29th May 2022


Recovery and green financing plus Omicron This WEEK

  • Travelling will be more difficult around Europe during the holiday season, as the Omicron Covid-19 variant spreads across the continent (Photo: *tamara*)
Listen to article

The EU Commission will use the time ahead of Christmas to lay out its plans on new so-called 'own resources' on Wednesday (22 December), aimed to raise the billions of euros that will be needed to repay the borrowings underpinning the Covid-19 recovery fund.

The proposals are very sensitive politically for national capitals, so there will be a lot of digestion on the proposals over the Christmas period.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Two new revenue streams allocated to the commission are linked to the commission's green policy, and include a proposed carbon border levy and the revamping of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The third new own resources would revolve around the newly-proposed rules agreed under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to force multinationals to declare profits and pay more tax in the countries where they do business.

The commission will also put forward a directive implementing the other part of the OECD tax deal - setting out a 15-percent global minimum effective corporate tax rate.

The commission is also due to present the second draft legal act on taxonomy and is almost certain to include both nuclear power and natural gas in the "sustainable" category of the green economy.

The proposal is expected to come under fire from NGOs and MEPs for opening the way for "greenwashing", but probably will win the backing of member states.

Energy has emerged as a key dividing issue between EU countries, with leaders failing to agree on a common statement on the rise of energy prices, and how to tackle them, last week at their summit in Brussels.

EU environment ministers on Monday (20 December) will meet to discuss the the commission's package to transform the bloc's economy to cut emissions.

Ministers will look at the "Fit for 55" package and discuss the revision of the Emissions Trading System, binding annual emission reductions, the revision of rules for CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and establishing a social climate fund.

France, meanwhile, will present the work programme of its incoming presidency on the topic.

MEPs have already left for Christmas holidays and the EU bubble will fall silent after publishing the commission's proposals next week.

Travelling around the holidays will become increasingly difficult as the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus spreads across Europe: Italy, Ireland, Greece and Portugal already requests PCR tests from travellers, including vaccinated ones.

The EUobserver weekly agenda will also take a break and will be back on 10 January.

EU leaders divided over Omicron travel rules

EU leaders failed to guarantee a coordinated approach to travel measures for the Christmas holiday season during their summit meeting. Instead they stressed that boosters shots are "crucial" and "urgent" to curb the new wave of Covid-19 infections.

Energy price spiral could harm EU recovery

Sky-high energy prices could undermine the EU's post-corona economic recovery, the EU Commission has warned, as EU states and MEPs called for joint action and fair play.

EU agency: 'Omicron vaccine' approval to take 3-4 months

The EU drug regulator's chief said the bloc is ready to tackle mutations and allow for the fast-track approval of redesigned vaccines. The EU's disease agency said all known European Omicron cases were so far asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine hours after pushing a constitutional amendment through parliament, where two-thirds of MPs are controlled by his Fidesz party, allowing his government special powers.


When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us