Insights | EU Insight 16 April, 2021

EP Plenary session – Preparation of the European Council meeting of 25 and 26 March 2021 and Digital Green Certificate

19/04/2021

EU Insight 16 April, 2021

Brussels, 16 April 2021

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES RECOMMEND ADOPTION OF EU-UK TRADE DEAL

The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade committees endorsed the agreement that sets the rules of the future relationship between the EU and the UK. The Parliament plenary is expected to follow suit in the coming weeks, thereby officially adopting the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between EU and UK negotiators on 24 December 2020. The agreement applies provisionally since 1 January and until the end of this month, yet the European Parliament has warned that it would only set a date for a plenary vote once the UK has fully implemented the Withdrawal Agreement.

 

COMMISSION PUBLISHES FUNDING STRATEGY TO RAISE CAPITAL FOR NEXT GENERATION EU

The Commission outlined the diversified funding strategy envisaged for Next Generation EU (NGEU). The strategy combines a wide range of funding instruments and techniques and open communication with investors to allow the Commission to raise up to around €800 billion between now and 2026. The amount – to be repaid by 2058 – will be used to finance initiatives responding to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With this, the EU will become one of the largest issuers in euro in the market. The documents published also set up an NGEU internal governance framework, which aims to supervise the execution of the said borrowing and debt management.

 

MEMBER STATES REACH COMMON POSITION ON DIGITAL GREEN CERTIFICATE

EU ambassadors agreed a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a Digital Green Certificate, which the Commission presented in mid-March. This certificate aims to facilitate safe and free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. The European Parliament is expected to adopt its position at the plenary on 26-29 April, while the framework is expected to be ready by this summer, provided that the co-legislators are able to find an agreement swiftly.

 

COMMISSION ADOPTS GUIDANCE AND DECISIONS TO FACILITATE START OF INVESTEU

The Commission adopted various implementing acts and guidance documents under the InvestEU framework. Amongst these, the Investment Guidelines outline the requirements that financing and investment operations must satisfy in order to receive support from the InvestEU Fund, while the Sustainability Proofing Guidance details how financing and investment operations under the programme are to meet the climate, environmental and social dimensions of EU’s sustainability commitments. The latter will be complemented in the coming weeks with an additional climate and environmental tracking guidance. Finally, the Commission took a series of decisions related to the governance of InvestEU, including a Decision on the call to select members of the Investment Committee.

 

INCREASED DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE MAKES EU THE WORLD’S LEADING DONOR IN 2020

The EU and its 27 Member States have significantly increased their Official Development Assistance for partner countries to €66.8 billion in 2020, thereby confirming their position as the world’s leading donor in 2020. This represents a 15% increase in nominal terms and equivalent to 0.5% of collective Gross National Income, up from 0.41% in 2019. The EU and its Member States are currently providing 46% of global assistance and have moved closer towards meeting the commitment to provide at least 0.7% of collective GNI as development aid by 2030.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 19 April: Informal video conference of foreign affairs ministers. On the agenda: latest developments in Georgia, India, Myanmar, Mozambique, and in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations, and exchange of views on Ethiopia and Ukraine.
  • 20 April: Informal video conference of European affairs ministers. On the agenda: EU-UK relations, EU coordination on COVID-19, Conference on the Future of Europe.
  • 21 April: College of Commissioners meeting. On the agenda: Communication on EU Taxonomy and Sustainability Reporting, Review of the Sustainable Reporting Directive, follow-up to the white paper on artificial intelligence.
  • 22 April: Informal video conference of energy ministers.
  • 23 April: Informal video conference of environment ministers.

 

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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