German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees
Ministers are outlining the priorities of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU to parliamentary committees, in a series of meetings.
Germany holds the Presidency of the Council until the end of 2020. The first series of hearings is taking place from 3 to 16 July. A second set of hearings will take place in September. This press release will be updated regularly.
Hearings held on 3, 6 and 7 July
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
On Friday 3 July, Franziska Giffey, Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, told the Women’s Rights Committee that the presidency has two main priorities on gender equality. Firstly, to tackle the lack of equality between men and women on the labour market, notably by presenting an Equal Pay Directive in November. Secondly, to put an end to all forms of gender-based violence, notably by pushing for the Istanbul Convention to be ratified by all member states, and establishing a single, European-wide helpline for women in emergency.
In the debate, MEPs asked the Minister how she was planning to make progress on the Women on Boards Directive, which has been blocked in the Council by eight member states, including Germany. ‘‘I will hold targeted discussions and I will fight very strongly to make headway on this file’’, she replied. Several MEPs also called for all EU policies, including the next MFF and the recovery plan, to include a gender perspective.
Environment and Public Health
On Monday 6 July, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Environment and Public Health Committee that, following the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinating EU health policies and strengthening crisis management, increasing EU production of essential medicinal products and devices (such as face masks) and creating a European health data space are the top German priorities. MEPs questioned the Minister on the future EU health policy, vaccine strategy and medicine and protective equipment shortages.
On Tuesday 7 July, Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Minister Svenja Schulze said that the German priorities include agreeing on the climate law with a 2030 target, an EU biodiversity strategy, the circular economy including extending the lifespan of products, and digitalisation. How to get the EU recovery package in line with the EU Green Deal, Climate Law, MRV shipping, forest and agricultural policies including animal welfare were some of the issues raised by MEPs.
Latest News from
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alignment of certain countries concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela13/08/2020 13:25:00
On 29 June 2020, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2020/898.
Cambodia loses duty-free access to the EU market over human rights concerns13/08/2020 10:25:00
As of yesterday, 12 August, some of Cambodia's typical export products such as garments, footwear and travel goods are subject to the European Union's customs duties.
State aid: Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support Nordica in the context of the coronavirus outbreak13/08/2020 09:25:00
The European Commission has approved a €30 million Estonian measure to provide a share capital increase and a subsidised interest loan to the state-owned aviation company “Nordica Aviation Group AS” (“Nordica”).
Belarus: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the presidential elections12/08/2020 15:25:00
On 9 August, Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus.
Coronavirus: 23 new research projects to receive €128 million in EU funding12/08/2020 13:25:00
The Commission will support 23 new research projects with €128 million in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak12/08/2020 12:33:00
The European Commission has approved a German aid scheme to support airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into public support for expansion of LG Chem's electric vehicles battery plant in Poland12/08/2020 10:25:00
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether €95 million of public support granted by Poland to chemical company LG Chem Group (“LG Chem”) for investing in the expansion of its battery cell production facility for electric vehicles (EV) in Biskupice Podgórne in the Dolnoślaskie region (Poland) is in line with EU rules on regional State aid.
Glycoalkaloids in potatoes: public health risks assessed12/08/2020 09:25:00
EFSA has assessed the risks to human and animal health related to the presence of glycoalkaloids in food and feed, particularly in potatoes and products derived from potatoes.
Coronavirus: Eight macro-financial assistance programmes agreed to support enlargement and neighbourhood partners11/08/2020 16:10:00
As of today, the Commission, on behalf of the EU, has agreed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on macro-financial assistance (MFA) programmes with eight partners.
EU Solidarity Fund: Commission gives financial support to Croatia following earthquake11/08/2020 15:25:00
The Commission announces today a first disbursement of financial aid worth €88.9 million under the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to Croatia, following the devastating earthquake that hit the city of Zagreb and its surroundings on 22 March 2020.