Brussels, 4 September 2020
PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR LEGALLY BINDING NEW OWN RESOURCES CALENDAR
The European Parliament’s Budget Committee adopted its position on the own resources decision, calling for a higher revenue ceiling that provides the fiscal headroom to guarantee borrowing and lending activities that underpin the EU recovery plan. The draft opinion notably calls for a legally binding calendar for the progressive introduction of new own resources by 2026, aimed at contributing to the costs of repaying the debt incurred under the recovery plan. The Parliament plenary will vote on the draft opinion later this month whilst interinstitutional negotiations on the EU recovery package continue both at political and technical level.
COMMISSION TO MAKE EUROPE’S RAW MATERIALS SUPPLY MORE SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE
The European Commission presented an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, updated the 2020 list of Critical Raw Materials, and launched a foresight study that assesses the outlook for 2030 and 2050. The Action Plan proposes actions to reduce EU dependency on third countries for raw materials and to improve resource efficiency and circularity, as part of an EU-wide push for enhanced strategic autonomy in key technologies. Ten concrete actions are listed, most notably the establishment of a European Raw Materials Alliance. There are 30 Critical Raw Materials in the updated Commission’s list, now including lithium.
NEW RULES ON CLEANER AND SAFER VEHICLES START TO APPLY ACROSS EUROPE
The EU Regulation on approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles entered into force, having previously been adopted in May 2018. The Regulation substantially revamps the previous type approval and market surveillance system. New car models will be independently audited before entry onto the market, while Member States are now obliged to regularly test a minimum number of cars already on the market more frequently. Also, the Commission is empowered to carry out compliance and conformity checks on vehicles in laboratories or on the road.
COMMISSION JOINS THE COVID-19 VACCINE GLOBAL ACCESS FACILITY
The European Commission joined the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) and announced a €400 million contribution to support its objectives in the context of low- and middle-income countries. Launched in April 2020, COVAX is a collaboration between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and WHO, and it aims to accelerate the development of the COVID-19 vaccine – and to ensure equitable access for every nation in the world. Currently, COVAX aims to purchase 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 from diversified sources.
GERMAN COUNCIL PRESIDENCY OUTLINE PRIORITIES IN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The European Parliament held hearings with the German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, and with the German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, to discuss the priorities of the German Presidency of the Council in the context of the next long-term EU budget (MFF 2021-2027) and the recovery plan. In both instances, MEPs were urged to support the package agreed in the European Council in July so that funds can be released from early 2021. In addition, Scholz took the opportunity to advocate for new taxes at EU level, such as a digital tax and a financial transaction tax.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
• 11 September: Eurogroup.
• 11-12 September: Informal meeting of economic and financial affairs ministers. On the agenda: COVID-19 recovery, taxation, financial markets in the digital age.
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab
Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.