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#CompetitivenessCouncil - #GreenDeal and #SingleMarket must be pursued in unison says #EUROCHAMBRES

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EUROCHAMBRES has highlighted the importance of ensuring synergy between two of the main topics on the agenda of Competitiveness Council: the Green deal and the future of the Single Market. 

Single Market Performance Report

83% of businesses in a recent EUROCHAMBRES survey on barriers in the Single Market support improvements in the implementation and enforcement of EU law. This must be reflected in the Competitiveness Council discussion on the Single Market Performance Report, which highlights significant scope for improvement in the application of legislation. In order for entrepreneurs to benefit more from the Single Market, policy-makers’ perspective urgently needs to shift from the drafting of rules to their correct application and enforcement.

EUROCHAMBRES President Christoph Leitl said: “Reports outlining the benefits of the Single Market need to be backed up with concrete actions to ensure that legislation is enforced and implemented in a consistent and business-friendly manner. Chambers want to see the Commission and member states agree on an ambitious action plan to bring improvements throughout this legislative term.”

Green Deal

Europe’s transition to a sustainable economy will entail significant changes to the existing regulatory environment. Chambers highlight to ministers the need for an open dialogue with the business community throughout the process in order to ensure that policy measures will deliver tangible progress while reinforcing competitiveness.

President Leitl underlined the important links between the Green Deal and the Single Market: “The Single Market is a cornerstone of EU competitiveness. It must be reinforced if the Green Deal is to drive both sustainable transition and growth, as the Commission rightly advocates. It’s positive that both topics will be discussed by the Competitiveness Council, but the follow-up at EU and national level will be the real test.”

Link to EUROCHAMBRES Single Market report. 

EU

EU/US agreement will reassert the co-operation of open societies

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Today (30 November) ambassadors will gather in Brussels to prepare for next week’s Foreign Affairs Council and European Council of heads of government. Top of the list will be the future of EU/US relations.

The discussions will focus on five building blocks: Fighting the COVID-19; enhancing economic recovery; combatting climate change; upholding multilateralism; and, promoting peace and security. 

A strategy paper places the emphasis on the cooperation of open democratic societies and market economies, as a way of addressing the strategic challenge presented by China's growing international assertiveness.

The European Council president Charles Michel will be consulting with leaders over the next week and will also coordinate with NATO to plan a summit in the first half of 2021.

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coronavirus

Italy reports 26,323 new coronavirus cases, 686 deaths

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Italy reported 686 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday (28 November), against 827 the day before, and 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday (27 November), the health ministry said, writes .

There were 225,940 swabs carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 222,803.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 54,363 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain. It has also registered 1.564 million cases.

While Italy’s daily death tolls have been amongst the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding.

The health ministry said on Friday it would ease anti-COVID-19 restrictions in five regions as of 29 November, including in the country’s richest and most populous region, Lombardy.

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coronavirus

German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

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Germany’s partial lockdown measures could be extended until early spring if infections are not brought under control, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday (28 November), writes Caroline Copley.

Altmaier told Die Welt it was not possible to give the all-clear while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.

“We have three to four long winter months ahead of us,” he was quoted as saying. “It is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first months of 2021.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states on Wednesday to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least 20 December.

Germany imposed a “lockdown light” in early November, which closed bars and restaurants but allowed schools and shops to stay open. The measures have stopped the exponential growth of cases but infections have stabilised at a high level.

There were 21,695 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, bringing total cases since the pandemic began to 1,028,089.

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