337

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Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 21 January 2021

25-01-2021

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the ...

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the meeting, EU leaders also raised the issue of the detention of Alexei Navalny, condemning it and calling on the Russian authorities to release him.

Plenary round-up - January 2021

22-01-2021

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's ...

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's Office and the consequences of earthquakes in Croatia were also discussed. Members discussed the Court of Auditors' annual report, and Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell made statements on the arrest of Aleksei Navalny, on enhancing EU external action in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on the latest developments in the National Assembly of Venezuela.

Banking Union: Postponed Basel III reforms

22-01-2021

This briefing summarises the Basel Committee’s decision to postpone the implementation of the outstanding Basel III standards, their main content, and their estimated impact on banks’ capital needs.

This briefing summarises the Basel Committee’s decision to postpone the implementation of the outstanding Basel III standards, their main content, and their estimated impact on banks’ capital needs.

Economic dialogue with the President of the Eurogroup

22-01-2021

Paschal Donohoe has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue in the ECON Committee since his election as President of the Eurogroup in July 2020. The previous dialogue with Mário Centeno took place on 21 April 2020. The exchange of views with Members of the ECON Committee will cover the ongoing work of the Eurogroup, notably short term policy measures intended to combat the economic, financial and social consequences of COVID-19, medium term policies to support a sustainable recovery and increase ...

Paschal Donohoe has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue in the ECON Committee since his election as President of the Eurogroup in July 2020. The previous dialogue with Mário Centeno took place on 21 April 2020. The exchange of views with Members of the ECON Committee will cover the ongoing work of the Eurogroup, notably short term policy measures intended to combat the economic, financial and social consequences of COVID-19, medium term policies to support a sustainable recovery and increase resilience of the Euro Area and longer term objectives relating to the robustness of the EMU governance framework, including completing the Banking Union. This briefing covers the following issues: the Eurogroup work programme until June 2021 (Section 1); Economic situation and developments (Section 2); the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the 2021 European Semester Cycle (Section 3); EU/EA policy measures taken to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic (Section 4); Financial assistance programmes and reform of European Stability Mechanism (Section 5) and Banking Union developments (Section 6). For an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, please see Briefing: The role (and accountability) of the President of the Eurogroup.

Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views with the President of the Council (ECOFIN)

21-01-2021

João Leão, Minister of Finance of Portugal, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Portuguese Presidency (January-June 2021). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Portuguese presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the Council’s work relating to the implementation ...

João Leão, Minister of Finance of Portugal, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Portuguese Presidency (January-June 2021). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Portuguese presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the Council’s work relating to the implementation of the European Semester for economic coordination, notably the application of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

How coronavirus infected sport

18-01-2021

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in ...

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in the EU, not only for sports professionals but also for those in related retail and sporting services such as travel, tourism, infrastructure, transportation, catering and media broadcasting, to name but a few. Additionally, Covid-related measures are estimated to have caused the loss of some €50 million in GDP across the EU-27. The results of a 2020 survey among European national Olympic committees show that over 93 % have had to significantly review their work-related practices, and over two thirds (67 %) reported their elite athletes were unable to use training facilities. While larger clubs in major sports are likely to have the financial resources to cope with a temporary loss of income, the same is not true for grassroots sports facilities that rely on self-employed coaches and volunteers and face a greater risk of shutting down. Even though its role in the area of sport is limited to 'soft' policy instruments, the EU has responded promptly to limit the spread of the virus and help EU countries to withstand its social and economic impact. In addition to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the CRII+, both approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in record time, the European Commission has set up a temporary framework allowing EU countries to derogate from State aid rules, and proposed a European instrument for temporary support (SURE) to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep their players and fans engaged, traditional sports have had to adapt their models by blurring the lines between traditional sports and Esports. However, research reveals that Covid-19-related restrictions have only increased the appeal of outdoor activities and made initiatives such as the European Week of Sport more necessary than ever.

The proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism

18-01-2021

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one. This note will be updated in light of relevant developments and it complements two separate EGOV briefings: The European Stability Mechanism: Main Features, Instruments and Accountability and the ESM Pandemic Crisis Support.

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one. This note will be updated in light of relevant developments and it complements two separate EGOV briefings: The European Stability Mechanism: Main Features, Instruments and Accountability and the ESM Pandemic Crisis Support.

Human Rights report

13-01-2021

During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate the annual EU report on human rights and democracy in the world. The latest annual report, adopted by the Council in June 2020, highlights the EU's leading role in promoting human rights and democracy in 2019, against the backdrop of negative trends globally. The report of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs takes into account more recent developments, such as the impact of coronavirus. It points out that the ...

During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate the annual EU report on human rights and democracy in the world. The latest annual report, adopted by the Council in June 2020, highlights the EU's leading role in promoting human rights and democracy in 2019, against the backdrop of negative trends globally. The report of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs takes into account more recent developments, such as the impact of coronavirus. It points out that the response to the pandemic has caused a decline in the respect of democratic and human rights standards in some countries. Based on this report, Parliament is expected to formulate recommendations for future EU action in favour of human rights and democracy.

The right to disconnect

13-01-2021

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between ...

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between working and non-working time. Parliament is expected to vote on this legislative initiative during its January 2021 plenary session.

Achieving gender equality in the face of the pandemic and existing challenges

13-01-2021

In March 2020, the European Commission released its new European Union (EU) Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, setting out measures to tackle persistent gender inequalities and bring a gender perspective to future priorities such as the digital and green transitions. Since the Strategy's release, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated gender inequalities, creating further challenges. Reports on the EU Gender Equality Strategy, women's participation in the digital economy and the ...

In March 2020, the European Commission released its new European Union (EU) Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, setting out measures to tackle persistent gender inequalities and bring a gender perspective to future priorities such as the digital and green transitions. Since the Strategy's release, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated gender inequalities, creating further challenges. Reports on the EU Gender Equality Strategy, women's participation in the digital economy and the gender impacts of the pandemic are due to be put before the European Parliament during its plenary session in January.

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