EU CORONAVIRUS RESPONSES

STATE AID

  • Commission approves €70.8 million Latvian scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.59592) - Midday Express 
  • Commission approves €39.2 million Polish scheme to support enterprises active in pig breeding sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak (SA.60060) - Midday Express 

HEALTH

  • Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Novavax to secure a new potential vaccine - IP/20/2305
  • COVID-19 vaccines: Parliament supports speedy authorisation of safe vaccines
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Occurrence of new mink variants of COVID-19 in Denmark
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - ECDC and COVID-19 testing strategies
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Efficacy of remdesivir and transparency with regard to the conditions of the recent Joint Procurement Agreement

ECONOMY

  • Opening remarks by EVP Dombrovskis and by Commissioner McGuinness at press conference on the Action Plan for non-performing loans (NPLs)
  • EBA welcomes European Commission’s action plan to tackle NPLs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market and consumer protection - IMCO Webinar Proceedings - Study In Focus - EP IMCO Committee

TRANSPORT

  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/2114 of 16 December 2020 amending Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the temporary extension of exceptional measures to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to selection of groundhandling service provider
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/2115 of 16 December 2020 amending Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the temporary extension of exceptional measures to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to operating licences

COMPETITION

  • Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2020 in Case T‑430/18, American Airlines, Inc., Vs. European Commission, supported by Delta Air Lines, Inc.
    Re: Competition - Concentrations - Air transport market - Decision declaring a concentration compatible with the internal market and the EEA Agreement - Commitments - Decision granting Grandfathering rights - Error of law - Concept of appropriate use
  • The General Court confirms that the rules of the International Skating Union (ISU) providing for severe penalties for athletes taking part in speed skating events not recognised by it are contrary to EU competition law (See CPR Nº 159/2020 - Judgment of the General Court in Case T-93/18 International Skating Union Vs.Commission)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10048 - Mazda Motor Corporation/Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10005 - CPPIB/Sixth Street/Clara)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.9972 - Neste/Bunge Loders Croklaan Oils)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10038 - Allied Universal Topco/G4S)
  • Commission re-adopts decision and fines CCPL €9.44 million for its participation in retail food packaging cartels - Midday Express 
  • Commission clears acquisition of Alnut by De Agostini and Foodiverse (M.10071) - Midday Express 
  • Commission clears acquisition of Edifecs by TA Associates and Francisco Partners (M.9876) - Midday Express 
  • Commission approves €200 million German scheme to promote shift of freight transport from road to rail (SA.58570) - Midday Express 
  • Greece - Investigation for non-notification of a concentration into the Greek market of electricity production

STATE AID

  • Norwegian regional aid map 2021
  • Icelandic regional aid map 2021
  • Answer given by EVP Vestager to a MEP written question - New tax relief measures in Italy and compliance with state aid and competition rules
  • Answer given by EVP Vestager to a MEP written question - Carbon dioxide emissions: penalisation of the ceramics industry

TRADE & CUSTOMS

  • Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2020 in Case T- 541/18, Changmao Biochemical Engineering Co. Ltd, Vs. European Commission, supported by Distillerie Bonollo SpA Industria Chimica Valenzana (ICV) SpA, and Caviro Distillerie Srl,
    Re: Dumping - Imports of tartaric acid originating in China - Extension of a definitive anti-dumping duty - Determination of the normal value - Protocol of Accession of China to the WTO - Analogue country methodology - Article 2(7) and Article 11(2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/1036 - Vulnerability of the Union industry - Likelihood of recurrence of injury - Rights of the defence - Obligation to state reasons
  • Agenda & Working Documents for: Economic Tariff Questions Group of 17 December 2020
  • Notice of initiation of an expiry review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of certain aluminium foil originatingin the People's Republic of China
  • Notice of the expiry of certain anti-dumping measures (Aluminium foils; Russia; 19.12.2020)
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2122 of 16 December 2020 on the granting of unlimited duty-free access to theUnion for 2021 to certain goods originating in Norway resulting from the processing of agricultural products covered by Regulation(EU) No 510/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council
  • Customs controls: Fake goods with a retail value of over €760 million were seized at the EU's external borders in 2019, according to a new report published by the European Commission - IP/20/2401
  • Revised Agenda for: Trade Policy Committee (Deputy Members) of 18 December 2020
  • Report on the 9th round of negotiations for a Trade Agreement between the EU and New Zealand
  • Stakeholder meeting on the establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court on 01 February 2021
  • EU to enhance preferential trade with Pan-Euro-Mediterranean countries
  • CLEN becomes the WCO Regional Customs Laboratory of Europe
  • EU-China comprehensive agreement on investment: A scoping study
  • WTO launches first online regional trade policy course for Arab and Middle Eastern states

INTERNAL MARKET & INDUSTRY

  • Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2020 in CaseT 207/18 PlasticsEurope Vs. European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
    Re: REACH - Establishment of a list of substances identified with a view to their eventual inclusion in Annex XIV to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 - Supplement to the inclusion of bisphenol A on that list - Articles 57 and 59 of Regulation No 1907/2006 - Manifest error of assessment - Weight of evidence approach - Exploratory studies - Intermediate uses - Proportionality'
  • Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2020 in Case T-176/19, 3V Sigma SpA, Vs. European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), supported by Federal Republic of Germany
    Re: REACH - Substance evaluation - UVASORB HEB - Decision of the ECHA requesting further information - Article 46(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 - Request seeking to identify potential transformation or degradation products of the substance - Proportionality - Need for the additional study requested - Relevant conditions and realistic conditions - Study temperature - Manifest error of assessment
  • Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2020 in Case T-635/18, Industrial Química del Nalón, SA, Vs. European Commission, supported by Kingdom of Spain and by European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) 
    Re: Non-contractual liability - Environment - Classification, labelling and packaging of certain substances and mixtures - Classification of pitch, coal tar, high-temp as an Aquatic Acute 1 (H400) toxic substance and as an Aquatic Chronic 1 (H410) toxic substance - Sufficiently serious breach of a rule of law intended to confer rights on individuals
  • 2020 EU Industrial Research and Development Scoreboard: EU companies remain robust and increase investment amidst stiff global competition - IP/20/2458

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Capital Markets Recovery Package: Council confirms targeted amendments to EU capital market rules - Statements by the Commission
  • EBA publishes final technical standards to ensure effective application of stay powers under the BRRD
  • EBA publish final draft technical standards on the prudential treatment of investment firms
  • EBA consults on technical standards to calculate risk weights of collective investment undertakings
  • ESAs notify the Chair of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation on global sustainability standards
  • EBA explains how it will use its new power to carry out risk assessments in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing
  • EBA updates its Report on liquidity measures and confirms banks’ solid liquidity position
  • ESMA supports IFRS Foundation’s efforts on international standardisation in sustainability reporting - see the LetterResponse 
  • ESMA appoints two new members to its Management Board
  • ESMA has appointed Mr Jos Heuvelman, who is a Member of Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) of the Netherlands,

TAXATION

  • The supply of heat by a group of residential property owners to its members is subject to VAT (See CPR No.166/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-449/19  - WEG Tevesstraße Taxation)

AGRICULTURE & FISHERIES

  • In order to promote animal welfare in the context of ritual slaughter, Member States may, without infringing the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter, require a reversible stunning procedure which cannot result in the animal’s death (See CPR No.163/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-336/19 - Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België and Others)
  • EU law prohibits the reproduction of the shape or appearance of a product protected by a PDO in certain circumstances (See CPR No.168/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-490/19 - Syndicat interprofessionnel de défense du fromage Morbier)
  • 182.9 million to promote European agri-food products, with a focus on sustainable agriculture - IP/20/2436
  • AGRIFISH Council adopts 2021 fishing opportunities for the North-East Atlantic and for deep-sea stocks - See Statement by Commissioner Sinkevičius 
  • Speech by Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski at the 2020 EU Agricultural Outlook conference
  • Speech by President von der Leyen at the 2020 EU Agricultural Outlook Conference

ENERGY

  • ACER - Regulators welcome the Commission’s Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) proposals but see scope for further improvement for energy network development
  • Gas tariffs reports: ACER recommends the Bulgarian Regulator to communicate in a transparent and predictable way with stakeholders and the Agency 

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE

  • A manufacturer cannot install a defeat device which systematically improves, during approval procedures, the performance of the vehicle emission control system and thus obtain approval of the vehicle (See CPR No.170/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-693/18 - CLCV and Others (Dispositif d’invalidation sur moteur diesel)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: Commission adopts reasoned opinion in case brought by Czechia against Poland - IP/20/2452
  • Air quality - revision of EU rules - Proposal for a directive: Feedback period - 17 December 2020 - 14 January 2021
  • European Climate Pact and Count Us In campaign launch partnership to mobilise EU citizens for climate change

HEALTH, FOOD & PRODUCT SAFETY

  • Information as to the ‘function’ of a cosmetic product which must appear on the product’s container and its packaging must inform consumers clearly as to that product’s purpose and method of use  (See CPR No.165/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-667/19 - A.M. (Étiquetage des produits cosmétiques) 

DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET

DATA PRIVACY & CYBERSECURITY

  • Opening remarks by VP Margaritis Schinas at the press conference on the cybersecurity strategy
  • Opening remarks by HR/VP Josep Borrell at the press conference on the cybersecurity strategy
  • The EDPB met for its 43rd plenary session. During the plenary, a wide range of topics was discussed
  • The EDPB adopted its first binding decision on the basis of Art. 65 GDPR on November 9th
  • The Swedish Data Protection Authority has issued an administrative fine of SEK 300,000 against a housing company for unlawful video surveillance in an apartment building
  • EU cybersecurity strategy paves the way for much needed rules to better secure connected products - See Beuc Statement

AREA OF FREEEDOM, SECURITY & JUSTICE

  • Advocate General Hogan : EU Law does not preclude national constitutional provisions under which the executive power or one of its members, such as the Prime Minister, plays a role in the process of the appointment of members of the judiciary (See CPR No.172/2020 - Opinion of the Advocate General in the case C-896/19 - Repubblika)
  • Advocate General Tanchev: Polish law introduced in order to exclude the possibility for legal review of the National Council of the Judiciary’s assessment of judicial candidates to the Supreme Court violates EU law  (See CPR No.171/2020 - Opinion of the Advocate General in the case C-824/18 - A.B. and Others (Nomination des juges à la Cour suprême - Recours)
  • A Union citizen may be extradited to a third State only after consultation with the Member State of which that citizen is a national (See CPR No.167/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-398/19 - Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Berlin (Extradition vers l'Ukraine)
  • The existence of evidence of systemic or generalised deficiencies concerning judicial independence in Poland or of an increase in those deficiencies does not in itself justify the judicial authorities of the other Member States refusing to execute any European arrest warrant issued by a Polish judicial authority (See CPR No.164/2020 - Judgment of theCourt of Justice in Joined Cases C-354/20, PPU, C-412/20 PPU Openbaar Ministerie (Indépendance de l’autorité judiciaire d’émission)
  • New OLAF rules help EU investigators and prosecutors in the fight against fraudsters - IP/20/2431 & QaA on OLAF's new legal framework to protect the EU budget
  • Home affairs funds: Council supports provisional agreements on the main elements for funding migration, border and security policies
  • Parliament approves the “rule of law conditionality” for access to EU funds
  • Combating gender-based violence - protecting victims and punishing offenders- Proposal for a directive - Feedback period: 16 December 2020 - 13 January 2021
  • Strengthening the automated data exchange under the Prüm framework - Proposal for a regulation - Feedback period: 16 December 2020 - 24 March 2021
  • Asylum: more solidarity among EU member states and funds for frontline countries - See the EP Statement
  • Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress 

ECB, EURO & ECONOMY

  • The Court of Justice upholds the judgments of the General Court in so far as it dismissed the actions for damages brought by a number of individuals and companies on account of acts and conduct adopted by the EU institutions in connection with financial assistance granted to Cyprus that was conditional upon the restructuring of its banking sector  (See CPR Nº 160/2020 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Joined Cases C-597/18 P, C-598/18 P, C-604/18 P, Council Vs. K. Chrysostomides & Co. and Others)
  • EU budget: European Commission welcomes the final adoption of the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027 - IP/20/2469 & QaA
  • Structural reform support programme - final evaluation: Feedback period 17 December 2020 - 14 January 2021
  • Remarks by Paschal Donohoe following the Eurogroup video conference of 16 December 2020
  • Eurogroup issued a statement on the Draft Budgetary Plans for 2021
  • Technical support instrument for implementation of reforms - Council confirms provisional agreement with Parliament
  • Remarks by Commissioner Gentiloni at the Eurogroup press conference
  • Speech by Isabel Schnabel: "The importance of trust for the ECB’s monetary policy"
  • What value added in the trade balances of euro area financial centres? - ECB Working paper Series No.2506
  • Daily tracker of global economic activity: a close-up of the COVID-19 pandemic - ECB Working paper Series No.2505

FUTURE OF EUROPE

BREXIT

  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2108 of 16 December 2020 amending Annex II to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/627 as regards the health mark to be used for certain meat intended for human consumption in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2110 of 16 December 2020 amending Part C of Annex I to Decision 2009/177/EC as regards the disease-free status of the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland for certain aquatic animal diseases
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2111 of 16 December 2020 amending Annex I to Decision 2010/221/EU as regards the reference to the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland for the approval of national measures for limiting the impact of certain diseases in aquaculture animals and wild aquatic animals in accordance with Article 43 of Council Directive 2006/88/EC
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2112 of 16 December 2020 amending the Annexes to Decisions 93/455/EEC, 1999/246/EC and 2007/24/EC as regards the approval of the contingency plans of the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland for the control of foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, avian influenza and Newcastle disease
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2113 of 16 December 2020 amending Annex I to Decision 2004/3/EC authorising, in respect of the marketing of seed potatoes in all or part of the territory of certain Member States, more stringent measures against certain diseases than are provided for in Annexes I and II to Council Directive 2002/56/EC, as regards the entry for the United Kingdom

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Gender Action Plan III: Presidency issues conclusions welcoming an ambitious agenda for gender equality and women's empowerment in EU external action
  • Nuclear arms control regimes: state of play and perspectives - In-Depth Analysis - EP Subcommittee on Security and Defence
  • International Migrants Day: Joint Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy