Trans-Atlantic Scorecard — October 2021

Trans-Atlantic Scorecard — October 2021

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Half I: Pure Fuel Costs


The value of pure fuel in Europe* has elevated dramatically this quarter, intensifying an already upward pattern in costs over the past yr. Pure fuel prices within the US have additionally – albeit by smaller charges compared to Europe – risen considerably in the identical interval, roughly doubling over the previous yr. In September 2020, pure fuel costs have been at $3.95 per Metric Million British Thermal Unit ($/MMBtu) in Europe and $1.92/MMBtu within the US. A yr later, these have elevated to $22.84/MMBtu and $5.11/MMBtu, respectively – 578% and 266% of their 2020 values.



The UK has been significantly laborious hit. U.Okay. Nationwide Balancing Level (NBP) charges – the pricing normal for pure fuel within the U.Okay. – have been at 237.69 British Kilos per Thermal Unit (£/Therm) on October 1, 2021 – a 495% improve from their October 15, 2020, worth of £39.95/Therm. As in Europe extra broadly, probably the most substantial will increase occurred within the third quarter. Certainly, from July 1 to September 30, 2021, U.Okay. pure fuel costs practically tripled in worth, rising from £88.08/Therm to £241.30/Therm.



A number of components have contributed to pure fuel value jumps. Firstly, decrease than regular provides of pure fuel, coupled with cooler temperatures as winter approaches within the northern hemisphere, have led to a rise in costs. On September 1, 2021, the share of working fuel in storage in Europe was at 68.09%, in contrast to 91.08% a yr earlier, a drop of roughly 25% earlier than the winter season had even begun. Low storage is partially because of the lengthy winter of 2020-21 and can proceed to result in larger pure fuel costs as demand continues to rise. Secondly, restarting the worldwide financial system after COVID-19-related shutdowns has considerably elevated the demand for vitality, together with pure fuel. This, in flip, has elevated the price of fuel. Thirdly, China’s personal aggressive consumption of pure fuel, which has tripled since 2011, compounded by stagnant pure fuel deliveries from Russia (who’s attempting to make use of the scarcity as a bargaining chip to attempt to speed up approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline) have helped contribute to the upward pattern.


*European costs have been calculated utilizing charges from the Dutch Title Switch Facility – the pricing normal for pure fuel in northwestern Europe excluding the British Isles (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic). U.S. costs have been calculated utilizing the nationwide pricing normal from Henry Hub, Louisiana.


Half II: Visa Appointment Wait Instances in Schengen Space Capitals


The next desk displays the watch for U.S. consular appointments for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) in Schengen space capitals as of mid-October 2021. It reveals lengthy wait instances in nearly all capitals, which means that these in search of a NIV or searching for to resume a NIV are unable to take action in a well timed method. Scholar visas are typically being processed extra rapidly.



Common Wait Instances for Non-Immigrant Visa Appointments in Schengen Space Capitals (in days) 
Nation (Capital)  Sort of Visa 
  Customer Visa  Scholar/Change Customer Visa  All Different Nonimmigrant Visas 
Austria (Vienna)  999  9  7 
Belgium (Brussels)  999  7  90 
Czech Republic (Prague)  163  2  2 
Denmark (Copenhagen)  999  78  220 
Estonia (Tallinn)  7  2  2 
Finland (Helsinki)  999  999  999 
France (Paris)  285  3  285 
Germany (Berlin)  999  3  999 
Greece (Athens)  999  1  1 
Hungary (Budapest)  999  999  999 
Iceland (Reykjavik)  999  90  90 
Italy (Rome)  999  51  999 
Latvia (Riga)  7  7  7 
Lithuania (Vilnius)  999  2  2 
Luxembourg (Luxembourg)  999  16  999 
Malta (Valletta)  60  45  60 
Netherlands (Amsterdam)  999  122  150 
Norway (Oslo)  999  2  9 
Poland (Warsaw)  999  7  7 
Portugal (Lisbon)  60  5  1 
Slovakia (Bratislava)  999  999  999 
Slovenia (Ljubljana)  999  2  2 
Spain (Madrid)  999  18  66 
Sweden (Stockholm)  999  999  999 
Switzerland (Bern)*  999  80  999 

Supply: U.S. Division of State. “Visa Appointment Wait Instances,” October 14, 2021. material/journey/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html. 

Values of “999” point out that the service is offered in emergency circumstances solely. 

*The US Embassy in Switzerland additionally serves because the US Embassy to Liechtenstein 


As of mid-October 2021, lower than 1 / 4 of U.S. embassies in Schengen space capitals have been providing non-emergency appointments for all classes of customer visas (Prague, Tallinn, Paris, Riga, Valletta, and Lisbon). All others face lengthy appointment wait instances, or emergency-appointment-only restrictions in not less than one of many customer visa classes. Embassies in 4 Schengen space capitals (Helsinki, Budapest, Bratislava, and Stockholm) are providing emergency appointments solely.


For the six U.S. embassies within the Schengen space capital cities which might be providing non-emergency appointments for customer visas, the common wait time is 116.4 days. For the 20 different capitals, appointments for customer visas are emergency-only. For the 21 U.S. embassies providing non-emergency appointments for pupil or change visas, the common wait time is 26.3 days. Lastly, for non-emergency appointments for all different NIVs in Schengen Space capitals, the common wait time is 58.9 days (emergency-only for 9 capitals).


Middle on the US and Europe Director Thomas Wright lays out occasions, points, and potential developments to look at for within the months forward.


I’m delighted to share with you the thirteenth version of the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard, a quarterly analysis of U.S.-European relations produced by Brookings’s Middle on the US and Europe, as a part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Basis Transatlantic Initiative.


The third quarter of 2021 has seen the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the announcement of AUKUS — the trilateral Indo-Pacific safety pact between Australia, the UK and the US, the announcement that the U.S. journey ban on Europe will probably be lifted, and the German federal election to find out Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor. Whether or not these occasions and developments will result in a reckoning for Europe and U.S.-European relations stays to be seen, however a number of factors from this iteration of the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard supply a snapshot of the impact specialists imagine they’ve had on US-Europe relations.


Unsurprisingly, given the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the announcement of AUKUS, U.S.-European relations dropped from a mean of 6.6 on a 1-10 scale on the finish of the second quarter of 2021 to five.3 on the finish of the third. Political and safety relations, in the meantime, dropped 1.8 and 1.5 factors, respectively. Solely a 3rd of our survey pool, nonetheless, noticed U.S.-Europe relations trending negatively total and nearly 50% described U.S.-European financial relations as bettering. Bilateral relations between the US and Germany, the U.Okay., Turkey, and Russia have been largely steady from final quarter, whereas US-French relations suffered a dramatic 2.8-point lower (from a mean of 6.4 to three.6) and US-European Union relations decreased by 1.1 factors.


On the questions particular to occasions and developments of this quarter, our survey pool was cut up on the problem of completely requiring vaccination towards COVID-19 for vacationers getting into the US and EU: 52% agreed with making this a everlasting coverage, whereas nearly 31% disagreed. Virtually 87% of respondents disagreed that America’s NATO companions would by no means once more be part of the US in an out-of-area army intervention after Afghanistan. 59% thought that the US’ therapy of France within the dealing with of the AUKUS deal was a betrayal of belief, whereas solely 9% disagreed (32% have been impartial). Concerning the following German authorities’s China coverage, 59% stated {that a} extra hard-edged China coverage can be pursued whatever the make-up of the coalition. Lastly, half of our survey pool predicted that the US and the EU would take a joint method to the COP26 convention with a purpose to stress China to make better commitments to fight local weather change.


Looking forward to the ultimate quarter of 2021, a number of summits are scheduled to happen: the G20 in Rome, COP26 in Glasgow, the Paris Peace Discussion board, and President Biden’s Summit for Democracy. Though the coalition-formation negotiations haven’t but concluded in Germany, the presidential marketing campaign season in France is selecting up forward of April 2022 elections. Following the latest AUKUS deal, we are going to hold a particular eye on trans-Atlantic safety relations within the coming months, and the way debates about the way forward for NATO and European international and safety coverage tackle technological and army challenges posed by China. We may even be ready to see how trans-Atlantic commerce talks evolve after the primary Commerce and Know-how Council and the way the European Union responds to political challenges from Poland and different member states.


Thanks once more for studying the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard.

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