March: hey there, sunshine, things are looking up!
Temperatures are rising as fast as vaccination rates, and that’s not the only reason we’re smiling here at the CCC.

Across the world, my colleagues have been putting in the hours writing articles, cutting videos, recording interviews, penning research, and submitting to government consultations like no other — and our efforts have won us the prize of Best New Think Tank!
Best New Think Tank
We were awarded the title of one of the “Best New Think Tanks” of 2020 by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, nestled into their massive report that examines policy organizations around the world.

European Railway IndexNot to be outdone by last year’s efforts, my colleagues Maria Chaplia and Tamar Tarsaidze put their heads together and scoured the Old Continent for data and digits to piece together our 2021 European Railway Station Index, highlighting the most passenger-friendly train stations from the British Isles to the Ural mountains. How did your favorite station rank?

And, wouldn’t you know it, it’s already been featured in top media outlets and newspapers across the continent, including the Daily Mail (with a sour headline as London’s St. Pancras station was demoted), the Independent, Der Spiegel, Der Standard, and every travel blog known to man. 

Okay, not EVERY travel blog, but at least more than I’ve ever heard of.

The fun part of these indices is getting feedback from train and travel lovers galore, who provide always very cordial and nicely-worded responses to our work.

You can check out the full index people are raving (or even fuming) about below.

From Smoking to VapingDid you know that if Indonesia embraced the same policies on vaping as the United Kingdom, it would potentially save the lives of 15 million people? Or in Germany over 4.2 million?

Those are just some of the key takeaways from our latest From Smoking to Vaping interactive map, detailing the very real health benefits that come with embracing both innovation and tobacco harm reduction.

Encouraging smokers to switch habits in favor of less harmful alternatives has the potential for saving hundreds of millions of lives globally, yet many countries still do not follow this approach.

Track how your country could potentially save lives here.

Welcoming Elizabeth Hicks! We’re also happy to announce that we’ve brought on Elizabeth Hicks as our new US Affairs Analyst! 

She’ll be working with me and David on our efforts stateside, reaching out to partners old and new, splashing newsletters with consumer choice content, and connecting with lawmakers to make our visions a reality. Her background is in political education and grassroots advocacy, so we’re thrilled about having her on the team.

Be sure to give her a follow on Twitter!

Fred made an appearance at an in-person conference! Of course, we wouldn’t be approaching summer if our managing director Fred Roeder wasn’t talking up aviation and travel someplace, and this time he was featured at the Arab Aviation Summit! 

He gave his thoughts on consumer trends in travel, the complexities and problems with vaccine passports, and why some legislative proposals and taxes would end up making travel more expensive and cumbersome for the little guy! Super like.
Would you pay 250 EUR for a COVID vaccine? If you’re still one of the tens of millions without the jab and who’s ready to get the needle to get back to normal, I’m sure you’d say yes.

Let me know if you agree!

Pushing Back Against Australia’s Facebook PlanSpeaking of being shy, you can’t claim that about my colleague David Clement. He appeared on Canadian television with former minister and now TV host Tony Clement (David claims there is no relation) to discuss the bungled media regulations Australia tried to pass over on Facebook and its users.

There is talk of a similar plan in Canada, and David ain’t having any of it. I’ve written about the impact this will have on consumers in Australia, and we can pretty confidently say the same wherever legislators are colluding with major media outlets to ponder the same.

Check out the video segment below.

Time to Stand Against Streaming Content QuotasHitting on a similar topic, our colleague Bill Wirtz is (finally) getting into consuming some great TV shows and movies on popular streaming services. Atta boy! He’s been able to stream international productions from his small enclave in Luxembourg and he’s had a blast.

However, if certain content quotas are passed in countries like Mexico, millions of Mexican consumers will be deprived of many of the streaming options Bill can enjoy on his laptop in Europe. These national content quotas would drive down investment and reduce the library of shows and movies that Mexicans can access. That’s a rotten deal for cord-cutters and streamers.

Check out his article in the Brussels Times below.

Hittin’ Those Radio WavesAnd as always, if you like these words, you’ll love this voice. Check out our internationally syndicated radio show Consumer Choice Radio. It’s got a nifty new website with all our feeds for you podcast fans.

Each week, David and I try to break down the latest news and debates affecting consumers and have on guests to provide context.

Some of our recent highlights include Dr. Kimberlee Josephson on “Why Corporations Should Cater to Consumers and Not Causes”, entrepreneur and investor Steve Forbes on Joe Biden’s stimulus bills, and Goodwood Brewing CEO Ted Mitzlaff on why he’s suing the governor of Kentucky for his overzealous COVID restrictions.

We love our radio family and listeners, but the podcast crew is growing! Give us a “subscribe” if you’ve got your phone handy (that is how you’re reading this, right?).

Innovation or Stagnation?And our colleagues in Europe aren’t shy about broadcasting either! They host regular livestreams featuring EU policymakers and innovators on the themes of the day.

This time, it was about whether EU digital regulations lead us to innovation or stagnation, featuring German MEP Svenja Hahn, Eglė Markevičiūtė, Vice Minister at the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, AEI Fellow Shane Tews, and Kay Jabelli of Computer & Communications Industry Association.

Hear their thoughts on our YouTube and check out the write-up in Parliament Magazine.
I would need plenty more space to expound on ALL our activities, so I definitely would recommend you follow our FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

Until next month, keep up the good spirits, and let’s hope for Normal!

Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director

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