EU CORONAVIRUS RESPONSES

HEALTH

  • Coronavirus vaccine disinformation: new reports from online platforms to inform Code of Practice revamp - Midday Express
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Do the misgivings concerning AstraZeneca’s vaccine call into question the contract the Commission has signed with the pharmaceutical giant?
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Procurement of vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - Protective measures against COVID-19 in and around Madrid 
  • ‎Discovery of AstraZeneca vaccine doses in Italy raises EU hackles - Company says 29m shots are awaiting quality approval before distribution to bloc and Covax - Financial Times
  • Digital Green Certificate is the right move but speeding up vaccination is key – See the EP Statement 

STATE AID

  • Commission approves €270 million Italian measure to support rail freight and commercial passenger operators affected by coronavirus outbreak (IP/21/1353)
  • Commission approves €20 million Cypriot subsidised loan scheme to support SMEs affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.61515) - Midday Express
  • Commission approves modification of Belgian scheme to support companies in Flanders affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.62156) - Midday Express
  • Commission approves €9.9 million Estonian scheme to support companies active in tourism and directly related sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak (SA.61591)  - Midday Express
  • EFTA - COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian aid scheme for sporting events of national importance

TRADE

  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/521 of 24 March 2021 making specific arrangements to the mechanism making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation
  • Remarks by EVP Dombrovskis at the press conference on the export transparency and authorisation mechanism and an accelerated approval of adapted vaccines against COVID-19 variants

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Joint statement by the European Commission and Her Majesty's Government on cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Answer given by Ms Kyriakides to a MEP written question - The geopolitical implications of vaccine diplomacy of other countries -

COMPETITION

  • The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak telecommunications market (See CPR No 50/2021 - Judgments of the Court of Justice in Cases C-152/19 P, C-165/19 P - Deutsche Telekom Vs. Commission)
  • The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals of a number of manufacturers of medicines involved in a cartel seeking to delay the marketing of the generic antidepressant citalopram (See CPR No 49/2021 - Judgments of the Court of Justice in Cases C-586/16 P, C- 588/16 P, C-591/16 P, C-601/16 P, C-611/16 P,C-601/16 P - Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Ranbaxy (UK) Vs. Commission)
  • Agenda for: Working Party on Competition of 31 March 2021
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10192 - Linde/Hyosung/JVs)
  • Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.10179 - Tengelmann Warenhandelsgesellschaft/KiK Textilien und Non-Food)
  • Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.10143 - Inter-Risco/Unavets/OneVet)
  • Commission clears acquisition of a newly created joint venture by Proximus and Nexus Infrastructure (M.10087)  - Midday Express
  • Commission clears acquisition of TEDi by BH Holding (M.10180) - Midday Express
  • Answer given by Ms Vestager to a MEP written question - Possible unfair competition in the steel sector following the adoption of unequal legal framework provisions to combat the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Belgium Priority policy of the Belgian Competition Authority for 2021
  • France - The French Competition Authority sanctions the 3 main French manufacturers of industrial sandwiches sold under private label for cartel
  • Poland - President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny brought charges against PolishAgri, a company that buys and sells grain and rapeseed.
  • UK - CMA is investigating the completed acquisition by Facebook, Inc of Giphy, Inc.
  • UK - CMA finds competition concerns in Crowdcube and Seedrs merger

STATE AID

  • EFTA Surveillance Authority - State aid – Decision to raise no objections - OJ C 103 p.6,8,9 &10 

TRADE & CUSTOMS

  • Draft Recommendation by MEP Jordi Cañas on the proposal for a Council decision on the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the Union and the Argentine Republic relating to the modification of concessions on all the tariff rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union
    Committee on International Trade
  • Council Decision (EU) 2021/515 of 22 March 2021 on the signing, on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Commonwealth of Australia pursuant to Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union
  • Council Decision (EU) 2021/516 of 22 March 2021 on the signing, on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Republic of Indonesia pursuant to Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union
  • Opinion on the implementation of Article 50 TEU by EP INTA Committee member Christophe Hansen
  • WTO - Items proposed for consideration at the next meeting of Dispute Settlement Body of 26 March 2021

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Judgment of the Court of 25 March 2021 in Case C‑501/18, BT Vs. Balgarska Narodna Banka
    Re: Reference for a preliminary ruling - Deposit-guarantee schemes - Directive 94/19/EC - Article 1(3)(i) - Article 7(6) - Article 10(1) * Concept of ‘unavailable deposit’ - Determination of unavailability of deposits * Competent authority - Depositor’s rights to compensation - Contractual clause contrary to Directive 94/19 - Principle of primacy of Union law - European System of Financial Supervision - European Banking Authority (EBA) - Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 * Article 1(2) - Article 4(2)(iii) - Article 17(3) – EBA recommendation to a national banking authority on measures to comply with Directive 94/19 - Legal effects - Validity * Reorganisation and winding up of credit institutions - Directive 2001/24/EC * Article 2, seventh indent - Concept of ‘reorganisation measures’ - Compatibility with Article 17(1) and Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU - Liability of Member States for breach of Union law - Conditions - Sufficiently serious breach of EU law - Procedural autonomy of Member States - Principle of sincere cooperation - Article 4(3) TEU - Principles of equivalence and effectiveness
  • ESMA assesses the compliance with UCITS liquidity rules and highlights areas for vigilance

TAXATION

  • Judgment of the Court of 25 March 2021 in Case C-856/19, European Commission, Vs. Hungary
    Re: "Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations - Article 258 TFEU - Directive 2011/64/EU - Article 10(2) and (3) - Excise duties applicable to manufactured tobacco - Overall rate of excise duty on cigarettes lower than the minimum rate prescribed - Internal difficulties - Threat of serious disturbance to public order - Duty of loyal cooperation"
  • Judgment of the Court of 25 March 2021 in Case C‑907/19, Q-GmbH Vs. Finanzamt Z,
    Re: Reference for a preliminary ruling – Directive 2006/112/EC - VAT - Exemptions – Article 135(1)(a) - Insurance transactions and related services performed by insurance brokers and insurance agents - Service supplied for an insurer, comprising different services - Categorisation as a single supply
  • Opinion of Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of 25 March 2021 in Case C-21/20, Balgarska Natsionalna televizia v Direktor na Direktsia 'Obzhalvane i danachno-osiguritelna praktika' - Sofia pri Tsentralno upravlenie na NAP
    Re: Reference for a preliminary ruling - VAT - Directive 2006/112/EC - Article 2(1)(c) - Scope - Supply of services for consideration - Article 132(1)(q) - Exemption - Broadcasting of television programmes financed partly by the State budget and partly by commercial activities - Right to deduct input tax
  • Council Directive (EU) 2021/514 of 22 March 2021 amending Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 
  • Answer given by Mr Gentiloni to a MEP written question - Is the widely publicised fight against tax avoidance adequate and sufficient?

EMPLOYMENT & SOCIAL POLICY

  • Main messages from the Tripartite Social Summit, 24 March 2021

ENERGY

  • Agenda for: Working Party on Energy of 30 March 2021

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE

  • The Court of Justice confirms that the action brought by families from the European Union, Kenya and Fiji against the EU ‘climate package’ of 2018 is inadmissible (See CPR No 51/2021 - Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-565/19 P , Carvalho and Others Vs. Parliament and Council )
  • Opinion of Advocate General Kokott of 25 March 2021 in Case C‑22/20, European Commission VS. Kingdom of Sweden
    Re: Failure to fulfil obligations - Directive 91/271/EEC - Urban waste-water treatment - Secondary waste water treatment - More stringent treatment of discharges into sensitive areas - Loyal cooperation - Provision of information
  • European Green Deal: Commission presents actions to boost organic production - IP/21/1275QaA, see the Communication & Annex
  • Environmental Liability: Commission announces guidelines to identify how environmental damage needs to be prevented and remediated
  • Speech by President von der Leyen at the Opening of the High-Level Conference 'Investing in climate action: The Make-or-Break Decade', in cooperation with the EIB

HEALTH, FOOD PRODUCT & SAFETY

  • Health Technology Assessment: Council agrees its negotiating position 
  • Agenda for: Working Party on Pharmaceuticals and Medical devices of 30 March 2021
  • Reinforcing trust in scientific studies on food products: new rules for more transparency and independence - IP/21/1386
  • Speech of President von der Leyen at the "Conference on strengthening the role of the EU in Global Health", organised by the Portuguese Presidency
  • EFSA - Transparency in risk assessment: a new era begins
  • EFSA - Modification of the existing MRLs for cyprodinil in blueberries, cranberries, currants and gooseberries
  • EFSA - Updated risk assessment concerning the risk to wild mammals for the active substance gamma‐cyhalothrin
  • EFSA - Safety and efficacy of a feed additive consisting on Ligilactobacillus animalis ATCC PTA‐6750 (formerly Lactobacillus animalis) for all animal species (Chr. Hansen A/S)
  • EFSA - Safety and efficacy of a feed additive consisting of lasalocid A sodium and nicarbazin (Nilablend™ 200G) for chickens for fattening (Zoetis Belgium SA)
  • EFSA - Report for 2019 on the results from the monitoring of veterinary medicinal product residues and other substances in live animals and animal products

AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY & JUSTICE

  • Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond - IP/21/1326 &  Speech by Ms Gabriel
  • Media freedom in Slovenia: MEPs to continue taking stock of recent developments

BREXIT

‎FUTURE OF EUROPE

  • List of meetings taking place between 1 and 30 April 2021
  • Work begins on the Conference on the Future of Europe  - See the EP Statement
  • Speech by Vice-President Šefčovič on behalf of President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary debate ahead of the European Council of 25-26 March 2021

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alignment of certain third countries concerning restrictive measures against Belarus
  • EU provides €500,000 in emergency funding for victims of Cox's Bazar fire in Bangladesh - IP/21/1421
  • Speech by President von der Leyen at the AmCham EU Transatlantic Conference 2021 "Global leadership: A transatlantic opportunity"
  • Press statement by President von der Leyen and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken
  • Implementation of the EU Trust Funds and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey - Update - March 2021 - In-Depth Analysis - EP Committee on Budgets - Committee on Budgetary Control