The pandemic situation and brexit: key features in EU news

by RPP
Weekly European political updates

The pandemic situation and brexit: key features in EU news

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.    



At the request of the Federal Ministry of Health, the governing coalition factions of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) will extend the special rights of the Minister of Health in the fight against the pandemic. This would allow the Federal Minister of Health to continue making decisions by decree, mostly concerning entry restrictions and data, that are normally the competence of the German Bundestag. This extension beyond the end of March is being strongly criticised by the opposition parties, which want to give the parliament more influence on the mitigation measures. Even though the German Association of Judges also mandated that it was necessary to return to a state of legislations and not of decree regulations, the Minister of Health defended the decision, emphasising that the regulations had to be passed by parliament, therefore, indicating that the parliamentary processes will in no way be undermined.


United Kingdom

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week nominally walked away from trade negotiations with the EU after the leaders of the EU 27 failed to reach an accord and meet UK demands on fishing rights and state aid, among other issues, in the European Council meeting held from 15 to 16 October. Contradicting the Prime Minister, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has signalled the door remains “ajar” for negotiations, and EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has agreed to “intensify” talks, one of the UK’s key requirements, and spoke with his UK counterpart David Frost informally this week.



On 19 October, the Council of Ministers approved the bill containing the Budget for the financial year of 2021 and the multi-annual budget for the three-year period 2021-2023. Approximately €4 billion will be allocated to healthcare, with various measures concerning the support of medical staff and the introduction of a fund for vaccine purchase and pandemic-related emergencies. Moreover, the National Health Fund will also be increased by €1 billion. On the same day, the first meeting of the new Italian Parliament intergroup “Science and Health” was held. During the virtual meeting the intergroup manifesto was adopted, which outlined the need for strengthening research and investment, engaging with stakeholder involved in Life Sciences, and promoting AI and other technologies in the health sector. In the meeting, MP Angela Ianaro (Movement 5 Stars) was also elected as President of the Intergroup.



Former MEP Miriam Dalli and OPM chief of staff Clyde Caruana were sworn in the Maltese Parliament on 19 October. This comes as a result of the resignation of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and backbencher Etienne Grech from their parliamentary duties. In other news, on 20 October, the European Commission formally launched infringement proceedings against Malta on the “golden passport” scheme. The cash-for-passports project has been heavily scrutinised over the years due to its highly controversial nature. 


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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