EACT Covid-19 section here.
- The ECB has increased the size of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) by €600 billion to reach a total of €1,350 billion and to extend the horizon for net purchases under this program to the end of June 2021.
- The European Commission announced 2235 new partnerships for scaling up innovative projects to tackle COVID-19 challenges. Building on the success of the previous EUvsVirus Pan-European Hackathon, the Commission hosted a Matchathon from 21 to 28 May under the patronage of Commissioner Gabriel and the European Innovation Council. It brought together the 120 winning solutions from the Hackathon with over 458 partners including investors, corporates, public authorities, academia and research institutions from 40 countries.
- On Thursday (04/6), the European Commission announced it will provide €300 million in funding to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021–2025. The pledge has been made under the assumption that the EU's new Multiannual Financial Framework and in particular the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), where the funds pledged for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, would come from, are adopted broadly along the lines proposed by the European Commission. On 2 June, the Commission proposed to increase NDICI funding for 2021-2027 to €86 billion in 2018 prices (€96.4 billion in current prices), including €10.5 billion from the new ‘Next Generation EU'.
- The European Commission has approved (04/6) Irish (here and here) and Czech schemes under the State aid Temporary Framework in order to tackle the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The measures mainly include direct grants and repayable advances.
- The European Commission has put forward a proposal to amend the current EU budget and make available an additional €11.5 billion for crisis repair and recovery in order to support businesses and the regions most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Eurostat statistics office has released its unemployment numbers for April, indicating that unemployment rose to 6.6 percent across the EU and to 7.3 percent in the 19 euro countries.
- The EU-China Summit planned for September will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic according to German officials. The summit was an initiative led by the upcoming German presidency and aimed at concluding an investment protection agreement between China and the EU. Officials from both sides have agreed to find an alternative date for the meeting.
- Following Wednesday (03/6) evening’s G7 Finance Minister call, Mario Centeno, President of the Eurogroup, highlighted that the EU will use its recovery plan to build upon its green and digital priorities and underlined the need to support to strategic value chains.
- Sven Giegold (DE), ECON coordinator for the Greens, has called (03/6) the largest EU Member States to address both the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis at the same time, so the climate issue is not left behind. He also called for more action on climate change from the ECB.
UPDATES FROM EU AGENCIES AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
European Central Bank (ECB)
- The Governing Council of the ECB has decided (04/6) to increase the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) by €600 billion to reach a total of €1,350 billion and to extend the horizon for net purchases under this program to the end of June 2021. The Asset Purchase Programme (APP) will continue as planned. The interest rate on the main refinancing operations, on the marginal lending facility and on the deposit facility will remain unchanged.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- The ECDC published a report on the implementation of after-action reviews (AARs) and in-action reviews (IARs) focused on the public health response to COVID-19. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to end for at least several more months, there is a need to assess what has happened so far, to identify strategic priorities, and to exchange lessons learned. This report will help to optimise the response to the next phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing an evidence-based approach to identifying and implementing new actions based on the lessons learned thus far.
European Data Protection Board (EDPB)
- The EDPB adopted a statement on data subject rights in connection to the state of emergency in Member States. The Board indicated that even in exceptional times, the protection of personal data must be upheld in all emergency measure to support values of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights on with the EU is founded.
- On Wednesday (03/6) evening, G7 Finance Ministers participated in a call in which they discussed further coordinated actions to tackle the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Following the meeting, they released a joint statement in which they highlighted the importance of debt sustainability and transparency to long-term financing for development, especially for low-income countries. In addition, G7 Finance Ministers endorsed the G20 Operational Guidelines for Sustainable Financing and called on all creditors to take lending decisions consistent with the borrower’s debt sustainability.
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