EUABOUT WEEKLY SELECTED
today we talk about the covid-19 and its vaccine, the outcome of US election, eurogroup and CAP
BioNTech-Pfizer announces the creation of Covid-19 vaccine. EU in the front line.
Yesterday the German pharmaceutical company Pfizer declared to have finally created a vaccine against Covid-19 and that 50 million doses will be available by the end of the year. Let us recall that the EU Commission had already closed an agreement on September with BioNTech-Pfizer providing for 200 million doses of covid vaccine. In that occasion, President of the Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, declared “Our chances to develop and deploy a safe and effective vaccine have never been higher, both for Europeans here at home, or for the rest of the world. To defeat coronavirus anywhere, we need to defeat it everywhere” and today it seems that we are a stop closer to defeat Covid-19.
US Elections: EU Commission’s reaction to Biden-Harris victory.
On November 7, Joe Biden has been proclaimed President-elected of the United States after a long and harsh confrontation with the current US President, Donald J. Trump. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, was one of the first world leaders who congratulated to the winner of the American electoral race, stating “ The European Union and the United States are friends and allies, our citizens share the deepest of links- Together we have built an unprecedented transatlantic partnership rooted in common history and shared values of democracy, freedom, human rights, social justice and open economy. This partnership has underpinned the liberal rules-based international order for decades and remains a pillar of stability, security, and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. As the world continues to change and new challenges and opportunities appear, our renewed partnership will be of particular importance”. This statement seems to be an authentic greeting after the four challenging years of Trump Administration, featured by the detriment of EU-US relations. Let’s hope for the best and good Luck to new President-elected Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elected Kamal Harris!
Eurogroup discuss cryptocurrencies
Last week the Ministers of Finance of Italy, Spain, France, Germany and The Netherlands reunited in Berlin for an informal meeting. In the German capital they discussed not only of economic and financial matters related to the Covid-19 pandemic and its financial consequences for the Euro-area, but also about cryptocurrencies, to which EU is slowly opening. The ministers have expressed worries about bitcoin and their entrance into European markets and they asked for “very strong and very clear rules”, being this matter still uncertain. However, the draft-proposal on cryptocurrency represents an important step, as it will make the EU the first jurisdiction in the world to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Covid-19: stricter measures for the majority of EU States
The second wave of Covid-19 has clearly hit Europe. Let’s give a look together at how some EU member States are dealing with it:
Austria: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz declared a one-month lockdown after hitting a new infected record (5627 people infected in one day) on October 30, featured by a curfew (8pm – 6am) for bar and restaurant, but schools are open;
Belgium: after being proclaimed the second country in the world for number of Covid-19 infected and deaths in proportion with the population, Prime Minister De Croo proclaimed a 4-weeks lockdown: offices, bars, restaurants and non-fundamental shops are closed, curfew from 10pm to 6am for the city of Brussels and most of Southern Belgium;
France: Emmanuelle Macron was the first European leader to declare his country under lockdown, following the dramatic numbers of covid infections and deaths in France. The country started a one-month lockdown on October 29: school open, university, offices, bars and non-fundamentals shops are closed.
Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that “it is going to be a tough winter” and declared the beginning of a lockdown from November 2. Schools will stay open.
Italy: the Mediterranean country severely hit by the pandemics on March, is dealing once again with the spread of covid infections, but for now the measures are limited to a curfew for bars and restaurants, and are also regionally differentiated.
Spain: National curfew (from 11pm to 6am) declared on October 25, together with a "state of emergency": people can leave home only when strictly necessary. The measures will stay in place for at least 15 days, stated Prime Minister Sanchez.
The European Parliament has recently approved the new Common Agricultural Policy, aka CAP, one of the oldest and most important EU policies. However, this time the discussion revolves around how environmentally adverse this policy is: some green-advocates as FridaysForFuture and Greenpeace, together with members of the EU Parliament itself, denounced that the new CAP does not provide any kind of measure aimed at reducing intensive farming, which is one of the major producer of CO2 and cause of climate change. In order to raise awareness over the discussion on CAP, the hashtag “vote this CAP down” became viral. Nonetheless, on October 23 the EP approved the CAP.
Now the ball is in the hand of the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and of the national governments represented in the Council, as they have the power to stop the current draft agreed upon.
If you want a greener Europe more committed to fighting climate change share #votethisCAPdown on your social media platforms and contribute to raise awareness.