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Today we talk about the decrease of migrations towards the EU, the reunion of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force, the SURE instrument

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MIGRATIONS TOWARDS THE EU DECREASE DUE TO COVID-19

EU data on asylum seekers and irregular border crossings in the first 10 months of 2020 were recently made available

and have stressed how the pandemic unavoidably produced effects on migration to the EU. Overall, the EU experienced a decline in one year of 33% in asylum applications, as well as the lowest number of irregular border crossings in 6 years. However, it should be underlined that decline has not been uniform all over Europe: indeed, some areas registered an unexpected large number of arrivals. Data on legal migration will be published later this year, yet is clear that they will show a sharp overall decline as a result of the current restrictions.

MEETING OF EC AND MEMBER STATES FOR SINGLE MARKET’S PROTECTION MEASURES

It is expected today the third formal reunion of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) between EC and Member States’ representatives to discuss about the measures to be implemented in order to protect the Single Market from the Covid-19-related damages. The Single Market Enforcement Task Force was established in April 2020, following an announcement in the Single Market Enforcement Action Plan published in March 2020 with the new European Industrial Strategy.

In particular, the discussion of today will be focused on the main issues to tackle, which are the elimination of obstacles harming the agri-food sector, the free movement of services and workers.

SURE: EC ISSUES €14 BILLION WORTH SOCIAL BONDS

The European Commission issued €14 billion worth of social bonds under the EU's SURE instrument, aimed at protecting workers and preserving jobs. The issue included two bonds, a €10 billion bond maturing in June 2028 and a €4 billion bond maturing in November 2050. It was registered strong demand from investor, which enabled the Commission to obtain particularly favorable pricing conditions. These conditions are passed on directly to the EU Member States, which will receive larger amounts as a loan than those they will have to pay back. This is the fourth bond issue under the EU's SURE program. So far, thanks to the first three issues between the end of October and the end of November last year, 15 EU member states have received almost €40 billion in the form of back-to-back loans.

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