European Parliament Press Kit for the European Council of 24-25 June 2021  

Press Releases 
 
 

In this press kit, you will find a selection of the European Parliament’s press releases that show MEPs’ priorities in relation to topics on the summit agenda.

Additional information, including contact details for the MEPs involved, can be found on the European Parliament’s website.

European Parliament President, David Sassoli, will represent the European Parliament at the summit and:

- address heads of state or government at 15.00 on Thursday, 24 June

- hold a press conference on Thursday, 24 June, at 15.30 in the European Council press room. More info here.

On 24 and 25 June, EU leaders will meet to discuss the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the epidemiological and vaccine situation in the EU, economic recovery, particularly the implementation of Next Generation EU, migration as well as relations with Turkey and Russia.

COVID-19

On 9 June, Parliament gave its final green light to the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which will facilitate free movement and contribute to restrictions being lifted gradually in a coordinated manner. The certificate will be issued free of charge by national authorities and be available in either digital or paper format containing a QR code. The document will certify that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has a recent negative test result or has recovered from the infection. The system will apply from 1 July 2021 and be in place for 12 months. The certificate will not be a precondition for free movement and will not be considered a travel document.

To accelerate the global vaccine rollout, MEPs demand that intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines be temporarily lifted, in a resolution adopted on 10 June. Parliament proposes negotiations start for a temporary waiver of the WTO TRIPS Agreement on patents to improve global access to affordable COVID-19-related medical products and to address global production constraints and supply shortages. MEPs also point to the threat that an indefinite TRIPS Agreement waiver would pose to research finance, in particular for researchers, investors, developers and clinical trials.

On 22 June, Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety agreed to change the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) mandate to boost its role and better equip the EU to manage future health crises. Among other things, MEPs want to improve the EMA’s capacity for crisis preparedness and management of medical devices and products, establish an EU database to monitor and report medicine shortages and call for information on clinical trials and marketing authorisation decisions to be publicised.

More information:

Parliament gives its final green light to the EU Digital COVID Certificate

Parliament calls for temporary COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

MEPs to contact:

Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), Chairman of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs; + 32 2 28 45336;

e-mail: juanfernando.lopezaguilar@europarl.europa.eu

Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), Chairman of the Committee on International Trade; tel: +32 2 28 45555, e-mail: bernd.lange@europarl.europa.eu

Pascal Canfin (Renew, FR), Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, + 32 2 28 45658, e-mail: pascal.canfin@europarl.europa.eu

Economic Recovery

In a resolution adopted on 10 June, Parliament insists that national recovery plans must fully meet the agreed requirements and targets for fair and green growth and digital transformation. MEPs stress that the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is a historic EU instrument that must not only mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but must also have a lasting impact on prosperity and help distribute growth fairly. They call on the Commission to only approve plans that fully meet the targets and goals agreed in the RRF regulation and to not bow to any political pressure.

More information

National recovery plans: historic opportunity for long-term sustainable growth

Parliament demands democratic scrutiny over national recovery efforts

MEP to contact

Irene Tinagli, (S&D, Italy), Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, +32 2 28 45827 e-mail: irene.tinagli@europarl.europa.eu

Migration

National MPs and MEPs met on 14 June to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the external dimension of asylum and migration policies. EP President Sassoli insisted that global partnerships have to be transparent and subject to democratic and parliamentary scrutiny. He called for a European search and rescue mechanism at sea, humanitarian pathways and resettlement opportunities as well as work opportunities. This would mean creating “authentic cooperation between member states, based on permanent mechanism of solidarity and sharing of responsibilities”. Nobody can confront global challenges alone and should not be left alone, he added. In a report adopted on 20 May, Parliament called for more legal options for migrant workers coming to the EU. An EU framework for legal migration would encourage more orderly migration, attract much-needed workers, undermine smugglers and traffickers, and ease integration. MEPs highlight that legal migration has barely been part of the EU’s migration policy since 2015 and underline that the New Pact on Migration and Asylum does not include any specific proposals in this area.

MEPs also called for migrants to be better protected from human rights violations. In a report adopted on 19 May, Parliament criticises the European Commission and some EU countries for overusing informal agreements on the return and readmission of irregular migrants and provides recommendations on human rights protection in the framework of the EU’s external asylum and migration policy.

More information

High time to advance in discussions on asylum and migration in the EU

Parliament calls for more legal options for migrant workers coming to the EU

MEPs call for better protection of migrants from human rights violations

Asylum border procedures: fundamental rights must be respected, says Parliament

First meeting of the Frontex Scrutiny Group with Leggeri and Johansson

MEPs to contact

Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), Chairman of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs + 32 2 28 45336;

e-mail: juanfernando.lopezaguilar@europarl.europa.eu

Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR), rapporteur on New Avenues for Legal Labour Migration , +32 2 28 45433, e-mail : sylvie.guillaume@europarl.europa.eu

Tineke Strik (The Greens/EFA, Netherlands) rapporteur on Human rights protection and the EU external migration policy; +32 2 28 45212, e-mail: tineke.strik@europarl.europa.eu

Relations with Russia

In a resolution adopted on 29 April, Parliament expressed its deep concern over the recent Russian military build-up on the Ukraine border and in illegally occupied Crimea as well as the revelations that Russian agents were behind explosions in Czechia.

In another resolution, Parliament demanded significantly tighter EU sanctions against Russia following the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny. MEPs call on EU member states to take an active stance on the arrest of Alexei Navalny and many of his followers at their next meetings and to “significantly strengthen the EU’s restrictive measures vis-à-vis Russia”. This includes sanctioning the “individuals and legal entities” involved in the decision to arrest and imprison Alexei Navalny, they say. Sanctions should also be imposed against Russian oligarchs linked to the regime, members of President Putin’s inner circle and Russian media propagandists, who possess assets in the EU and can currently travel there. Additional restrictive measures could also be taken under the new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

More information

Russia: MEPs deplore military build-up, attack in Czechia and jailing of Navalny

Parliament demands significantly tighter EU sanctions against Russia

MEPs criticise visit of EU foreign policy chief to Moscow

EU-Russia relations: MEPs condemn the decision by the Russian authorities to expel three EU diplomats

MEPs to contact:

David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

+32 2 284 51 30, e-mail: david.mcallister@ep.europa.eu

Andrius Kubilius (EPP, LT), standing rapporteur on Russia

+32 2 284 57 35, e-mail: andrius.kubilius@ep.europa.eu

Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR, PL), Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

+32 2 2845441, e-mail: ryszard.czarnecki@europarl.europa.eu

Relations with Turkey

EU-Turkey relations have deteriorated to such an extent that the EU needs to profoundly reassess them, MEPs say in a report adopted on 19 May. In recent years, the Government of Turkey has distanced itself increasingly from EU values and standards. As a result, relations have been brought to a historic low point, warn MEPs, who are particularly concerned about the state of the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights. They insist that if Turkey does not reverse this current negative trend, the Commission should recommend that the accession negotiations be formally suspended.

More information

EU-Turkey relations are at a historic low point, say MEPs

MEP to contact:

David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

+32 2 284 51 30, e-mail: david.mcallister@ep.europa.eu

Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, ES), standing rapporteur on Turkey ; + 32 2 28 45862

e-mail: nacho.sanchezamor@europarl.europa.eu

Sergej Lagodinsky (Greens, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), + 32 2 28 45912; e-mail: sergey.lagodinsky@europarl.europa.eu