Connect with us

Politics

Week ahead: Poland looms large ahead of EUCO summit

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The European Council will be meeting for the Autumn summit on 21 and 22 October. The heads of government will discuss COVID-19, taking stock of the European and wider international situation, the digital transformation and progress on key legislative proposals (Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act), how to deal with the hike in energy prices, migration and external relations. However, looming large will be the situation in Poland and the challenge to the primacy of EU law.

The European Commission has said that it will respond swiftly to the decision of Poland’s illegally constituted Constitutional Tribunal. The European Parliament is in session again and MEPs will discuss the rule of law crisis in Poland and the recent decision on the primacy of EU law, with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The EUCO is also likely to be edgy due to the latest Twitter tirade by Janez Janša where he tweeted a conspiracy theory about MEPs links to George Soros. The obsession with Soros is something that he conspicuously shares with Viktor Orban and Donald Trump. The tweets were targeted at a delegation of MEPs visiting Slovenia. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte responded: “Tasteless tweet by Janez Janša about MEPs. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. The government just conveyed this same sentiment to the Slovenian ambassador in The Hague.”

Janša wasn’t afraid to keep digging. Referring to a crime reporter, Peter de Vries, who was recently murdered in Amsterdam, he tweeted back that “Well, Mark, @MinPres, don't waste time with ambassadors and media freedom in Slovenia. Together with @SophieintVeld, protect your journalists from being killed on the streets." 

The European Commission will relaunch their consultation on the fiscal framework. Initially launched at the start of 2020 it was suspended in the face of Covid-19. The ‘escape clause’ was activated during the crisis to allow for the necessary support during the worst phase of the pandemic.

In a recent article with Der Spiegel Klaus Regling, European Stability Mechanism Managing Director said when asked if the EU would lose credibility if the stability rules were eased further, he replied: "You can also lose credibility by sticking to rules that have become economically nonsensical."

Advertisement

What is clear is that the EU will need further public investment to assist in the financing of the green transition. Rather than take a dogmatic approach, or throw the rules out the window, the Commission and member states are more likely to take a middle road where they still aim at meeting the 3% deficit and 60% debt to GDP target, but take a more nuanced approach on the pace and path towards these targets. 

Plenary

In addition to the rule-of-law crisis in Poland, the European Parliament will also discuss the Pandora Papers and the implications for combating money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance; the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), and the Farm to Fork Strategy for more sustainable food, among other issues. We will also find out who is the winner of this year’s Sakharov Prize.

Share this article:

China

Competition: EU and China meet during 22nd Competition Week to discuss competition policy priorities

Published

on

Officials and experts from the EU and China will meet online from 29 November to 2 December 2021 to discuss about their co-operation on competition law and enforcement. The discussions will focus on the green transition and how China's Fair Competition Review System and the EU's State Aid framework can contribute to it. Participants will also discuss mechanisms to control potentially anti-competitive acquisitions in the digital sector and the practical challenges of investigating digital markets. In addition, there will be updates on the proposed revisions to China's Anti-Monopoly Law and recent regulatory and competition policy developments in the EU.

The 22nd EU-China Competition Week follows the longstanding tradition of biannual competition dialogue between the EU and the anti-monopoly enforcement agencies in China. It is part of the Competition Co-operation project, a five-year EU funded programme offering technical co-operation to competition authorities in Asia. It also provides a platform for exchanges on competition policy between the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition (DG Competition) and the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). The objective is to exchange experiences and strengthen convergence in competition policy, to the benefit of citizens and businesses in both the EU and in Asia. More information about the European Commission's bilateral dialogue with China in the field of competition policy is available on the Commission's website.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

coronavirus

Commission hosts second matchmaking event to speed up the development and production of COVID-19 medicines

Published

on

Today (30 November), the Commission is hosting a pan-European matchmaking event to accelerate and upscale the development and production of COVID-19 medicines in Europe, as part of the actions under the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics. Following a first matchmaking event on COVID-19 medicines in July 2021 and a previous matchmaking event on COVID-19 vaccines in March 2021, this event aims at strengthening the participation of EU companies in value chains for COVID-19 therapeutics and speeding up connections among the participants. It also broadens the focus: from therapeutics specifically used to treat COVID-19, to also including those used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, as well the production of disposable materials, such as syringes, and ingredients needed for making such medicines.

The event gathers companies from the European Economic Area as well as other businesses and organisations included in the portfolio of 10 most promising treatments, presented by the Commission in the follow-up to the COVID-19 Therapeutics strategy. In order to facilitate matchmaking events, the Commission issued a comfort letter in March 2021 (based on the Antitrust Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 8 April 2020) providing guidance, relevant also for this event, on how the matchmaking and exchanges between participating companies, including direct competitors, can take place in compliance with EU competition rules. The matchmaking event is organised by the Commission's Task Force for industrial scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, in close co-operation with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. The event is also hosted in partnership with the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) and the European Cluster Alliance (ECA), which are supporting the Commission in running an EU survey to assess EU capacities for COVID-19 therapeutics production. More information about the event is available here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

European Commission

President von der Leyen addresses the special session of the World Health Assembly of the WHO

Published

on

On 29 November, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) addressedthe World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), which gathers between 29 November and 1 December for its second-ever special session. The President welcomed the Assembly's decision to start negotiations towards an international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, President von der Leyen commended the leadership of South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, underlining that South Africa's analytical work and transparency have allowed a swift global response to save lives. She praised South Africa as an example of international cooperation in times of cross-border health threats.

Building on the Global Health Summit of May and on the G20 Summit last month, President von der Leyen reaffirmed the EU's commitment to uphold equity, good governance, multilateral cooperation and solidarity as the only ways out of the current health crisis. The European Union and its Member States will continue working to help achieve the global vaccination target of 70% in 2022 and will support capacity building for sequencing, testing, treatments and vaccination. In this sense, the President confirmed that the EU aims at sharing at least 700 million vaccine doses by mid-2022 with low and middle-income countries. That is on top of the €3 billion in financing that the EU provided to help create the ACT-Accelerator for global vaccination through COVAX and the ongoing efforts to develop vaccine manufacturing in Africa and in South America. The full speech is available here and can be re-watched here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending