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EU ministers of foreign affairs were briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Western Balkans and transatlantic relations. The Council also adopted conclusions on Security and Defence, and the Horn of Africa.
The European Commission is complementing the successful EU Vaccines Strategy with a strategy on COVID-19 therapeutics to support the development and availability of much-needed COVID-19 therapeutics, including for the treatment of ‘long COVID'.
The Commission has updated the EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis and helps to drive the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient and globally competitive economy.
The legislative proposal follows the adoption of the White Paper in June 2020 and an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. It aims at closing the regulatory gap in the Single Market, whereby subsidies granted by non-EU governments currently go largely unchecked, while subsidies granted by Member States are subject to close scrutiny.
The Commission proposed that Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide.
The Council adopted a decision on the conclusion of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and the security of information agreement. This is the last step for the EU in the ratification of the post-Brexit deal. Both agreements will enter into force on 1 May 2021.
The Commission has adopted a Communication on Better Regulation, proposing several improvements to the EU law-making process. To foster Europe's recovery, it is more important than ever to legislate as efficiently as possible, while making EU laws better adapted to tomorrow's needs.
Parliament adopted its negotiating position on the proposal for a certificate to reaffirm the right to free movement in Europe during the pandemic. MEPs agreed that the new “EU COVID-19 certificate” - instead of Digital Green Certificate, as proposed by the Commission - should be in place for 12 months and not longer.
Parliament voted with a large majority in favour of granting its consent to the agreement setting the rules of the future EU-UK relationship. The consent decision was adopted by 660 votes for, five against and 32 abstentions, while the accompanying resolution, setting out Parliament’s evaluation of and expectations from the deal, passed by 578 votes, with 51 against and 68 abstentions.
The Commission adopted the first EU Strategy on voluntary return and reintegration. The Strategy promotes voluntary return and reintegration as an integral part of a common EU system for returns, a key objective under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.
The European Commission has adopted an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the European Union.
The Commission has proposed new rules and actions aiming to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The combination of the first-ever legal framework on AI and a new Coordinated Plan with Member States will guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation across the EU.
The Council's and the European Parliament's negotiators reached a provisional political agreement setting into law the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050, and a collective, net greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (emissions after deduction of removals) of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.
At its meeting of 20 April 2021, EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) concluded that a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to the product information for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen. PRAC also concluded that these events should be listed as very rare side effects of the vaccine.
The Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe, comprising representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, is launching the multilingual digital platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe inviting all EU citizens to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole.
The Eurogroup held a discussion on insolvency frameworks and looked into ongoing work on the euro as a digital currency. Ministers were also briefed about the outcomes of recent international meetings and reviewed the Eurogroup's transparency policy.
The Commission has launched the first call for proposals under the new European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027. The European Solidarity Corps supports young people wishing to engage in volunteering activities in a variety of areas ranging from helping people in need to supporting health and environmental action, across the EU and beyond.