The COVID-19 crisis has put the EU under strain. National and EU authorities had to cooperate to contain the spreading of a deadly virus. Yet, most of the EU adopted measures have been the result of complex political compromises among the heads of the EU states, in the absence of common rules on these matters. The lack of provisions on the management of emergencies in the EU is controversial. First, a pan-European approach to tackle crises is necessary in light of the interconnectivity of national markets. Second, the EU has experienced several emergencies. For instance, some ten years ago, the EU institutions were confronted with a global financial crisis and adopted measures to salvage national economies. The questions thus arise as to whether the EU institutions should have ‘general emergency’ powers, and how to best ensure effective cooperation between the EU and national authorities in the tackling of crises.
Intergovernmentalism has been the common denominator of the crisis that the EU has faced in the last decade. It is inherent in Brexit, it is in the EU economic governance, in the management of migration as well as in the post-pandemic crisis reaction.
The set of measure to fight the pandemic presented by the European Commission in the summer of 2020 and finally agreed by the Council and the Parliament towards the end of 2020 is usually known with the name of ‘Recovery and Resilience Facility’. The core of this reform is represented by the Recovery Fund that, to be operationalised, needs the ratification of the Own-Resources decision approved by the Council.
Aim of this paper is to point at the Council Own-Resources decision and the need for its approval as part of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to know if it is revealing of a structural lack of powers at EU level, or of the inability of the EU institutions to provide workable solutions to the needs of the EU Member States.
The contribution aims to analyze the protection of personal data in light of the Covid-19 emergency. Italy, during this emergency, tried to find suitable means to protect the right to the protection of personal data. At EU level, the “digital green certificate” proposed by the European Commission was cautiously welcomed by the EU data protection regulators with a joint statement released 6 April 2021. The digital green certificate is designed to facilitate free movement within the EU during the pandemic. France became the first EU country to trial an app-based travel pass that stores negative COVID-19 test results and will soon allow vaccination certificates.
The decree that was recently adopted by the Italian government introducing the so-called ‘green pass’, or vaccination pass, is fraught with major criticalities such as to undermine the basic rights to free movent of people. Urgent measures are accordingly required to protect rights and freedoms of natural persons.
Member States are increasingly vulnerable to transboundary crises because of their growing interdependence. When a crisis occurs, the assessment of a common response and the adoption of measures in favour of the affected Member State(s) is often a matter of preservation of the EU integration process.
Several provisions within the TEU and TFEU allow both the EU and its Member States to react quickly to exceptional and urgent situations on ad hoc basis. This is the case of article 47(2) TUE as well as of articles 78(3), 122 (1) and (2), 143 and 222 TFEU. At first sight, these provisions appear highly heterogenous. Upon closer examination, every provision seems designed to prevent or address a ‘crisis scenario’ through the adoption of mutual assistance actions. Overall, the paper highlights the role and the contribution of the principle of interstate solidarity for the management of ‘crisis scenario’ within the EU.