State of the Union Address

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today mapped out in her first annual State of the Union Address to the European Parliament a path for the European Union to overcome the fragility laid bare by the coronavirus crisis and build a union of vitality. The President stressed that with NextGenerationEU, Europe has a once in a…

EU Aid for Flood Damage in Italy

The European Commission granted €211.7 million from the  EU solidarity fund to Italy following the extreme weather damages in late October and November 2019.  This EU assistance will contribute to alleviate the extraordinary financial burden of the severe damages caused by floods and landslides, including the flooding in Venice.  It will finance retroactively the restoration of…

Ukraine’s Game of Monopoly

The pandemic caused by the coronavirus crisis has forced countries to join forces to overcome the consequences.  This is especially true for countries with small budgets which have already had financial problems. The EU has joined forces and extended a helping hand to non-member countries, including Ukraine. Financial assistance, though, is not only intended to…

EU Consumer Policy

The European Commission has launched an EU wide open public consultation on the new European consumer policy for the next period, the so-called ‘the New Consumer Agenda’. The public consultation will provide valuable insight for the setting up the New Consumer Agenda that the European Commission intends to adopt by the end of 2020. Didier Reynders,…

SURE provides financial support to 16 Member States

The European Commission has presented a proposal to the council for a decision  to grant €5.9 billion in financial support to Portugal under the SURE instrument.  This follows  Monday’s proposals  to the Council for decisions to grant financial support of €81.4 billion to 15 Member States under the SURE instrument. Including Portugal, the Commission is now proposing…

Flights Over Brussels

Good news for the economy, but less so for noise and air pollution affecting residents living near Zaventem Airport. Since the resumption of non-essential flights on 15 June this year, the number of passengers handled at Brussels Airport has risen, but remains 80% below July 2019 figures. This means that in July, for the first…

Commission sends PPE to EU Neighbourhood

This week, more batches of FFP2 and FFP3 protective masks are being distributed to Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia from rescEU – the common European reserve of medical equipment set up this year to help countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “We are delivering more masks from the rescEU reserve of medical equipment to help the national authorities in…

2021 Year of the Rail

Rail should play a prominent role in the EU’s future mobility and become the primary form of transport. For this reason, the EESC is pleased to support the European Commission in proposing to mark 2021 as the Year of Rail. In the opinion approved at the July plenary session and drafted by Alberto Mazzola, the Committee…

Key law enforcement and industry figures gather to debate coronavirus impact on illicit trade globally

For much of the year, the focus of governments across the world has been on facing down the challenges posed by coronavirus – a global pandemic and public health crisis unlike any seen for a generation. This challenge has had significant implications for law enforcement and government oversight globally, with governments and regulatory bodies struggling…