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Coronavirus: Tough decisions ahead [What Think Tanks are thinking]

10-07-2020

As the coronavirus crisis shows no sign of abating globally, many governments around the world face tough choices between easing virus containment measures, in order to allow economic recovery, or keeping these measures in place, to protect their citizens’ health and their healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. They have launched vast financial programmes to support vulnerable households and the newly unemployed, backed banks to keep credit flowing in the economy, and strengthened healthcare ...

As the coronavirus crisis shows no sign of abating globally, many governments around the world face tough choices between easing virus containment measures, in order to allow economic recovery, or keeping these measures in place, to protect their citizens’ health and their healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. They have launched vast financial programmes to support vulnerable households and the newly unemployed, backed banks to keep credit flowing in the economy, and strengthened healthcare systems in anticipation of a possible second wave. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on financing the fight against the coronavirus can be found in the previous item in this series, published by EPRS on 6 July.

The EU's public health strategy post-Covid-19

07-07-2020

The coronavirus pandemic has put European health systems under enormous strain, revealing gaps in the way public health emergencies are addressed. The European Commission's proposal for a new EU Health programme, EU4Health, aims to fill these gaps. During the European Parliament's July plenary session, the Commission and the Council are to make statements on the EU's public health strategy after coronavirus, followed by a debate with Members. A resolution is due to be voted later in the week.

The coronavirus pandemic has put European health systems under enormous strain, revealing gaps in the way public health emergencies are addressed. The European Commission's proposal for a new EU Health programme, EU4Health, aims to fill these gaps. During the European Parliament's July plenary session, the Commission and the Council are to make statements on the EU's public health strategy after coronavirus, followed by a debate with Members. A resolution is due to be voted later in the week.

Covid-19 Newsletter 2: Exit strategy

03-07-2020

As EU Member States embark on a cautious de-confinement path, the economy slides into recession and the question of the proportionality of public health-related measures and their economic consequences is increasingly present in the public debate. As long as a vaccine (or an effective treatment) for the Covid-19 disease is not found and deployed, post-Covid-19 societies will have to coexist with the virus, and find an equilibrium between the social constraints resulting from health protecting measures ...

As EU Member States embark on a cautious de-confinement path, the economy slides into recession and the question of the proportionality of public health-related measures and their economic consequences is increasingly present in the public debate. As long as a vaccine (or an effective treatment) for the Covid-19 disease is not found and deployed, post-Covid-19 societies will have to coexist with the virus, and find an equilibrium between the social constraints resulting from health protecting measures and the need to mitigate as much as possible a huge economic shock, which if not addressed adequately, could have unpredictable social and political consequences. The Covid-19 crisis has shown above all the importance of joint European action. Although public health is primarily the competence of the Member States, the European Parliament has called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to rise to the challenge and ensure that the Union emerges stronger from this crisis. In particular, a differentiated but coordinated post-lockdown approach in the EU should be ensured, in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus. The present Covid-19 Newsletter focuses on the de-confinement strategies and EU measures to support the economic recovery. An update of ongoing Covid-19 related expertise work for the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees is provided at the end of this document.

EU/EA measures to mitigate the economic, financial and social effects of coronavirus - State-of-play 1 July 2020

01-07-2020

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

Coronavirus: An uncertain outlook [What Think Tanks are thinking]

26-06-2020

While many countries, notably in Europe, are currently easing restrictive measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the latter is now rapidly spreading in other parts of the world, notably in the Americas and Indian sub-continent. The number of people globally who have tested positive for the disease is now approaching 10 million, exacerbating an already precarious situation in certain conflict-afflicted areas, such as Yemen. In Europe, analysts continue to examine the ...

While many countries, notably in Europe, are currently easing restrictive measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the latter is now rapidly spreading in other parts of the world, notably in the Americas and Indian sub-continent. The number of people globally who have tested positive for the disease is now approaching 10 million, exacerbating an already precarious situation in certain conflict-afflicted areas, such as Yemen. In Europe, analysts continue to examine the various ways of financing and promoting economic recovery from the depressive effects of the pandemic. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in the previous item in this series, published by EPRS on 12 June.

A pharmaceutical strategy for Europe: First steps

24-06-2020

On 1 June 2020, the European Commission published a roadmap for a pharmaceutical strategy for Europe. The strategy will have the overall goal of ensuring Europe's supply of safe and affordable medicines and supporting the European pharmaceutical industry's innovation efforts. Two consultations (on the roadmap and the strategy, respectively), are currently under way. Adoption of the strategy is envisaged for the fourth quarter of 2020.

On 1 June 2020, the European Commission published a roadmap for a pharmaceutical strategy for Europe. The strategy will have the overall goal of ensuring Europe's supply of safe and affordable medicines and supporting the European pharmaceutical industry's innovation efforts. Two consultations (on the roadmap and the strategy, respectively), are currently under way. Adoption of the strategy is envisaged for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Cross-border regional healthcare cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic

22-06-2020

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: During the pandemic and beyond

18-06-2020

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is a decentralised European Union (EU) agency based in Stockholm, Sweden. It began operating in 2005. Its mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. The ECDC is governed by a management board. Its director, Andrea Ammon, is guided by an advisory forum composed of the Member States' competent bodies, which also serves as an information exchange platform. The ...

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is a decentralised European Union (EU) agency based in Stockholm, Sweden. It began operating in 2005. Its mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. The ECDC is governed by a management board. Its director, Andrea Ammon, is guided by an advisory forum composed of the Member States' competent bodies, which also serves as an information exchange platform. The ECDC also works with partnerships and networks. For the 2020 financial year, the ECDC's budget is €60.4 million. Its 2020 establishment plan provides for a total of 286 staff. The ECDC's main activities include: surveillance, epidemic intelligence and response; scientific advice; microbiology; preparedness; public health training; and country support. Its disease-specific activities are organised within horizontal disease programmes. Its organisational chart was restructured in January 2020. The ECDC is playing an important part in the EU's response to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, it provides systematically updated risk assessments, guidance and advice on public health response activities to EU Member States and the European Commission. Stakeholders have nevertheless criticised the ECDC's handling of the pandemic, while remarking on the ECDC's lack of authority and executive power. In a recent resolution, the European Parliament called the ECDC's competences, budget and staff to be strengthened. A similar call was made in a joint Franco-German initiative, and will reportedly be a topic for the upcoming trio of EU Council presidencies. A strong role for the ECDC is also among the initiatives announced by the Commission under its recovery plan for Europe.

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Situation in certain Member States III

17-06-2020

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted countries to take extensive and far-reaching measures to tackle the consequences of the outbreak. Apart from curbing the spread of the disease, these measures have also posed legal and economic challenges, significantly affecting people's lives. Due to the nature of the virus, citizens' rights and freedoms have been curtailed, inter alia affecting their freedom of movement and assembly, as well as the right to conduct economic activities. Whilst ...

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted countries to take extensive and far-reaching measures to tackle the consequences of the outbreak. Apart from curbing the spread of the disease, these measures have also posed legal and economic challenges, significantly affecting people's lives. Due to the nature of the virus, citizens' rights and freedoms have been curtailed, inter alia affecting their freedom of movement and assembly, as well as the right to conduct economic activities. Whilst the measures are currently being relaxed, there is debate in some Member States over whether the measures were justified and proportionate. Some Member States resorted to declaring a 'state of emergency', whilst others did not, either because they have no such mechanism in their constitutional framework or because they chose a different path, giving special powers to certain institutions or using and modifying existing legislation. In either case, democratic scrutiny over the situation has been highly important, making parliamentary oversight crucial to ensure the rule of law and respect for fundamental democratic principles. This briefing covers the following countries: Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden. It focuses on three key aspects: i) the constitutional framework of the state of emergency or legitimation of the emergency legislation; ii) the specific measures adopted; and iii) the extent of parliamentary oversight exercised on the adopted measures. This briefing is the third in a series aimed at providing a comparative overview of Member States' institutional responses to the coronavirus crisis. The first in the series gives an overview of the responses in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain, while the second covers Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovenia.

'Farm to Fork' strategy: Striving for healthy and sustainable food

17-06-2020

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

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