UNO May 2022

A recovery that makes us more resilient

The recovery in the wake of the pandemic is an enormous challenge that most economies in the world are facing. The end of the toughest phase of COVID-19 has also coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has wreaked terrible devastation, including the deaths of tens of thousands of people, along with economic effects such as inflation, a lack of raw materials, and uncertainty in the global markets.

Despite this gloomy background of war, which we hope will end soon, the plans for the economic recovery following two anomalous years of lockdown and restrictions on movement allow us to see some of the paths opening up for public authorities, private companies, and society as a whole. Firstly, as set out in this issue number 38 of UNO, the European Union has deployed a large number of tools designed to not only stimulate troubled economies, but also to speed up two processes that we urgently require: a green transition and far-reaching digitalization. The Next Generation EU Plan, with more than 800 billion euros in investment, will be key to strengthening the resilience of economies that need sound backing to implement reforms and investments. Since our political context is as complex as the economic context, we need to not just recover but also transform.

The Next Generation EU plan, with its more than 800 billion euros in investment, will be key for implementing reforms that would otherwise have been difficult to undertake.

As Jordi Sevilla sets out in his article, these complexities will not resolve themselves or be resolved by national governments or companies. “We need to find new protagonists and design new means of social intervention able to tackle global and cross-cutting challenges”, says Jordi. These require a new form of cooperation between the public and private sector, which goes beyond the traditional confrontations between governments, companies, and society. These three cornerstones, which are key for the functioning of modern economies and democracies, must learn to cooperate in new ways to create the best regulation possible and to organize social needs and strategies that guarantee growth, employment, and sustainability. Public relations will play an important role in intermediation in this new era. LLYC has modernized itself through the creation of a Next Generation EU Projects unit which adds its understanding of the context with a view towards aligning the business priorities of private national companies with the plans of the European Union, the Government of Spain, and the 2030 Agenda to its traditional public relations activities.

This issue of UNO pays close attention to this new era in which Spain and Europe find themselves and unites the perceptions that politicians and senior civil servants, business owners and analysts, and heads of public relations at LLYC have of this process. However, the process is global and therefore we have also sought out how this develops in other key geographic areas for LLYC such as Latin America, where the pandemic, the price rise, and the path of recovery have their own hallmarks. “Although the horizon is not totally clear, the worst of the pandemic is now behind us,” says Gema Sacristán, from the Inter-American Development Bank, in her article. Despite its singular features, the recovery in the Americas will, as in Spain and in Europe, be slower than expected and will require additional efforts.

In this issue of UNO, we have tried to reflect on the need to bravely enter a new era of cooperation between the public and the private sector.

The global uncertainties are enduring, but some constants are beginning to break through. In this issue, we have tried to highlight one of these certainties: the need to bravely enter a new era of cooperation between the public and the private sector. We seek to align the ambitions of the key sectors of productive and social fabric with the economic “missions” proposed by public institutions. This is a huge challenge, on top of the tragic outbreak of a war that we tried to address with both realism and hopefulness. In these times, we must be able to attract and retain talent, help new emerging leaders, improve the capabilities and employability of citizens, and address tremendous opportunities – as the Next Generation EU plans indicate – in research and innovation. This will help us ensure that the digital and climate transitions can be just, to modernize our productive structure, and to strengthen our security and equality. This issue of UNO is a contribution to this complex process and a call to all our readers to take initiative during this vital moment in which we must recover and transform.

Jose Antonio Llorente
Founding Partner and Chairman of LLYC Spain / U.S.A.
Jose Antonio Llorente as a specialist in Corporate and Financial Communication, over the course of a career spanning more than 25 years, he has provided consultancy services on numerous corporate transactions: mergers, acquisitions, divestments, joint ventures and stock market floatations. Mr. Llorente was the first Spanish professional to have received the SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, a European award presented by The Holmes Report.Mr. Llorente worked at the multinational Burson-Marsteller for ten years, where he was Managing Director. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Euroamérica Foundation and the Steering Committee of the Spanish Association of Minority Shareholders of Listed Companies. He is also a member of the Advisory Council to SMEs of the Spanish Confederation of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Steering Committee of the Agencies of Spain Association and the Advisory Council of Executive MBA in the Management of Professional Services Organisations organised by Garrigues. José Antonio has a degree in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, and specialist in Public Affairs at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and The Henley College. @jallorente [United States - Spain]

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