Brussels, 19 November 2021
EU ANNUAL BUDGET FOR 2022 TO FOCUS ON RECOVERY, DIGITAL AND HEALTH
The European Parliament and the Council reached an informal agreement on the annual EU budget for 2022, the second one under the 2021-2027 EU multiannual financial framework. Total commitments for next year are set at more than €169 billion, while payments total €170 billion. Out of this amount, nearly €50 billion will be directed to support the recovery by boosting investments in cohesion policy, and €12.2 billion will be used to support the Horizon Europe programme. Meanwhile, €839.7 million will be devoted to the EU4Health programme, with the aim to support the EU Health Union and to deliver a comprehensive response to the health needs of European citizens.
NEW PROPOSALS TO STOP DEFORESTATION & INNOVATE SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
The Commission adopted new initiatives in the framework of the European Green Deal. The proposals include a new Regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation, introduce new rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments and tackle exports of illegal waste to third countries. The Commission also aims at restoring and protecting European soils with the new EU Soil Strategy for 2030. The new rules aim to guarantee that the products that EU citizens buy and consume are not contributing to global deforestation. The waste shipments regulation will introduce electronic exchange of documentation.
COMMISSION OUTLINES CONTRIBUTION OF COMPETITION POLICY TO A RESILIENT SINGLE MARKET
The European Commission presented a communication with an overview of the ongoing extensive review of the EU competition framework. The document aims to set out the path for a progressive phase-out of crisis measures under the State Aid Temporary Framework, accompanied by measures to kick-start and crowd-in private investment in the recovery phase. It also highlights efforts in the competition enforcement to the EU’s attempts to deliver on the green and digital transitions in a resilient Single Market. With the current review, the Commission wants to ensure that all competition instruments (merger, antitrust and State aid control) remain fit for purpose.
COUNCIL ADOPTS ITS POSITION ON THE EU FOREST STRATEGY FOR 2030
EU ministers for agriculture adopted conclusions on the new forest strategy for 2030, one of the flagship initiatives of the European Green Deal that was presented by the European Commission in July 2021. The document highlights the need to strike a balance between the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainable forest management. Member states express doubts about the value of developing national strategic plans for forestry, as envisaged in the Commission’s communication, and encourage the use of existing international monitoring and reporting processes. In addition to this, the conclusions propose that the strategy includes an international dimension aimed at curbing global deforestation.
EU AGREES NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST BELARUS AMID BORDER CRISIS
Following the latest developments at the EU external borders, the Council amended its sanctions regime against Belarus. The decision broadens the list of individuals and entities the EU will target for organising or contributing to activities orchestrated by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate illegal crossings to Poland. The move follows the Council conclusions from October 2021, in which EU leaders stated that they would not accept any attempt by third countries to instrumentalise migrants for political purposes and condemned all hybrid attacks at the EU’s borders.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab