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Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - March 2021

08-03-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market (At A Glance - Study In Focus)

01-03-2021

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality ...

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Ārējais autors

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 25 February 2021

26-02-2021

For the tenth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the European Council met by video-conference, however this time in two separate sessions. The first, on 25 February, dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways of increasing the EU’s health resilience, is covered in this paper, while the second, the following morning, addressed security and defence as well as the southern neighbourhood, and is covered by a separate paper. Regarding the pandemic, EU leaders called for acceleration ...

For the tenth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the European Council met by video-conference, however this time in two separate sessions. The first, on 25 February, dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways of increasing the EU’s health resilience, is covered in this paper, while the second, the following morning, addressed security and defence as well as the southern neighbourhood, and is covered by a separate paper. Regarding the pandemic, EU leaders called for acceleration in the authorisation, production and distribution of vaccines, reiterated their solidarity with third countries, and acknowledged that non-essential travel still needed to be restricted while ensuring the unhindered flow of goods and services within the single market. To strengthen the EU’s resilience to future health emergencies, EU leaders will seek to improve coordination to ensure better prevention, preparedness and response. However, further EU integration in health policy was excluded, with the conclusions stressing that these actions should be carried out ‘in line with the Union competences under the Treaties’. EU leaders also called on the Commission to draw up a report on the lessons learned from this crisis, to take forward the work on the European health union, and underlined the need for a global approach, including an international treaty on pandemics.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market and consumer protection - IMCO Webinar Proceedings

07-12-2020

These proceedings summarise the presentations and discussions that took place during the IMCO webinar held on 9 November 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market and consumer protection. The webinar was structured in two panels, each consisting of two presentations and two Q&A sessions. The first panel focused on the free movement of goods and people. The second panel was devoted to consumer protection and provision of services. This document was provided by the Policy Department for ...

These proceedings summarise the presentations and discussions that took place during the IMCO webinar held on 9 November 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market and consumer protection. The webinar was structured in two panels, each consisting of two presentations and two Q&A sessions. The first panel focused on the free movement of goods and people. The second panel was devoted to consumer protection and provision of services. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies for the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Ārējais autors

Caterina MARIOTTI, Agnieszka MARKOWSKA and Marta BALLESTEROS

Free movement within the EU

11-09-2020

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to counter it have had a profound impact on the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the European Union (the 'four freedoms'). The uncoordinated border restrictions introduced by Member States in the initial phase of their efforts to halt the spread of the virus all but suspended the free movement of people and greatly affected the free movement of goods and services, causing considerable disruption to the European single market. ...

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to counter it have had a profound impact on the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the European Union (the 'four freedoms'). The uncoordinated border restrictions introduced by Member States in the initial phase of their efforts to halt the spread of the virus all but suspended the free movement of people and greatly affected the free movement of goods and services, causing considerable disruption to the European single market. The Union responded to this emergency with a series of immediate measures aimed at limiting the effects of the crisis, preventing shortages of essential goods, and ensuring a coordinated return to normal. The pandemic has exposed pre-existing shortcomings in the implementation of freedom of movement in the EU. It has also highlighted the importance of free movement, necessary for the provision of essential goods, and based on closely integrated supply chains and the key contributions of mobile workers. The immediate measures will need to be backed by more sustained and structural changes to fully 'reboot' free movement in the EU. Improved implementation of free movement will be key to achieving faster and stronger recovery of economies and societies, based on closer European integration and a deeper single market.

Road and rail transport and coronavirus: Mapping the way out of the crisis

27-07-2020

In the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis, the lockdown and border closures halted most passenger services in road and rail transport and left road hauliers to face uncertainty and very long waiting times at many border crossings. With the pandemic easing, some passenger services resumed in certain EU countries from late April onward, and with the introduction of 'green lanes' the situation at border crossings stabilised allowing smoother passage for road hauliers. Nonetheless, the initial estimates ...

In the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis, the lockdown and border closures halted most passenger services in road and rail transport and left road hauliers to face uncertainty and very long waiting times at many border crossings. With the pandemic easing, some passenger services resumed in certain EU countries from late April onward, and with the introduction of 'green lanes' the situation at border crossings stabilised allowing smoother passage for road hauliers. Nonetheless, the initial estimates of the costs to the transport sector are immense and the impact is expected to continue well beyond 2020. The EU took a number of steps in the early stages of the crisis to alleviate the situation and to provide relief to the transport sector. As the situation progressed, the European Commission introduced further measures to help coordinate the exit from confinement and safely restart transport services. The Commission has also tabled a European recovery plan with a number of new instruments, which will allow the provision of assistance to key sectors, including the transport sector. The European Council reached a political agreement on the recovery fund on 21 July. To support their economies, EU governments have introduced a number of economy-wide measures, but also sector-specific measures, including for transport and tourism, as well as support for individual transport companies. The Commission has further enabled governments to use State aid to help firms in difficulty by putting in place a temporary framework for State aid.

Tracking key coronavirus restrictions on movement and social life in the EU Member States

17-07-2020

All the EU Member States adopted emergency measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. These measures restricted a number of fundamental freedoms, including movement across and within national borders, access to education, freedom of association and, more broadly, freedom to engage in social and economic activities. Following a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases, most Member States have gradually begun to lift or ease these restrictions. This briefing presents an overview ...

All the EU Member States adopted emergency measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. These measures restricted a number of fundamental freedoms, including movement across and within national borders, access to education, freedom of association and, more broadly, freedom to engage in social and economic activities. Following a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases, most Member States have gradually begun to lift or ease these restrictions. This briefing presents an overview of 10 key measures taken by the Member States in response to the pandemic. They relate to cross-border travel (controls at internal EU borders, entry bans affecting EU and non-EU citizens, and exit bans); movement and association (restrictions of movement in the country and bans on social gatherings); education and social activities (closure of educational institutions, shops and restaurants); and contact tracing. This briefing tracks these key measures from 1 March to 30 June 2020 and presents their evolution in relation to the general evolution of the pandemic in each Member State, represented by the cumulative number of reported Covid-19 cases per 100 000 population in the previous 14 days.

Lifting coronavirus restrictions: The role of therapeutics, testing, and contact-tracing apps

16-07-2020

In the absence of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, any easing of restrictions to freedom of movement and social life needs to be accompanied by enhanced monitoring measures, such as expanded testing capacity and improved contact tracing, including use of appropriate digital technologies. There are very few certainties about the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps one is that no isolated measure or silver-bullet solution is likely to solve all aspects of the crisis. A flexible and integrated strategy ...

In the absence of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, any easing of restrictions to freedom of movement and social life needs to be accompanied by enhanced monitoring measures, such as expanded testing capacity and improved contact tracing, including use of appropriate digital technologies. There are very few certainties about the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps one is that no isolated measure or silver-bullet solution is likely to solve all aspects of the crisis. A flexible and integrated strategy, based on complementary tools and measures (therapeutics, testing and contact tracing) and a coordinated approach across the EU are key to gradually lifting restrictions and to going back to the (new) normal.

EU tourism sector during the coronavirus crisis

10-07-2020

Tourism in the European Union (EU) is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, with some parts of the sector and some regions more affected than others. Most tourist facilities were closed during the peak of the crisis, and events cancelled or postponed. Tourism businesses are also among the last to resume activities, and even if they do, they still have to apply strict health protocols and containment measures, meaning that they can operate only at restricted capacity. The Organisation ...

Tourism in the European Union (EU) is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, with some parts of the sector and some regions more affected than others. Most tourist facilities were closed during the peak of the crisis, and events cancelled or postponed. Tourism businesses are also among the last to resume activities, and even if they do, they still have to apply strict health protocols and containment measures, meaning that they can operate only at restricted capacity. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that tourism will decline 60-80 % this year, depending on the length of the health crisis and on the pace of recovery. While aviation, cruise lines, hotels and restaurants are among the most affected, cycle tourism is becoming more popular during the recovery phase. An increasing number of tourists prefer domestic destinations, areas of natural value, active travel and avoiding overcrowded destinations, at least in the short-term. However, some changes might become permanent, such as the rise in purchasing tourism services online or the greater attention paid to hygiene and healthy living. At the peak of the pandemic, most EU countries introduced temporary border controls and measures restricting free movement across the EU. However, the strictness and timeline of these measures varied greatly from one country to another. Recently, many EU destinations have started to lift national confinement and quarantine measures, including restrictions on travel. By 15 June 2020, most EU countries had opened their borders to EU travellers and had begun to plan to open borders to travellers from certain third countries as of 1 July 2020. The EU has acted to support the tourism sector, whether by temporarily changing EU rules, helping to interpret current rules or by providing much-needed financial support. The European Commission helped to repatriate EU travellers. On 13 May 2020, the Commission adopted a comprehensive package of non-legislative measures for the tourism and transport sector, with the aim of helping EU countries to gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism and transport businesses to reopen. The Council and the European Parliament have, in general, welcomed the package, while making further suggestions on how to help the sector.

Cultural tourism out of confinement

10-07-2020

The lockdowns, border closures and other restrictive measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic brought tourist and cultural activities to a halt in most EU Member States between mid-March and mid-June, significantly affecting businesses and consumers. A progressive easing of these restrictive measures is now under way.

The lockdowns, border closures and other restrictive measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic brought tourist and cultural activities to a halt in most EU Member States between mid-March and mid-June, significantly affecting businesses and consumers. A progressive easing of these restrictive measures is now under way.

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