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European Union: Member States Adopt Technical Specifications to Ensure Interoperability of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

(June 19, 2020) On June 16, 2020, the European Union (EU) member states agreed on a set of detailed technical specifications to ensure the interoperability of national COVID-19 contact tracing apps that use a decentralized approach. Each member state must designate a technical lead who will have operational responsibility for ensuring interoperability. In addition, guidelines […]

European Union: Council Adopts Temporary European Instrument “SURE” to Help Protect Jobs amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(June 16, 2020) On May 19, 2020, the Council of the European Union (Council) adopted “SURE,” a regulation establishing a European instrument to provide temporary financial support to mitigate unemployment risks caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under SURE, the European Union (EU) will temporarily provide loans not exceeding 100 billion euros (€) (about US$113.5 billion) […]

European Union: Court of Justice Rules against Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary for Noncompliance with Migrant Relocation Obligations

(June 5, 2020) On April 2, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) in Luxembourg issued a judgment in Joined Cases C-715/17, C-718/17 and C-719/17, European Commission v. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, finding these three countries in noncompliance with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection […]

European Union: Commission Adopts Second Amendment to Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support Member States’ Economies during COVID-19 Outbreak

(June 3, 2020) On May 8, 2020, the European Commission adopted a second amendment to extend the scope of the Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to include recapitalization measures and subordinated debt. The Temporary Framework was first adopted on March 19, 2020, allowing a variety of state aid measures otherwise incompatible with European Union […]

European Union: Commission Proposes Temporary European Instrument (SURE) to Help Protect Jobs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 2, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published a proposal for a regulation on the establishment of a temporary instrument for “support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency” (SURE) following the COVID-19 outbreak. The proposal, which has its legal basis in article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of […]

European Union: Parliament Temporarily Allows Remote Participation to Avoid Spreading COVID-19

(Apr. 21, 2020) The Bureau of the European Parliament (Bureau) has agreed to temporary changes to the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament that allow for remote participation and electronic voting by members of parliament (MPs) and committee members. The changes are meant to allow members to “fulfil their democratic rights and legislative duties” […]

European Union: Commission Adopts Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support Member States’ Economies During COVID-19 Outbreak

(Apr. 10, 2020) On March 19, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a Temporary Framework for state aid measures (Temporary Framework) to support the European Union economy during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Under the Temporary Framework, member states can temporarily grant state aid in a variety of forms that would otherwise be incompatible with the […]

European Union: Commission Proposes European Climate Law to Achieve Climate Neutrality by 2050

(Apr. 7, 2020) On March 4, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published a proposal for a regulation (European Climate Law). The proposal would codify the European Union’s (EU’s) goal to become climate neutral by 2050 in accordance with the European Green Deal of December 2019. An EU regulation has general application. It is binding in […]

European Union: Court of Justice Clarifies Test for Morality as Ground for Rejecting EU Trade Mark

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 27, 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that “no concrete evidence has been put forward” that the registration of the word sign “Fack Ju Göhte” as an EU trade mark would be “against the fundamental moral values and standards of society.” (Case C‑240/18 P, para. 69.) The ECJ held […]

European Union: New Regulation Amends EU Visa Policy

(Mar. 17, 2020) On February 2, 2020, Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 (Regulation), which establishes new rules for short-term visas, entered into force. The Regulation amends Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 (European Union (EU) Visa Code) and updates the common visa policy to better balance economic growth considerations (tourism and mobility) with concerns for security and migration. (Regulation […]