20th Anniversary of the Euro

Euro currency

EU council president Charles Michel has greeted the 20th anniversary of the euro, saying it has been a “concrete symbol of success.”. The former Belgian PM said, “20 years already. In many ways, it feels like yesterday. I can remember the excitement of discovering the euro – the banknotes, the coins – for the first…

Vaccination Strongest Weapon Against Health Crisis

von der Leyen

The most effective response to the resurgence of COVID-19 is vaccination, say MEPs, addressing the main topic on the agenda of the European Council. In a debate with Commission President von der Leyen and the Slovenian Presidency, they insisted that vaccination remains the strongest and most promising weapon available against the pandemic. Additional efforts are…

France Prepares for Council Presidency

French Presidency

A Presidency prepared in close collaboration with the French corporate sector which is setting a policy agenda that strongly reflects business demands.That is the verdict of Corporate Europe Observatory and Observatoire des multinationales in their new report, published on Monday in the run up to the start of the French Presidency on 1 January. The…

Council Updates VAT Rules for Goods and Services

The Commission says it welcomes the agreement reached by EU finance ministers on Tuesday to update the current rules governing value-added tax (VAT) rates for goods and services. These new rules will provide governments with more flexibility in the rates they can apply and ensure equal treatment between EU Member States. At the same time,…

Performance of EU Spending Programmes

EU Spending

The European Commission’s reporting on how EU spending programmes perform shows mixed results in different funding areas, and the indicators which measure progress towards targets do not focus enough on results. These are some of the conclusions of the European Court of Auditors, which has published its 2020 report on the performance of a selection…

EU Calls for Radical Change at COP26

Climate change

Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen have addressed the UN climate summit in Glasgow and called for ‘radical change’. Both the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, spoke on behalf of the European Union on the second day of the COP26 talks. Ursula von der Leyen said countries…

Tackling Shortages of Medicines

Medicine shortages

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on Thursday to make the European Medicines Agency more effective in tackling shortages of medicines and medical devices. The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) capacity to manage the availability of medicinal products and medical devices will be strengthened with the creation of two “shortages steering groups”,…

Charles Michel on COVID-19: “We must learn new ways of working together.”

Charles Michel

EU council president Charles Michel has said the virus exposed “the gaps in our national preparedness.” In a speech at the world health summit, he said, “just last week we had our latest European Council meeting. I have now chaired over 16 meetings where the 27 EU Leaders have addressed COVID-19. And I can tell you…

Citizens’ Panel on the Future of Europe

Citizens Panels on the Future of Europe

On Saturday 23 October, the second Conference Plenary meeting took place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss citizens’ contributions. The 80 representatives of the European Citizens’ Panels have met to discuss the future of Europe. The Conference on the Future of Europe is said to be an unprecedented, open and inclusive democratic exercise,…

MEPs Call for Transparency for Hungarian and Polish Recovery Plans

Hungary Recovery Plan

In a debate with Commissioner Gentiloni on the Hungarian and Polish recovery plans, MEPs called for more transparency to make sure funds are properly allocated. Economy Commissioner Gentiloni updated MEPs on Wednesday, saying that currently 22 of the 25 submit national recovery plans have been approved. The Bulgarian and Dutch plans have not yet been…