EU AGREES DUTIES ON US PRODUCTS AHEAD OF G7 SUMMIT
The Commission endorsed the decision to impose additional duties on the full list of US products notified to the World Trade Organisation, as part of the EU’s response to the US tariffs on steel and aluminium products. As the risk of a global trade war looms, world leaders will meet this weekend in Canada for the G7 summit, where Commission President Juncker and European Council President Tusk will likely discuss the measures with US President Trump. The Commission now expects to conclude the relevant procedure in coordination with Member States before the end of June, allowing for new duties to apply as of July.
INNOVATION TO BE A PRIORITY FOR NEXT EU BUDGET
The Commission released its Single Market, Innovation and Digital sectoral proposals for the 2021-2027 EU budget. With an overall budget of €166 billion – a 43% rise compared with the 2014-2020 budget – the Commission clearly sees this as one of its priority areas. The new Invest EU Fund, with a budget of €15 billion, aims to trigger more than €650 billion in additional investments. Negotiations in both the Council and the European Parliament are expected to begin in earnest following the summer recess, overseen by the upcoming Austrian Presidency of the Council.
DEAL ON UPDATE OF EU TELECOMS RULES
The European Parliament and the Council agreed to modernise EU telecoms rules – which were last updated in 2009 – in an effort to stimulate competition to drive investments and strengthen the internal market and consumer rights. Specifically, the new European Electronic Communications Code will: i) enhance the deployment of 5G networks, ii) facilitate the roll-out of new, very high capacity fixed networks, and iii) benefit and protect consumers across the EU. Once adopted by the European Parliament and Council, Member States will have two years to transpose the Electronic Communications Code into national law.
COMMISSION REPORT OUTLINES ‘CLEAN AIR OUTLOOK’
The Commission published its ‘Clean Air Outlook’ report, finding that the number of premature deaths due to air pollution could be reduced by more than half by 2030 if Member States fully implement EU policies on emissions, climate and energy. The analysis examined Europe’s air from today up until 2030 and how it would be impacted by the implementation of the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC). The Clean Air Outlook will help Member States develop their National Air Pollution Control Programmes, which are due by 1 April 2019 under the NEC Directive. The next Clean Air Outlook is foreseen for 2020.
EURO AREA AND EU28 GDP UP 0.4%
Seasonally adjusted GDP in both the euro area and the EU28 increased by 0.4% during the first quarter of 2018 when compared with the previous quarter according to a report by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. When compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 2.5% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2018, from +2.8% and +2.7% respectively in the previous quarter.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK