Insights | EU Insight 22 October, 2021

29/10/2021

EU Insight 22 October, 2021

Brussels, 22 October 2021

 

EU LEADERS CALL FOR AMBITION ON CLIMATE & ADDRESS ENERGY PRICES SPIKE

EU leaders met in Brussels over the course of yesterday and today to discuss COVID-19, energy prices, trade and external relations. They also held a debate on the rule of law and discussed migration and the EU’s digital transition. Among other things, leaders called for an ambitious global response to climate change ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow next month. The European Council also addressed the recent spike in energy prices and considered the impact of these price rises on citizens and businesses. Leaders noted that the toolbox presented by the Commission contained useful measures for both the short and the longer term.

 

COMMISSION 2022 WORK PROGRAMME SETS AGENDA FOR NEXT 12 MONTHS

The Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2022, which sets out the ‘working agenda’ to move towards a post-COVID-19 Europe that is more resilient, fairer and well on its way towards the green and digital transitions. The document identifies 42 new policy initiatives, within 32 policy objectives, under the six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen’s Commission. Notably, the Work Programme specifies that the Commission will start implementing the so-called ‘one-in, one-out’ approach, which means that when unavoidable new burdens are introduced, old burdens linked to existing EU legislation in the same policy area will be reduced or removed.

 

REVIEW OF EU FISCAL RULES’S REOPENING SETS STAGE FOR POLITICALLY CHARGED PROCESS

The Commission formally reopened the process for the review of the EU Economic Governance Framework, which was put on hold after the emergence of the pandemic. The Communication and the re-opening of the public consultation on the matter should be the first steps in a process of revision that, despite being politically divisive, the Commission says should last until the end of 2022. While the documents published this week do not contain specific measures, they hint at several objectives and policy options for the review. In particular, the Commission wants EU fiscal rules to become simpler and to encourage public spending into green and digital projects.

 

COMMISSION SETS OUT REFORM PRIORITIES FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS AND TURKEY

The European Commission adopted its 2021 Enlargement Package, containing a detailed assessment of the current situation and the progress made by the Western Balkans and Turkey on their paths towards joining the European Union. The main focus of the package is the implementation of< fundamental reforms, as well as the guidance given on the reform priorities in the near future. Presenting the Package, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said that “the EU is not complete without the Western Balkans” and that it is “time we come together and unite in building a stronger Europe.”

 

PARLIAMENT CALL FOR THE PRIMACY OF EU LAW TO BE UPHELD IN POLAND

After hosting a long debate on the rule of law crisis in Poland with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the Parliament adopted a resolution asking the Commission and the Council to launch an infringement procedure against Poland, trigger the Rule of Law mechanism and refrain from approving Poland’s recovery plan. In a more conciliatory tone, upon arrival to the European Council’s Summit, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Member States need to find ways “to come together again” and that “a cascade of legal disputes brought before the European Court of Justice is not a solution to the problem”.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 25-26 October: European Union Military Committee (EUMC).
  • 26 October: Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy).
  • 27 October: College of Commissioners meeting. On the agenda: Banking Package.
  • 28 October: EU-Republic of Moldova Association Council. On the agenda: Implementation of the Implementation of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement.
  • 28 October: Informal video conference of economy and finance ministers. On the agenda: Approval of recovery and resilience plans for Estonia, Finland and Romania.
  • 30-31 October: G20 Summit, Rome.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

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Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

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