In compliance with the European Union directive 2000/84/EC, the clock is turned back one hour at 3:00 AM on Sunday, 25 October 2020. This signals the end of the Daylight Saving Time which began last March. However, the life of the 20-year old directive may now be at an end as the Member States will be allowed to opt out or remain practicing DST starting 2021. There are no clear-cut pros and cons of either choice.
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European Commission President Charles Michel: “This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe. We negotiated about money. But, of course, it is about a lot more than money. It is about workers and families, their jobs, their health and their well-being. I believe this agreement will be seen as a pivotal moment in Europe’s journey, but it will also launch us into the future. That is the magic of the European project”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez: The Agreement in Brussels of the Coronavirus Recovery Plan marks “one of the most brilliant pages ever written in EU history.” It is “a historic agreement for the economic recovery of our country [i.e., Spain], not only in offering a response to the COVID-19 crisis, but also to the transformations needed.” The Agreement is 95% satisfactory for Spain and 100% for the whole of the EU.
The EU economy will experience a deep recession this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer 2020 Economic Forecast projects that the euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021. The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021. Early data for May and June suggest that the worst may have passed. The recovery is expected to gain traction in the second half of the year, albeit remaining incomplete and uneven across Member States.
Earlier this month France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands joined forces to form the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, in order to have a stronger negotiating position in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. All EU member states will have the opportunity to sign up to the deal, under the same conditions as the
alliance members. But something might go wrong at the last minute and production might just end up where all pipe dreams go — down the drain!
Too many were not there on time when Italy needed a helping hand. For that, it is right that Europe as a whole offers a heartfelt apology. But now the real Europe is standing up, the one that is there for each other when it is needed the most. Now Europe is where paramedics from Poland and doctors from Romania save lives in Italy. Where ventilators from Germany provide a lifeline in Spain. Where hospitals in Czechia treat the sick from France. And where patients from Bergamo are flown to clinics in Bonn. . .
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As the night draws in this evening, the sun will set on more than 45 years of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. For us, as Presidents of the three main EU institutions, today will inevitably be a day of reflection and mixed emotions – as it will for so many people. Our thoughts are with all of those who have helped to make the European Union what it is today. Those who are concerned about their future or disappointed to see the UK leave. We will think of the UK and its people, their creativity, ingenuity, culture, and traditions, that have been a vital part of our Union’s tapestry.