EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 20 FEBRUARY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 20 FEBRUARY
20 Feb 2019

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 20 FEBRUARY

Brussels Daily

COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission takes stock of the progress made on Brexit “no-deal” contingency legislation

The College of Commissioners was today briefed by the Secretary-General and discussed the progress made on the Commission’s contingency proposals for the undesirable but possible situation of a “no deal” Brexit. To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals, on which good progress has been made in the European Parliament and the Council. 7 proposals have been adopted or agreed by the Parliament and the Council. 12 proposals are still to be finalised by the co-legislators, and are advancing well. In addition to this, several non-legislative acts have been adopted, including 10 delegated acts, 6 implementing acts, as well as 3 Commission decisions. All texts are available here. As outlined in the Commission’s previous Brexit Preparedness Communications, the EU’s contingency measures will not – and cannot – mitigate the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the favourable terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. These proposals are temporary in nature, limited in scope and will be adopted unilaterally by the EU. They are not “mini-deals” and have not been negotiated with the UK. In addition to this legislative work, the Commission has also intensified its work on proactively informing the public about the importance of preparing for a “no-deal” Brexit. The Commission has published 88 preparedness notices, along with 3 detailed Brexit Preparedness Communications. The Commission also stepped up its “no-deal” outreach to EU businesses this week in the area of customs and indirect taxation.  The Commission continues to hold technical discussions with the EU27 Member States both on general issues of preparedness and contingency work and on specific sectorial, legal and administrative preparedness issues. Between January and March 2019, the Commission’s Deputy Secretary-General, Céline Gauer, and a team of Commission officials are visiting the capitals of the 27 EU Member States to provide any necessary clarifications on the Commission’s preparedness and contingency action and to discuss national preparations and contingency plans. Today they are in Latvia. The visits so far have shown a high degree of preparation by Member States for all scenarios. All information related to the Commission’s ongoing contingency and preparedness work is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness_en. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 2 299 13 82; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.:+32 2 299 86500)

Brexit preparedness: Commission welcomes political agreement on contingency measures for basic air connectivity

Yesterday, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a provisional agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to ensure basic air connectivity in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. This is part of the Commission’s Brexit contingency proposals to limit the most significant damage caused in case the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc welcomed the agreement: “Basic air connectivity between EU and UK airports will be ensured, provided that the UK gives the same treatment to EU airlines. This means that EU passengers will still be able to travel by plane in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. However this in no way replicates the significant advantages of the EU’s single market.” Yesterday’s provisional political agreement endorses the contingency measures proposed last December by the Commission to ensure basic connectivity. Cargo routes with third countries will be allowed for a limited period of five months, so that the airlines concerned can wind down operations and re-route traffic as necessary. EU airlines partly owned by UK nationals will also be given six months to do the necessary to achieve EU majority ownership and control. These contingency measures will not – and cannot – mitigate the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the favourable terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. They are temporary in nature, limited in scope and will be adopted unilaterally by the EU. They are not mini-deals and have not been negotiated with the UK. Therefore, the continuation of all existing air transport services under the same terms as they are supplied today cannot be guaranteed. Next steps: the text of the Regulation will still have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. As part of the same package, the Commission has also proposed a Regulation that implements contingency measures in the area of aviation safety. It ensures in particular that EU airlines and other aircraft operators can continue to operate aircraft that contain parts made or serviced in the UK. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 2 298 65 00)

Commissioner Hahn in Montenegro for the Western Balkans Ministerial on Clean Energy Transition

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will be in Podgorica, Montenegro on 21-22 February for the Western Balkans Ministerial on Clean Energy Transition and for an official bilateral visit. Ahead of the visit Commissioner Hahn said: “I am looking forward to be in Montenegro and to participate at the Western Balkans Energy Ministerial. The EU strongly supports clean energy transition and energy efficiency growth with increased renewable energy – areas where shared work and commitment by all the Western Balkans partners are absolutely essential to bring direct and concrete benefits to the people. I will also meet with political authorities and country’s representatives of civil society to stress that we are committed to support Montenegro in becoming an EU Member State. To this end, focus should be given to the rule of law, including media freedom and fight against corruption.” The Commissioner will open tomorrow together with Prime Minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković, the Ministerial Meeting on Clean Energy Transition and will announce significant additional financial support in the area of energy efficiency.  Commissioner Hahn will meet political authorities including President Đukanović, Speaker of the Parliament Brajović, Prime Minister Marković, Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Justice Pažin as well as opposition party leaders. The Commissioner will also meet with representatives of media organisations, including Vijesti, the Ad-hoc Commission for Monitoring Violence Against Media and the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro.Photos and videos of the visit will be available on EbS(For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.:+32 229 64887)

Commissioner Arias Cañete in Spain to present the strategy for a climate neutral Europe by 2050

On 20-22 February, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, will be in Spain to present the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050, presented by the Commission last November. On Wednesday 20 February, he will talk to the Mixed Committee for the European Union at the Spanish Congress of Deputies and present the Commission’s vision for a climate-neutral Europe. Later that day, Commissioner Arias Cañete will meet the Spanish business community to discuss the opportunities for European industry in the modernisation of the European economy towards making it climate neutral by 2050. On Thursday 21 February, the Commissioner will meet with Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Minister for Ecological Transition, to discuss climate neutrality objectives. The Commissioner will also meet representatives from the environmental organisations in Spain. This is the second visit to European capitals that Commissioner Arias Cañete is having over the coming weeks and months to highlight the EU’s long-term vision for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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