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Every EU member apart from island nations Cyprus and Malta, as well as rotating Council presidency holder Croatia, signed up to the pledge ahead of the transport council meeting that kicks off later on Thursday (4 June).

24 countries sign pledge to boost international rail routes

Twenty-four European countries agreed on Wednesday (3 June) to work together on international rail transport and make it “an attractive alternative” over distances where it is currently not competitive

«The COVID-19 crisis shows the crucial importance of a well-performing social protection system. Let’s take the opportunity to invest in social protection as a structural solution to address the consequences of the COVID crisis, and not merely offer short-term measures.»

An EU minimum income framework is an urgent safety net after Covid-19

By: EBR | Thursday, June 4, 2020

The upcoming German EU presidency intends to take up an initiative for an EU framework for minimum income systems. Shannon Pfohman looks at what this should look like

“As a contributor to the Smart Borders Initiative from the first discussions with the European Commission, IDEMIA is looking forward to shaping the outcome of this major project, based on our comprehensive understanding of the current European systems.”

EU signs contract for large-scale biometric database to protect borders

By: EBR | Thursday, June 4, 2020

The European Union’s ICT agency for internal security and border control, eu-LISA, has signed a framework contract for a new biometric matching system which aims to create a database of fingerprints and facial images of more than 400 million third-country nationals by 2022

Before the pandemic struck, the prevailing wisdom in London was that if too little progress were made by June, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have the good sense and political capital—following his bigger-than-expected election victory in December 2019—to ask for an extension, despite his repeated promises not to do so.

The Coronavirus Traps Brexit and Boris Johnson

By: EBR | Thursday, June 4, 2020

With the pandemic messing up the Brexit negotiations and weakening the British prime minister, prospects for a wide-ranging UK-EU deal by the end of 2020 are vanishing fast

Commissioner Hahn pointed out that the increased budget proposal will “beef up” the EU’s crisis management in agriculture, by enabling a well-functioning crisis reserve to be used in time fo needs.

Commission defends reinforced CAP budget to greening EU’s farming

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 3, 2020

It is very difficult to make EU’s main farm policy greener when figures on the bottom line are red, budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Tuesday (2 June) in an attempt to uphold the latest proposal of increased spending for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The consultation seeks to gather views, evidence and data from people, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society and all interested parties to help us shaping the future rulebook for digital services.

Commission launches consultation to seek views on Digital Services Act package

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Commission launches a public consultation on the Digital Services Act, a landmark package announced in the Commission’s digital strategy “Shaping Europe’s Digital Future”

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The Swedish MEP referred to the UN’s emissions gap report for 2019 published in November, which highlighted the need to cut global emissions by 7.6% annually in order to meet the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement.

EU lawmakers debate 65% climate target proposal

By: EBR | Friday, May 29, 2020

The European Parliament’s environment committee discussed for the first time on Thursday (28 May) a proposal by Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland to set an EU-wide CO2 reduction target of 65% by 2030

With many questions on safely restarting tourism in the EU up in the air, the Commission pointed out that cooperation between the member states has improved and lifting travel restrictions, including opening borders, should be based on set criteria and strong health protocols. The Commission is encouraging member states to introduce certification schemes for safe travelling. A similar EU-level action, however, will not be feasible ahead of this summer.

Summer holidays: MEPs demand more clarity for tourism in COVID-19 crisis

By: EBR | Friday, May 29, 2020

MEPs gave overall positive feedback on the Commission’s transport and tourism package; however, many insist on more concrete actions and financial support ahead of the summer holidays

"While much of the focus is on the levels and terms of allocation of EU funds to member states, the importance of European level initiatives must not be overlooked, so the Recovery Plan and next MFF need to be carefully coordinated."

EUROCHAMBRES: ‘Next Generation EU’ & EU budget, no time to lose!

By: N. Peter Kramer | Thursday, May 28, 2020

EUROCHAMBRES President Christoph Leitl welcomed today’s European Commission proposal for a ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery instrument and Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), arguing that it reflects a commonly shared view that the EU has an important role to play in the response

Most of the funding will be provided through grants, with possible top-ups via loans. The total amount of grants available will be €310 billion (in constant prices; 335 billion in current prices), while an additional €250 billion in loans (in constant prices; 268 billion in current prices).

Questions and Answers on the EU budget for recovery: Recovery and Resilience Facility

By: EBR | Thursday, May 28, 2020

The new Recovery and Resilience Facility will provide large-scale financial support to reforms and investments undertaken by Member States

The recovery fund debt won’t on its own be able to rival the region’s current fixed-income instrument of reference, Germany’s trillion euro bond market, but it might form the basis of an issuance programme that eventually could.

Recovery fund brings EU one step closer to fiscal union

By: EBR | Thursday, May 28, 2020

A European Commission plan to issue large amounts of common EU bonds under a coronavirus recovery fund potentially marks the first step towards the euro zone finally getting a region-wide safe-haven asset, investors said

«While the EU will need to craft a new, updated, Security Strategy and an inspiring State of the Union speech, while videoconferencing in 2020 the Convention for the future of Europe, Brussels should stop complaining about infodemics and great power competition pressures and start acting and speaking like a great power.»

Global Europe needs a Great Power sounding stratcom, not naivete

By: EBR | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The anniversary of 70 years since the Schuman Declaration has been a great moment for reflecting on European values and history

Cities need direct and rapid access to national and European funding – otherwise, we will collapse. In exchange, cities have a lot to offer.

Reclaiming the future for cities after COVID-19

By: EBR | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cities have been hit the hardest by the corona pandemic. Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence, declares a state of social and economic emergency for his city and many others across Europe. And he argues that cities are key for a sustainable recovery in Europe

The British government, in contrast, is digging in, believing that it has a double mandate from both the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2019 general election to insist on a new relationship with other European nations.

The Dominic Cummings Affair Will Impact Brexit Talks

By: EBR | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Dominic Cummings, die-hard Brexiteer and UK sovereignty fetishist, is now part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s problems — and no longer a solution

“It’s a question of developing solutions that allow technologies to be shared. It’s a question of competitiveness”.

Breton renews calls for a single European patent system

By: EBR | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The EU should speed up plans to create a single European patents system because the current setup is “too expensive and fragmented,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has said

The executive Vice-President reiterated the importance of striking a balance between strategic independence, trade and an open economy, which constitutes one of the EU’s main strengths. She called for a nuanced approach between self-reliance and an open global economy, because many jobs and businesses depend on that balance.

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

By: EBR | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs voiced concerns about the internal market during a debate with Commission Executive Vice-President Vestager on Monday

“Investment in renewable hydrogen has a great potential in terms of jobs and growth creation,” because of existing plans to expand renewable electricity capacity. “When produced by grid connected renewables it offers a real form of sector coupling between the power sector and the other economic sectors,” the coalition says.

Electricity giants join forces on renewable hydrogen

By: EBR | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Major European electricity groups – including Enel, Iberdrola, Orsted, and EDP – have issued a joint call urging the European Commission to prioritise renewable hydrogen in its upcoming pandemic recovery plan

European Union’s two biggest members, France and Germany, are desperately trying to cushion the damage that the coronavirus will have on the bloc’s social, political, and economic cohesion. Berlin, Paris, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission are pouring billions of euros into recovery plans.

The Coronavirus Must Push Europe to Rescue Multilateralism

By: EBR | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

From arms control to trade, the post-1945 order is crumbling fast. To protect its democratic way of life, Europe must create new global alliances built to deal with a post-pandemic world

«In February 2020, VP Borrell had already called for “less dispersion, less involvement everywhere”, knowing this bureaucratic battle would be protracted. His wish appears to have been heard for what regards the Balkans and the Mediterranean, if we strictly eye released Commission numbers, although remain in the mix hardly “geopolitical” humanitarian and development funds towards Latin America and Asia (15% in both 2014 and 2020).»

Covid-19 in the Mediterranean – is ‘Team Europe’ getting it right in the South?

By: EBR | Friday, May 22, 2020

The EU is starting to ‘think neighbourhood’ before global. But what does this mean for countries in the Middle East and North Africa, asks Michael Benhamou

The European Commission reckons that electricity will meet 53% of the bloc’s energy demand by 2050 as the bloc moves towards reducing emissions to net-zero.

Eight EU states back ‘natural gas’ in net-zero transition

By: EBR | Friday, May 22, 2020

A group of eight EU countries from the Balkans and the east have joined forces to defend the “role of natural gas in a climate-neutral Europe”. In a joint paper, the group of eight calls for “combined electricity – gas solutions” in the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050

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EU Actually

Von der Leyen’s hunt for ‘leakers’ to the member-states

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

Politico let know, that, according to EU officials with direct knowledge of the investigations, European Commission officials are hunting for leakers

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Europe

24 countries sign pledge to boost international rail routes

24 countries sign pledge to boost international rail routes

Twenty-four European countries agreed on Wednesday (3 June) to work together on international rail transport and make it “an attractive alternative” over distances where it is currently not competitive

Business

Three Teamwork Trends That May Not Survive This Crisis

Three Teamwork Trends That May Not Survive This Crisis

Many expert observers have made predictions about the “new normal” of work after the pandemic. Some are optimistic, envisioning a paradigm shift towards a more flexible, empowered future for workers through remote working

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