Insights | EU Insight 5 February, 2021

05/02/2021

EU Insight 5 February, 2021

Brussels, 5 February 2021

 

NEW EU APPROACH TO BEATING CANCER UNVEILED

Commission Vice President Schinas and Commissioner for Health Kyriakides presented Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, a key pillar of the EU Health Union. Four specific areas are addressed – prevention; early detection; diagnosis and treatment; and improved quality of life for patients. Implementation of a total of 10 flagship initiatives will be carried out using €4 billion of funding dedicated to cancer prevention, including from EU4Health, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programmes. In 2020, 2.7 million Europeans were diagnosed with the disease and 1.3 million in the bloc lost their lives to it. Without conclusive action, scientists estimate that by 2035 cancer would be the leading cause of death in the EU.

 

COMMISSION DISBURSES €14 BILLION UNDER SURE INSTRUMENT TO NINE MEMBER STATES

The Commission disbursed €14 billion to nine Member States, in a fourth instalment of financial aid to member states under the SURE instrument. The loans are targeted to help Member States address elevations in public expenditure to maintain employment in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruption. They will help cover costs concerning national short-term work schemes in particular, and following the latest round of disbursements 15 member states have received a total of €53.5 billion under the SURE instrument, whilst €90.3 billion has been authorised for 18 member states so far. The SURE support instrument has an overall “firepower” of up to €100 billion.

 

INFRINGEMENT PROCEDURES AGAINST 24 MEMBER STATES OVER NEW TELECOM RULES

The Commission has opened infringement procedures against 24 Member States for failing to enact new EU telecom rules by 21 December 2020. So far only Greece, Hungary and Finland have completed the transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code, which modernises the European regulatory framework for electronic communications, in order to enhance consumers’ choices and rights. The new Directive also ensures higher standards of communication services, including more efficient and accessible emergency communications. The 24 Member States now have two months to reply to the Commission’s infringement procedure.

 

NEW COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS ON FREE MOVEMENT AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

This week the Council of the EU adopted new recommendations on travel restrictions from third countries into the EU and on measures affecting free movement. The former includes an updated set of epidemiological criteria (including having less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period) to determine the countries for which the restriction on non-essential travel should be lifted. The latter introduces a new colour (dark red) to identify areas with over 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period. Member States also agreed to discourage all non-essential travel to red and dark red areas.

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONTINUES SCRUTINY OF EU-UK DEAL AHEAD OF FINAL VOTE

Members from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade committees have been assessing the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), as these two committees are responsible for deciding whether to recommend parliamentary consent to the TCA text. The TCA has provisionally applied since 1 January 2021, but for it to fully enter into force, the European Parliament will need to give its consent. The vote is expected in the end of February and the Parliament is expected to give their backing to the deal, allowing the 1,246-page text to be signed into law.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 8-11 February: European Parliament Plenary session. On the agenda: COVID-19 vaccination strategy, circular economy action plan, capital markets recovery package.
  • 11 February: EU-UK Association Council.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

____________________________________________________________________

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

 

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