Insights | Brussels, 23 June 2023

28/06/2023

Brussels, 23 June 2023

Brussels, 23 June 2023

 

EU TIGHTENS SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA AND INCREASES SUPPORT TO UKRAINE

The Council adopted the 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The package focuses on addressing the growing circumvention of sanctions and increases engagement with third countries to address sanctions circumvention, bans additional transit through Russia, and expands the suspension of broadcasting licenses for Russian media outlets. Lastly, the package prohibits access to EU ports to ships engaging in ship-to-ship transfers or ships disabling their navigation systems, to avoid the circumvention of the oil price cap and related restrictions. In parallel, the European Commission proposed to establish a €50 billion facility dedicated to supporting Ukraine’s recovery from 2024 to 2027.

 

COMMISSION PRESENTS EUROPEAN ECONOMIC SECURITY STRATEGY

The European Commission presented its European Economic Security Strategy, aiming to assess and manage economic security risks for the Union. Concretely, the strategy announced various initiatives, looking to promote EU competitiveness, protect from security risks and foster partnerships with like-minded partners. As part of the strategy, the Commission unveiled the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP), which comes instead of the anticipated European Sovereignty Fund, given the political disagreements around the initiative. The initiative aims to mobilize €160 billion to invest in strategic technologies across digital, clean tech, and biotech sectors, using existing EU funds and an additional €10 billion investment.

 

COUNCIL REACHES AGREEMENT ON THE NATURE RESTORATION LAW

The Council agreed a General Approach on the nature restoration law. The initiative aims to implement recovery measures covering at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and restore all ecosystems, in need, by 2050. The Council text aims to balance ambitious restoration goals with flexibility to member states in the implementation. Concretely, the measures proposed include restoring obligations of at least 30% of habitats in poor condition by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050. Notably, the Council’s text also includes provisions ensuring that renewable energy projects have an overriding public interest.

 

COMMISSION PROPOSES BUDGET REVISION AND NEW OWN RESOURCES

The European Commission proposed its mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027. The revision comes considering the challenges since the adoption of the MFF in 2020, namely Covid, the Ukraine war, migration crises, and soaring inflation. The Commission’s proposal aims to ensure that the EU budget can keep delivering given present and future challenges. As part of its MFF revision, the Commission proposed a new package to increase the EU’s own resources. Aiming to ensure long-term financing for the EU budget and repayment of the NextGenEU funds, the package includes a temporary own resource on company profits, and adjustments to the Emissions Trading System and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

 

EUROPEAN MEDIA FREEDOM ACT: COUNCIL SECURES MANDATE FOR NEGOTIATIONS

The Council agreed a General Approach for the European Media Freedom Act. The Act aims to safeguard media freedom, independence, and pluralism, by establishing a common framework for EU media services. Additionally, it aims to protect journalists and media providers from political interference, and introduces a European Board for Media Services, which will replace the existing regulators’ group, providing guidance and promoting consistent application of the new law across all member states. In its position, the Council clarifies Member States’ responsibilities towards public media providers and strengthens the independence of the European Board for Media Services. Pending on the European Parliament’s position, the file will proceed to trilogue negotiations.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 26 June: EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Council. On the agenda: EU-Tajikistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
  • 26 June: Foreign Affairs Council. On the agenda: Russian aggression against Ukraine, Latin America and the Caribbean, Digital Diplomacy.
  • 26 – 27 June: Agriculture and Fisheries Council. On the agenda: Sustainable use of pesticides, Trade-related agricultural issues, Common Fisheries Policy.
  • 27 June: General Affairs Council. On the agenda: European electoral law proposal, June European Council, European Semester, EU carbon market.
  • 28 June: College of Commissioners Meeting. On the agenda: Open finance and payments, Joint statement on climate change, environmental degradation, security and defense.
  • 29 – 30 June: European Council. On the agenda: EU response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Industrial policy, Migration and asylum policy, Strategic discussion with China.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

____________________________________________________________________

Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

 

 

 

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