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The impact of coronavirus on Schengen borders

27-03-2020

The 26 countries of the Schengen Area are only meant to reintroduce border controls between themselves in specific circumstances, and for strictly limited periods of time. In recent weeks, many of the Schengen states have reintroduced border controls, notifying them to the European Commission on the grounds of an immediate threat to public policy as a result of the spread of coronavirus. This infographic shows the latest situation in respect of border controls put in place at internal borders within ...

The 26 countries of the Schengen Area are only meant to reintroduce border controls between themselves in specific circumstances, and for strictly limited periods of time. In recent weeks, many of the Schengen states have reintroduced border controls, notifying them to the European Commission on the grounds of an immediate threat to public policy as a result of the spread of coronavirus. This infographic shows the latest situation in respect of border controls put in place at internal borders within the Schengen Area.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, March II 2020

27-03-2020

The need to observe strict sanitary measures, in view of the COVID-19 contagion, requires a flexible response from everyone. Consequently, the European Parliament organised and conducted its March II plenary session with new precautionary measures, allowing it to act rapidly to carry out its essential legislative function during the crisis. Parliament's Bureau put in place an alternative voting procedure for the 26 March extraordinary plenary session. The new procedure meant that all Members – with ...

The need to observe strict sanitary measures, in view of the COVID-19 contagion, requires a flexible response from everyone. Consequently, the European Parliament organised and conducted its March II plenary session with new precautionary measures, allowing it to act rapidly to carry out its essential legislative function during the crisis. Parliament's Bureau put in place an alternative voting procedure for the 26 March extraordinary plenary session. The new procedure meant that all Members – with most unable to be present in Brussels – could vote from a distance, sending their voting papers to Parliament’s Secretariat by e-mail. Parliament has adjusted its calendar, replacing the regular plenary part-sessions with shortened sessions until the summer. The temporary voting procedure will be available until 31 July 2020, unless extended by Bureau decision. Moreover, the Secretariat is working to put in place a more advanced remote voting system, which would enable more complex votes to be held among Members, in both committee and plenary, thus ensuring Parliament can carry out its essential budgetary and legislative functions throughout the ongoing public health crisis. The session focused on three urgent legislative proposals responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Parliament adopted its positions on temporary suspension of EU rules on airport slots, creation of a Corona Response Investment Initiative and extension of the EU Solidarity Fund, almost unanimously, less than two weeks after the European Commission tabled its proposals. With the Council also agreed on the three texts, the measures can now be adopted in the coming days. Members also heard from the Commission and Council on the coordination of the European response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The European Council, health policy and pandemics

27-03-2020

The European Council (of EU Heads of State or Government) has been active in its response to the coronavirus crisis. So far it has held three video-conference calls of national leaders on the subject, with a view to seeking to develop a coordinated response both among the Member States and collectively at EU level. This note sketches the context, describes some of the instruments available to the Union, and compares responses to the outbreaks of Ebola in the past and COVID-19 today.

The European Council (of EU Heads of State or Government) has been active in its response to the coronavirus crisis. So far it has held three video-conference calls of national leaders on the subject, with a view to seeking to develop a coordinated response both among the Member States and collectively at EU level. This note sketches the context, describes some of the instruments available to the Union, and compares responses to the outbreaks of Ebola in the past and COVID-19 today.

The EUCO as crisis manager the COVID 19 pandemic: Similarities and differences to previous crises

27-03-2020

The COVID-19 outbreak confronts the European Union with a severe crisis, affecting both individual EU citizens’ lives and society as a whole. Due to its role and centrality in the EU's institutional framework, the European Council is once again called upon to exercise its crisis-management role. Similarities can be drawn with past crises as regards both short and long-term responses. The main difference to previous crises, for instance, in the economy or on migration, which impacted a limited number ...

The COVID-19 outbreak confronts the European Union with a severe crisis, affecting both individual EU citizens’ lives and society as a whole. Due to its role and centrality in the EU's institutional framework, the European Council is once again called upon to exercise its crisis-management role. Similarities can be drawn with past crises as regards both short and long-term responses. The main difference to previous crises, for instance, in the economy or on migration, which impacted a limited number of EU policies, is that the COVID-19 crisis touches the entire spectrum of policies at both European and national level, making a common response more challenging, as competences are divided between the different strata of the EU's multi-level governance system. Ultimately, this crisis has the potential to reshape EU policies, leading to increased cross-policy cooperation and possibly a centrally coordinated response mechanism.

Coronavirus: Impact and reaction [What Think Tanks are thinking]

26-03-2020

Governments around the world are introducing increasingly harsh measures to contain the highly contagious coronavirus, which causes the often lethal COVID-19 disease. In many countries, borders have been shut, schools, restaurants and non-food shops closed, and a ban on public and sometimes private meetings has been introduced. According to news media reports, as of 24 March, confirmed coronavirus cases around the world exceeded 377 000 across 194 countries and territories, with more than 16 500 ...

Governments around the world are introducing increasingly harsh measures to contain the highly contagious coronavirus, which causes the often lethal COVID-19 disease. In many countries, borders have been shut, schools, restaurants and non-food shops closed, and a ban on public and sometimes private meetings has been introduced. According to news media reports, as of 24 March, confirmed coronavirus cases around the world exceeded 377 000 across 194 countries and territories, with more than 16 500 of them having been fatal. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in the previous item in the series, published on 18 March.

What if smartphones could help contain COVID-19?

24-03-2020

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should ...

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should be tested with urgency, avoiding the further spread of the infection.

Financial assistance for countries seriously affected by a major public health emergency

24-03-2020

With much of Europe in the grip of the novel coronavirus, the European Commission announced a series of measures on 13 March 2020 to help countries cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. As part of this package, the Commission proposes extending the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to include major public health emergencies, providing valuable additional support. The proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council is due to be voted during the extraordinary plenary ...

With much of Europe in the grip of the novel coronavirus, the European Commission announced a series of measures on 13 March 2020 to help countries cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. As part of this package, the Commission proposes extending the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to include major public health emergencies, providing valuable additional support. The proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council is due to be voted during the extraordinary plenary session organised on 26 March to enable the adoption of this and two other specific measures.

European Union response to coronavirus threat

23-03-2020

Spreading swiftly from the initial November 2019 outbreak in China to pandemic proportions in just a few short months, COVID-19 has led to a need for stringent emergency public health measures to save lives across the world. Organising and providing healthcare in the European Union (EU) is a Member State prerogative and responsibility. However within the limits of its powers, the EU has nevertheless acted quickly to help limit the spread of the virus, ensure medical equipment is available, boost ...

Spreading swiftly from the initial November 2019 outbreak in China to pandemic proportions in just a few short months, COVID-19 has led to a need for stringent emergency public health measures to save lives across the world. Organising and providing healthcare in the European Union (EU) is a Member State prerogative and responsibility. However within the limits of its powers, the EU has nevertheless acted quickly to help limit the spread of the virus, ensure medical equipment is available, boost the search for a vaccine and aid Member States to withstand the social and economic impact.

Coronavirus: The latest [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-03-2020

The world is currently facing the fastest-spreading pandemic since the Spanish flu (in the aftermath of the First World War), prompting governments to take unprecedented decisions to contain this highly contagious coronavirus, which leads to COVID-19 infection. The measures taken include closing borders in some countries, encouraging telework as much as possible, and shutting schools, universities, restaurants and many other facilities, except for shops selling groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies ...

The world is currently facing the fastest-spreading pandemic since the Spanish flu (in the aftermath of the First World War), prompting governments to take unprecedented decisions to contain this highly contagious coronavirus, which leads to COVID-19 infection. The measures taken include closing borders in some countries, encouraging telework as much as possible, and shutting schools, universities, restaurants and many other facilities, except for shops selling groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies. People are urged to stay at home and avoid physical contact with others. In a growing number of countries, confinement is being enforced. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the coronavirus and related issues. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in the previous item in the series, published on 11 March.

What can the EU do to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis?

16-03-2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Alleviating the human effects of the crisis is paramount, but repercussions are being felt across many sectors. European Union institutions are unanimous in calling for solidarity among Member States, and for Europe to offer support, within its remit, to its Member States in their response to the common challenge. On 10 March 2020, Heads of State or Government of the EU countries held a videoconference ...

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Alleviating the human effects of the crisis is paramount, but repercussions are being felt across many sectors. European Union institutions are unanimous in calling for solidarity among Member States, and for Europe to offer support, within its remit, to its Member States in their response to the common challenge. On 10 March 2020, Heads of State or Government of the EU countries held a videoconference on COVID-19, to discuss how to coordinate the EU-level response. EU leaders stressed the need for a joint European approach and close coordination with the European Commission. Priorities were identified, to be followed up on 'at all levels immediately'. The measures that are – or could be – envisaged range across different policy areas. As an immediate response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen formed a coronavirus response team. Further measures were announced in a European coronavirus response on 13 March 2020. Planned – and potential – health and preparedness measures include reinforcing the EU's role in joint procurement, bolstering cooperation in disease management and control, and potentially widening the remit of the European reference networks. Greater controls on people crossing external EU borders are also proposed. Monetary, budgetary and macroeconomic measures include, for instance, those taken to ease the impact of the coronavirus emergency on the aviation industry. Moreover, the EU and the Member States, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund can also take steps to help people and firms. The EU budget has been mobilised to provide funds to reinforce preparedness and containment measures, as well as research into the virus. Furthermore, cross-border health threats, such as that posed by COVID 19, could be taken into account when shaping the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027.

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