Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week, the European Commission’s agenda features developments on the COVID-19 certificates and COVAX-level discussions, EU summits with Canada and the US, the start of the recovery fund approval process by member states, migration and asylum policy and technological developments on hydrogen investments.
Starting the week, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participates in the official signing ceremony of the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate. As of 1 July, EU member states will officially launch the vaccine certificates, remaining responsible for the deployment of dedicated infrastructure until then.
In order to assess the supply level of vaccines in the EU, High Representative Josep Borrell meets on Wednesday with Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Co-Chair of the COVAX Facility shareholders council. Their consultation comes at a significant moment for the EU, following as it does the decision by the the US and the World Trade Organisation to temporarily exempt vaccine patents.
During the Global Health Summit held in May, von der Leyen announced that the EU planned to donate at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the COVAX global vaccine-sharing initiative by the end of 2021.
Summits with Canada and US
On Monday, President von der Leyen meets Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in Brussels at the EU-Canada summit. They will discuss a range of issues, including COVID-19 response and recovery, fighting climate change and protecting the environment, trade, technology and innovation, and the promotion of democratic values, peace and security.
On Tuesday, the Commission chief will attend the EU-US summit in Brussels, where von der Leyen will welcome US President Joe Biden. During the summit, leaders will discuss COVID-19, climate, trade and investment, technology, foreign affairs, and common values.
This week, the Commission will start approving the first national plans submitted by individual EU member states seeking to secure money from the bloc’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery fund. On Wednesday, von der Leyen will travel to Portugal, followed by visits to Spain, Greece, Denmark, and Luxembourg.
The national plans, which take up hundreds of pages, outline how each country intends to spend the money they will receive from the 672.5 billion euro Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is the fund’s core element.
On Monday, Research and Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel attends the EU Council’s session on the EU recovery plan where the emphasis will be on how innovation and new technologies can drive the green and digital transitions.
The controversial topic of EU migration and asylum policy will be the subject of an address to a high–level conference of MEPs by the Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, on Monday.
The conference will focus on a comprehensive EU approach to the management of migration, including tailor-made partnerships with third countries, the promotion of legal pathways for migration, as well as integration policies.
Building on the debate, Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, will address the webinar on EU migration and asylum policy, hosted by the Egmont institute, the European Policy Centre and the Jacques Delors Institute on Tuesday.
By way of follow-up on technological developments involving hydrogen, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson will participate in a general review of recent updates within the sector at Tuesday’s European Hydrogen Backbone webinar.
The panel will discuss expected demand for green and blue hydrogen in the EU and UK, the supply potential for green and blue hydrogen and compare hydrogen transport cost via pipeline or ships.
On Thursday, European Green Deal Commissioner Frans Timmermans will join the European Hydrogen Forum, hosted by the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance. The Commission will present a summary of projects collected for the building of an investment pipeline for the large-scale deployment of clean hydrogen.