Coordination Law - Bang for the Buck.

IF – 01/2022

In the second half of 2021, the Slovenian Council Presidency made an important contribution to strengthening the European Union's (EU) resilience to future health crises and cyber attacks, and accelerated recovery of the EU from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overcoming crises together

In order to encourage Member States to become even more cohesive, conclusions were adopted on improving response and resilience to future crises. Dealing with crises of different kinds requires more effective cross-border crisis cooperation, crisis communication and combating of misinformation.

Recovery of the European economy

EU finance ministers approved a total of 291 billion euros in grants and 154 billion euros in loans. So far, 20 Member States together have received more than EUR 54 billion in pre-financing. The funds will help accelerate reconstruction and resilience as well as green transition and digitisation. The aim is to make the economy more competitive, thus improving the quality of life in the EU.

Role of health policy strengthened

In future, European agencies will be able to better coordinate the exchange of information between Member States and their action. In negotiations with the European Parliament, three important legislative proposals were agreed under the Slovenian Council Presidency. For the strengthening of the role of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as well as the establishment of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), refer to News 09/2021.

Digitisation on the rise

Having rapidly grown over the last decade, online platforms have taken a central role in our lives. It is necessary to regulate these platforms to protect consumers as well as enable the further development of digitisation. The European Council approved a general orientation to the Digital Services Act, which contributes to a safer online environment for citizens and economic stakeholders, and to the Digital Markets Act, which creates a level playing field for all businesses and online platforms, regardless of their size.

There was also an agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament on the Data Governance Act. The aim here is to promote voluntary data exchange and increase data availability between start-ups and innovation-driven companies.

The environment and the fair green transition

In-depth work was carried out in the area of the environment and the Green Deal. The debate on many legislative proposals from the "Fit for 55" climate and energy package took place in various European Council constellations. This is an extensive and highly complex dossier as each sector must make a contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The dossiers will be passed on to the following French and Czech Council presidencies, with a view to reaching final agreements.

... and a nearly little Christmas miracle

Shortly before the Christmas holidays, it looked like there would be an unexpected agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the revision of Regulation 883/2004 and Implementing Regulation 987/2009 on the coordination of social security. In the 17th trialogue on December 16, after more than five years, a compromise was found on difficult questions of coordination law, such as the posting of employees or the exportability of unemployment benefits. The joy did not last long. On December 22nd, the proposal failed in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I). The Christmas miracle turned into a bad Christmas surprise.

France took over the Council Presidency from Slovenia on 1 January. Further information on the French Council Presidency can be found here.