EU CORONAVIRUS RESPONSES

HEALTH

  • EU vaccine woes shift from supply squeeze to rollout - Nordic frontrunners raise ambitions but Germany and France struggle to administer doses – Financial Times 

DIGITAL& INFORMATION SOCIETY

  • Coronavirus disinformation: Online platforms took more actions fighting vaccine disinformation - See the Report - Midday Express

ECONOMY

  • COVID-19 credit-support programmes in Europe’s five largest economies - See Bruegel Working Paper

COMPETITION

  • Slovak Telekom, found liable by the Commission for abuse of a dominant position on the market for certain telecommunications services, could also be subject to sanctions imposed by the Slovak authorities for such abuse on the market for other telecommunications services - (See CPR No.21/2021 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-857/19)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10118 - Investindustrial/Guala Closures)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10087 - PROXIMUS/NEXUS INFRASTRUCTURE/JV)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10161 - The Goldman Sachs Group/Warburg Pincus/Good Host Spaces)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10151 - LINDE/SIPCHEM/JV)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10067 - ElringKlinger/Plastic Omnium New Energies/EKPO Fuel)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10117 - A.P. Moller/APMH Invest/Faerch Group)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10115 - PAI Partners/Apleona Group) 
  • UK - CMA - The issues statement sets out the scope of the inquiry - see response by SkyTelefónica and Liberty Global &  Vodafone

STATE AID

  • Answer given by EVP Vestager to a MEP written question - Lack of Commission response to complaints about alleged unlawful State aid and its impact on media freedom in Hungary

TRADE & CUSTOMS

  • Agenda for: 2nd Meeting of the Committee on Rules of Origin and Customs-Related Matters (CROCRM) under the Agreement between the EU and Japan for an Economic Partnership of 02 March 2021
  • Draft opinion: A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system by the EP INTA Committee
  • Report on the exercise of the power to adopt delegated acts conferred on the Commission pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/125 of 16 January 2019 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/328 of 24 February 2021 imposing a definitive countervailing duty on imports of continuous filament glass fibre products originating in the People’s Republic of China following an expiry review pursuant to Article 18 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/1037 of the European Parliament and of the Council 
  • WTO members hold February cluster of meetings for fisheries subsidies negotiations 
  • Remarks by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on the Trade Policy Review Communication at the European Parliament's International Trade Committee
  • WTO - Members discuss TRIPS waiver request, exchange views on IP role amid a pandemic  
  • WTO - Panels established to review Indonesian, US trade measures 

INTERNAL MARKET & INDUSTRY

  • In the opinion of Advocate General Juliane Kokott, the Commission’s decision refusing to review the authorisation of the plasticiser DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) should be annulled (See CPR No.26/2021 - Opinion in Case C-458/19 P, ClientEarth Vs. Commission)
  • Agenda for: Working Party on Technical Harmonisation (Motor vehicles) of 03 March 2021 
  • Agenda for: Raw Materials Supply Group of 14 October 2020
  • Public consultation - Measurement research - European Partnership on metrology (Horizon Europe programme) - Proposal for a decision - Feedback period - 24 February 2021 - 22 April 2021
  • Public consultation - Regional and urban Policy - Proposal for a regulation - Feedback period: 24 February 2021 - 21 April 2021 
  • Evaluation activities sped up by assessing chemicals in groups - ECHA/NR/2021/10

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Agenda for: Working Party on Financial Services (Digital Operational Resilience) of 03 March 2021
  • Recommendation by the Standing Committee of the EFTA States No 1/2020/SC on the notification by Norway from 5 November 2020 of the use of a Systemic Risk Buffer according to Article 133 of Directive 2013/36/EU on access to the activity of credit institutions and prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, as incorporated into the EEA Agreement by Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No 79/2019
  • ESMA publishes first Q&As on crowdfunding
  • ESMA appoints new chair of its Corporate Reporting Standing Committee
  • ESMA consults on methodology to calculate a benchmark in exceptional circumstances
  • ESMA - Fabrizio Planta delivers statement on Cum-Ex/Cum-Cum at EP Subcommittee on Tax Matters
  • EBA consults on draft technical standards to improve supervisory cooperation for investment firms
  • BoE governor warns EU over derivatives clearing power grab - Andrew Bailey says tensions will escalate if banks are forced to cut ties with City – Financial Times
EMPLOYMENT & SOCIAL POLICY
  • According to Advocate General Rantos, an employer can authorise, as part of a policy of neutrality, the wearing by its employees of small-scale religious signs (See CPR No.25/2021 - Advocate General’s Opinion in Joined Cases C-804/18, IX Vs. WABE e.V and C-341/19 MH Müller Handels GmbH Vs. MJ ) 
  • Member States may authorise partial access to one of the professions covered by the mechanism for the automatic recognition of professional qualifications, which include certain healthcare professions (See CPR No.24/2021 - Judgment in Case C-940/19 - Les Chirurgiens-Dentistes de France e.a.)
  • Europe's ageing society: more labour mobility could help EU meet demand for health and long-term care workers - Read the JRC press release and full report
  • Remarks by Commissioner Schmit on the first-stage consultation of European social partners on possible action addressing the challenges related to working conditions in platform work
  • Remarks by EVP Margrethe Vestager on the first-stage consultation of European social partners on possible action addressing the challenges related to working conditions in platform work
  • EU to consider giving gig workers same rights as permanent staff - Consultation on improving job conditions follows UK supreme court ruling against Uber – Financial Times

AGRICULTURE & FISHERIES

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Agenda for: Working Party on International Environment Issues (Whaling) of 03 March 2021
  • EVP Timmermans' remarks at the press conference on the new EU Climate Adaptation Strategy
  • Climate diplomacy: College Members meet with Alok Sharma, President of COP26 - Midday Express
  • The EU Green Deal and Its Industrial and Political Significance – See ECIPE No.1/2021

HEALTH, FOOD & PRODUCT SAFETY

  • Draft - Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of cadmium in certain foods
  • EFTA Surveillance Authority Delegated Decision No 151/20/COL of 11 December 2020 establishing a programme of controls for the year 2021 to be carried out in the EEA EFTA States to verify application of EEA legislation in the food and veterinary area
  • Report from the Commission - on food and food ingredients treated with ionising radiation for the years 2018-2019 
  • Draft - QaA Document - Regulation (EU) 536/2014 - Version 3 (February 2021)
  • Minutes - Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (5 February 2021)

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/331 of 24 February 2021 on the reporting of abuses committed by commercial intermediaries providing application services for travel authorisation under Regulation (EU) 2018/1240 of the European Parliament and of the Council 
  • Public consultation - Inland navigation - continued recognition of professional qualifications awarded in non-EU countries - Proposal for a Directive - Feedback period: 24 February 2021 - 21 April 2021

DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET

  • Judgment of the Court of 25 February 2021 in Case C 689/19 P, VodafoneZiggo Group BV, Vs. European Commission
    Re: Appeal - Electronic communications networks and services - Directive 2002/21/EC, as amended by Directive 2009/140/EC - Consolidating the internal market for electronic communications - Article 7(3) and (7) - Draft measure made accessible by the national regulatory authority - Wholesale fixed access market in the Netherlands - Joint significant market power - Comments of the European Commission communicated to the national regulatory authority - Obligation for the national regulatory authority to take the utmost account of them – Scope - Article 263 TFEU - Action for annulment - Admissibility - Challengeable act - Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union -
  • When will the EU finally get serious about digitalising its businesses? - See EPC Commentary

DATA PRIVACY & CYBERSECURITY

AREA OF FREEEDOM, SECURITY & JUSTICE

  • According to Advocate General Rantos, by imposing criminal penalties on organising activities intended to enable persons to initiate the international protection procedure who do not fulfil the national criteria for the grant of that protection, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law (See CPR No.27/2021 - Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-821/19 Commission Vs. Hungary (Criminalisation of assistance for asylum seekers))
  • On account of its ongoing failure to transpose a directive and to notify transposition measures, Spain is ordered to pay a lump sum of € 15 million and a daily penalty payment of € 89 000 (See CPR No.22/2021 - Judgment of the Court  in Case C-658/19, European Commission v. Kingdom of Spain)

EURO, ECB & ECONOMY

BREXIT

  • UK will agree to extend provisional application of UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement to 30 April 2021 
  • Joint statement by the co-chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee: 24 February 2021
  • Joint statement by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove
  • Keeping up appearances: What now for UK services trade? – see CER Policy Brief 

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Ukraine: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol
  • Seven years since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea
  • Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest political developments