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The Conference on the Future of Europe gets green light from the Council

European Council - Sat, 03/06/2021 - 08:32
The Conference on the Future of Europe gets green light from the Council.
Categories: European Union

EU-US agree to suspend tariffs to settle aircraft subsidies dispute

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 19:18
The EU and the US agreed on Friday (5 March) to suspend the tariffs mutually imposed in the context of the Boeing-Airbus dispute, while both sides try to reach a compromise on the subsidies given to their aircraft manufacturers. 
Categories: European Union

Agrifood Brief: ‘Buttergate’ – could it spread to Europe?

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 18:24
Welcome to EURACTIV’s AgriFood Brief, your weekly update on all things Agriculture & Food in the EU. You can subscribe here if you haven’t done so yet.   This week: EURACTIV takes a look at why butter is hitting the headlines in Canada...
Categories: European Union

Digital services act [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tambiama Madiega (1st edition),

© Comugnero Silvana / Adobe Stock

The rules governing the provision of digital products and services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive and set higher standards of transparency and accountability, to govern the way platform service providers moderate content, advertising and algorithmic processes. Parliament has already voiced strong support for revision of the EU rules applicable to online actors. EU lawmakers will now assess whether the Commission’s proposal is an appropriate response to the challenges identified and will work towards defining Parliament’s own position on the proposal, which is the first step in the EU’s interinstitutional legislative process.

Complete version Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a single market for digital services (digital services act) and amending Directive 2000/31/EC Committee responsible: Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) COM(2020) 825
15.12.2020 Rapporteur: Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark) 2020/0361(COD) Shadow rapporteurs: Arba Kokalari (EPP, Sweden)
Dita Charanzová (Renew, Czechia)
Alessandra Basso (ID, Italy)
Adam Bielan (ECR, Poland)
Alexandra Geese (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Martin Schirdewan (The Left, Germany) Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’) Next steps expected: Publication of draft report

Categories: European Union

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Bluff, bravado and a fragile border

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:38
Divorces tend not to bring out the best in people and the UK’s divorce from the EU continues to produce some pretty unedifying behaviour and foolish bravado.
Categories: European Union

Hungary PM wants to create new European right-wing ‘force’

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:03
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday (5 March) called for the creation of a new European right-wing force for "our type of people" who want to protect their families and homeland.
Categories: European Union

EU Commission clashes with Parliament over ‘net’ 2030 climate target

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:56
Lawmakers have denounced a “loophole” in the European Commission's proposed climate target for 2030 and pointed the finger at the EU executive for its hard negotiation style over the EU climate law.
Categories: European Union

EU warns China against Hong Kong election rules change

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:49
The European Union warned China on Friday (5 March) that it may take "additional steps" in response to Beijing's move to grant itself a veto over the selection of Hong Kong lawmakers.
Categories: European Union

Press release - Press briefing on plenary session on Monday, 8 March, at 15.30

European Parliament - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:09
The European Parliament’s and political groups’ spokespersons will hold a briefing on next week’s plenary session on Monday at 15.30.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
Categories: European Union

Press release - Press briefing on plenary session on Monday, 8 March, at 15.30

European Parliament (News) - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:09
The European Parliament’s and political groups’ spokespersons will hold a briefing on next week’s plenary session on Monday at 15.30.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
Categories: European Union

What are the realities of the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies?

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:06
According to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission: “At the heart of the Green Deal the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies point to a new and better balance of nature, food systems and biodiversity; to protect our...
Categories: European Union

Vaccine ‘travel pass’ and French trial over data protection risks

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 14:49
  This week on EURACTIV’s Yellow Room, we are talking about the proposed vaccine “travel pass” and the controversy around it. EU countries whose economies depend on tourism seem to be eager to adopt the proposed solution, while others are...
Categories: European Union

Coronavirus: Vaccination debates [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

© New Africa / Adobe Stock

As the second wave of the coronavirus passes, new infections and the death rate are currently both in decline globally. At the same time, countries across the world have begun vaccination programmes. In parallel, fears that the impact of the disease will continue, as some new, highly contagious mutations of the virus have spread, have lead governments to adopt additional preventive border restrictions and lockdowns. Among many debates on the subject, two stand out – the slower vaccination rate in the EU compared to the UK and US, and the imbalance between rich and poor countries in the availability of vaccines, with a third debate, on vaccination passports, emerging rapidly.

This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the pandemic and related issues. A previous item from this series on the coronavirus was published in earlier in February 2021.

Vaccines: How to use market-based incentives to ramp up production
Centre for European Policy Studies, February 2021

Why the EU’s vaccine strategy will pay off in the end
Carnegie Europe, February 2021

Will Covid accelerate productivity growth?
Bruegel, February 2021

Why has the EU been so slow to roll out a Covid vaccination programme?
Bruegel, January 2021

A global pandemic alarm bell
Bruegel, January 2021

What do vaccination passports mean for Europe?
Bruegel, January 2021

Résilience: La nouvelle boussole
Bruegel, January 2021

Corporate insolvencies during Covid-19: Keeping calm before the storm
Bruegel, January 2021

Lessons from the battleground: EU strategic autonomy after the ‘vaccine wars’
European Policy Centre, February 2021

Why the Covid-19 crisis calls for a revamped Better Regulation agenda
European Policy Centre, February 2021

Will corporate debt choke the post-Covid-19 recovery?
European Policy Centre, January 2021

Europe’s post-pandemic strategy for the WHO
European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2021

The EU’s misguided export regulation on vaccines
European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2021

All the rage: The pandemic’s emotional politics
European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2021

The geopolitics of Covid vaccines in Europe’s eastern neighbourhood
European Council on Foreign Relations, January 2021

Corona pandemic shows that many states are poorly prepared
Bertelsmann Stiftung, January 2021

With European unity and empathy against Covid-19
Bertelsmann Stiftung, December 2020

L’impact de la Covid-19 sur le monde du travail
Confrontations Europe, January 2021

How Greece can recover from Covid
Centre for European Reform, February 2021

Ditchley conference report: Covid-19, the global economy and the return of power politics
Centre for European Reform, January 2021

Prioritizing equity after Covid-19
Chatham House, February 2021

The dysfunctional vaccine rollout is creating even more opportunities for cybercriminals
Council on Foreign Relations, February 2021

A guide to global Covid-19 vaccine efforts
Council on Foreign Relations, February 2021

Covid-19 death rate rising in Africa
Council on Foreign Relations, January 2021

What does the World Health Organization do?
Council on Foreign Relations, January 2021

How the Chinese state mobilized civil society to fight Covid-19
Brookings Institution, February 2021

How Covid-era innovation can build more equitable education systems
Brookings Institution, February 2021

Covid-19: Quels impacts sur le climat?
Institut des relations internationales et stratégiques, February 2021

Les relations Europe-Afrique à l’aune de la pandémie de Covid-19: État des lieux et perspectives
Fondation Robert Schuman, February 2021

What the vaccine row tells us about the Commission’s worth
Friends of Europe, February 2021

Adapt or perish: Lessons from the pandemic
Friends of Europe, February 2021

Covid-19: How can we get it under control in 2021?
Friends of Europe, February 2021

La crise Covid, le transport stratégique et ses perspectives européennes
Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, February 2021

Covid-19: Comment faire face à la peur vaccinale?
Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, December 2020

Saving the red-eye to Ibiza: How vaccine corridors can open up travel again
Foreign Policy Centre, February 2021

Pandemie, Regierungskrise und Wahlkampfauftakt in den Niederlanden
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, February 2021

Political risk: Germany pledges to speed up vaccinations
Polish Institute of International Affairs, February 2021

An abrupt awakening to the realities of a pandemic: Learning lessons from the onset of Covid-19 in the EU and Finland
Finnish Institute of International Affairs, January 2021

Reforming multilateralism in post-COVID times: For a more regionalised, binding and legitimate United Nations
Instituto Affari Internationali, January 2021

The Post-Covid-19 trajectory for Algeria, Morocco and the Western Sahara
Instituto Affari Internationali, January 2021

Learning from Covid-19: Implications for the EU response to human smuggling
Instituto Affari Internationali, December 2020

How Covid-19 changed the future
European Union Institute for Security Studies, December 2020

Les européens devant l’hésitation vaccinale
Institut Jacques Delors, December 2020

Covid-19 pandemic: Insights from Rand
Rand Corporation, February 2021

An evaluation of the Turkish economy during Covid-19
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, January 2021

Impact and potential consequences of Covid-19: Global and European considerations
Economic Policy Institute, January 2021.

Read this briefing on ‘Coronavirus: Vaccination debates‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Categories: European Union

European Parliament Plenary Session – March I 2021

Written by Clare Ferguson,

© European Union 2018 – Source : EP

Continuing to mark International Women’s Day 2021, the agenda for the first plenary session of March 2021 kicks off with a ceremony celebrating women’s day, not least their role in fighting on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, it is no secret that the pandemic has also had a highly gendered impact on women, with women more likely to suffer a negative impact in their professional and personal lives. Women continue to be under-represented in business and political leadership – even in the European Parliament. Nevertheless, the Parliament has already made recommendations on the need for a gendered response to Covid‑19, such as the adoption of effective gender mainstreaming tools that could mitigate the negative consequences and contribute to halting the reversal of gender equality.

A joint debate on the European Semester scheduled for Wednesday morning will look at the economic outlook for Europe’s recovery from the pandemic, with an emphasis expected on social and employment policy. The Council and European Commission are also expected to make statements on the action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. This will be followed by the formal signature, by the presidents of the EU institutions, of the recently endorsed Joint Declaration on the Conference of the Future of Europe, an initiative long supported by Parliament, which now begins its work to engage with citizens’ concerns. As direct representatives elected by people in EU countries, Parliamentarians are keen to contribute along with citizens themselves, to building a truly Citizen’s Union.

Even before the current pandemic, investment in the EU had yet to recover to pre-financial crisis levels. On Tuesday morning, Members will debate a joint Budgetary Committee and Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee legislative report on the proposed InvestEU programme, designed to streamline investment support and now adjusted to tackle the post-coronavirus investment landscape. Parliament has been fierce in its advocacy for adequate resources to finance the recovery, securing a €1 billion top-up for the EU guarantee and measures that could mobilise an extra €35-40 billion in investment through incorporating European Investment Bank legacy portfolios. Thanks to the Parliament’s efforts, the proposals now include the possibility for Member States to use InvestEU funding to provide capital support for otherwise viable small and medium-sized businesses that have been hard-hit by the pandemic.

Also under consideration before the current pandemic, Parliament has long supported moves to establish a coherent EU health programme – following through by negotiating an additional €3.4 billion for the EU4Health programme during the 2021‑2027 multiannual financial framework negotiations. Parliament will proceed with its first reading of the proposed legislation to establish the programme on Tuesday morning. While the programme will focus on combating cross-border health threats, ensuring affordable medicine and promoting stronger health systems, it is expected that Parliament will steer the programme towards support for measures with clear EU added value.

Parliament elects the European Ombudsman at the beginning of each parliamentary term, and is due to discuss an own-initiative report on the Ombudsman’s annual activity report for 2019 on Tuesday afternoon, in the presence of the Ombudsman herself, Emily O’Reilly. The annual report covers a wide range of issues where the Ombudsman has investigated complaints and initiated enquiries into possible maladministration by EU institutions or agencies. In 2019, these included senior EU staff appointments, ongoing transparency issues in the Council and Eurogroup, and the treatment of disabled people and asylum-seekers. While the institutions complied with the Ombudsman’s recommendations in the interests of good administration in most cases, the annual report makes some key recommendations for further action on: decision-making accountability in the Council; public access to documents; interviews with asylum-seekers; appointment procedures; and on citizens’ participation in EU policy-making. Parliament’s Petitions Committee (PETI) is largely in agreement with the Ombudsman’s assessment, particularly with regard to remarks concerning the Council and the transparency register.

Finally, while fisheries control is an exclusive EU competence under the common fisheries policy, EU countries are responsible for controlling their fishing activities, with the European Commission checking that they fulfill their responsibilities correctly. Advances in technology allow more effective controls to protect fish stocks, and the rules are therefore being revised. On Tuesday afternoon, Members will debate a legislative report on this revision from the Fisheries Committee that supports the new rules in general, while seeking to protect small fishing vessels, and reserving the imposition of CCTV onboard for those who commit infringements.

Categories: European Union

Digital Brief, powered by Facebook: Microtargeting debate, Protecting gig workers, Apple antitrust

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:15
Welcome to EURACTIV’s Digital Brief, your weekly update on all things digital in the EU. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.    “Maybe prohibiting certain practices such as microtargeting at certain times, I think that’s the debate that we need to...
Categories: European Union

Global Europe Brief: Military mobility on the move

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:05
Welcome to EURACTIV’s Global Europe Brief, your weekly update on the EU from the global perspective. You can subscribe here. /// EDITOR’s TAKE Military mobility has been seen as the ‘silver bullet’ for EU-NATO defence cooperation, meant to ensure seamless movement...
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] MEPs urged to keep immunity of Catalan colleagues

Euobserver.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:38
A cross-European group of 52 former MEPs on Friday urged EU lawmakers to vote against a report that recommends lifting the immunity of current MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. The vote will take place on 8 March. The Catalan politicians fled to Belgium in late 2017 to avoid charges over the referendum on Catalan independence. They could face up to 25 years in jail, if convicted.
Categories: European Union

FedEx unveils $2 billion plan to become carbon neutral by 2040

Euractiv.com - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 11:54
International delivery company FedEx has announced it will invest $2 billion (€1.66bn) to make its global operations carbon neutral by 2040, a task that will involve cutting the emissions of the company’s 70 aircraft and more than 30,000 vehicles operating in Europe.
Categories: European Union

Debate: First pope in Iraq: a hopeful signal in the crisis?

Eurotopics.net - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 11:53
When Pope Francis gets off the plane in Baghdad this Friday, the first ever visit by a Pope to Iraq and Francis's first trip after a year on a Covid break will begin. The pope, who chose the words "You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers" as the official slogan for his four-day visit, aims to highlight the common ground among religions. Commentators commend the pope for this gesture of solidarity and dialogue under difficult circumstances.
Categories: European Union

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