Not all hope is lost: Vaccination trials and recovery measures amidst landscape of resistance as second wave approaches

by RPP
Weekly European political updates

Not all hope is lost: Vaccination trials and recovery measures amidst landscape of resistance as second wave approaches

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.    



On 30 August, demonstrations held in Berlin against COVID-19 policies escalated when right-wing activists tried to storm the building of the German Bundestag. Politicians from several parties, including the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, strongly condemned the attempted attack on the heart of the German democracy. 38,000 protesters gathered for the demonstration, but were dispersed later on in the day by the police due to non-compliance of the social distancing rules. As a response to the protests, the city of Berlin imposed a general mask-wearing rule for demonstrations with more than 100 participants. In other political news, the past weeks have seen several parties preparing for the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. In fact, the Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) presented a revised draft of their core program last week, which in addition to the party’s main focus on climate protection and social security, included new statements on health system strengthening.


Several regions in Spain are experiencing spikes in COVID-19 infections due to social gatherings and increased mobility during the summer break. Madrid has registered up to a third of daily infections and hospitalisations across Spain, with the capacities of many hospitals being compromised. Nonetheless, experts state that the current situation is not as severe as it was in March. Spain also seems to be making headway in developing potential COVID-19 vaccinations. Reports about the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) indicate that it has authorized the first clinical trial for a vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine, promoted by the pharmaceutical company Janssen and named “Ad26Cov2s”, is now in phase 2 in Germany, Belgium, and Spain. This week, the vaccine will be tested on 190 volunteers, categorised into two age groups (18 to 55 years old and 65 years old and over), in the hospitals of La Paz and La Princesa in Madrid and in Marqués de Valdecilla in Cantabria.

United Kingdom

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings has pressed on with his reform of the civil service and concentration of control across the government and civil service. The newly formed Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, established through the merging of the Foreign Office and Department for International Development, opened today. Special advisers in the department will work with Boris Johnson’s top advisors, including Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave chief data scientist Ben Warner. On a separate note, Simon Case, the former private secretary to Prince William, has been appointed as the new head of the civil service in an appointment effectively made directly by Boris Johnson’s office. Simon Case was asked to make a formal application by Johnson’s office, having been a close ally to Johnson through the Government’s COVID-19 response.


On 3 September Prime Minister Jean Castex presented the €100 billion recovery plan, which should prepare France for the years leading up to 2030. The plan shall invest in three main areas: reindustrialisation, the energy and ecological transition, and need to tackle the unemployment rate. In other news, on 1 September President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron travelled for the second time in a month to Beirut to put pressure on the Lebanese politicians to launch real political reforms as soon as possible and pave the way for a new government. Following his visit, Macron announced that he would return to Lebanon once again in December.   

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


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