Brussels, 21 May 2021
POLITICAL AGREEMENT OVER COVID CERTIFICATE SETS TO FACILITATE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Hopes for a summer without severe travel restrictions were boosted this week, after the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation for an EU Digital COVID Certificate. The Certificate, which aims to facilitate safe travel within the EU, is well on track to be ready by end of June. The outlook is positive for foreign travellers too, as the Council amended its recommendation on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU. The decision introduces waivers for vaccinated persons and eases the criteria to lift restrictions for third countries, while setting out an emergency brake mechanism to deal with possible new variants of the virus.
COMMISSION PLANS FOR A NEW EU TAX SYSTEM
The Commission adopted the Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st Century which aims to reduce administrative burdens, remove tax obstacles, and foster a more business-friendly environment. The document sets out a long- and short-term fiscal vision to support Europe’s recovery and form the basis for an efficient tax system capable of ensuring adequate public revenues. The Commission intends to present a new single corporate tax rulebook in 2023, including common rules for determining the tax base, and a formula for the allocation of profits between Member States. Before that, the Commission will take actions to neutralise the use of shell entities for tax purposes, and to require annual publication of effective corporate tax rates for large companies.
NEW BLUE CARD SCHEME OUTLINES RULES TO ATTRACT HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS INTO EU
The Parliament and the Council agreed on new rules for the entry and residence of highly skilled workers from outside the EU under the revised Blue Card Directive. The new scheme will introduce rules aimed at attracting highly skilled workers to the EU, including more flexible admission conditions, enhanced rights, and the possibility to move and work more easily between EU Member States. The Parliament and the Council will now need to formally adopt the text of the EU Blue Card Directive. Once the Directive is adopted, Member States will have two years to transpose the rules into national law.
NEW BLUE ECONOMY AGENDA TO ENSURE A GREEN AND INCLUSIVE PANDEMIC RECOVERY
The European Commission proposed a new approach for a “sustainable blue economy” in the EU targeting those industries and sectors related to oceans, seas, and coasts. The agenda aims to reach the objectives of, among others, climate neutrality and zero pollution for the blue economy, the switch to a circular economy and a preservation of biodiversity. The Commission underlined that a sustainable blue economy is essential to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal and ensuring a green and inclusive recovery. The Commission will also continue creating the conditions for a sustainable blue economy internationally following the international ocean governance agenda.
OPTIMISTIC ECONOMIC OUTLOOK SHOWS EU ECONOMIES TO RETURN TO PRE-CRISIS LEVELS BEFORE 2023
Last week the Commission presented the Spring 2021 Economic Forecast, which projects that the EU economy will expand by 4.2% in 2021 and by 4.4% in 2022. All EU economies should return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2022, although growth rates – driven by private consumption, investment, and rising demand for EU exports – will largely vary. And while public investment is set to reach its highest level in more than a decade in 2022, recent public support measures increased levels of public debt: almost all Member States are forecast to run a deficit of more than 3% of GDP in 2021, with 2021’s debt-to-GDP ratio set to peak at 94% across the EU.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab
Friday 11 | June | 2021
DESPITE GLOBAL TAX AGREEMENT, EU DIGITAL LEVY EXPECTED TO GO AHEAD After years of discussions on how to ...
Monday 7 | June | 2021
EU TO BORROW € 80 BN IN FIRST FUNDING PLAN OF RECOVERY PLAN After last week’s completion of ...
Monday 31 | May | 2021
EU LEADERS WELCOME VACCINATION CAMPAIGN PROGRESS AND DISCUSS CLIMATE CHANGE This week EU leaders gathered to discuss, among ...
Friday 7 | May | 2021
The European Commission published its updated EU Industrial Strategy, together with a report on strategic dependencies and capacities ...
Friday 30 | April | 2021
EU FORMALLY ADOPTS TRADE AGREEMENT WITH UK This week, the European Parliament and the Council formally adopted the ...
Monday 26 | April | 2021
CO-LEGISLATORS REACH DEAL ON EU CLIMATE LAW TO FURTHER REDUCE EMISSIONS The Council and the European Parliament reached ...
Monday 19 | April | 2021
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES RECOMMEND ADOPTION OF EU-UK TRADE DEAL The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade committees ...