Brussels, 7 May 2021
UPDATED EU INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY REFLECTS LESSONS LEARNED DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
The European Commission published its updated EU Industrial Strategy, together with a report on strategic dependencies and capacities and the annual Single Market report 2021. The new Strategy reaffirms the priorities set out in the March 2020 Communication, while addressing the challenges and the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, it focuses on (i) strengthening Single Market’s resilience, (ii) dealing with the EU’s strategic dependencies and (iii) accelerating the twin (i.e. green and digital) transitions. To achieve these objectives, among several other initiatives, the Commission proposes a Single Market Emergency Instrument to ensure the free movement of persons, goods, and services in case of future crises.
EU WANTS POWER TO INVESTIGATE FOREIGN SUBSIDIES DISTORING THE SINGLE MARKET
The European Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the Single Market, intended to address the issue of controlling subsidies granted by non-EU governments in the Single Market. The proposal gives the Commission the power to investigate financial contributions granted by public authorities of a non-EU country which benefit companies engaging in an economic activity in the EU and redress their distortive effects. In this context, the Regulation proposes the introduction of two notification-based tools to investigate concentrations and bids in public procurements and, a general market investigation tool. The proposal will not be subject to amendments by the European Parliament and the Council.
PROPOSAL ON NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO EU INCLUDES EMERGENCY BRAKE MECHANISM
The Commission proposed this week that Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU to consider the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide. At the same time, to be ready to react to the emergence of coronavirus variants, the Commission proposes a new ‘emergency brake’ mechanism, to be coordinated at EU level and which would limit the risk of such variants entering the EU. This will allow Member States to act quickly and temporarily limit to a strict minimum all travel from affected countries for the time needed to put in place appropriate sanitary measures.
US, CANADA AND NORWAY TO PARTICIPATE IN PESCO MILITARY MOBILITY PROJECT
The Council of the EU approved the participation of the US, Canada and Norway in the Military Mobility PESCO project, following requests from the three countries to join. These countries will be the first non-EU states to be invited to participate in a PESCO project. The PESCO project Military Mobility is a strategic platform enabling the swift and seamless movement of military personnel and assets throughout the EU, whether by rail, road, air or sea. It aims to contribute to EU security and defence, its preparedness and resilience, as well as to EU Commission Security and Defence Policy’s (CSDP) missions and operations.
MEMBER STATES AGREE ON NEW RULES FOR EU TRANSPARENCY REGISTER
Following the 2016 Commission proposal for a new interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register for interest representatives covering the EU institutions, the Council has adopted new rules regarding interest representation. The new joint framework expands the scope of the existing register and introduces the registration of interest representatives as a prerequisite for certain activities covered by the interinstitutional agreement, such as those aimed at influencing policy, legislation or decision-making in relations with the Council, Commission and/or European Parliament. The three institutions will sign the agreement and the joint political statement accompanying it later this month, before the texts enter into force in early July.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab