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18 May 2020
EU: Commission registers citizens’ initiative calling for universal basic income
The European Commission registered the initiative on Friday 15 May, marking the first step for the petitioners. Their task now is to gather one million signatures, after which the Commission will have to look into the matter, which in this case is a proposal to introduce unconditional basic incomes throughout the EU. The mechanism consists of paying a monthly sum to every citizen, regardless of their job situation and financial resources.
14 May 2020
EU: SARS-CoV-2 considered as a biological agent at risk for workers
The EU is about to amend its rules on the protection of workers for the virus causing Covid-19 in the Annexes to Directive 2000/54/EC on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work. But despite the demands of the European trade unions, SARS-CoV-2 is not expected to be classified as one of the agents most at risk. The employers’ body, BusinessEurope, on the other hand, is fully in line with this decision.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
13 May 2020
EU: EU Commission proposes a set of guidelines to support a gradual and coordinated lifting of travel restrictions between EU Member States
On 13 May the European Commission presented ‘a package of guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions.’ After the disparate method for closing borders that prevailed at the beginning of the pandemic, the EU Commission proposes...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
24 April 2020
EU: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work publishes guidelines for returns to work
Several European governments are currently planning a gradual lifting of the lockdown measures that were put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In its roadmap towards lifting the containment measures, published halfway through this month, the European Commission suggested that member states do so in a gradual and “coordinated” fashion, provided the health situation allows it. As such the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) published, on Friday 24 April, guidance to protect...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
10 April 2020
EU: finance ministers give green light to financial support instrument for short-time work measures in member states
It is “in the spirit of solidarity and in light of the exceptional nature of the Covid-19 crisis” that the finance ministers of the European Union agreed, yesterday on 9 April, on the “need to establish, for the duration of the emergency, a temporary loan-based instrument for financial assistance” in order to protect jobs. As part of the agreement on an economic response to the coronavirus crisis, they are demanding that the initiative presented by the European Commission on 2 April (see article n°11800),...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
2 April 2020
EU: EU Commission seeks to mobilise €100 billion to support short-time working measures
After having adapted its budget and state aid rules, the European Commission is now proposing a ‘second wave’ of measures aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Presented on 02 April, this second wave includes the establishment of a European support system for short-time working schemes, of up to €100 billion in total, called SURE (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency).
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
1 April 2020
EU: European Commission puts unemployment reinsurance scheme on the table in a bid to support national partial-unemployment working schemes
Criticised for being slow to respond to the Coronavirus crisis, the European Commission has decided shift up gears. While the project has been under discussion for many years and was due to be the subject of a proposal at the end of 2020, the President of the European Commission announced on 1 April that the creation of a European unemployment reinsurance mechanism, called SURE was now...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
30 March 2020
EU: European Trade Union Confederation calls for efforts to protect jobs amid coronavirus pandemic
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected over half a million people and led to around 30,000 deaths across the globe, 18 European Union countries as well as Norway and the UK have taken some measures to protect the jobs and wages of workers who have been temporarily laid off or had their hours reduced.  The findings come from a study conducted by the European Trade Union Institute for Research and published on 27 March by the European Trade Union Confederation.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
18 March 2020
EU: supporting Member States as they combat the coronavirus
The EU wasted no time in unfolding its arsenal of budget measures to help support its Member States face the coronavirus crisis. On 13 March an EU Commission proposal mobilised funds for a crisis budget that the Government representatives adopted on 18 March, without amendment, in order to enable its rapid adoption. €37 billion from the cohesion programme will be redirected to provide financial support for the crisis. The EU Parliament is also expected to act rapidly and in addition, Member States will benefit...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
11 March 2020
EU: the European Commission presents its new Industrial Strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe
On 10 March the European Commission presented its new strategy to support Europe’s industry face the twin challenges of climate neutrality and the digital transition. In its press statement, the EU Commission highlighted that the package of initiatives ‘outlines a new approach to European industrial policy that is firmly rooted in European values and social market traditions.’