Brussels, 1 October 2021
MEMBER STATES SIGN OFF AGREEMENT ON PUBLIC COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REPORTING
The Council formally adopted the public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) Directive on the disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches. Under the new rules, multinationals active in the EU with annual global revenues above €750 million will be required to publish information related to their activities, employees, profit and tax on a country-by-country basis. The Directive is expected to be formally endorsed in the European Parliament later this month and subsequently published in the Official Journal of the EU by year-end. Member States will then have 18 months to transpose the rules into national law.
FIRST MEETING OF EU-US TRADE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL TAKES PLACE IN PITTSBURGH
This week the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) held its inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh (US). The meeting was co-chaired by Commission Executive Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. At a time where transatlantic relations are still under pressure, the launch of the TTC was regarded as part of a trust-building exercise. As expected, the meeting did not result in any significant, specific deliverables but rather focused on agreeing on the future scope of work of the TTC’s ten thematic working groups. The TTC will reconvene in early 2022.
AIRLINES COMMIT TO FASTER REIMBURSMENTS AFTER FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS
16 major airlines committed this week to better information and faster reimbursements in cases of flight cancellations, following talks with the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC). In particular, the companies have promised to reimburse passengers within seven days and to better inform them of their rights and the different options they have in the event of a flight cancellation. In addition, passengers can be given vouchers only if they expressly opt for them. Alternatively, the airlines will have to provide monetary reimbursements. The CPC will monitor whether commitments are correctly implemented.
FIVE NEW EU MISSIONS TO TACKLE HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHALLENGES
The European Commission launched five new EU missions to tackle big challenges in health, climate, and the environment. Stemming from the EU’s key research programme Horizon Europe, these initiatives bring together several Commission services under the authority of nine Commissioners. They will support research to deliver on the Commission’s main priorities and find responses to several issues including: fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting the ocean, seas and waters, living in greener cities and ensuring healthy soil and food. The first Horizon Europe work programme includes a set of actions that lay the ground for their implementation. It will be updated with a full research and innovation agenda by the end of the year.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION SEEKS VIEWS ON REVISION OF EU PHARMACEUTICAL LEGISLATION
The Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the EU’s pharmaceutical legislation. This is the latest step towards an ambitious reform as announced in the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, adopted in November 2020. This public consultation notably addresses the performance of the EU’s pharmaceutical legislation, unmet medical needs, incentives for innovation, future-proofing the regulatory framework for novel products, improved access to medicines and competitiveness of the European markets to ensure affordable medicines among others. The consultation will run for twelve weeks until 21 December. The revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation is foreseen for end of 2022.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab