Brussels, 19 March 2021
UK IN BREACH OF NORTHERN IRELAND PROTOCOL AND WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT, SAYS EU
The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom for breaching the substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement. This marks the beginning of a formal infringement process against the UK, which has now been given one month to submit its observations to the letter of formal notice. Vice-President Šefčovič also sent a letter to Lord Frost, asking the UK to outline a roadmap for how the UK intends to implement the remaining parts of the Protocol by the end of the month.
COMMISSION CALLS FOR COORDINATED AND GRADUAL LIFTING OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Ahead of the meeting of EU leaders next week, the Commission called on Member States to prepare for a coordinated approach to a gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. In a Communication adopted this week, the Commission charts the way ahead for a balanced policy and common EU approach. This includes i) the deployment of a Digital Green Certificate covering vaccination, testing and recovery; ii) the use of a common framework for response measures; iii) guidance on additional testing strategies; and iv) investment in diagnostics and treatments. The Communication also highlights actions to build global resilience through COVAX and an EU vaccine sharing mechanism.
COUNCIL ADOPTS CONCLUSIONS ON THE EU CHEMICALS STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The Council adopted its conclusions on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS). The CSS is part of the European Green Deal and sets a long-term vision for the EU chemicals policy by achieving a toxic-free environment while strengthening the competitiveness of the EU’s chemical industry. Overall, the Council supports CSS objectives, and calls on the Commission to define several of its key concepts without undue delay. Member States also highlighted the importance of initiatives related to chemicals that require priority regulatory action, to the review of the REACH and CLP Regulations and to actions targeted at ensuring the sustainability of products throughout their life cycle.
ADOPTION OF INVESTEU UNLOCKS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The Council of the EU adopted the agreement reached with the European Parliament on InvestEU. The Regulation is expected to enter into force at the beginning of April 2021, after which the Commission will finalise the necessary procedures with the implementing partners. As a result, companies and project promoters should be able to start applying for funding by mid-2021. InvestEU succeeds the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI, or “Juncker Plan”) and is expected to mobilise more than €372 billion of investment through the provision of an EU guarantee of about €26.2 billion under the 2021-2027 EU budget.
NEW RULES AGAINST TERRORIST CONTENT ONLINE TO ENTER INTO FORCE IMMINENTLY
The Council adopted a Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online. The rules will apply to hosting service providers offering services in the EU, regardless of where they are established. The aim is to allow competent authorities to swiftly demand the removal or remove terrorist content online in all Member States by establishing one common instrument to this effect. Hosting service providers will need to take specific measures to address the misuse of their services and to protect them against the dissemination of terrorist content. The legislation also provides for a clear scope and a clear uniform definition of ‘terrorist content’.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab
Friday 9 | April | 2021
CONSULTATION ON HEALTH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE AUTHORITY The European Commission launched an online public consultation on the ...
Monday 29 | March | 2021
EU LEADERS COMMIT TO ACCELERATE VACCINATION AND ADDRESS ECONOMIC FUTURE At the European Council, EU leaders committed to ...
Friday 12 | March | 2021
PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR AMBITIOUS DUE DILIGENCE FRAMEWORK FOR CORPORATES The European Parliament adopted a report on corporate due ...
Monday 8 | March | 2021
The Commission wants to ensure that women and men in the EU get equal pay for equal work. ...
Friday 26 | February | 2021
EU leaders met virtually to discuss COVID-19, health, security and defence, and the southern neighbourhood at the two-day ...
Tuesday 23 | February | 2021
The European Commission presented a new European bio-defense preparedness plan against COVID-19 variants called the “HERA Incubator”. This ...
Monday 15 | February | 2021
The European Commission released its Winter Economic Forecast, which revises economic growth estimates downwards for the second time ...