European ‘Open Strategic Autonomy’ in practice
Commission publishes ‘Beating Cancer Plan’
On 3 February 2021, the Commission published a new strategy for beating cancer. In the ‘Beating Cancer Plan’, the Commission addresses the need to improve early detection and treatment of cancer and the importance of holistically addressing the current situation, linking this area with the Digital and New Horizon Europe strategies.
Read our analysis to discover the most relevant aspects of the Commission’s strategy. The note includes an overview of the main pillars constituting the strategy, the core highlights, the reactions of the main internal and external stakeholders, and an Annex detailing the Plan’s pipeline for the following months.
Germany: CDU elects new leader
Cybersecurity taking centre-stage
All you need to know about the « Next Generation EU » instrument
On 21 July 2020, the 27 EU heads of state and government reached a deal on the bloc’s next 7-year budget (Multiannual Financial Framework, or MFF) and the new Recovery Instrument, also known as Next Generation EU (NGEU). The latter is a temporary emergency instrument created to jump-start the EU’s recovery, which will complement the MFF by leveraging €750 bn of additional investment that would help Member States implement reforms, create jobs, and promote recovery, whilst supporting the EU’s green and digital transitions.
Click on the link below to download NOVE’s guide exploring and explaining what NGEU will consist of, how the funding will be accessed by Member States, who the key decision-makers are, and what the next steps will be.
NOVE’s take on the European Commission’s White Paper on Foreign Subsidies
EU companies have long bemoaned the fact that foreign competitors often benefit from unfair advantages in the form of state support when operating in the EU market. Similarly, Member States have voiced complaints about their companies being vulnerable to state-backed take-overs from groups outside the EU. These and other uncompetitive practices from third countries, mainly China, in the EU market are main drivers behind the new mechanisms envisaged by the European Commission in its White Paper on Levelling the Playing Field as Regards Foreign Subsidies.
The paper launches a discussion on possible policy measures to address the distortion of competition in the EU through foreign subsidies. It outlines a framework to address regulatory gaps in relation to foreign subsidies distorting the internal market through:
• the general market operation of economic operators active in the EU (module 1);
• acquisitions of EU undertakings (module 2);
• public procurement procedures (module 3).
Download Nove’s note to learn more.
The New MFF and Recovery Vision – what does it mean for the EU?
The COVID-19 pandemic, its ensuing crisis and the severe criticism faced by the EU for its lack of response prompted the European Commission to propose a revamped Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), as well as a new recovery tool dubbed Next Generation EU (NGEU). Facing two opposing approaches from the Council – a Franco-German grants-based one and the loans-based one pushed by opponents of big spending – the Commission seemingly opted to merge the two and let the Council battle it out, thereby avoiding any further criticism that the EU has not done enough to remedy the crisis. It reflects the new priorities of the Commission and features some ambitious and controversial plans, such as a whole new range of funding for the EU in the form of various new levies on businesses.
This note presents how the change of priorities affected the EU’s long-term budget; initial reactions of main political stakeholders in the Member States and the European Parliament; how the money will be allocated in immediate responses to the economic crisis; and presents the breakdown of the MFF proposal compared to its defunct 2018 predecessor.
Politics in the times of Coronavirus
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the looming economic crisis in its wake, all attention is focused on the healthcare response and the consequent EU’s Recovery Plan. At the same time, and as with every crisis, profound political issues often go unnoticed only to re-emerge in earnest in the aftermath.
Download NOVE’s note « Politics in the time of Corona » for insights on some of the most pertinent political takes from the crisis so far.
The EU’s New Industrial Strategy
On 10 March, the European Commission released its New Industrial Strategy for Europe, a priority which Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined in her political guidelines for 2019-2024. Building upon a succession of previous industrial strategies, the latest of which was released in 2017, the document presents the vision of what the EU wants to achieve by 2030 and beyond, as well as the fundamentals that will help it realise this goal.
The Strategy underlines a new focus on industrial ecosystems which considers all players within a value chain. The need for industry to become greener and more digital – while remaining competitive – is present throughout the text. Additionally, it highlights the EU’s ambition to boost its strategic autonomy and reduce dependence in key strategic areas such as technology, food, infrastructure, and critical materials, putting forward a new ‘partnership approach to governance’ that would promote deeper integration of European industry across its value chains and borders.
Download NOVE’s note to get an overview of the Strategy and the main initiatives proposed by the Commission.
The European Gender Equality Strategy
On 5 March the European Commission unveiled the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 setting out actions across all policy areas aimed at achieving gender equality in the EU. The Strategy’s key objectives include ending gender-based violence and stereotypes; ensuring equal participation and opportunities in the labour market, including equal pay; and achieving gender balance in decision-making and politics.
The Communication was presented by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová and Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. The latter will lead the Commission’s work in integrating a gender perspective in all EU policies and major initiatives, with the support of the newly created Task-Force on Equality.
On the same day, the Commission opened a public consultation on the pay transparency initiative, aimed at introducing binding pay transparency measures. The consultation will feed into an impact assessment accompanying the future proposal, expected by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Download NOVE’s note to find out more about the actions foreseen by the Commission to achieve gender equality in the EU.