News from the Capitals #37

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.

 

Germany

Actors in the healthcare sector are anticipating the legislative draft on the “Statutory health insurance financial stabilization act”. Karl Lauterbach, minister of health, has promised its publication by the end of May. This act might impose additional cuts to the SHI funds. However, it remains to be seen what is actually included in this act.

The budget committee is currently debating the budget for the following year, there are many debates going on, especially in regard to the healthcare sector. 

The German citizen are awaiting the financial substitution for the inflated prices on gas and electricity. 

The various G7 meetings for the respective ministers are closely monitored. The health ministers agreed on an act, incl. the ‘’G7-Pact for Pandemic Readiness", general medical support for the Ukraine, antibiotic resistance and climate change & health.


Belgium

Regarding COVID-19 news, it is no longer mandatory to wear masks in public transport and it is recommended during rush hours. However, it is still mandatory in healthcare facilities. It is also no longer required to fill in a passenger locator form or present a valid vaccination, test certificate or certificate of recovery unless travelers come from a country with a new variant of concern. Belgium will have to throw away more than 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by July, as they will expire by then. 

All federal healthcare employees will receive an end-of-year bonus for the private sector, or an attractiveness bonus for the public sector, of 400 euros gross for full-time employees. Although this new bonus has been introduced, there will be a national strike, on Thursday 2 May, where healthcare workers will be asking for more investment in care, better wages and benefits.


France

In France, due to the deprivation of a post-presidential dynamic, several ministers are playing their positions in the election. Emmanuel Macron has reminded that people who will be unsuccessful in the election will have to leave their positions in the government. Some profiles at risk include:

- Clément Beaune - Minister for Europe 
- Stanislas Guerini-Minister of the Civil Service 
- Olivier Dussopt-Minister of Labor 
- Amélie de Montchalin-Minister of Ecological Transition 
- Damien Abad-Minister of Solidarity 

The other parties use different strategies. We observe that there are two radically opposed models. One, left-wing, nationalizes, and even personalizes the election to excess. It is "all behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon"! The other, the of the Republicans, tries on the contrary to reduce the election to a purely local issue.

Finally, to fight against the looming abstention, the government, Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and the NGO A voté joined forces to convince young people to vote in the legislative elections. The campaign launches on Thursday, June 2. It appears in several studies that the main obstacle to voting is the fact that voters do not always understand the objectives of it.

To address this, an administration attached to the Prime Minister, has developed educational sheets with members of the NGO A voté, based on questions that are most asked, including on search engines, such as "What is the purpose of an MP?", "What is the purpose of the National Assembly?"

On June 12 and 19, Election Days, these same users will receive notifications to remind them to vote.


Spain

On Tuesday 31 May, the Spanish government approved the creation of the Social and Care Economy Programme (PERTE). The project is endowed with 800 million euros and is part of the Recovery Plan for Europe.

The main goals of this PERTE are: 

-    Boosting the social economy sector, which brings together entities with social and equitable criteria.
-    Improve the competitiveness of social economy SMEs and to promote cooperation mechanisms among them.
-    To promote community employment and to facilitate the conversion of companies in crisis or with no generational replacement into social economy enterprises”.

According to government figures, this sector is made up of 43,000 companies, which generate almost 2.2 million jobs, 10% of total GDP and 12.5% of employment.

On the other hand, there have been also updates in the energetic policy agenda, as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Spanish Secretary of State of Energy has announced, at the beginning of this week, that in the next revision of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (2021-2030), the targets for biogas, biomethane and hydrogen will be extended.

This change is influenced by the newly approved RepowerEU Plan, which seeks to end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels and accelerate the uptake of renewable energies.

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