EU CORONAVIRUS RESPONSES

STATE AID

  • Commission approves €370 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the congress and fair industry affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.59992)  - Midday Express
  • Commission approves modification of several Lithuanian schemes to support certain sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.60073, SA.60096, SA.60139 and SA.60266) - Midday Express
  • Commission approves a Luxembourg scheme to support the seed sector affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.59944) - Midday Express
  • Commission approves €15 million Irish scheme to support Ireland-based inbound tourism agents affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.59719) - Midday Express
  • Impact of state aid on competition and competitiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic: an early assessment - Study for the EP ECON Committee  

HEALTH

  • EMA - Update on assessment of marketing authorisation application for Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Measures to prevent outbreaks of seasonal influenza compounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the EU
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - EU dependence on the Chinese pharmaceuticals market
  • Answer given by Mr Breton to a MEP written question - Public procurement of pharmaceuticals and the upcoming pharmaceutical strategy

EMPLOYMENT & SOCIAL POLICY

ECONOMY

  • Recommendation of the European Central Bank of 15 December 2020 on dividend distributions during the COVID-19 pandemic and repealing Recommendation ECB/2020/35
  • COVID-19 - Commission welcomes political agreement on Recovery and Resilience Facility - IP/20/2397,  see also the EP Statement
  • EU cohesion policy: end of year wrap-up of action against the effects of the coronavirus pandemic - IP/20/2418
  • The Covid-19 crisis and consumption: survey evidence from six EU countries - ECB Working paper Series No.2507

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Submission of the final report on the call for advice for the purposes of the implementation of the final Basel III reforms in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, updated impact study

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

  • Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted

COMPETITION

  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10045 - Eurazeo/IK Investment Partners/Questel) 
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10021 - Netcompany/Copenhagen Airports/SMARTER AIRPORTS JV) 
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.9956 - DTC/CEPCON/Hornsea One OFTO) 
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10030 - Ube Industries/Mitsubishi Materials Corporation/JV) 
  • Commission clears acquisition of Fitbit by Google, subject to conditions (M.9660) - IP/20/2484 -  See Beuc reaction 
  • Commission clears acquisition of Freja Transport & Logistics by SDK (M.10062) - Midday Express
  • Commission clears acquisition of certain businesses and assets of UFG by Eni (M.10052) - Midday Express
  • Commission clears the acquisition of SmartBear by Vista and Francisco Partners (M.10042) -Midday Express
  • Commission clears acquisition of joint control of a newly created joint venture between ABN AMRO and ODDO BHF (M.10029) - Midday Express
  • Commission clears the acquisition of joint control over Japan Marine United by Imabari Shipbuildi (M.9936) - Midday Express
  • Commission to launch public consultation on revision of Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines
  • Spain - The CNMC starts a sanctioning file against Enel Green Power, S.L. (Enel) and its parent company Endesa Generación, S.A. for alleged practices prohibited by the Law for the Defense of Competition 
  • Spain: Repsol has been fined 5 million euros by the Spanish competition authority, for failing to fulfil conditions imposed on it in 2009 and 2013
  • Switzerland - COMCO Ensures Competition on the Fibre Optic Network - see the FRIT & DE version
  • UK - CMA publishes final report in funerals market investigation

STATE AID

  • Authorisation for State aid pursuant to Articles 107 and 108 of the TFEU - Cases where the Commission raises no objections
  • Commission approves compensation to energy-intensive companies in Wallonia for indirect emission costs (SA.59751) - Midday Express
  • Commission approves €3.3 million Danish scheme to support acquisition of alternatively fuelled vehicles and corresponding infrastructure for commercial transport sector (SA.58036) - Midday Express

TRADE & CUSTOMS

  • Agenda of the Economic Tariff Questions Group of 21-22 January 2021 
  • Regulation (EU) 2020/2131 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the elimination of customs duties on certain goods  
  • Council Decision (EU) 2020/2137 of 15 December 2020 on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee established by the Economic Partnership Agreement between the CARIFORUM States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, as regards the establishment of a Special Committee on Services 
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2149 of 9 December 2020 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds, in order to add Italy as a Union authority and to take into account the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union
  • Gender equality: Commission ensures excellence and improves gender balance in trade and investment arbitration - IP/20/2485
  • WTO - Chair of services domestic regulation talks issues revised negotiating text

INTERNAL MARKET & INDUSTRY

  • Minutes of the Meeting of the Expert Group on mutual recognition of goods of 15 December 2020 
  • One-third of products claimed to be treated with biocides have incorrect labelling - ECHA/NR/20/43 
  • Commission Notice The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2021
  • Report of the German Presidency concerning the Future of the Construction Products Regulation
  • European Innovation Council pilot - €176 million to 38 start-ups and SMEs set to shape the future 
  • Ages & Vie speeds up development supported by the signature of a first €55m loan agreement between Korian and the EIB - IP/20/2493

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Draft - Commission delegated Regulation (EU) …/... supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1238 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards specifying the requirements on information documents, on the costs and fees included in the cost cap and on risk-mitigation techniques for the pan-European Personal Pension Product see the Annex
  • New rules on freezing and confiscating assets across EU borders enter into application - Midday Express
  • EBA launches consultation to amend standards on benchmarking of internal models 
  • EBA publishes final draft technical standards on capital requirements of non-modellable risks under the FRTB 
  • EBA launches consultation on its new Guidelines on internal governance for investment firms  
  • ESMA publishes draft technical standards under EMIR REFIT 
  • ESMA has published a second report on the clearing solutions for Pension Scheme Arrangements (PSAs) under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)
  • ESMA publishes final guidance to address leverage risk in the AIF sector 
  • ESMA renews its decision requiring net short position holders to report positions of 0.1% and above 
  • ESMA registers DTCC Data Repository (Ireland) PLC as trade repository under EMIR and SFTR

TAXATION

  • Report from the Commission on the operation of the arrangements established by Council Directive 2010/24/EU of 16 March 2010 concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures
  • Communication from the Commission in accordance with Article 395 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC 

AGRICULTURE & FISHERIES

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Main results of the Environment Council of 17 December 2020  - Statement by Commissioner Sinkevičius
    - Council approves conclusions on making the recovery circular and green
    - Council agrees on full general approach on European climate law proposal
    - Council reaches agreement on improving access to justice in environmental matters
    - Digitalisation for the benefit of the environment: Council approves conclusions
  • Paris Agreement: Council transmits NDC submission on behalf of EU and member states
  • Commission sets annual emissions budgets for 2021-2030 under the Effort Sharing Regulation
  • LIFE: Deal reached to invest €5.4 billion in climate and environmental projects - See the EP Statement
  • Outcome of the 40th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) (online meeting, 30 November-4 December 2020) - Report by the Presidency and the Commission
  • 40th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) (On-line meeting, 30 November-4 December 2020) - Statements by the EU and its Member States
  • Draft Report & Recommendation by MEP Karin Karlsbro containing a motion for a non-legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2151 of 17 December 2020 laying down rules on harmonised marking specifications on single-use plastic products listed in Part D of the Annex to Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment 

DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET

  • EU Member States present report of best practices on fast network rollout, a first step towards the Connectivity Toolbox - Midday Express
  • Draft Opinion by MEP Geert Bourgeois on Shaping the digital future of Europe: removing barriers to the functioning of the digital single market and improving the use of AI for European consumers

AREA OF FREEEDOM, SECURITY & JUSTICE

  • Rights and values programme: Council presidency and European Parliament reach provisional agreement
  • More transparency: Following EU action, Booking.com and Expedia align practices with EU consumer law - IP/20/2444
  • EU signs final contracts under the €6 billion budget of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey - IP/20/2487  
  • MEPs express support for the priorities of the EU Security Union Strategy - see the EP Resolution
  • Sustainability: businesses interests must align with society’s interests - see the EP Statement & EP resolution

ECB, EURO & ECONOMY

  • Bank credit and market-based finance for corporations: the effects of minibond issuances - ECB Working paper Series No.2508
  • EU economic developments and projections – Briefing for the EP ECON Committee 
  • ECB nominates Frank Elderson as Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board

FUTURE OF EUROPE

  • List of meetings taking place between 1 and 31 January 2021
  • EU institutions agree on priorities for coming years: A common agenda for our recovery and renewed vitality - IP/20/2340, see also the EP Statement

BREXIT

  • Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement to be fully operational on 1 January 2021 – IP/20/2478 & QaA
  • Statement by President von der Leyen after her phone call with UK Prime Minister Johnson 
  • Press statement by Vice-President Šefčovič following the fifth ordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee
  • EU-UK relations: Parliament approves temporary rules to keep Eurotunnel working - see the EP Resolution
  • EU-UK: MEPs still in favour of agreement, but welcome no-deal preparations - see the Statement
  • UK Government statement following the meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee, 17 December. 
  • UK Internal Market Bill becomes law  
  • Barnier warns EU-UK trade deal talks reach ‘moment of truth’ - EU’s chief Brexit negotiator says crucial hours ahead will determine outcome, with fisheries still a major sticking point - Financial Times
  • Brexit disruption leaves nasty taste for fine wine trade - Plans to roll over protectionist EU rules on wine imports illustrate the friction to come for many businesses - Financial Times
  • Brexit trade talks buffeted by EU Covid relief state aid row - Negotiations go to the wire over EU’s €750bn recovery fund and fishing access - Financial Times

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • The Council imposed restrictive measures against 27 additional individuals, including high-level Belarusian officials, responsible for the ongoing repression and intimidation, as well as against 2 individuals and 7 entities who benefit from their association with and support the Lukashenka regime - (See Regulation (EU) 2020/2129 & Decision (CFSP) 2020/2130)
  • Russia: The Council prolongs the targeted restrictive measures on exchanges in specific sectors of the Russian economy for another six months, until 31 July 2021 - (See Decision (CFSP) 2020/2143)
  • Council Decision in support of combating the illicit trade in and proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Member States of the League of Arab States (See Decision (CFSP)  2020/2142
  • The Council adopted an implementing decision and an implementing regulation concerning restrictive measures against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (See Regulation (EU) 2020/2133 & Decision (CFSP) 2020/2144
  • Commission publishes guidance on key provisions of EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime - IP/20/2419
  • Main results of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) - see the Report 
  • Partnership Implementation Report on Armenia
  • Cooperation Implementation Report on Azerbaijan
  • Strategic autonomy and the next four years of EU-US relations - see CER Policy Paper