News from the Capitals #36 

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. 



On 15 May 2022, state elections were held in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) which is the most populous state with around 13 million eligible voters. The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) emerged as the party with the most votes (35.7%) while the SPD (Social Democratic Party) had their worst election result ever in NRW with 26.7%. Currently, the most realistic option with regard to a new government seem to be an alliance between the CDU and the Greens. While the CDU celebrates their second clear win in a state election, the SPD will most likely have extensive discussions at federal level with this big loss.  

The G7 health ministers are meeting on Thursday and Friday in Berlin to discuss pandemic control. The German health minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) intends to decide on a pandemic package to prepare for future pandemics. Furthermore, the influence of climate change on human health is discussed and antimicrobial resistance.  

Lastly, the German health ministry is currently discussing the offer of a fourth COVID-19 vaccination in autumn which is why vaccine procurement is currently high on the agenda.  


The Superior Health Council published its annual health report on Wednesday. The Minister-President of Wallonia, Elio Di Rupo held his traditional speech on the state of Wallonia on Wednesday. He stressed that although Wallonia had been affected by COVID-19, the floods in July, and the war in Ukraine, the situation is improving.  

Belgium has offered humanitarian support since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. However, 20% of the medicines and 10% of the supplies expired three weeks after their arrival. Belgium would therefore not have respected international guidelines, since the World Health Organization indicates that donated medicines must have a shelf life of at least one year. The Minister of Public Health, Frank Vandenbroucke, points out that Ukraine gave its prior consent before the shipping. 


The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has appointed Ms. Élisabeth Borne as Prime Minister and has charged her with forming a government, pursuant to Article 8, paragraph 1, of the French Constitution.  

"Ecology, health, education, full employment, democratic renaissance, Europe and security: together, with the new government, we will continue to act relentlessly for the French," commented the head of state on his Twitter account. 

As soon as she took office on Monday, Elisabeth Borne made a real ecological promise to Emmanuel Macron, and she has identified an issue that should punctuate her work at Matignon: ecological planning. Two ministers will be in charge of implementing it. One minister will be in charge of energy, we call it "energy planning", the other will be in charge of implementing ecological planning at the territorial level, we call it "territorial planning". On the energy side, Elisabeth Borne will have to launch six nuclear reactors and fifty wind farms at sea, for a commissioning in 2050. The President has promised to increase the budget for the ecological transition by 50 billion euros during his second five-year term. 

Finally, the announcement of the new government should be imminent. President Emmanuel Macron should choose a tightened Government. If the alliance of the left should win the legislative elections, its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon confirmed his wish to increase the minimum wage.  For him, "the Constitution provides that it is the Prime Minister who directs the policy of the nation, not the President of the Republic." 


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