News from the Capitals #29

by RPP colleagues

 

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.

 

Spain

Although the government did not specify the exact date, the end of compulsory indoor facemasks is expected by late April. 

The new Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils foresees two new taxes: one on single-use plastic containers as stated in the Single-Use Plastics Directive and another one on the deposit of waste in landfills and incineration.

Regarding energy, Spain and Portugal have sent a first proposal to the European Commission as to set a maximum price of 30€ Mwh on electricity prices as temporary and exceptional measures in light of the exception granted by the European Council. 

Finally, the National Plan for Response to the Consequences of the War in Ukraine has been approved.


Belgium

On Friday 18 March, the Federal Government decided to postpone its planned 2025 nuclear exit by 10 years and guaranteed to accelerate the transition to renewable energies. Last Friday 25 March, the Council of Ministers decided to reduce VAT rate for photovoltaic solar panels, thermal solar panels, solar water heaters, and heat pumps in Belgium.

The Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment held a kick-off meeting on Wednesday 30 March 2022 to present the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority to a Belgian audience.

On Thursday 31 March, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, will be speaking to the Belgian MPs in the House of Representatives.


UK

The Chancellor last week delivered his Spring Statement where he set out several actions to alleviate the growing cost-of-living pressures. The statement has been criticised by the Opposition Labour Party and several think-tanks who argue that these actions will not be proportionate enough to support households. Inflation is expected to rise to 8.7% in the final 3 months of 2022.

Following a month-long investigation, the Metropolitan Police this week issued the first 20 fixed penalty notices to Downing Street aides and officials who it has found broke COVID-19 rules during the Party gate scandal, bringing it back into focus. This is the first round of fixed penalty notices with more expected in the coming weeks. 

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