The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the law on the judiciary of 20 December 2019, which entered into force on 14 February 2020. The Commission also decided to ask the Court of Justice to order interim measures until it has issued a final judgment in the case.
The European Commission has disbursed €13 billion to six EU Member States in the sixth instalment of financial support under the SURE instrument. This is the third disbursement in 2021. As part of today's operations, Czechia has received €1 billion, Belgium €2.2 billion, Spain €4.06 billion, Ireland €2.47 billion, Italy €1.87 billion and Poland €1.4 billion.
EU4Health will make a significant contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery by making the EU population healthier, supporting the fight against cross-border health threats and boosting the EU's preparedness and capability to respond effectively to future health crisis, as part of a future strong European Health Union.
EU leaders met via video conference to take stock of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation. They also discussed transatlantic relations together with US President Joe Biden. The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, relations with Russia, the single market, digital agenda and the international role of the euro were also on the agenda.
The Commission adopted the first annual work programme of Erasmus+ 2021-2027. With a budget of €26.2 billion, (compared to €14.7 billion for 2014-2020), complemented with about €2.2 billion from EU's external instruments, the new and revamped programme will fund learning mobility and cross-border cooperation projects for 10 million Europeans of all ages and all backgrounds.
The Commission has presented an Action Plan for the development of organic production. Its overall aim is to boost the production and consumption of organic products, to reach 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030, as well as to increase organic aquaculture significantly.
The Commission has adopted the first comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, as well as a proposal for a Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee, to promote equal opportunities for children at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The European Commission has introduced the principles of reciprocity and proportionality as new criteria to be considered for authorising exports under the transparency and authorisation mechanism for COVID-19 vaccine exports.
EU agriculture and fisheries ministers met to discuss fishing opportunities for stocks shared with the United Kingdom, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and measures against plant pests.
The Foreign Affairs Council was briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Southern neighbourhood and Turkey. Ministers also held an informal exchange with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
The Commission has published its first preliminary assessment of the impact of SURE, the €100 billion instrument designed to protect jobs and incomes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Commission launched, at an online event, the European Innovation Council (EIC) with a budget of over €10 billion (in current prices) for 2021-2027 to develop and expand breakthrough innovations.
The European Commission has proposed to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
The European Commission has disbursed €9 billion to seven EU Member States in the fifth instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument.
The Eurogroup discussed the impact of the pandemic on various sectors of the euro area economy, as well as possible structural changes it may have triggered. Ministers also exchanged views on the fiscal support measures.
The European Commission has adopted the first strategic plan for Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme worth €95.5 billion in current prices. The strategic plan is a novelty in Horizon Europe and sets the strategic orientations for the targeting of investments in the programme's first four years.
During a busy plenary session MEPs marked International Women´s Day, adopted investment and health programmes and paved the way for the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID‑19 vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the fourth COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.