Five factors that will shape your life in Europe in the 2020s

If the second decade of the 21st century demonstrated anything, it's that we live in an age of constant change.

Five factors that will shape your life in Europe in the 2020s

From the Trump presidency to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve almost come to expect the unexpected. However, there are some significant global trends that, it’s safe to say, will shape the next decade.

Together with online learning expert GetSmarter, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), we look at five of the factors that will influence the professional and personal lives of international workers in Europe over the next ten years. 

Gain an understanding of the world in the coming decade, in just eight weeks online with LSE and GetSmarter

1. Populism and economic nationalism. Donald Trump was only the most prominent manifestation of a populist surge in the second half of the last decade that afflicted many Western democracies. It was driven by disenchantment with globalisation and seemingly detached elites or technocrats.

The recent war of words between Germany and Hungary, over anti-LGBTIQ legislation, and the ensuing, very public demonstrations of support by many German sporting clubs, is only a glimpse of the ‘culture wars’ that seem to dominate the politics of central Europe in the next decade. 

Political turmoil, fanned by state and extra-state actors, may become more normalised, and that has implications for where you choose to live or take a job.

2. Cybersecurity. As more and more of our lives move online, powerful corporations handle our data and digital networks are exposed to criminal and extremist groups. What are the long-term consequences of the digital economy? How will privacy and cybersecurity concerns be addressed, such as those raised by the European Union, and who will control the new digital monopolies?

An example of how one of these issues may impact international workers in Europe is the recent ransomware attack on Swedish supermarkets, which not only saw shoppers unable to buy goods, but the entire business crippled for a number of days, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue and additional costs. 

As a benefit, however, IT specialists in cybersecurity will become more sought after, and many will need to be trained to meet the demands of corporations on the ground.

Enrol by October 5th in the Business, International Relations and the Political Economy online certificate course from LSE and GetSmarter to help you navigate the next decade

3. Brexit. It’s been five years since the United Kingdom voted to separate from the European Union, and despite half a decade of negotiations and diplomatic wrangling, tensions are still very much alive between the EU and its neighbour.

Aside from the very obvious changes to the way that many live and work in Europe, many smaller businesses are finding it impossible to ship goods, or provide services to the UK, due to spiralling freight costs, or lack of clarity about trade agreements. For many international workers in Europe, this has implications for businesses and employment – Britain may not maintain the market status it once did. 

Pic: The Local Creative Studio

4. US Elections. The 2024 US Presidential Election, and the midterms before that, will be a test to determine whether Trumpism was an anomaly, or remains an unpredictable, destabilising force in American politics for years to come.

On this side of the Atlantic, we’ve seen that the American isolationism of the previous administration has been replaced with a more cooperative approach and a military presence that is stabilising, if not increasing. For those who work in Europe as defence contractors, or with firms that do business with the military, there are more opportunities for growth after a period of stagnation. For serving personnel, they may find that their time in Europe is extended, with more opportunities to experience life in other nation

5. Climate change. The COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year will be a defining moment in the struggle against climate change. The United States and China, but also other major emitters, will need to make bigger global efforts after five years to implement the Paris Climate Agreement.

While you may be asked to use new power sources, or technologies with better energy efficiency, Europe is already being impacted by hotter summers and wetter winters, changing the way many work and go on holiday – something that you will have to get used to in the long term. 

Stay ahead of the curve. If you’re an international resident or your career requires an understanding of major global issues, it can be hard work keeping informed of these massive changes.

The Business, International Relations and the Political Economy online certificate course from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in collaboration with GetSmarter, explores some of the significant global trends that will define the decade, and have very real consequences for business and society.

Flexible, online learning designed by leading LSE academics enables anyone to develop the skills needed to think critically and make informed decisions during times of change and uncertainty.

Embrace change: enrol by October 5th in LSE and GetSmarter’s eight-week Business, International Relations and the Political Economy online certificate course

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Reader Question: Are foreigners in Norway allowed to vote? 

Voting is a crucial part of the democratic process. But can foreigners in Norway have their say at the ballot box, and which elections are they allowed to vote in? 

Reader Question: Are foreigners in Norway allowed to vote? 

Question: Are foreign residents allowed to vote in Norwegian elections? 

Taking part in elections is one of the main ways that the electorate can have their political voices heard. 

On the other hand, being unable to cast your vote in a country where you pay taxes and make national insurance contributions can leave foreign residents feeling marginalised and disenfranchised. 

So, can foreign residents in Norway have their say and vote in local and general elections? 

Do you have a burning question about Norway you want answered, or maybe there’s something you are just curious about? You can get in touch here, and The Local will do its best to answer your question for you! 

Who can vote in Norway? 

There are four types of election in Norway, parliamentary (stortingsvalg), municipal (kommunestyrevalg), county council elections (fylkestingsvalg), and to choose representatives for the Sami Parliament (Sametinget). 

In parliamentary elections, only Norwegian citizens who turn 18 by the end of the year can vote. 

Norwegian citizens who have been abroad for more than ten years also need to apply to be able to vote. 

Dual citizens are allowed to vote in parliamentary elections. 

Only those who are part of the Sami population and on the Sami electoral register are allowed to vote in those elections. However, Sami from other Nordic countries can cast their ballot if they are registered as living in Norway on June 30th of the election year. 

However, foreigners can vote in local elections. To vote in a municipal or county council election, you will need to either be a Nordic citizen registered as living in Norway or a foreign citizen who has been living in Norway for at least three consecutive years before the date of the election. 

Voters will receive an election card in the post. It is sent to the address listed in the National Population Register. 

Until recently, foreign residents without ties to the Norwegian mainland could vote in local elections, sit on the council, and serve as elected representatives under the Svalbard Treaty. 

However, the current government will apply the same rules for the mainland to Svalbard ahead of the next set of local elections in 2023. 

READ MORE: Norwegian islands lose quarter of voters as foreigners frozen out of local elections