In a new Communication dated 11 June, the European Commission is “strongly encouraging” Member States to lift the travel restrictions imposed within the EU by 15 June, and proposes a gradual lifting of the external travel ban by 1 July. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said the Communication should encourage those Member States that have not made announcements on some of their intra-EU borders to do so as soon as possible (Source: Politico Pro).
The Commission has further strengthened efforts to tackle disinformation in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Expanding on the 2018 Code of Practice on Disinformation, online platforms should now release monthly reports with detailed data on their actions to limit coronavirus disinformation. Other relevant stakeholders are encouraged to become signatories of the Code.
The Commission has launched a consultation of Member States on the further extension of the Temporary Framework adopted in March to support companies affected by the coronavirus crisis. The new measure would allow governments to give further support to micro and small companies, including start-ups. The Commission further proposed to introduce conditions that provide incentives for private investors to participate alongside the State in recapitalisations . Under the existing rules, the Commission has again approved State aid schemes launched by Member States to support their economies:
- a €33 million Cypriot scheme deferring payment of VAT to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak;
- an Italian tax measures for maritime transport;
- a Polish recapitalisation scheme to enable up to €1,65 billion of capital support to SMEs and large enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak;
- a €3,7 billion Swedish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak.
Six EU Member States have published a joint letter questioning the EU’s pandemic preparedness. In the context of medical supply shortages and an initial lack of coordination, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Poland propose creating strategic stockpiles of medicines and PPE that could supply the entire EU for at least three months (Source: POLITICO Pro).