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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 ...

Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in the EU and causes significant damage to ecosystems. As part of the European Green Deal's zero pollution ambition, on 26 October 2022 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives. The proposed directive would set air quality standards for 2030 that are more closely aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, as updated in 2021. It would also include a mechanism for the ...

European health data space

Briefing 18-04-2024

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the growing importance of digital health technologies, both to enable remote medical care and to facilitate the health response from international, national and local authorities. The European Commission's May 2022 proposal for a regulation on a European health data space aims to improve individuals' access to and control over their electronic personal data (primary use), while facilitating data re-use for the good of society across the EU (secondary use). The ...

EU support for the implementation of Slovenia's modified national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP) amounts to €2 685.3 million, and includes €1 612.9 million in grants and €1 072.4 million in loans. This amount is by €203.3 million higher than that initially approved and takes into account a June 2022 update of the maximum financial contribution form the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), additional loans requested by Slovenia, and non-repayable allocation for REPowerEU made available in ...

In October 2022, under the European Green Deal, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a recast of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. Dating back to 1991, and instrumental to the achievement of European Union water policy objectives, the directive needs to be updated and adapted to new challenges and realities. The recast proposal would introduce new obligations to do more to control pollution due to rainwater, impose stricter standards for nutrient removal and require advanced treatment ...

As part of its fight against harmful substances, on 13 February 2023 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a directive aimed at protecting workers' health by lowering occupational exposure to lead and diisocyanates. In Parliament, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, which is responsible for the file, adopted its report on 7 September 2023. The mandate to enter into interinstitutional negotiations was endorsed by the plenary the following week. On 14 November 2023, Parliament and ...

In absolute figures, Italy's national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP) is the largest national plan under the ground-breaking Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument. In December 2023, a revision brought about various changes to the plan: it is now endowed with EU resources worth €194.4 billion in grants and loans, representing 26.1 % of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), or 10.8 % of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 (the RRF being 5.2 % of EU 27 GDP in 2019). A slight ...

On 26 April 2023, the European Commission put forward a 'pharmaceutical package' to revise the EU's pharmaceutical legislation and make medicines more available, accessible and affordable, while supporting the competitiveness and attractiveness of the EU pharmaceutical industry, with higher environmental standards. The package includes proposals for a new directive and a new regulation, which would replace the existing pharmaceutical legislation, including the legislation on medicines for children ...

Drawing on a wide array of sources and literature, this study examines the role of the European Parliament in the establishment of the European Community's consumer policy. It argues that Parliament played a key role in placing this nascent policy issue on the agenda. It influenced the definition of what the policy should include, what it should focus on, and which instruments should be used to address the problems facing European consumers. In this process, Parliament filtered ideas, issues and ...

Over time, EU food markets have evolved significantly, driven by innovation and changes in consumer demand and expectations. Taking this shift into account, on 21 April 2023 the European Commission proposed to update some of the rules governing a set of directives on food products – the 'breakfast' directives. Changes include introducing stricter origin labelling for honey, increasing the fruit content in jams, reducing sugar in fruit juice and clearing the way for the production of lactose-free ...