and international decision-making centers was summed up in the characteristic phrase of Gregoire Poisson: “If you are not at the dialogue table, then you are on the menu”!
After the end of the event, Yiannis Kofinis, Managing Partner of Effectus, said:
“It is a great pleasure for us to celebrate, in this symbolic and meaningful way, the ten years of effectus’ contribution to the Greek and International market of Corporate Affairs. We are very proud of our achievement to grow through an extremely challenging decade for all of us.
As we live in an era of “certain uncertainty”, through this anniversary event we aimed to highlight the necessity for dialogue between government and businesses, as well as for policy and business decisions based on knowledge and accurate information about global trends and supported by evidence and data in order for our country to walk, boldly and optimistically, on the path of sustainable growth, spreading the benefits to everyone”.