Deconfinement measures taken as clusters, and Recovery is structured on cross-country collaboration

by RPP
Weekly European political updates

Deconfinement measures taken as clusters, and Recovery is structured on cross-country collaboration 

Europe is a colourful continent in terms of policies and outcomes. It is essential to stay updated on how these policies may impact your work to build better regulatory frameworks, enhance your message and enhance communication with stakeholders. Here you can find a summary of the major European political updates of this week.    



In conjunction with Austria, Sweden, and Denmark, the Netherlands has developed an alternative support plan to the EU’s current proposal to support Member States to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.  The Dutch government has proposed a European emergency fund from which Member States can borrow for a period of 2 years. The Netherlands has also sought to modernise the European budget by way of providing less funding to agriculture and regional developments. Separately, the three national population screenings for colon cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer will restart again as of June. State Secretary Paul Blokhuis expressed that these population screenings are a crucial element in preventative healthcare, but saw a break during the COVID-19 outbreak unavoidable. The restart will happen in phases, as the capacity of the health system for follow-up examinations and the availability of personal protective equipment needs to be taken into account. 

United Kingdom 

The number of daily deaths from COVID-19 across the UK has fallen to a six-week low, and on 25 May no COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland in 24 hours for the first time since 18 March. Due to the low infection rate, the devolved administrations have outlined next steps to ease lockdown measures. Scotland will initiate its four-phase ‘route map’ to ease lockdown measures tomorrow (28 May), which will initially allow people to meet outside with members of other households and will see limited shops reopen. The lockdown will be eased in conjunction with Scotland’s new ‘test and protect’ scheme, which will run separately from England’s ‘test and trace’ scheme, which will also start on Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen within weeks of the launch of the tracing programme; more stringent, localised restrictions may be introduced to combat local flare-ups to allow the wider reopening of businesses. In other news, Johnson’s key aide Dominic Cummings has come under fire for repeatedly breaching lockdown measures. 35 Conservative MPs have called for his resignation, and one government minister has resigned in protest at the Government’s support for Cummings. The Conservative Party’s lead in the polls has dropped by nine percent in a week to just six percent, representing the biggest weekly decline in ten years.   


After Emmanuel Macron expressed his "mea culpa" on the previous public hospital bills and plans which he said were not ambitious enough and undertaken too late, the French President announced a consultation to address four distinct healthcare pillars:  bring new value to healthcare professions (by increasing salaries), define a new investment and financing policy in the service of care, simplify the organisation and daily life of healthcare teams, and encourage the development of healthcare services on a territorial scale. A national consultation on the measures that should be taken for the public hospital in France was launched on 25 May and is led by Olivier Véran, the Minister for Health.  
Over 300 stakeholders are taking part in this express consultation, and the results are expected by mid-July, so that the new measures may be integrated in the 2021 Social Security Financing Bill. This consultation, called "Ségur de la santé" as a reference to the name of the street in Paris where the Ministry for Health has its headquarters, may herald a new era for public hospitals in France, which have suffered budgetary cuts over the last few years. 


On 26 May, the Head of the Chancellory and the federal states agreed to extend COVID-19 confinements until 29 June. Consequently, people must keep social distance of 1,5 metres and gatherings of up to 10 persons or two households are allowed, though it is recommended to limit social contacts to a limited number of people. The federal state of Thuringia nevertheless released a statement in which the federal state indicated different regulations may be adopted for public places, ‘as long as the incidence of infection allows it’. The Federal Government announced it will withdraw current travel restrictions for 31 countries beginning mid-June. Prior to that, the Federal Minister of Foreign affairs as well as the state secretary for Tourism discussed with their foreign counterparts possible solutions in establishing precautionary measures, for exmaple at airports.  


As of 25 May, all regions in Spain are either in phase 1 (53%) or phase 2 (47%). This means that containment measures are phasing out including in Cataluña, Madrid and Castilla y León, the most affected regions. President Pedro Sánchez informed regional presidents that the state of emergency could be lifted by the end of June or beginning of July, epidemiological situation allowing. Health Minister Salvador Illa announced provinces might be able to move to next phases as initially planned. However, Mr Sánchez is still planning to table a sixth extension of the state of emergency for two additional weeks, until 21 June. Unlike the other extensions, this could be applied only to specific regions. Spain is under official mourning from 26 May until 6 June to mourn the 27,000 coronavirus deaths. This is the longest mourning period in Spain's democracy. The COVID-19 has also impacted Spain’s transplantations. In conjunction with the regions, the National Organisation for Transplantations (ONT) is now putting into place a post-COVID strategy for transplantations. Until 12 March there was an average of 7,2 donors and 16.1 daily transplantations, but this number dramatically decreased to 1.9 donors and 4 daily transplantations after the beginning of the outbreak. 


You can find more information on European news in our EU national elections heatmap, where we provide an overarching perspective with key political insight for individual countries. Make sure to check it here


At we use cookies (e.g. tracking and analytical cookies), which enable us to analyse and measure user data. Further information can be found here: