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Coming up: Vaccines, EU revenue, tourism

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In a week with committee meetings and a plenary session, MEPs will focus on COVID-19 vaccines, the EU’s own resources system and sustainable tourism.

Vaccines

Today (23 March), the environment and public health committee will hear the latest news on the evaluation and market authorization of COVID-19 vaccines from European Medicines Agency (EMA) Executive Director Emer Cooke.

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Also today, the budget control committee will also discuss the current state of the EU’s Advance Purchase Agreement on COVID-19 vaccines with Sandra Gallina, the Euroepan Commission's Director-General for Health.

Plenary session

EU revenue

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MEPs will vote Thursday (25 March) on the reform of the EU’s own resources that will lead to new sources of EU revenue, such as a levy on non-recycled plastic packaging waste.

Rule of law

On Wednesday (24March), MEPs will vote on a resolution reiterating their call on the Commission to urgently activate the rule of law mechanism to protect the EU budget. The rules, approved in December, would allow payments from the EU budget to be frozen or cut if a member state has breached EU rules.

Dual-use products

MEPs will vote Thursday on new rules for the export of dual-use goods - products or services such as drones and chemicals that can be misused - to take into account new technologies and better protect human rights.

Sustainable tourism

MEPs are set to call on EU countries to include travel and tourism in their COVID-19 recovery plans to support the sectors after the crisis and help them to become cleaner and more sustainable. They will also back a European strategy including a common vaccination certificate to facilitate travel.

New EU-Africa strategy

The Parliament will vote on its input for a new EU-Africa strategy on Thursday, calling for a move from a donor-recipient relationship to a closer and more equitable one, to face common challenges, such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

Marine litter

MEPs are expected to call Thursday for more reductions in single-use plastics and more sustainable fishing gear in order to reduce marine litter.

Find out more 

European Central Bank (ECB)

ECB's Lagarde keeps door open to higher inflation

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Inflation in the eurozone could exceed the European Central Bank's already raised projections but there are few signs of this already happening, ECB President Christine Lagarde (pictured) said on Monday (27 September), writes Balazs Koranyi, Reuters.

"While inflation could prove weaker than foreseen if economic activity were to be affected by a renewed tightening of restrictions, there are some factors that could lead to stronger price pressures than are currently expected," she told lawmakers at the European Parliament.

"But we are seeing limited signs of this risk so far, which means that our baseline scenario continues to foresee inflation remaining below our target over the medium term," she added.

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European Commission

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia

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The European Commission has disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8bn in grants and €705m in loans, over the lifetime of its plan. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

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The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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