22nd Jan 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.

New EU Parliament chief elected This WEEK

The lead candidate is the centre-right European People's Party's (EPP) Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, who has been outspoke against corruption and rule-of-law issues - but some MEPs are concerned over her anti-abortion voting record.

Key talks with Russia over European security This WEEK

The Nato-Russia council will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, as western and Russian officials begin a series of meetings this week in an effort to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine's eastern border - where Russia has amassed troops.

News in Brief

  1. 'No embargo' on meetings with Putin, EU says
  2. Austria to fine unvaccinated people €3,600
  3. MEP: Airlines should start paying for CO2 sooner
  4. Twitter forced to disclose what it does to tackle hate speech
  5. EU watchdog calls for ban on political microtargeting
  6. MEPs adopt position on Digital Service Act
  7. Blinken delivers stark warning to Russia in Berlin
  8. Hungary's Orbán to discuss nuclear project with Putin

MEPs focus on Belarus, digital rules This WEEK

The debate over a successor for David Sassoli, the centre-left Italian president of the European Parliament will heat up, and Belarusian democratic opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the plenary.

Facebook scandal and COP26 climax in focus This WEEK

Facebook whistleblower is expected to meet with MEPs and representatives of the French senate this week. Meanwhile, eyes turn again to the Glasgow UN climate summit as pressure is mounting for negotiators to finish the 2015 Paris Agreement rulebook.

Latest News

  1. Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules
  2. MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter
  3. EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines
  4. Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures
  5. Macron promises strong EU borders
  6. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  7. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  8. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us