Ursula von der Leyen calls on EU Member States to protect journalists

von der Leyen stressed media freedom

In her annual address on the State of the Union to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on 15 September the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need to better protect journalists, media outlets’ independence and the public right to information.  President von der Leyen outlined her vision for the…

Member State National Recovery and Resilience Plans

A hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed opportunities and challenges in the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans in the various Member States, revealing that civil society is still far from being effectively involved in the process. There were calls for improved consultations in the upcoming implementing phase,…

Latvia’s Recovery and Resilience Plan

The European Commission has disbursed €237 million to Latvia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s financial contribution as established in the Council Implementing Decision. The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Latvia’s recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements…

Commission Seeks Penalties against Poland for Failure to Protect Judicial Independence

Polish Judicial Independence

The European Commission has taken two separate decisions, both related to decisions of the Court of Justice and where the actions of the Polish authorities continue to undermine the functioning of the Polish justice system. First, the Commission decided to request the Court of Justice to impose financial penalties on Poland to ensure compliance with…

NGOs Criticise Commission for Deregulating GMOs

GMOs

The European Commission has “uncritically followed” the GMO industry’s “wish list” for deregulation of new GMO products, it is claimed. On Monday, over 50 NGOs and farming organisations have shared with the European Commission their critical response to DG SANTE’s working document on ‘new genomic techniques’ (published in April 2021). In the report, civil society…

EU and AstraZeneca Reach Agreement on Vaccine Delivery

Stella Kyriakides deal with AstraZeneca

The EU and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have reached an agreement which will secure the delivery of the remaining COVID-19 vaccine doses to Member States under the terms of the Advance Purchase Agreement concluded on 27 August 2020 with AstraZeneca. The agreement will also end the pending litigation before the Brussels Court. Commissioner for Health and…

Commission Approves Advance Purchase of Vaccines for Q4 of 2021

COVID-19 vaccines

The European Commission has approved its seventh Advanced Purchase Agreement (APA) with a pharmaceutical company to ensure access to a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Q4 of 2021 and in 2022. Under this contract, Member States will be able to purchase up to 100 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, with an option for 100…

EU Climate Change Strategy

Climate Change

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) says the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change is a crucial step towards achieving climate neutrality and resilience by 2050. European civil society strongly supports the Commission’s commitment to strengthening efforts on climate proofing, resilience building, prevention and preparedness. The floods occurring in Western Europe, just weeks after a…