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EU Bytes Glenn Cezanne B


ars, most – seem to understand, and it is no surprise.


Brussels is running on digital


and physical meetings now. Webinars remain in fashion.


Containment measures remain at a somewhat responsible levels. Depends primarily of course on how responsible, people behave. What you will see currently being published on a nearly daily basis are announcements on support packages being approved by the European Commission, ranging from State Aid to EU budgetary allocations. Keeping the European economy running at the moment requires a lot of fi nancial support, and very much so at national level. Financial support ranges from grants, loans to direct monetary injections. The question I always ask myself is how the money will come back to the emptier state coffers in the longer term. Maybe taxation? Always a factor to keep in mind when you are involved in any business. So, now that I have set an unintended mood, a bit more about


some of the political and legislative developments taking place around Europe.


EU Budget


You might remember in my last article, I discussed the proposed EU budget. So, as a quick follow-up, yes the discussions are far from agreed. The debate at the moment seems to primarily focus on the 750 billion recovery plan for the damage caused by COVID. This is mostly because 500 billion of it will be based on states taking on debt. And, currently not many are necessarily willing to pay for other EU countries. A budget debate that has existed for the ages. UK rebate ring a bell?


The German Presidency


And, since 1 July 2020, Germany has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the EU. What does that mean? The Presidency has two main tasks. The fi rst is to chair and plan meetings of most of the Council constellations. The other is slightly more challenging. Apart


Glenn Cezanne casts his gaze across the EU and brings the news and analysis you need…


from representing the Council, mediating and brokering compromises between the EU Member States. And, if that wasn’t challenging enough, also to broker and mediate between the EU institutions – i.e. the Council, European Commission and European Parliament. Germany, like any country will hold the Presidency for six months. But, to establish a longer-term approach to EU policy and priorities, each Presidency works closely with two other Member States – i.e. so-called trios. The current trio starts with Germany, moves to Portugal and then ends with Slovenia.


Germany has set as main priorities: 1. “Lead European business back to strength” – There is also a lot of work as they will have to manage fi nding compromise on the future EU budget including the recovery plan. The seven-year EU budget period currently being discussed covers 2021-2027. And, the budget is agreed in the Council on the basis of unanimity. Good luck.


30 JULY 2020


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