Step 1: shops and outdoor seating at restaurants and cafés will partially reopen; evening curfew lifted

Source: Government of the Netherlands

More and more people are getting vaccinated. This means the number of people getting ill will start falling sharply. And the number of new hospital admissions is expected to decline. Reopening society step by step is not without risk. But the government also has to consider the interests of the economy and society at large. That’s why the government has decided to take the first, cautious step of the reopening plan on 28 April.

It’s still important that everyone keeps following the basic rules. This means washing your hands, keeping your distance, and staying home and getting tested if you have any symptoms. It’s also important to get vaccinated as soon as you are able to do so.

First step of the reopening plan: 28 April

The coronavirus measures below will be lifted or relaxed as of 28 April. All other measures will continue to apply.

  • Curfew lifted
    The evening curfew will be lifted at 4:30 on 28 April 2021.
     
  • Maximum of 2 visitors at home
    The advice for receiving visitors at home is changing. You are advised to receive no more than 2 visitors a day at home, and visit no more than 1 other household per day. You should still limit the number of different contacts you have with other people each week. Always wash your hands when you arrive and stay 1.5 metres apart at all times.
     
  • Outdoor seating areas at restaurants and cafés to partially reopen
    Outdoor seating areas at restaurants and cafés may be open from 12:00 to 18:00, under certain conditions. Each establishment may have a maximum of 50 guests. Each guest must be assigned a seat. Self-service is not allowed. No more than 2 people may be seated at a table, sitting 1.5 metres apart. However, this limit does not apply if everyone at the table is part of the same household or if the party includes children under 13. Visitors can go indoors only to pay, use the cloakroom or go to the toilet. Face masks must be worn indoors. 

    These conditions will be relaxed further in the next steps of the reopening plan.
     

  • Shops and markets to reopen
    All shops may admit customers without an appointment. Certain conditions still apply, such as a limit on the number of shoppers allowed inside at the same time. It’s still important to avoid busy places, so go to the shops at quiet times, such as early in the morning. And go alone if possible. Shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothes shops, can be open between 6:00 and 20:00. Supermarkets and other shops selling essential goods may operate in accordance with their usual opening hours. Wearing a face mask in shops is still compulsory.

    Non-food articles, like clothing and cosmetics, may again be sold at general markets.
     

  • In-person classes in higher education: 1 day a week
    As of Monday 26 April, students at universities and HBO institutions will again be able to attend classes at their educational institution. This will be limited to about 1 day a week and certain conditions will apply, such as staying 1.5 metres apart from others. Self-test kits will be available for students and staff as of May.
     
  • Sitting theory tests
    People can again sit theory tests for a driving licence, boat licence or pilot licence.
     
  • Funerals
    The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral will be increased to 100.

Next steps of the reopening plan

The second step of the reopening plan will not be taken until at least 11 May. This step will open up more opportunities for outdoor venues, such as zoos and amusement parks. Under certain conditions, it will be possible again to participate in indoor sports, and there will be more scope for outdoor sports.

On 3 May the government will decide whether the numbers allow us to take the second step. More information will also be announced at that time about the government’s travel advice. See the overview of the reopening plan and the measures to be relaxed at each step. 

073 / Cham: Cham: Kollision zwischen Auto und Lastwagen – Zeugenaufruf

Source: Swiss Canton Zug – news in German

Zug, 20. April 2021, 15:55 Uhr

073 / MEDIENMITTEILUNG

Cham: Kollision zwischen Auto und Lastwagen – Zeugenaufruf

Auf der Autobahn sind ein Auto und ein Lastwagen zusammengestossen. Verletzt wurde niemand. Die Polizei sucht Zeugen.

Der Unfall ereignete sich am Dienstagmittag (20. April 2021), kurz nach 12:00 Uhr, auf der Autobahn A4 bei der Ausfahrt Lindencham in Richtung Luzern. Ein 34-jähriger Lastwagen-Chauffeur ist von Zürich kommend in Richtung Luzern gefahren. Zur selben Zeit war ein Autolenker von Zug unterwegs in Richtung Luzern. Aus noch nicht bekannten Gründen ist es zu einer seitlichen Kollision zwischen den beiden Fahrzeugen gekommen. Das Auto des 69-jährigen Lenkers prallte anschliessend in die linke Leitplanke. Beide Lenker blieben bei dem Unfall unverletzt. Während der Unfallaufnahme und der Bergung der Fahrzeuge kam es zu Verkehrs-behinderungen. Der Sachschaden an den beiden Fahrzeugen beträgt mehrere Tausend Franken. 

Zeugenaufruf

Da der Unfallhergang unklar ist, sucht die Zuger Polizei Personen, die den Unfall beobachtet haben und weitere Angaben machen können. Diese Personen werden gebeten, sich bei der Einsatzleitzentrale der Zuger Polizei zu melden (T 041 728 41 41).

REPORT on a European Parliament recommendation to the Council, Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning EU-India relations – A9-0124/2021

Source: European Parliament

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOMMENDATION

to the Council, Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning EU-India relations

(2021/2023(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the upcoming EU-India Leaders’ Meeting announced for 8 May 2021 in Porto, Portugal,

 having regard to the EU-India Strategic Partnership established in 2004,

 having regard to the 1994 EU-India Cooperation Agreement,

 having regard to the joint statement and the EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025[1] adopted at the virtual EU-India summit on 15 July 2020, as well as to the other joint statements signed recently, including in the fields of counter-terrorism, climate and energy, urbanisation, migration and mobility and the water partnership,

 having regard to the Joint Communication of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Commission of 20 November 2018 entitled ‘Elements for an EU strategy on India’ (JOIN(2018)0028) and the related Council conclusions on the EU Strategy on India of 10 December 2018 (14634/18),

 having regard to the Joint Communication of the VP/HR and the Commission of 19 September 2018 entitled ‘Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy’ (JOIN(2018)0031) and the related Council conclusions of 15 October 2018 (13097/18),

 having regard to the Council conclusions on the Enhanced EU Security Cooperation in and with Asia of 28 May 2018 (9265/1/18 REV 1),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 4 September 2001 entitled ‘Europe and Asia: A Strategic Framework for Enhanced Partnerships’ (COM(2001)0469),

 having regard to the future Regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument 2021-2027 (2018/0243(COD)),

 having regard to its resolutions of 20 January 2021 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy – annual report 2020[2], of 21 January 2021 on connectivity and EU-Asia relations[3] and of 13 September 2017 on EU political relations with India[4], as well as to its other previous resolutions on India, including those on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, 

 having regard to its recommendation of 28 October 2004 to the Council on EU-India relations[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 29 September 2005 on EU-India relations: A Strategic Partnership[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2016 on the EU in a changing global environment – a more connected, contested and complex world[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 10 May 2012 on maritime piracy[8],

 having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2016 on nuclear security and non-proliferation[9],

 having regard to the 10th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP10) held in Brussels on 27-28 September 2018, and to the respective declaration adopted, and to the 11th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP11) held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 26-27 May 2021,

 having regard to the EU-India High-Level Dialogue on trade and investment, whose first meeting was held on 5 February 2021,

 having regard to the mission of its Committee on Foreign Affairs to India of 21-22 February 2017,

 having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 February 2021 on EU priorities in UN human rights fora in 2021,

 having regard to the EU thematic guidelines on human rights, including those on human rights defenders and on the protection and promotion of freedom of religion or belief,

 having regard to Rule 118 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the letter by the Committee on International Trade, and having regard to its competences pursuant to Annex VI of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0124/2021),

A. whereas the EU and India are to convene a leaders’ meeting on 8 May 2021 in Porto, Portugal, following their commitment to convene regularly at the highest level and to strengthen the strategic partnership established in 2004, with a view to enhancing economic and political cooperation;

B. whereas the EU-India strategic partnership has gained momentum in recent years, reflecting renewed political will to strengthen its strategic dimension and, having evolved from an economic partnership to a relationship expanding across a number of sectors, reflecting India’s rising geopolitical power and shared democratic values;

C. whereas the EU and India, as the world’s two largest democracies, share strong political, economic, social and cultural ties; whereas, however, bilateral relations have not yet reached their full potential and require increased political engagement; whereas EU and Indian leaders affirmed their determination to preserve and promote effective multilateralism and a rules-based multilateral order with the UN and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core;

D. whereas India’s regional and global importance is growing, and it has increasingly strengthened its position as a donor as well as an economic and military power; whereas India’s G20 Presidency in 2023 and its membership of the UN Security Council in 2021-2022 and of the UN Human Rights Council in 2019-2021 have reinvigorated the need to enhance coordination on global governance and further promote a shared vision of rules-based multilateralism;

E. whereas the EU’s strategic framework vested in its Global Strategy, its Strategy on India, its Strategy for EU-Asia Connectivity and the emerging Indo-Pacific Strategy have highlighted the vital importance of cooperating with India on the EU’s global agenda; whereas bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the current context of heightened global risks and increasing great power competition should encompass the reinforcement of international security, the strengthening of preparedness for and responses to global health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, the enhancement of global economic stability and inclusive growth, and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

F. whereas India enjoys a strong and growing economy; whereas the EU is India’s leading trading partner, while India is the EU’s 9th largest trading partner; whereas the Indian Ocean is an expanse of strategic importance for global trade and of vital economic and strategic interest for both the EU and India; whereas the EU and India have strong mutual interests in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on sustaining it as an area of fair competition, undisrupted sea lines of communication (SLOC), stability and security;

G. whereas connectivity should constitute an important element of a mutual EU-India strategic agenda in line with the EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy; whereas the latest summit between the EU and India agreed on principles of sustainable connectivity, and agreed to explore ways to improve connectivity between the EU and India and consequent connectivity with third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific region; whereas the comprehensiveness of connectivity is limited not only to physical infrastructure such as roads and railways, but also to maritime routes, digital infrastructure  and environmental aspects, with a particular emphasis on the EU Green Deal; whereas connectivity has a geopolitical and transformative role, as well as acting as a sustainable vehicle of growth and jobs;

H. whereas EU and Indian leadership is needed to promote effective climate diplomacy, a global commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and global protection of the climate and the environment;

I. whereas local and international human rights monitors report that human rights defenders and journalists in India lack a safe working environment; whereas, in October 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, appealed to the Government of India to safeguard the rights of human rights defenders and NGOs, raising concerns over shrinking space for civil society organisations, the detention of human rights defenders and charges brought against people for simply having exercised their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as over the use of laws to stifle dissent, such as the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act;

J. whereas Amnesty International was compelled to close its offices in India after its bank accounts were frozen over an alleged violation of the FCRA, and three UN special rapporteurs have called for the law to be amended in line with India’s rights obligations under international law;

K. whereas civil society groups report that women in India face a number of severe challenges and violations of their rights, including related to cultural, tribal and traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, and human trafficking; whereas women from religious minority backgrounds face a double vulnerability, which is further compounded in the case of lower-caste women;

L. whereas, despite being prohibited, caste-based discrimination remains a systemic problem in India, including in the criminal justice administration system, preventing Dalits from access to employment, education, healthcare and budgetary allocations for Dalit development;

M. whereas India is one of the countries hit hardest by the novel COVID-19 pandemic, with over 11 million confirmed cases and more than 150 000 deaths, and whereas the Indian Government has undertaken an initiative to donate millions of vaccines to countries in its immediate neighbourhood and key partner nations in the Indian Ocean;

1. Recommends that the Council, Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

General EU-India relations

a) continue the improvement and deepening of EU-India relations as strategic partners, and uphold the commitment to regular multi-level dialogues, including summits;

b) consolidate the progress in the Strategic Partnership achieved since last year’s summit and make tangible advances on priority issues, notably resilient global health, climate change and green growth, digitalisation and new technologies, connectivity, trade and investment, foreign, security and defence policy, and human rights;

c) remain committed to and implement fully the EU Strategy on India of 2018 and the EU-India Roadmap to 2025 in coordination with Member States’ own engagement with India; establish clear and public criteria for measuring progress on the roadmap; ensure parliamentary oversight of the EU’s India policy through regular exchanges with its Committee on Foreign Affairs;

d) unleash the full potential of the bilateral relationship between the world’s two biggest democracies; reiterate the need for a deeper partnership based on the shared values of freedom, democracy, pluralism, the rule of law, equality, respect for human rights, a commitment to promoting an inclusive, coherent and rules-based global order, effective multilateralism and sustainable development, fighting climate change, and promoting peace and stability in the world;

e) highlight the importance of India as a partner in the global fight against climate change and biodiversity degradation and in a green transition towards renewable energy and climate neutrality; consolidate shared plans for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and its nationally determined contributions, and for joint climate diplomacy;

f) revive the Council’s 2018 request to modernise the institutional architecture of the 1994 EU-India cooperation agreement in line with new common aspirations and global challenges; reinvigorate the idea of negotiating a Strategic Partnership Agreement with a strong parliamentary dimension that promotes contacts and cooperation at state level where appropriate;

g) promote a structured inter-parliamentary dialogue, including by encouraging the Indian side to establish a permanent counterpart in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Republic of India and by promoting committee-to-committee contacts;

h) ensure the active and regular consultation and involvement of EU and Indian civil society, including trade unions, faith-based organisations, feminist and LGBTQI organisations, environmentalist organisations, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in the development, implementation and monitoring of EU-India relations; seek the establishment of an EU-India Civil Society Platform for that purpose and of an EU-India Youth Summit as a side event at future EU-India summits, in order to strengthen relations between the younger generations;

i) consolidate the EU’s public diplomacy efforts to improve mutual understanding among the EU, its Member States and India and to help enhance knowledge on both sides, involving academia, think tanks and representatives from across the EU and India;

Foreign and security policy cooperation

j) promote greater synergy in foreign and security policy through the existing relevant dialogue mechanisms and within fora set up under the EU-India Roadmap to 2025, and in light of the EU’s recent strategic emphasis on enhanced security cooperation in and with Asia, where India is playing an increasingly important and strategic role;

k) emphasise that greater engagement between the EU and India in the security and defence field should not be perceived as contributing to polarisation in the Indo-Pacific area, but rather as promoting shared security, stability and peaceful development;

l) emphasise the need for closer thematic coordination of international security policies and for action in areas such as nuclear security and the non-proliferation and control of weapons of mass destruction, mitigation of chemical, biological and radiological weapons, the promotion of regional conflict prevention and peacebuilding, counter-piracy, maritime security, countering terrorism (including counter-radicalisation, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing), violent extremism, disinformation campaigns, as well as cybersecurity, hybrid threats and outer space; emphasise the importance of the EU-India Counter Terrorism Dialogue; strengthen military-to-military relations and exchanges in order to bolster the EU-India strategic partnership;

m) point out that the EU and India are two of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping and committed advocates for sustainable peace; encourage discussion and initiatives towards widening cooperation in peacekeeping;

n) take positive note of the six regular EU-India consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation that have taken place, and encourage India to strengthen regional cooperation and take concrete steps in this regard; acknowledge that India has joined three major proliferation-related multilateral export control regimes and encourage a closer EU-India partnership within these fora;

o) coordinate positions and initiatives in multilateral fora, notably the UN, WTO and G20, by pushing for joint objectives in line with shared international values and standards, increasing dialogue and effectively aligning positions in defence of multilateralism and a rules-based international order; engage in discussions on a reform of the UN Security Council and working methods and support India’s bid for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council;

p) promote conflict prevention and economic cooperation by supporting regional integration initiatives in South Asia, including within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC);

q) draw on India’s extensive regional experience and the EU Member States’ existing approaches for the Indo-Pacific region in order to develop a proactive, comprehensive and realistic European Indo-Pacific strategy based on shared principles, values and interests, including economic, and international law; seek the coordination, where appropriate, of EU and Indian policies on the Indo-Pacific region and extend cooperation to cover all areas of common interest; take due consideration of the sovereign policy choices of other countries in the region and the EU’s bilateral relations with them;

r) promote ambitious joint action, with specific measures, in coordinating development and humanitarian aid, including in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in strengthening democratic processes and countering authoritarian trends and all kinds of extremism, including nationalist and religious;

s) promote joint action in coordinating food security and disaster relief operations, in line with humanitarian principles as enshrined in international humanitarian law, including impartiality, neutrality and non-discrimination in aid delivery;

t) note that the EU is closely following the situation in Kashmir; reiterate its support for stability and de-escalation between India and Pakistan, both of which are nuclear weapon states, and remain committed to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; promote the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions and UNHCR reports on Kashmir; call on India and Pakistan to consider the enormous human, economic and political benefits of resolving this conflict;

u) renew EU efforts for rapprochement and restoration of good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan, on the basis of principles of international law, through a comprehensive dialogue and step-by-step approach, starting with confidence-building measures; welcome, in this light, the India-Pakistan Joint Statement on Ceasefire of 25 February 2021 as an important step in the establishment of regional peace and stability; underline the importance of the bilateral dimension in working towards the establishment of lasting peace and cooperation between India and Pakistan, which would positively contribute to the security and economic development of the region; underline the responsibility for building peace incumbent on both states as nuclear powers;

v) recognise India’s long-running support to Afghanistan and its commitment to people-centred and locally-led peacebuilding efforts; work together with India and other regional states to promote stabilisation, security, peaceful conflict resolution and democratic values, including women’s rights, in the country; reiterate that a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan would benefit the wider region;

w) underline that preserving peace, stability and the freedom of navigation in the Asia-Pacific region remains of critical importance to the interests of the EU and its Member States; increase mutual engagement to ensure that trade in the Indo-Pacific region will not be hampered; encourage further common reading of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, including with regard to the freedom of navigation, and intensify cooperation in maritime security and joint training missions in the Indo-Pacific region, in order to preserve the security and freedom of navigation along the sea lines of communication (SLOC); recall that, in particular in a context of growing regional power rivalry, cooperation with countries of the Indo-Pacific region should follow principles of openness, prosperity, inclusiveness, sustainability, transparency, reciprocity and viability; launch an EU-India high-level dialogue on maritime cooperation aimed at broadening the scope of the current consultations on anti-piracy and increasing interoperability and coordination between EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta, India’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) and the Indian navy in the field of maritime surveillance, disaster relief and joint training and exercises;

x) jointly encourage further dialogue with a view to the early conclusion of a code of conduct in the South China Sea that would not prejudice the legitimate rights of any nation in accordance with international law;

y) take note with concern of the deterioration of relations between India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including due to the PRC’s expansive policy and substantial military build-up; support a peaceful resolution of disputes, a constructive and comprehensive dialogue and the upholding of international law on the India-PRC border;

z) recognise India’s commitment to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda through its contribution to peacekeeping missions; strengthen their mutual commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, including the development of National Action Plans with appropriate budgetary allocations for effective implementation;

aa) encourage a shared commitment to implementing UN Security Council Resolutions 2250, 2419 and 2535 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), including through the development of national YPS strategies and action plans with appropriate budgetary allocations and an emphasis on conflict prevention; encourage India, together with EU Member States, to invest in young peoples’ capacities and to partner with youth organisations in promoting dialogue and accountability; explore new ways to include young people in building positive peace and security;

Promotion of the rule of law, human rights and good governance

ab) place human rights and democratic values at the heart of the EU’s engagement with India, thereby enabling a results-oriented and constructive dialogue and deeper mutual understanding; develop, in collaboration with India, a strategy to address human rights issues, particularly those concerning women, children, ethnic and religious minorities and freedom of religion and belief, and to address rule of law issues such as the fight against corruption, as well as a free and safe environment for independent journalists and civil society, including human rights defenders, and to integrate human rights considerations across the wider EU-India partnership;

ac) express deep concern regarding India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is fundamentally discriminatory in nature against Muslims and dangerously divisive; encourage India to guarantee the right to freely practice and propagate the religion of one’s choice, as enshrined in Article 25 of its Constitution; work to eliminate and deter hate speech that incites discrimination or violence, which leads to a toxic environment where intolerance and violence against religious minorities can occur with impunity; share best practices on training police forces in tolerance and international human rights standards; recognise the link between anti-conversion laws and violence against religious minorities, particularly the Christian and Muslim communities;

ad) encourage India, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to act upon all recommendations of its Universal Periodic Review process, to accept and facilitate the visits of and cooperate closely with UN special rapporteurs, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in monitoring developments in civic space and fundamental rights and freedoms, as part of its pledge to foster the genuine participation and effective involvement of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights;

ae) address the human rights situation and challenges faced by civil society, in particular concerns raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN special rapporteurs, in its dialogue with the Indian authorities, including at summit level; encourage India, as the world’s largest democracy, to demonstrate its commitment to respect, protect and fully enforce the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression for all, including online, the right to peaceful assembly and association, including in relation to the latest large-scale farmers’ protests, and freedom of religion and belief; call on India to secure a safe environment for the work of and protect and guarantee the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders, environmentalists, journalists and other civil society actors, free from political or economic pressure, and to cease invoking laws against sedition and terrorism as a means to restrict their legitimate activities, including in Jammu and Kashmir, stop blanket restrictions of internet access, review laws in order to avoid their possible misuse to silence dissent and amend laws that foster discrimination, and facilitate access to justice and ensure accountability for human rights violations; address the harmful effects of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on civil society organisations;

af) encourage India to take further steps to investigate and prevent gender-based violence and discrimination, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment; address the issue of increasing violence against women and girls in India by encouraging thorough investigations of violent crimes against women and girls, as well as training officers in trauma-informed policing and investigation, enforcing an effective monitoring mechanism to oversee the implementation of laws dealing with sexual violence against women and girls, and speeding up legal processing and improving protection for victims;

ag) address the issue of prevailing caste-based discrimination and the important issue of granting rights under the Forest Rights Act to Adivasi communities;

ah) recall the EU’s principled and long-standing rejection of the death penalty and reiterate its plea to India for a death penalty moratorium with a view to the permanent abolition of capital punishment;

ai) recognise the process in India of developing a national action plan on business and human rights in order to fully implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, recalling the responsibilities of all companies to respect human rights in their value chains, and encourage both the EU and India to participate actively in the ongoing negotiations on a UN binding treaty for corporate responsibility on human rights;

aj) urge India to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol thereto, and the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;

ak) encourage India to further support international justice efforts by signing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC);

al) encourage India to continue its tradition of granting protection to persons fleeing violence and persecution until conditions for safe, dignified and voluntary return are possible, and to take all measures needed to eliminate risks of statelessness for communities in India;

am) restate the importance of engaging as soon as possible in a regular EU-India Human Rights Dialogue, in line with the commitment under the EU-India Roadmap, and in line with the shared intention to resume meetings after eight years without such meetings having taken place, as an important opportunity for both parties to discuss and resolve remaining human rights issues; upgrade the dialogue to a headquarters level dialogue and strive to make it meaningful through high-level participation, setting concrete commitments, criteria and benchmarks for progress, addressing individual cases and facilitating an EU-India civil society dialogue ahead of the intergovernmental dialogue; request that the EEAS regularly report to Parliament on results achieved;

Trade for sustainability and prosperity

an) recall that EU-India trade increased by more than 70 % between 2009 and 2019 and that it is in the common interest to foster closer economic ties; recognise that India is a solid alternative for an EU that wants to diversify its supply chains, and that the EU is India’s largest trading partner in the agri-food sector;

ao) seize the opportunity offered by the EU-India Leaders’ Meeting to openly address value-based cooperation at the highest level in matters of trade and investment; reiterate the EU’s readiness to consider launching negotiations on a stand-alone investment protection agreement, which would increase legal certainty for investors on both sides and further strengthen bilateral trade relations; work towards the achievement of common and mutually beneficial objectives in these areas that could contribute to economic growth and innovation and that comply with and contribute to respect for universal human rights, including labour rights, to promote the fight against climate change, and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030;

ap) make best use of India’s commitment to multilateralism and an international rules-based trading order; promote India’s decisive role in the ongoing efforts to reform the World Trade Organization;

aq) evaluate to what extent the Commission’s negotiating mandate needs to be updated if the aim is to conclude a trade and cooperation agreement that would include ambitious provisions on an enforceable Trade and Sustainable Development chapter aligned with the Paris Agreement, as well as appropriate provisions regarding investors’ rights and duties and human rights; ensure constructive negotiations while remaining mindful of the different levels of ambition between the two sides; draw in this regard on the encouraging evolution of the Indian authorities’ stance regarding their readiness to include provisions on trade and sustainable development in a future agreement;

Resilience through sectoral partnerships

ar) finalise negotiations on a connectivity partnership with India; support this partnership notably through the provision of loans and guarantees for sustainable investment in bi- and multilateral digital and green infrastructure projects in India, by the EU’s public and private entities such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the new external financing instrument, in line with the potential outlined in the EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy; explore synergies between EU-India cooperation and that with countries of South Asia and the coordination of various connectivity strategies;

as) ensure that connectivity initiatives are based on social, environmental and fiscal standards and the values of sustainability, transparency, inclusiveness, the rule of law, respect for human rights and reciprocity, and are fully consistent with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its legal instruments including the Paris Agreement;

at) acknowledge India’s expertise in natural disaster management; intensify cooperation with India in enhancing the region’s preparedness for natural disasters, including through the partnership in the framework of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, a multilateral effort to expand research and knowledge sharing in the field of infrastructure risk management;

au) enhance cooperation on sustainable mobility through concrete measures such as the further development of electric transport infrastructures and investment in railway projects; highlight the vital importance of railways for relieving congestion and pollution in large urban areas, reaching climate objectives and ensuring the resilience of vital supply chains including during crises;

av) support further cooperation on challenges posed by rapid urbanisation including via exchange of knowledge and best practices through shared platforms and city-to-city cooperation, cooperation on smart city technology, and continued financial support to projects in urban transport in India via the EIB;

aw) recall India’s role as a major manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, generic drugs and vaccines, particularly in the context of the ongoing global health crisis; encourage joint undertakings to ensure universal access to COVID-19 vaccines; seek EU-India leadership in promoting health as a global public good, notably through supporting multilateral initiatives, including COVAX, and help to secure universal access to vaccines, notably among lower-income countries, in particular by working together in the relevant international forums;

ax) raise the level of ambition of EU-India bilateral and multilateral cooperation on climate change, notably by accelerating green growth and a just and safe clean energy transition, reaching climate neutrality, and enhancing the ambition of nationally determined contributions; continue common global leadership in support of the Paris Agreement and focus on implementing the clean and renewable energy and circular economy agendas;

ay) reaffirm a joint commitment, as two major global greenhouse gas emitters, to more coordinated efforts towards mitigating the effects of climate change; note India’s leadership in renewable energy and the progress made through the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership; encourage investment in and cooperation to further advance electric mobility, sustainable cooling, next generation battery technology, distributed generation of electricity, and just transition in India; initiate a discussion on and evaluate strategic cooperation in the field of rare earths; intensify the implementation of the sustainable water management partnership;

az) promote an ambitious common agenda and global action on biodiversity, including in the run-up to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) in May 2021;

ba) strive for co-leadership in setting and advancing international standards in the digital economy grounded in sustainable and responsible digitalisation and a rule of law and human rights-based ICT environment, while addressing cybersecurity threats and protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, including the protection of personal data;

bb) step up the EU’s ambitions for digital connectivity with India in the context of the EU’s digital transformation strategy; work together with India in the development and use of critical technologies, keeping in mind the great strategic and security implications that such new technologies carry; invest in a partnership in digital services and the development of responsible and human rights-based artificial intelligence; welcome India’s efforts towards a GDPR-like high level of personal data protection and continue to support data protection reform in India; highlight the mutual benefits of intensified cooperation in this area; encourage further convergence between regulatory frameworks to ensure a high level of protection of personal data and privacy, including through possible data adequacy decisions, with a view to facilitating safe and secure cross-border data flows, enabling closer cooperation, especially in the ICT and digital services sector; note that the alignment of Indian and European data regulation would significantly facilitate mutual cooperation, trade and the safe transmission of information and expertise; work towards replicating the EU’s international mobile roaming agreements with India;

bc) recall that the development of the digital sector is paramount to security and must include diversification of the supply chain of equipment manufacturers, through the promotion of open and interoperable network architectures and digitalisation partnerships, with partners who share the EU’s values and utilise technology in compliance with fundamental rights;

bd) take effective steps to facilitate EU-India mobility, including for migrants, students, high-skilled workers and artists, considering the availability of skills and labour market needs in the EU and India; recognise the considerable talent pool in the fields of digitalisation and artificial intelligence in both India and the EU and the shared interest in developing high-level expertise and cooperation in this field;

be) consider people-to-people exchanges as one of the main dimensions of the strategic partnership; call for a deeper partnership in public education, research and innovation, and cultural exchange; call on the EU Member States and India to invest especially in young people’s capacities and leadership and to ensure their meaningful inclusion in political and economic life; promote Indian participation, notably that of Indian students and young practitioners, in EU programmes such as Horizon Europe, the European Research Council, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship and people-to-people exchanges in education and culture; promote, in this regard, the Erasmus+ programme and ensure equal inclusion of female students, scientists, researchers and professionals in these programmes; continue close cooperation in research and innovation, including human-centric and ethics-based digital technologies, while encouraging the strengthening of digital literacy and skills;

bf) further explore possibilities for comprehensive collaboration under the G20 framework on employment and social policies, such as social protection, minimum wage, female labour market participation, decent job creation, occupational safety and health; cooperate on the eradication of child labour by supporting the application and monitoring the respect of ILO Conventions 138 (Minimum Age Convention) and 182 (Worst Form of Child Labour Convention), ratified by India in June 2017;

2. Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

LETTER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

 

David McALLISTER

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Chair

 

Subject: INTA input to AFET recommendation under Rule 118 on the forthcoming EU-India Summit

 

 

Dear M. McAllister,

The AFET Committee will draft a recommendation under Rule 118 on the forthcoming EU-India Summit, scheduled on 8 May. As we all know, this Summit represents an important stepping stone in our relations with this country, as a follow-up to the July 2020 Summit when the Roadmap 2025 was adopted.

Trade matters represent an important part of this strategic relationship, and the history of trade relations between the EU and India is made of successes and disappointments. This upcoming Summit therefore offers a real opportunity to relaunch, even at a modest scale, our cooperation on multilateral trading order and bilateral trade relations.

For this reason, the coordinators of the Committee on International Trade concurred on the importance of ensuring that the trade dimension is present in the recommendation to be adopted during the part plenary session in April. Given the time constraint and the provisions of the Rule 118, the Coordinators agreed on an ad hoc procedure to provide a limited input from INTA to the draft recommendation. You will find annexed a proposal for concrete wording, adopted unanimously by Coordinators and that could be included by the AFET rapporteur, Mrs Alviina Alametsä, in her draft recommendation.

In these exceptional circumstances and given the importance of trade matters in the EU overall relations with this strategic partner, I hope this input can be duly considered, in line with the excellent working relations and reciprocal trust between our committees.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Bernd LANGE

 

Cc:  Alviina ALAMETSÄ, AFET Rapporteur

Annex:   INTA’s input in the form of a letter

 

 

INTA’s proposal for an input on trade matters to AFET recommendation under Rule 118 in the run-up to the May 2021 EU-India Summit

 

1. Seize the momentum that the EU-India Summit represents, as a clear opportunity to openly address values based cooperation at the highest level including matters of trade, investment and sustainable development, and work towards the achievement of common objectives underpinned by the respect for universal human rights and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals;

 

2. Take into consideration the overall geopolitical context of EU-India relations, and notably its trade dimension; make the best use of India’s commitment to multilateralism and for an internationally agreed rules-based trading order, and promote India’s decisive role in the ongoing efforts to reform the World Trade Organisation; ensure to cooperate with India as a crucial partner in this regard;

 

3. Take into consideration previous Indian concerns regarding EU investment protection arrangements and therefore consider improvements made under the EU Investment Court System in recent years as a stepping stone to a Multilateral Investment Court; reaffirm that an investment protection agreement could be an adequate stepping stone for further strengthening of bilateral trade relations, and invite the Commission to evaluate to what extent its negotiating mandate and sustainable impact assessment need to be updated accordingly; ensure that any agreement would contain the inclusion of an enforceable Trade and Sustainable Development chapter; build on the first meeting of the EU-India High Level Dialogue on Trade Investment on 5 February 2021; keep as one of the objective of the EU the updating of the mandate for constructive negotiations on the conclusion Trade and Cooperation Agreement with India, while remaining cautious of the different levels of ambitions between the two sides; make therefore the best use of the constructive dialogue on the conclusion of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement as an ultimate goal, and encourage in this regard the change of the Indian authorities’ stance on initiatives that would improve the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate and their readiness to include provisions on trade and sustainable development in a future agreement;

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

13.4.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

61

6

4

Members present for the final vote

Alviina Alametsä, Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, Maria Arena, Petras Auštrevičius, Traian Băsescu, Lars Patrick Berg, Anna Bonfrisco, Reinhard Bütikofer, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Susanna Ceccardi, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Katalin Cseh, Tanja Fajon, Anna Fotyga, Michael Gahler, Giorgos Georgiou, Sunčana Glavak, Raphaël Glucksmann, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Márton Gyöngyösi, Andrzej Halicki, Sandra Kalniete, Karol Karski, Dietmar Köster, Stelios Kouloglou, Andrius Kubilius, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Nathalie Loiseau, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Jaak Madison, Claudiu Manda, Thierry Mariani, David McAllister, Vangelis Meimarakis, Sven Mikser, Francisco José Millán Mon, Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor, Urmas Paet, Demetris Papadakis, Kostas Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Manu Pineda, Giuliano Pisapia, Jérôme Rivière, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Andreas Schieder, Radosław Sikorski, Jordi Solé, Sergei Stanishev, Tineke Strik, Hermann Tertsch, Hilde Vautmans, Harald Vilimsky, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Thomas Waitz, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Salima Yenbou

Substitutes present for the final vote

Malik Azmani, Katarina Barley, Vladimír Bilčík, Andrey Kovatchev, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Christian Sagartz, Mick Wallace

 

Travel restrictions will change from 21 April 2021

Source: Government of Denmark

The gradual reopening of travel activities into and out of Denmark will commence on 21 April 2021. Most of the world will thus turn orange.

On 13 April 2021, a broad political majority entered into an agreement on how the gradual reopening of travelling into and out of Denmark will proceed. A regional model of travel restrictions is reintroduced, with automatic adjustments based on a number of factors, including notification rates, which means changes for both the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice, the entry restrictions and the requirements for testing and isolation after entry into Denmark. You can read the agreement on a gradual reopening of travel activities here (Danish).

In phase 1 of the reopening agreement from 21 April, the Danish model for travel restrictions for EU and Schengen countries will thus again be based on notification rates. If there are extensive entry restrictions for travellers from Denmark, this will affect the colours of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice.

A new red risk assessment will be introduced to handle the occurrence of coronavirus variants of concern. You can get a comprehensive overview of the Danish regional model for travel restrictions for EU and Schengen countries as well as third countries in the fact sheet  .

The colours in the model for the EU and Schengen countries are updated weekly on the basis of data on the latest notification rates from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Statens Serum Institut. Each country’s entry restrictions for Danish travellers are also included in the assessment of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice. Regional breakdowns are only done in the countries that report regional data to the ECDC.

Which countries and regions will become yellow and which red?
From 21 April, entry from the following countries/regions of the EU and Schengen countries will be opened: Iceland (the whole country), Norwegian regions: Nordland, Trøndelag, Troms and Finnmark.

It will be possible to enter into Denmark from these countries/regions from 21 April without any requirement for worthy purposes, just as travellers from these countries/regions will be exempted from the isolation requirement after entry.

However, as far as departure from Denmark is concerned, the above countries/regions will continue to be orange (all unnecessary travel is advised against) in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice. This is due to significant entry restrictions in the above countries/regions for travellers from Denmark.

For countries outside the EU/Schengen, the travel restrictions are updated on the basis of the EU’s list of third countries for which reopening of travel activities may be considered because they meet established COVID-19 criteria for entry into the EU.

As a result of national reviews of the EU country list, travellers from the following third countries may enter into Denmark from 21 April: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

However, all the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice on departures to these countries remain orange (all unnecessary travel is advised against), as the countries in question have imposed significant entry restrictions on Danish travellers. The travel advice will be adjusted in line with these countries easing their entry restrictions.   

As something new, a red risk assessment has been incorporated in the model for countries with a particularly worrying infection development, including the development of COVID-19 variants of concern. The decision to categorise a country as red is made by an inter-ministerial task force based on a public health assessment from Statens Serum Institut. As a general rule, the red risk assessment is performed at national level. However, this may be deviated from in exceptional cases. From 21 April, the following countries will be red:

Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as the region of La Réunion, which is an overseas French territory off Southeast Africa.

All travel to red countries are advised against to limit the risk of bringing new coronavirus variants of concern into Denmark. The entry restrictions for the countries in question will follow the same approach that currently applies to South Africa, with a stricter list of worthy purposes for entry into Denmark.

All other countries will be orange.

Reopening phase 1
Phase 1 for the reopening of travelling will enter into force on 21 April (the night between Tuesday and Wednesday). For technical reasons, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice and web pages will be updated during Wednesday 21 April.

Travel restrictions for EU and Schengen countries will be updated weekly in future.
 
Rules on entry into Denmark
There will still be requirements for testing and isolation after entry into Denmark. However, a number of different exemptions apply to the requirements, including special rules for the border regions, transport of goods, seafarers, transport staff, transit to Bornholm, travellers visiting their own remote holiday home in the Nordic region and business travellers. You can read more about the rules here.

From 21 April 2021, you will also be exempt from the requirement for isolation after entry into Denmark if you enter into Denmark from a yellow country/region. Details of the exemptions are found on www.coronasmitte.dk. 

The list of worthy purposes for entry from orange countries/regions is extended.

If a country or region changes from yellow to orange while you are away, no isolation requirement will apply on your return unless you stay in the country for more than 15 days.

For press enquiries about travel advice, please contact the Press Office of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: pressevagten@um.dk

For press enquiries about entry, please contact the Danish Ministry of Justice’s Press Office: jac@jm.dk.

Do you have any further questions?

Bucharest-based Cybersecurity Competence Centre gets green light from Council

Source: Council of the European Union 2

The EU is set to boost the security of the internet and other critical network and information systems by establishing a Cybersecurity Competence Centre to pool investment in cybersecurity research, technology and industrial development. The new body, to be based in Bucharest, Romania, will in particular channel cybersecurity-related funding from Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme.

This ‘European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre’ will work together with a network of national coordination centres designated by member states.

The Centre will also bring together the main European stakeholders, including industry, academic and research organisations and other relevant civil society associations, to form a cybersecurity competence community, in order to enhance and spread cybersecurity expertise across the EU.

The Council adopted the regulation establishing the Centre and the network today. This will be followed by a final adoption by the European Parliament.

The new Cybersecurity Competence Centre and network will play a key role in helping secure the digital infrastructure so many of us use every day for work and leisure, as well as information systems and networks in vital areas such as health, transport, energy, financial markets and banking systems. It will also bolster the global competitiveness of the EU’s cybersecurity industry, SMEs in particular, and strengthen our leadership and strategic autonomy in the cybersecurity domain.

Mariana Vieira da Silva, Portuguese Minister of State for the Presidency, Presidency of the Council

The Competence Centre will closely cooperate with the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

Next steps

Today’s vote, taken by written procedure, means that the Council has adopted its position at first reading. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the EU Official Journal. The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication.

Media advisory – Press briefing ahead of the informal video conference of agriculture ministers of 26 April 2021

Source: Council of the European Union 2

The press briefing ahead of the informal video conference of agriculture ministers will take place on Thursday, 22 April 2021 at 10:00. This briefing will be “off the record”.

Please note that the press briefing will take place remotely.

In order to participate and ask questions, EU accredited journalists should register using this link.

Those who already registered for previous press briefings or press conferences of informal videoconferences of agriculture ministers do not need to do it again.

Deadline for registration: 22 April at 9:00

Further instructions will be sent to all registered participants shortly after the deadline.

Remarks by President Charles Michel after his meeting with President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili in Tbilisi

Source: Council of the European Union 2

Madame President, thank you for your warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be in Tbilisi again. And I am particularly pleased to visit today: the day after political leaders signed their Agreement on the way forward of the stalemate of the past months.

The political crisis is over. The constructive political engagement needs to be sustained. Today marks a new beginning and the start of hard work that will take Georgia forward along its Euro-Atlantic path.

Let me congratulate Georgian leaders for reaching this Agreement. This achievement is yours. I know how much commitment, work and vision this has required. And I know this was not easy. Now the challenge is yours as well to make this work. The people expect you to deliver.

I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his leadership. I would like to thank the opposition party leaders and members of the parliament for their courage to look for compromise. I hope others will join.

And I would also like to thank you, Madam President, for your statesmanship, for your wisdom and for being such an outstanding envoy for Georgia in Europe and globally.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Georgia’s independence. The Agreement was reached in a truly European spirit and takes you towards your Euro-Atlantic future.

More hard work starts today. The Agreement presents a robust foundation for reforms. Election reform, justice reform and consolidating the rule of law remain key priorities in EU-Georgia relations.

The Agreement is not a finish line. It is a starting point for your work towards consolidating Georgia’s democracy and implementing reforms. This Agreement will ensure that electoral and judicial processes follow the highest standards.

I am also pleased there is a strong focus on ensuring power-sharing in the Parliament. This is the basis for ensuring vibrant and meaningful functioning of the Parliament. It is also the only way to make reforms inclusive and viable.

The EU will continue to stand by you – with our full support and with all our friendship. Our support is there when it is needed, it is reliable, respectful of your interests – and very practical.

The EU is Georgia’s largest donor with over 200 concrete ongoing projects with a total budget of over 500 million EUR. These focus on economic development, agriculture, education and infrastructure, to name just a few areas.

The European Investment Bank has also invested some 1,85 billion EUR to the local economy in infrastructure, private sector development and green energy. This strong assistance will continue. Our support will be there as you work on deepening the reforms.

Your achievement yesterday is all the more important given the difficult regional situation. The EU is deeply concerned about Russia’s growing military build-up on Ukraine’s borders and in the illegally-annexed Crimea. The risk of a further escalation is evident. The EU has called on Russia to defuse tensions.

I am here today to leave no doubt: the EU’s commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is as strong as ever. EU has reconfirmed our five principles for engagement with Russia; and support to the Eastern Partners is a key pillar.

In parallel to that, I also discussed today with President Zourabichvili the intention to deepen cooperation with the EU’s Associated Partners – Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

I welcome the idea to convene a meeting with the leaders of  Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to reconfirm our special commitment to the Associated Partners.

For Georgia, as for any democracy, full respect for its democratic values and effective functioning of institutions are a must. And it is trust and confidence that enhance legitimacy. This trust and confidence is what you now need to strengthen. Sakartvelos gaumarjos! Thank you.

Remarks by President Charles Michel after his meeting with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili in Tbilisi

Source: Council of the European Union 2

A warm thanks to Prime Minister Garibashvili for his welcome. It is a pleasure to be in Tbilisi again six weeks after my first visit to Georgia. It is a pleasure to meet with political leaders who will from now on work together in a inclusive Parliament.

Thank you Prime Minister for all the close contacts over the past weeks and for your courageous political choices but also for your vision for the future of this country. I will be relaying my appreciation also to the opposition for their commitment to putting polarisation aside.

Compromise is a European strength. It is not a weakness. It allows a plurality of voices and collective intelligence to emerge. It is not time for anyone to sleep on laurel leaves. This is the moment to take up the challenging reforms in the Parliament and to work towards them.

These reforms are what Georgia needs. They will ensure your citizens’ demands are better met, and what will also open up the path to deeper cooperation between Georgia and the EU. The EU is Georgia’s strongest partner. We share common values and we support your reforms to consolidate democracy and the rule of law.

We also stand by you in fighting the current pandemic and its socio-economic fall out. The EU and Team Europe have contributed with 400 million euro to this goal.

And the EU is with Georgia in our strong support to your sovereignty and territorial integrity within the agreed international borders.

Today I am here to stress again the importance of our bilateral relationship as well as cooperation in the Eastern Partnership region. And I wish you dear Prime Minister, and all the political leaders all success along the path you have committed to. I trust it will advance your country’s democracy, stability and prosperity, in closest cooperation with your European friends. Trust and confidence are key more than ever. I count on you and you can count on us. Thank you

Publication of the CPVO centralised Register of Data Protection Records

Source: European Union

As from 15 April 2021, the CPVO counts on a publicly accessible centralised Register of Records of processing activities being carried out within the remit of the Office where personal data are processed. Making available the centralised Register of Records to the public at large is a legal obligation for European Union Institutions, Bodies, and agencies, based on Article 31(5) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 (“EUDPR”).

The Register of Records can be found in the Data Protection section of the CPVO website and is available for download below. The Register has been conceived as a user-friendly living document, where the information therein provided is accurate and up-to-date. Accordingly, all records are first internally validated by the respective competent CPVO Data Controllers, and the content of the Register will be regularly reviewed.

The Register contains an Index including hyperlinks which, upon a single click, can take the user directly to the desired record. Any data subject interested in learning how his/her data are being treated, can then easily find the information sought. More precisely, the information reflected in the records is that listed in Article 31(1) of the EUDPR, for instance: description of the processing operation in question, name and contact details of the Controller of the data and of the Data Protection Officer, name of the processors (and sub-processors, if any) of the data, and period of retention of the data, amongst other. 

Data Protection Register of Records