Brussels, 4 February 2022
COMMISSION ADOPTS COMPLEMENTARY ACT ON GAS AND NUCLEAR AMIDST CONTROVERSY
The European Commission adopted the Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act (DA), which introduces nuclear and gas activities under the Taxonomy umbrella of sustainable investments, and introduces disclosure requirements for related businesses. The DA has been at the centre of controversy since the Commission began to consider that natural gas and nuclear could help facilitate the green transition and launched expert consultations on the matter on 1 January 2022. Following translation into the EU official languages, the DA will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council, which will have four months to scrutinise the proposal.
NEW COMMISSION STRATEGY TO FOSTER GLOBAL LEADERSHIP OF EU STANDARDS
The European Commission presented a new Standardisation Strategy outlining its approach to standards in the EU Single Market and at global level. The Strategy comprises five sets of actions, with a particular focus on enhancing European leadership in global standards, as well as on preserving the integrity of the European standardisation process. With the Strategy, the Commission aims to strengthen the EU’s global competitiveness, to enable the digital and green transitions, as well as to enshrine democratic values in technology applications. The Commission argued that the standards are needed to valorise innovation investment by providing EU companies with an important first-mover advantage.
COMMISSION PROPOSES EXTENDING THE EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE BY ONE YEAR
Amidst the uncertainty caused by the possible increase in infections and the emergence of new variants, the Commission is proposing to extend the EU Digital COVID Certificate by one year, until 30 June 2023. The extension of the Regulation aims to ensure that EU citizens can continue using their certificate when travelling in the EU Member States that have implemented public health measures. Additionally, the proposal includes limited amendments to the Regulation to address specific situations. The Commission calls on the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the proposal swiftly, before the end date of the current Regulation on 30 June 2022.
EU PROPOSES €1.2 BILLION FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE FOR UKRAINE
The European Commission presented a proposal for a new emergency programme of macro-financial assistance for Ukraine to up to EUR 1.2 bn. Presenting the package, the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, expressed EU’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people, while Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni added that the Commission is determined to help Ukraine navigate this crisis. The funds aim to enhance Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability and resilience, and will be made available in the form of long-term loans on favourable terms. The first EUR 600m will be disbursed as soon as the Council and the European Parliament give the green light to the proposal, while a positive assessment of progress will be needed to unlock the second tranche.
INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE CANCER PREVENTION LAUNCHED AHEAD OF THE WORLD CANCER DAY
The European Commission is launching a series of new initiatives to increase access to cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and care and to address inequalities in health treatments. More specifically, the Commission started using the Cancer Inequalities Registry to identify trends and disparities between Member States and regions as well as inequalities connected to gender, education and income level. Another initiative, the EU Network of Youth Cancer Survivors, aims at connecting young persons with a history of cancer, their families and carers. The Commission also launched a joint action on HPV vaccination to eliminate cervical cancer and calls for evidence on cancer screening to update the 2003 Council Recommendations on screening.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab