European commission – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://europasite.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-05T150327.373-150x150.png European commission – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ 32 32 Romania has the highest COVID death rate in the world https://europasite.net/romania-has-the-highest-covid-death-rate-in-the-world/ https://europasite.net/romania-has-the-highest-covid-death-rate-in-the-world/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:21:02 +0000 https://europasite.net/romania-has-the-highest-covid-death-rate-in-the-world/ The health crisis in Romania has taken a dramatic turn. Romania’s vaccination campaign coordinator Valeriu Gheorghiţă says Romania is already in the same scenario as Italy was last year, writes Cristian Gherasim, correspondent in Bucharest. In the spring of 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic in Europe, Italy was the most affected country. […]]]>

The health crisis in Romania has taken a dramatic turn. Romania’s vaccination campaign coordinator Valeriu Gheorghiţă says Romania is already in the same scenario as Italy was last year, writes Cristian Gherasim, correspondent in Bucharest.

In the spring of 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic in Europe, Italy was the most affected country. The number of infections grew rapidly and hospitals were overwhelmed.

Another senior Romanian official in charge of the COVID pandemic – the head of the country’s emergency unit – said a comparison between the current situation in Romania and that of the Italian region of Lombardy is not exaggerated and admits the situation is very serious.

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After a botched communication campaign, all officials are calling for vaccination, saying it is the only way to overcome the 4th wave of the pandemic, which has become so virulent because the Delta variant spreads much more easily.

Hospitals and intensive care units across the country are inundated with media constantly reporting that no intensive care beds are available. The situation is such that intensive care beds usually only become available after a patient dies.

The European Union has so far sent 250+ oxygen concentrators and 5,000 bottles of monoclonal antibodies to Romania, as aid from the EU’s strategic reserve, for the treatment of critically ill COVID patients . More than 20 ventilators and oxygen concentrators have arrived in the country, according to a statement from the European Commission. The European Commissioner for Crisis Management said the aid is also a form of reciprocity to Romania’s efforts to provide assistance to other EU countries during the pandemic.

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“Since the start of the pandemic, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has coordinated and co-financed the delivery of more than 190 million personal and medical protective equipment, reinforced hospitals with additional medical staff and delivered vaccines and other essential equipment for more than 55 people. countries. In addition, the EU has created a strategic medical reserve and distribution mechanism rescEU under the aegis of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The reserve allows the rapid delivery of medical equipment hosted by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the Netherlands ”, the EC press release said.

Thought less bad than Romania, the region of Eastern Europe is by far the most affected in Europe. Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is red, showing a spike in COVID cases. These countries have a high number of deaths relative to their population. Thus, Romania has the highest average, 16.6. This is the highest average in Europe, but unfortunately, according to the latest data, it is also the highest average in the world.

Romania is followed, in Europe, by Bulgaria, with an average of 12.37 deaths, according to Our world in data. Lithuania is also experiencing a rather difficult situation, with an average of 10.14 deaths, given that the incidence of COVID-19 is high in this country.

On the other hand, in Western Europe, France, Italy, Great Britain and Portugal have curbed the pandemic with a very low death rate. In the UK, it is below 2, although the number of cases is on par with the previous wave of the pandemic. The death toll in the UK where the population is largely vaccinated is now 20 times lower.

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EU warns of fuel poverty due to falling energy prices | News | DW https://europasite.net/eu-warns-of-fuel-poverty-due-to-falling-energy-prices-news-dw/ https://europasite.net/eu-warns-of-fuel-poverty-due-to-falling-energy-prices-news-dw/#respond Sun, 17 Oct 2021 13:20:53 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-warns-of-fuel-poverty-due-to-falling-energy-prices-news-dw/ European Labor Commissioner Nicolas Schmit warned on Sunday against an increase in so-called energy poverty in Europe this winter due to the sharp rise in energy prices. He told German news agency DPA that there are already millions of people in Europe who are unable to heat their homes sufficiently “and this number could increase […]]]>

European Labor Commissioner Nicolas Schmit warned on Sunday against an increase in so-called energy poverty in Europe this winter due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

He told German news agency DPA that there are already millions of people in Europe who are unable to heat their homes sufficiently “and this number could increase further”.

While the European Commission can help EU countries limit the impact of high energy prices on the public, Schmit said it is mainly up to national governments to take action.

A household is said to be in energy or energy poverty when its members do not have the means to properly heat their home at a reasonable cost.

In September, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) warned that more than 2.7 million people in Europe could not afford to keep their homes warm, even if they had a job.

Last week, Germany cut its renewable energy tax by a third. The tax represents a fifth of the electricity bills of German consumers.

France is offering low-income households € 100 ($ 116) to offset the additional cost of heating a house.

Economic rebound pushes prices up

Global prices for natural gas and coal have reached record highs in recent weeks, and the price of oil has climbed $ 80 a barrel.

The price hikes have been blamed on the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as demand for electricity to power manufacturing causes supply shortages around the world.

Some politicians have blamed Russia, which supplies around 50% of the EU’s natural gas imports.

Russia’s gas supply fell during the pandemic and has now returned to normal levels but is not meeting additional demand.

Speculation is mounting that Moscow may withhold additional deliveries to pressure Germany to officially commission the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea, which was completed last month.

The construction of the pipeline has been criticized for making Europe potentially too dependent on Russian gas.

The EU has previously said it believes the surge in energy prices is temporary and will subside in the spring.

With material from the DPA news agency

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EU efforts to ‘relocate’ drug production stumbles over subsidy rules – POLITICO https://europasite.net/eu-efforts-to-relocate-drug-production-stumbles-over-subsidy-rules-politico/ https://europasite.net/eu-efforts-to-relocate-drug-production-stumbles-over-subsidy-rules-politico/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 02:57:17 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-efforts-to-relocate-drug-production-stumbles-over-subsidy-rules-politico/ Press play to listen to this article The EU’s stated goal of bringing pharmaceutical production back to the country clashes with the reality of its own rules on public investment. At least theoretically, the Commission agrees with efforts to revive the manufacture of drugs inside the block. Speaking at a meeting of leaders of the […]]]>

Press play to listen to this article

The EU’s stated goal of bringing pharmaceutical production back to the country clashes with the reality of its own rules on public investment.

At least theoretically, the Commission agrees with efforts to revive the manufacture of drugs inside the block. Speaking at a meeting of leaders of the European non-patented medicines industry in Athens last week, Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas called the pandemic a “wake-up call” for Europe to step up its pharmaceutical sector.

“Being able to produce and supply drugs (…) is a matter of great strategic and geopolitical importance for our union,” said Schinas.

Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas (center) visits an ELPEN pharmaceutical research campus under construction on the outskirts of Athens | ELPE images

But the EU is going to have to let member countries help foot the bill to build new capacity if it wants to bring back its production of drugs, argues Adrian van den Hoven, general manager of the generic drugs lobby Medicines for Europe, despite his own competition rules. designed to restrict how countries help their local industry.

It’s a familiar story: Europe’s place in drug manufacturing has been gradually eclipsed by the rise of China and India. According to a report by the German generic drug association Pro Generika, Asian companies hold almost two-thirds of the certificates of approval needed to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients in Europe, with the rest held by local companies – a ratio that s ‘has been reversed over the past 20 years. . And for 93 active ingredients, no European company holds a certificate.

“We were the biggest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the world,” van den Hoven said, adding that with the right incentives European generics can again compete with China. “But with these rules,” he said, “they don’t qualify.”

Europe remains a major player in cutting-edge innovative medicine. But Asian companies, taking advantage of a cheaper workforce and more lax environmental regulations, now supply a substantial portion of the block’s generic (or non-patent) drugs, and an even larger portion of the active ingredients. and the chemical inputs used to make them. These include drugs like paracetamol or common antibiotics that hospitals rely on for day-to-day operations.

Spurred on by a close call when major exporters threatened to block the shipment of essential drugs at the height of the pandemic, as well as a general shift towards domestic manufacturing under the label of “open strategic autonomy”, Brussels has has set his sights on tightening control over his globalized pharmaceutical supply chains as he pushes for greater autonomy.

Supply chain resilience

With a pharmaceutical reform project published in November 2020, the Commission is committed to strengthening the resilience of supply. While concrete steps are needed before the publication of the Commission’s proposal to rewrite the EU’s basic pharmaceutical rules, expected at the end of next year, the strategy has given some insights, suggesting that the bloc is diversifying. its supply chains, encourages local production and stores strategic medicines.

The Commission’s proposed health union package, presented in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, would meanwhile give additional powers to the European Medicines Agency to monitor drug shortages. And the new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will be tasked with mapping supply chains that can be accelerated in an emergency – and identifying bottlenecks.

Member countries have indicated that they are ready to give the industry a boost to bring production back to Europe. However, such measures run up against the reality of state aid rules, which require public money to be invested in less developed regions. Countries must also demonstrate that the investments have a so-called “incentive effect”, which means that they must demonstrate that without the funding the project would not have been feasible at all.

In Greece’s case, the industry group representing local pharmaceutical manufacturers says restrictions on subsidies prevent 85% of the country’s drugmakers from tapping into billions of EU funds to help with economic recovery. This is because companies are clustering in the region of Attica, a developed part of the country with very little leeway to distribute public funds.

Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas (center) visits an ELPEN pharmaceutical research campus under construction on the outskirts of Athens | ELPE images

“The Commission is becoming more and more strict (…) and the rules on state aid are becoming more and more complex,” said competition lawyer Annabelle Lepièce, partner at CMS Belgium.

And while the crisis has shown that the Commission has relaxed the rules in exceptional circumstances, Lepièce added that competition chief Margrethe Vestager has made it clear that it will be temporary.

In one of those measures, the Commission exempted COVID-19 projects – such as the development of vaccines or therapies – from state aid rules, a measure it plans to extend until mid -2022. But in terms of production, however, its impact is limited to the handful of licensed vaccines. To date, only two treatments – remdesivir and dexamethasone – mention COVID-19 on the label. Other exemptions cover “serious disruption to the economy” of a member country, but it is not clear how this would apply to pharmaceutical production.

The workaround

One possible solution could lie in the EU initiative for an important project of common European interest (IPCEI).

In May, French President Emmanuel Macron met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the issue. Following the meeting, the Franco-German couple raised the possibility of an IPCEI focused on pharmaceutical research and manufacturing.

There are already IPCEIs in the field of microelectronics and for the type of batteries used in electric vehicles. Although they require the approval of the Commission, the initiatives are led by the Member States. Above all, they allow countries to invest in strategic industries and are a sanctioned means of circumventing EU state aid rules.

Yet despite the Commission’s stated commitment to strengthening pharmaceutical supply chains, some officials are not excited about the prospect of giving the green light to massive incentives that bypass its own subsidy rules, fearing that what the Member States are touting industrial policy as being really industrial-sized giveaways and there are better tools to tackle the supply problem.

There are also big hurdles that member countries must overcome to prove that an IPCEI is necessary, rather than just an excuse for industry giveaways. Projects approved under an IPCEI must demonstrate “wider relevance and application to the European economy or society” beyond the single industry to which they apply. As a general rule, they should apply to more than one member country and their “benefits should not be limited to the member states which finance”.

“Magic solution”

“I have the impression that this IPCEI is perceived, not only by the industry, but by the government, as a magic solution to everything,” said Giacomo Mattinó, head of unit at the Directorate-General for the Internal Market ( DG GROW) responsible for health matters. He said EU regulations provide wide latitude to implement industrial policy, for example through funding for Horizon Europe research.

“When I talk to member states around the table, I’m not sure they know all the rules so well,” Mattinó said at the conference in Athens, adding that significant progress could be made using a blend existing resources.

Speaking to POLITICO, Schinas acknowledged the industry’s position on the need for help, but noted that one of the roles of the European Commission was that of an “independent competition authority” and this should be done. kept in mind.

The Commission had proven in the past that it was possible to apply the rules in a way that both avoided ‘distortions’, he said, while preserving the bloc’s competitive advantage and facilitating the need to invest.

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Bright and happy European citizens as Maros refuses to sing the blues https://europasite.net/bright-and-happy-european-citizens-as-maros-refuses-to-sing-the-blues/ https://europasite.net/bright-and-happy-european-citizens-as-maros-refuses-to-sing-the-blues/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 20:23:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/bright-and-happy-european-citizens-as-maros-refuses-to-sing-the-blues/ It was Mood Indigo, or maybe Song Sung Blue as Maros Sefcovic strode into the EU press conference room in cavernous airplane hangar style. Resplendent in an azure riot – sky blue tie and navy blue jacket on a blue campanula background – the Vice-President of the European Commission rushed forward, sparkling with importance to […]]]>

It was Mood Indigo, or maybe Song Sung Blue as Maros Sefcovic strode into the EU press conference room in cavernous airplane hangar style. Resplendent in an azure riot – sky blue tie and navy blue jacket on a blue campanula background – the Vice-President of the European Commission rushed forward, sparkling with importance to deliver a long-awaited speech.

So much expected, in fact, that some of the key players struggled to contain themselves. On Saturday evening, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Irish Foreign Minister, started a late-night Twitter row with Brexit negotiator David Frost. “Does UKG really want an agreed way forward or a further break in the relationship?” He tweeted. Shots, as they say.

It took Frost an hour to respond, but by half past midnight (presumably after tripping inside, kebab in hand) he had retaliated with sassy levels usually reserved for Rebecca Vardy’s feuds with Colleen Rooney. “I prefer not to negotiate via Twitter, but since then [Simon Coveney] started the process… ”Then in Lisbon on Tuesday, armed with his best impression of John Bull and enough quotes from Burke to delight a Tory fringe event, Frost spoke wistfully of tearing the Protocol up completely.

So between the Twitter diplomacy and the fight rhetoric, things seemed resentful. It was left to Mr. Sefcovic, every inch the middle-ranking management consultant, to play the role of the peacemaker. He rightly offered many “blue sky reflections” and new concessions to resolve the impasse. And they had moved far more than many expected – cutting customs controls by 80%, cutting customs formalities in half – though they always insisted they would stand firm in the European Court. of justice.

The EU extended its olive branch in amiable technological chatter. “If I had to label these proposals,” he proudly announced, “I would call them a set of enhanced opportunities. Mr. S may be waiting a while for that editor job at Saatchi or the role of editor at The Sun to come to him.

“The EU has an unwavering commitment to the people of Northern Ireland,” he insisted, and indeed few would doubt it, given Brussels’ impeccable attention to detail. Imposing, as they do, more controls on goods entering NI than along the entire eastern border of the EU, it is clear that one cannot be too careful when it comes to protecting the the people of Northern Ireland against dangers such as… food and medical imports.

But it was all typical of Sefcovic’s sunny revisionism, which sought to erase past divisions and anticipate a newer and brighter chapter in EU-UK relations. “We should really put this whole thing of – red lines, artificial deadlines aside,” he suggested, cordially, as if spreading a misunderstanding between the contestants from the homemade marmalade class at the village show. A generalized constitutional crisis has been reclassified as “youth issues”. There was even the promise of lunch with “my esteemed colleague Lord Frost” on Friday.

Sefcovic maintained his soothing optimism even in the face of unpleasant questions. Why the persistent rigor of pet passports, wanted to know a journalist? Were the sausage concessions just a trick to offer something more meaty? “I want to focus on the positive agenda,” beamed Sefcovic. “We could be on the home stretch when it comes to protocol.” The subtext was clear: I didn’t come here to sing the blues – so why can’t we all get along?

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Polexit judgment could be decisive moment in European Commission presidency by Ursula von der Leyen, according to Daniel Freund https://europasite.net/polexit-judgment-could-be-decisive-moment-in-european-commission-presidency-by-ursula-von-der-leyen-according-to-daniel-freund/ https://europasite.net/polexit-judgment-could-be-decisive-moment-in-european-commission-presidency-by-ursula-von-der-leyen-according-to-daniel-freund/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 15:23:58 +0000 https://europasite.net/polexit-judgment-could-be-decisive-moment-in-european-commission-presidency-by-ursula-von-der-leyen-according-to-daniel-freund/ Last week, the long-awaited judgment of the so-called Polish Constitutional Court sent shockwaves across Europe. The General Court, made up of judges close to the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), ruled that Polish law prevailed over European law. This calls into question the primacy of European law over national law, the cornerstone of European […]]]>

Last week, the long-awaited judgment of the so-called Polish Constitutional Court sent shockwaves across Europe.

The General Court, made up of judges close to the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), ruled that Polish law prevailed over European law. This calls into question the primacy of European law over national law, the cornerstone of European integration.

If it became legally binding, Poland would say goodbye to the European legal order. In this case, there must be financial consequences.

Without a European legal order, there can be no disbursement of European funds. European money can only be spent according to European rules.

One of the ways to enforce this is to use the Common Provisions Regulation. This regulation allows us to immediately freeze all subsidy payments to Poland. In fact, it would even allow the Commission to do it unilaterally, without a vote in the Council.

Apart from that, the approval of the Polish national recovery plan by the Commission is now an absolute taboo. We cannot transfer billions of euros of taxpayer money to an EU member state if we cannot ensure that it reaches those for whom it is intended.

“The Warsaw court decision came as no surprise. It is, among other things, the result of a Commission which has, for too long, refused to resolutely defend the protection of the rule of law in the European Union ”

The Warsaw court decision came as no surprise. This is, among other things, the result of a Commission which has refused for too long to resolutely defend the protection of the rule of law in the European Union.

For months, it has had the rule of law conditionality mechanism; an effective instrument with which he should have reacted to Poland’s democratic retreat.

Yet it was the Commission itself, together with the German Presidency of the Council, which concluded the much criticized agreement which rendered the mechanism unusable for almost a whole year. Instead, Ursula von der Leyen and her Commission chose dialogue, as they also did with Budapest.

The result of this approach is visible in Hungary, Slovenia and now, again, in Poland. Dialogue with enemies of the rule of law does not work.

On the contrary: the Commission’s inaction encouraged them to cross even more red lines. The European Parliament has repeatedly urged the Commission to let its words be followed by action. We even had to threaten to take the Commission to the Court of Justice to finally keep its promises.

But still, to date, nothing has been done to stop the erosion of the rule of law in Europe. Not a single notification letter was sent to Budapest or Warsaw.

“For the European Commission, this is a strong and clear imperative: they must act! The coming weeks will be the decisive ones for Ursula von der Leyen’s presidency. The rule of law in Europe is in crisis. And little has been done by the Commission to defend it “

The only way forward now is a decisive change of course on the part of the Commission and the Member States in their commitment to the rule of law, European values ​​and democracy. The European Parliament has continued to reach out. It’s time to take it. Nothing less than the very foundations of our Union are at stake.

Hundreds of thousands of European citizens took to the streets of Polish cities last weekend. Their message – “We want to stay” – must be heard in Brussels, especially by Ursula von der Leyen.

For the European Commission, this is a strong and clear imperative: they must act! The coming weeks will be the decisive ones for Ursula von der Leyen’s presidency. The rule of law in Europe is in crisis. And little has been done by the Commission to defend it.

If the current strategy of prudence prevails, more and more European citizens will grow impatient and violators of the rule of law in our Union will become emboldened.

It is time for Europe to rise to the occasion. It is time to protect our citizens. It is time to stand up for the rule of law.

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No place for fascism in modern European Greece https://europasite.net/no-place-for-fascism-in-modern-european-greece/ https://europasite.net/no-place-for-fascism-in-modern-european-greece/#respond Mon, 11 Oct 2021 09:05:46 +0000 https://europasite.net/no-place-for-fascism-in-modern-european-greece/ “In modern European Greece, but also in democratic Thessaloniki, there is no room for fascism and Nazism,” European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said on Sunday during her visit to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. “Those who make the mistake of insisting on these practices must know that history will remind them of what happened”, he […]]]>

“In modern European Greece, but also in democratic Thessaloniki, there is no room for fascism and Nazism,” European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said on Sunday during her visit to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki.

“Those who make the mistake of insisting on these practices must know that history will remind them of what happened”, he added while assuring the Jewish communities of Europe that the European Union will support in the face of modern threats.

Schinas sent a clear message that Thessaloniki is a European metropolis in which there is no room for rhetorical hatred.

“Thessaloniki will always remain a European metropolis of extraversion, democracy, peaceful coexistence and dialogue. A European metropolis where raiding battalions, rhetoric and symbols of hatred do not match, ”he said.

Of particular significance is Schinas’ visit to Thessaloniki and the Jewish Museum as it took place a few days after the presentation of the EU’s first strategy to combat anti-Semitism and preserve Jewish life.

“As Vice-President, I want to assure the Jewish communities of Europe that the EU will not leave them unprotected against the many modern threats that cloud their lives today.

“We will guarantee their safety, we will strengthen their education and culture, we will do everything to preserve the historical memory of the Holocaust, especially now that the last survivors leave us without their personal stories,” Schinas stressed.

READ MORE: Greece condemns drone attack on Saudi airport.

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Britain will insist on need for ‘significant change’ in Northern Ireland protocol https://europasite.net/britain-will-insist-on-need-for-significant-change-in-northern-ireland-protocol/ https://europasite.net/britain-will-insist-on-need-for-significant-change-in-northern-ireland-protocol/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 21:40:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/britain-will-insist-on-need-for-significant-change-in-northern-ireland-protocol/ LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will tell the European Union again next week that a “significant change” to the Northern Ireland protocol is vital for restoring genuinely good relations between London and Brussels. FILE PHOTO: A ‘No Hard Border’ poster can be seen under a road sign on the Irish side of the Irish-Northern Ireland border […]]]>

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will tell the European Union again next week that a “significant change” to the Northern Ireland protocol is vital for restoring genuinely good relations between London and Brussels.

FILE PHOTO: A ‘No Hard Border’ poster can be seen under a road sign on the Irish side of the Irish-Northern Ireland border near Bridgend, Ireland October 16, 2019. REUTERS / Phil Noble / File Photo

The protocol was part of the Brexit divorce settlement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiated with the EU, but London said it had to be rewritten within a year of its entry into force due to obstacles facing companies face when importing British products into the province.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, who oversees post-Brexit relations with Britain, said on Thursday that the EU executive would finalize measures to address post-Brexit trade concerns next week. Brexit in Northern Ireland by the end of the year or early 2022.

But Sefcovic reiterated that he would not renegotiate the protocol and that solutions would have to be found in the terms of an agreement designed to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

The European Commission’s measures are expected to be presented on Wednesday.

British Brexit Minister David Frost is due to deliver a speech to the diplomatic community in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon on Tuesday.

He is expected to say that endless negotiation is not an option and that London will have to act using the Article 16 safeguard mechanism if solutions cannot be agreed quickly, according to excerpts from his speech released by his office Saturday.

Article 16 allows each party to take unilateral action if the protocol is deemed to have a negative impact.

“No one should doubt the gravity of the situation (…) The EU must now show ambition and will to tackle head-on the fundamental issues at the heart of the protocol,” said the transcript of the speech. .

“UK-EU relations are under strain, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By putting the Protocol on a lasting basis, we have the opportunity to overcome the difficulties of the past year. “

Frost should also signal a willingness to free the protocol from the oversight of European judges.

“The role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Northern Ireland and the failure of the British government to implement the very sensitive provisions of the protocol in a reasonable manner have created a profound imbalance in the functioning of the protocol”, a- he added. said the transcript.

“Without new provisions in this area, the Protocol will never have the support it needs to survive.

Reacting to the publication of Frost’s position on the ECJ, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the UK government has created a new ‘red line’ barrier to progress it knows the EU cannot cross. .

“Real Q: Does UKG really want an agreed way forward or a further break in the relationship? Coveney said on Twitter.

Report by James Davey in London; Additional reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin Editing by Helen Popper and Paul Simao

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Why is Poland fighting against the supremacy of the courts of the European Union? https://europasite.net/why-is-poland-fighting-against-the-supremacy-of-the-courts-of-the-european-union/ https://europasite.net/why-is-poland-fighting-against-the-supremacy-of-the-courts-of-the-european-union/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 17:26:59 +0000 https://europasite.net/why-is-poland-fighting-against-the-supremacy-of-the-courts-of-the-european-union/ BRUSSELS – Poland threw the gauntlet at the European Union on Thursday when its constitutional court ruled that the Polish constitution in some cases overturns rulings by the bloc’s highest court. The Polish judgment, which directly calls into question the primacy of European law, one of the cornerstones of the European Union, will only take […]]]>

BRUSSELS – Poland threw the gauntlet at the European Union on Thursday when its constitutional court ruled that the Polish constitution in some cases overturns rulings by the bloc’s highest court.

The Polish judgment, which directly calls into question the primacy of European law, one of the cornerstones of the European Union, will only take effect once it has been published by the government in an official journal, which could take some time. time.

But the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, reacted swiftly, claiming that the Court of Justice of the European Union has primacy over national courts or constitutional tribunals of member countries. The commission said it would take action to enforce judgments of the European High Court.

For the European Union, getting members to adhere to the laws of the bloc is essential for the survival of the Union, which is based on shared sovereignty and a commitment to European values ​​and the rule of law, as stated in its governing treaties.

“If you want to have a union, you have to have the same European law applied in the same way in all member states,” said Didier Reynders, the European Commissioner for Justice, in an interview.

Poland’s right-wing government has long been at odds with the European Union on issues such as media freedom and LGBTQ rights, as well as its efforts to oversee its justice system.

He escalated this conflict in July when he refused to implement two decisions of the European Court of Justice which effectively ordered the dismantling of a disciplinary “chamber” which, according to critics, was used by the Polish government to intimidate judges.

The European Court ruled that the chamber had violated the rights of EU citizens, guaranteed by treaties, to live in a justice system free from political interference.

The Polish government argues that national judicial systems fall outside the competence of the EU. The decisions of the European Court in this case were therefore illegal, the government said.

On Thursday, after numerous adjournments, the Polish Constitutional Court backed the government’s position with a majority vote, creating an intensified clash with the European Union.

To complicate matters further, the European Court of Human Rights, a separate institution of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has already ruled that at least one of the members of the Polish court has been illegally appointed.

To back up its arguments on its national courts, Polish officials cited questions raised about European law by the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

The German court ruled in 2020 that the European Court of Justice had acted beyond its jurisdiction in a case relating to the purchase of bonds by the European Central Bank. The European Commission took legal action against the German court in June.

Despite Polish claims, the German court was not actually challenging the supremacy of the law or the court, but questioning the way the European Court had applied EU law. In the Polish case, Warsaw maintains that its own decisions are supreme.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said on Friday that “all decisions of the European Court of Justice are binding on all authorities in member states, including national courts”, adding that “the law of the EU has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions.

She added: “We will use all the powers that we have under the treaties to ensure that. “

These powers are both legal and financial, although they do not include any possibility of expelling a member state.

If the Polish decision is formalized, Brussels will play hard with Poland.

After years of discussions but little action, the European Union has recently started to exert financial pressure on Poland, as well as Hungary, with which it also disagrees on the rule of law.

Last month, the European Commission asked for fines of up to $ 1.2 million a day against Poland for ignoring previous orders from the European Court to suspend the disciplinary chamber. He also acknowledged that he was withholding $ 66 billion in payments to Poland from an $ 857 billion coronavirus recovery fund due to his challenges to the rule of EU law.

The commission also said it could further cut funding for Polish regions that have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. Some regions have already backed down after being cut off from EU aid.

The virus fund’s $ 8.4 billion payments to Hungary were also frozen after the European Commission said Budapest had not done enough to tackle corruption, a delay which Hungary also condemned as political and biased.

Brussels can also bring more infringement cases against Poland to court and try to use Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which could result in the loss of voting rights by a member state. But Article 7 demands a level of unanimity that is almost impossible to achieve. Article 7 proceedings were initiated against Poland in 2017 and Hungary in 2018, but have stalled, in part because the two countries are protecting each other.

The European Union has also started to link the payment of European budgetary funds to respect for the rule of law. This effort is being tested in court by Poland and Hungary.

While Hungary is often equated with Poland in challenging European laws and values, the Hungarian government has complied with the final rulings of the European Court of Justice and has not challenged its authority, although critics claim that he made only superficial adjustments to the laws in order to comply.

If Poland reaffirms the decision of the Constitutional Court, the European Commission and its lawyers will also study it.

Experts say more rule of law cases involving Poland – and Hungary – will be taken to the European Court, and the likely outcome is that more fines will be imposed and more budget pressure will be applied to those who violate EU law.

In various ways, the European Union will try to defend itself against what it sees as an existential threat and will try to isolate the offenders.

And if nothing else works, Brussels hopes that such actions will affect domestic politics in a way that will lead to a democratic change of government.

In Poland, the ruling Law and Justice party depends on the support of a more right-wing party led by the country’s justice minister, which encourages repeated clashes with the European Union.

But a large majority of Poles are in favor of staying in the bloc, and the endless conflict with Brussels and fears that bloc membership is threatened could turn more voters against the government in Poland and Hungary.

Monika Pronczuk contributed reporting.

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EU lawmakers reflect on changes that could subject European businesses to EU tech rules https://europasite.net/eu-lawmakers-reflect-on-changes-that-could-subject-european-businesses-to-eu-tech-rules/ https://europasite.net/eu-lawmakers-reflect-on-changes-that-could-subject-european-businesses-to-eu-tech-rules/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 22:00:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-lawmakers-reflect-on-changes-that-could-subject-european-businesses-to-eu-tech-rules/ STRASBOURG, October 6 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers could lower a threshold determining which companies will be subject to new technology rules, a senior European lawmaker said on Wednesday. The proposal could mean that some European companies, such as Booking.com, could join the list to which the rules will apply, which is expected to include […]]]>

STRASBOURG, October 6 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers could lower a threshold determining which companies will be subject to new technology rules, a senior European lawmaker said on Wednesday.

The proposal could mean that some European companies, such as Booking.com, could join the list to which the rules will apply, which is expected to include major tech players like Facebook (FB.O), the Alphabet unit (GOOGL.O) ) Google. , Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O).

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager wants her draft rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to limit the power of dominant online businesses or gatekeepers, defined as those with market value of 65 billion euros (75.03 billion dollars) and more than 6.5 billion euros. of European turnover over the past three years.

Andreas Schwab, who heads the DMA in the European Parliament and had proposed a higher market value of € 100 billion, said EU lawmakers were considering changing the threshold to a lower number.

“We have not yet found the final compromise but my compromise plan foresees 80 billion euros,” Schwab told Reuters in an interview.

“We hope that there will also soon be European companies with the same amount of money and the same turnover to be also in the scope of the DMA”, he said, but no ‘named no company.

He said the new figure was based on the methodology used by the European Commission to calculate its proposed threshold.

The market capitalization of the Netherlands-based online travel agency Booking.com is around $ 100 billion, according to data from Refinitiv.

Schwab also said national authorities should be given the opportunity to act following a call from German and French antitrust supervisors to have more say in DMA enforcement, but critics said that this could lead to fragmentation. Read more

“I think it is important that we have the right under the DMA for national authorities to request information from the guards,” he said.

“But it is obvious that the designation of guardian remains with the European Commission and most of the procedures to be done with the Commission.”

Schwab said he hopes to reach an agreement with his fellow lawmakers soon so that Parliament can vote on his bill. The next step would be to discuss the details with EU countries before DMA becomes law in 2023.

($ 1 = € 0.8663)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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European Parliament calls for ban on facial recognition – POLITICO https://europasite.net/european-parliament-calls-for-ban-on-facial-recognition-politico/ https://europasite.net/european-parliament-calls-for-ban-on-facial-recognition-politico/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 08:36:37 +0000 https://europasite.net/european-parliament-calls-for-ban-on-facial-recognition-politico/ The European Parliament today called for a ban on police use of facial recognition technology in public places and predictive policing, a controversial practice of using AI tools in the hope of profiling potential criminals even before a crime is committed. In a resolution Passed by an overwhelming majority, MPs also called for a ban […]]]>

The European Parliament today called for a ban on police use of facial recognition technology in public places and predictive policing, a controversial practice of using AI tools in the hope of profiling potential criminals even before a crime is committed.

In a resolution Passed by an overwhelming majority, MPs also called for a ban on private facial recognition databases, such as those used by the controversial company Clearview AI. Parliament also supports the European Commission’s attempt in its AI bill to ban social rating systems, such as those launched by China that assess the trustworthiness of citizens based on their behavior.

“This is a huge victory for all European citizens,” said Petar Vitanov (S&D), the author of the resolution.

The non-binding resolution sends a strong signal on how parliament is likely to vote in the upcoming AI law negotiations. The European Commission’s bill restricts the use of remote biometric identification – including facial recognition technology – in public places, except to combat “serious” crimes, such as kidnappings and terrorism .

Lead AI negotiator Brando Benifei (S&D) and nearly all of his co-negotiators from other political groups in parliament have called for a blanket ban on facial recognition. This contrasts sharply with the policies implemented in some EU member countries, which wish to use these technologies to strengthen their security apparatus.

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