Brussels, 13 January 2023
EU AND NATO SIGN NEW JOINT DECLARATION
The EU and NATO signed a joint declaration reiterating their commitment to tackle common challenges while safeguarding and promoting peace, freedom, and prosperity in the Euro-Atlantic area. The signature comes nearly one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both the EU and NATO condemn the war as a factor that threatens European and global security and stability. The reinforcement of the EU-NATO strategic partnership should strengthen security in Europe and beyond. Finally, the parties agreed that the partnership will be enhanced in close consultation and cooperation with all NATO Allies and EU Member States, in the spirit of full mutual openness.
EU AND UK STRIVE TO FIND COMMON GROUND ON NORTHERN IRELAND BORDER
Commissioner for interinstitutional Relations, Mr Šefčovič, met with UK Foreign Secretary, Mr Cleverly, and the Northern Ireland Secretary, Mr Heaton-Harris. They took stock of work to find joint solutions to the concerns raised by businesses and communities in Northern Ireland. They underlined the EU and UK’s shared commitment to protecting the Belfast Agreement in all its parts, while protecting the integrity of both the EU Single Market and the UK internal market. After agreeing that a range of critical issues need to be resolved to find a way forward, an agreement was reached on the specific question of the EU’s access to UK IT systems, in relation to the Northern Ireland border.
EU PLATFORM TO ENHANCE COOPERATION ON LABOUR MIGRATION
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, welcomed migration and employment experts from EU Member States at the first meeting of the Labour Migration Platform in Brussels. The platform has been set up to advance labour migration from third countries to the EU. Due to current demographic trends leading to an ageing and shrinking working population in the EU, the shortages in EU labour markets are expected to increase in the future. A measure that was proposed to overcome this challenge is well-managed labour immigration. The Labour Migration Platform will meet on a regular basis to foster best practices exchange across EU countries and develop a labour migration policy within the EU.
THE FOREIGN SUBSIDIES REGULATION ENTERS INTO FORCE
The EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation entered into force. The Regulation addresses distortions to the Single Market caused by foreign subsidies, aiming to ensure a level playing field in the market. Concretely, the Regulation consists of three tools for the Commission to monitor and react to foreign subsidies: i) the obligation for companies to notify concentrations benefiting from a third country financial contribution, and ii) the obligation to disclose public procurement procedures when financial contributions are above given thresholds, as well as iii) the empowerment of the Commission to investigate foreign subsidies it suspects of being disruptive.
COST OF LIVING CRISIS TOP CONCERN FOR EUROPEANS
The European Parliament’s Autumn 2022 Eurobarometer survey released its results reflecting EU citizens’ sentiments towards current challenges and the EU. On the former, 93% of respondents indicated the cost of living crisis to be their biggest worry, followed by the threat of poverty and social exclusion (83%). On the latter, the survey indicates that current crises have strengthened citizens’ support for the EU, with 72% believing that their country has benefitted from membership. The survey also shows that three quarters of EU citizens approve the actions taken by the EU to support Ukraine, such as sanctions against the Russian government or financial, military or humanitarian support for Ukraine.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab