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Natural gas produces about half as much CO2 as coal when burned in power plants, but gas production is associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Climate campaigners say new gas plants could stand for decades, threatening the EU’s aim to cut its net emissions to zero by 2050.

EU ministers exclude nuclear, fossil gas from green transition fund

By: EBR | Friday, June 26, 2020

European Union countries agreed on Wednesday (24 June) that the bloc’s flagship fund to wean regions off fossil fuels should not finance nuclear or natural gas projects, despite calls from some Eastern countries for gas to be eligible for EU funding

"The proposed introduction of Next Generation EU and its €750 billion budget is essential, but with only €55 billion directly allocated to supporting the green transition, we have our concerns."

Next Generation EU? Then it’s time to listen to youth

By: EBR | Friday, June 26, 2020

The recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis must be in line with climate commitments, ensure no-one is left behind in the green transition, and create space for the voice of youth, write young climate activists

Two key parts of the Corona recovery plan specifically deserve closer inspection. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will help countries invest in their economies while preventing a repeat of the sovereign debt crisis we lived through following the 2008 financial crisis.

Staying on course during the storm – EU tools for a sustainable future

By: EBR | Thursday, June 25, 2020

The proposed EU recovery plan aims to keep our economies afloat, but it is vital not to lose sight of the journey towards a more sustainable economy, write Sirpa Pietikainen, Bas Eickhout and Paul Tang

The strategy sets a number of actions for the next five years, focusing on two objectives: first, to empower victims to report crime, claim compensation and ultimately recover from consequences of crime; second, to work together with all relevant actors for victims’ rights.

Victims’ Rights: New Strategy to empower victims

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The European Commission presented today its first ever EU Strategy on victims’ rights

"Geological surveys suggest that considerable quantities of hydrocarbons have yet been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean basin."

Why the EU should care about one gas dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The EU has the duty to play the responsible adult and intervene in facilitating an agreement between Israel and Cyprus to enable the development of the major Aphrodite natural gas field, writes Dr Rony Halman

Giles Merritt warns against the protectionist downside of European governments’ economic rescue bids, and urges the EU to seize the vacant WTO leadership in a bid to save free trade.

The EU must think twice before triggering a global trade war

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The consensus amongst media commentators around the world is that unless we all resist protectionism we’ll be throwing away the key to post-corona recovery

Member states are at odds on many points. They not only haggled over how the money of the recovery fund was parcelled out, there were also differences on the size of the recovery fund, the balance between grants and loans, the size of the MFF and the fate of so-called rebates that some counties get on their contributions.

Is consensus among Berlin, Paris and the Commission sufficient for an agreement in July?

By: N. Peter Kramer | Monday, June 22, 2020

Last Friday the 27 EU leaders had a four-and-a-half-hour virtual summit that exposed many serious divisions

Endorsement by the European Parliament follows the adoption of the text by the Council on 10 June 2020. Endorsement by the European Parliament marks the final step of the adoption process of the political agreement that co-legislators had reached on 17 December 2019.

Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation

By: EBR | Friday, June 19, 2020

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation – a key piece of legislation that will contribute to the European Green Deal

In order to support funding options in non-euro member states fighting the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MEPs reintroduced transitional arrangements for exposures to national governments and central banks denominated in a currency of another member state.

Easing rules to encourage banks to lend to companies and households

By: EBR | Friday, June 19, 2020

More flexibility in EU banks’ prudential rulebook to focus on lending to the COVID-19-stricken economy

Public debt is expected to skyrocket in the EU this year, reaching 196% of its GDP in Greece, 159% in Italy, 131% in Portugal, 116% in France and 115% in Spain.

Fiscal adjustment needed to unlock recovery funds, EU official warns

By: EBR | Friday, June 19, 2020

EU leaders will discuss for the first time on Friday (19 June) the €750 billion recovery fund proposed by the Commission to overcome the coronavirus crisis

"Workers should not be exposed to corona dangers. We cannot accommodate them in such a way that they cannot maintain social distancing and cannot comply with hygiene regulations. We have to change that."

Protecting the seasonal workers in Europe

By: EBR | Friday, June 19, 2020

If we have fresh strawberries on our table these days, if we can enjoy delicious asparagus from our fields, it is thanks to the people who work outside

“Hydrogen is one of the enablers in the context of the Green Deal for decarbonising sectors like chemical industry, steel industry and transport”.

Europe’s draft hydrogen strategy

By: EBR | Thursday, June 18, 2020

The European Commission aims to promote so-called “green” hydrogen produced from renewable electricity over the “grey” sort obtained from natural gas steam reforming, according to a leaked policy document

The report commissioned by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and titled ‘ Lessons from Financial Assistance to Greece’ points to the mistakes and shortfalls of the support programmes extended to Greece by the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Former Commissioner Almunia: EU – ECB bailout programmes blocked Greece’s economic growth

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Although the ‘starting positions’ of the EU – ECB bailout programmes for Greece were ‘dire’, ‘they managed to preserve the integrity of the euro area

“Most certainly, there is no sign of American retreat from Europe, America is deeply committed and more committed than ever in Europe”.

US-NATO Ambassador: America remains deeply committed to Europe

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 17, 2020

There is no sign of a US retreat from Europe’s security structure, the US Ambassador to NATO told, commenting on Washington’s troop withdrawal plans from Germany

“This is not going to be a normal summer… but when we all do our part we don’t have to face a summer stuck at home or completely lost for tourism industry,” Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said ahead of the openings.

All you need to know about Europe lifting its internal border restrictions

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

After nearly three months of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns and in a bid to save Europe’s summer, the bloc is slowly reopening its internal borders

“As we approach the travel season, it is important to ensure that Europeans can use the app from their own country wherever they are travelling in the EU. Contact tracing apps can be useful to limit the spread of coronavirus, especially as part of national strategies to lift confinement measures.”

Coronavirus and national contact tracing apps

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Member States agree on an interoperability solution for mobile tracing and warning apps

EU-UK trade talks will be stepped up in July with a view to brokering a deal in the autumn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed on Monday (15 June).

Johnson and von der Leyen kick the Brexit can into autumn

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Trade talks between the European Union and the UK will be stepped up in July with a view to brokering a deal in the autumn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed on Monday (15 June)

The European Commission is still straddling the debate, promising that “no ban on encryption is being considered” but hedging that law enforcement access “may be justified in individual cases by the objective of preventing or investigating criminal offences.”

Out of the Political Trenches: Next Steps for Encryption Policy

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The way societies adapt to the coronavirus pandemic in the long term could require governments to revisit their stances toward encryption

The Strategy aims to create a “future proof” system, which reaps the benefits of digitalisation and promotes innovation especially in areas of unmet needs, such as antimicrobials, medicines for children and medicines for rare diseases.

Pharmaceutical Strategy: European Commission launches open public consultation

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

European Commission is launching an online public consultation on the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe

On the subject of demarcating ‘high risk’ technologies, tech lobby The Information Technology Industry Council says that the definition of such technologies should “consider context-specific factors such as?complexity of the AI system, or the?probability and irreversibility of harm caused in worst-case scenarios.”

Stakeholders weigh in on EU’s future AI plans

By: EBR | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A cross-section of stakeholders has responded to the EU’s plans to build an ethical framework for the development and deployment of next-generation Artificial Intelligence technologies, highlighting concerns ranging from the use of biometric technology to the operation of Automated Decision Making (ADM) software

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EU Actually

European Commission President Von der Leyen’s faux pas

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen appeared last week in a campaign video for Croatia’s HDZ, member of the European Peoples Party (EPP)

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