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On both sides of the Atlantic, the political waters are turbulent, creating uncertainties about the opportunities for meaningful policy actions.
In Washington, D.C., things are getting back to “normal” after a five-week government shutdown that was prompted by President’s Trump demand for a US-Mexico border wall. To end that standoff, the White House and Congress agreed to reopen the government for three weeks—until February 15—while negotiators work out issues related to border security.
Assuming a compromise can be reached on border security—which is not certain—Congress will devote the next several months to oversight hearings, the FY 2020 budget, the defense authorization bill and annual appropriations bills. Congress could advance an infrastructure bill, but enactment of a bill remains unlikely.
In Europe, 2019 will be a crucial year for EU policy making. The upcoming EU elections will take place without the UK and are expected to lead to a more fragmented European Parliament. New political alliances will affect the leadership of the next European Commission and the policy agenda of the next five years.
Speaking of the UK, the deadline for its exit from the EU is now less than 60 days away, with no agreed-upon deal to cover the many details. Now the EU and its Member States are beginning to implement emergency preparedness plans to address what could become a major disruption in the event of a no-deal exit.
Given the near-term uncertainties, we’re focusing on long-term initiatives, relationship building, and capacity building. As always, we will be monitoring the ongoing action on our key policy issues and advocating for your interests.