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The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for a resilient healthcare system but also for quick access to inventions and technologies in challenging situations. To address this need, in April 2023 the Commission submitted a proposal for a regulation on compulsory licensing for crisis management. The aim is to secure the rapid deployment of patent-protected inventions in times of crisis or emergency, without eroding patent protection as an incentive to innovate. The proposal lays down rules and procedures ...

This paper presents findings from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) midterm evaluation, with a particular focus on assessments from various stakeholders regarding its setup and initial implementation. It also builds on the latest activities and assessments by previously published papers summarizing the stakeholders views at the EU, national, regional, and local levels in connection with the national Recovery and Resilience Plans. Additionally, it offers a collection of the most recent opinions ...

On 1 March 2023, as part of the road safety package, the European Commission published a legislative proposal to help ensure EU-wide application of driving disqualifications. The proposal calls for increased cooperation, harmonisation of legislation, simplification of information exchange, capacity building, and improved public awareness efforts. In order to prevent impunity due to a lack of legislation, the proposal sets out rules to allow better EU-wide enforcement of driver disqualification decisions ...

In December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code, which lays down the rules governing controls at the EU internal and external borders. While debates on the reform of Schengen have been going on for a while, recent challenges – relating to the coronavirus pandemic on the one hand, and attempts to instrumentalise migrants as a way to put pressure on the EU's external borders, on the other – have created new momentum for reform. The Commission's proposal ...

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe as a whole, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU) and most of them are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education and difficulties entering the labour market result in low income and poor ...

Across the European Union (EU), national provisions regarding the right to vote for citizens living abroad are not consistent. However, recent legislative changes seem to suggest a positive trend towards allowing out-of-country voting in most EU Member States. When it comes to voting from abroad, countries need to carefully assess and address various issues. These include: the identification of potential voters; how to inform them about their right to vote and stand as a candidate from abroad; the ...

In September 2020, the Commission put forward a new pact on migration and asylum, setting out a comprehensive approach to European Union (EU) migration policies that links external borders, asylum, return systems, the Schengen area of free movement and the external dimension of migration. The pact includes a proposal for a new regulation on the screening of third-country nationals at external borders aiming to clarify and streamline the rules on dealing with third-country nationals who are not authorised ...

In July 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to establish a new EU authority to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AMLA). This was part of a legislative package aimed at implementing the 2020 action plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The AMLA would be the centre of an integrated system, composed of the authority itself and national authorities with an AML/CFT supervisory mandate. It would also support ...

When businesses start operating across borders, they are faced with a new and unfamiliar corporate tax system in each EU Member State. As a result, businesses with cross-border activities have to spend time and resources on understanding and complying with complex local corporate tax rules. This represents a significant administrative burden, in particular for small companies. To lower tax compliance costs, the European Commission tabled on 12 September 2023 a proposal for a Council directive to ...

This briefing paper provides an overview of the role and mandate of the Eurogroup and the role and accountability of its President, including the procedures for his/her appointment. This paper includes the following sections: 1) The role of the Permanent President of the Eurogroup; 2) The President of Eurogroup and the European Parliament; 3) The role and mandate of the Eurogroup; and 4) Eurogroup transparency. The paper will be regularly updated.