POLITICO Brussels Playbook: Breaking up with Britain — Making up with China — Peak vaccine envy – POLITICO

FLYING TREATIES: There’s not going to be a joint signing ceremony of the post-Brexit treaties (three in whole — the primary commerce and cooperation settlement, one on data sharing, and one other on Euratom), not even through videoconference. According to EU officers within the know, as an alternative, there can be fairly the back-and-forth. Here’s how the day will pan out …

Safe travels: Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel will kick issues off by signing two copies of every treaty in Brussels this morning. The binders, which had been ready by the EU facet, will then be flown to London on a Royal Air Force aircraft, accompanied by British and EU officers.

All that’s certain in blue leather-based isn’t a British passport: U.Okay. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will put pen to paper in Downing Street within the afternoon, earlier than ensuring to ship the fitting signed copies again. Both variations are certain in blue leather-based — however as slightly reminder: According one EU official, solely those which are supposed to enter Brussels’ Council archives have blue stars on the quilt.

GOOD MORNING. The coronavirus pandemic has informalized and even made superfluous fairly just a few issues in only a few months’ time, from invisible-in-videocalls legware to well mannered handshakes and in-person conferences — and now, even essentially the most ceremonial events in worldwide diplomacy. Which appears to be completely fantastic, seen from Brussels, for a treaty that’s to be remembered as the primary divorce in EU historical past.

The UK can’t wait: British lawmakers are anticipated to rubber-stamp the laws enshrining the accord into legislation by the tip of right now — and with none main last-minute controversy, after Labour and Conservative hardline Brexiteers declared their help. Cristina Gallardo has the main points of how the day will play out in London.

LOOKING FOR NEW FRIENDS        

THE EU’S CHINA DAY: China has made an “important commitment,” in keeping with the European Commission, within the negotiations for a brand new Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, which is because of be politically concluded as early as right now: Beijing agreed to “make continued and sustained efforts” to ratify worldwide norms banning compelled labor, the Commission mentioned in an inside briefing on the deal on Tuesday.

Upwards, onwards: The technical-level negotiations have been concluded, in keeping with the Commission memo, seen by Playbook. Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis has signed off on it and pushed the file one flooring up. Over to the bosses: An EU official mentioned a name between the leaders of either side, tentatively pencilled in for right now, would certainly go forward. Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel can be on the European finish of the road.

The intention of the decision is “conclusion in principle,” in keeping with the Commission memo — which is one more show of the Berlaymont’s unmatched expertise in stretching out events to have a good time the vital steps of any new settlement. However, “in principle” implies that nothing can be signed or concluded right now. The name is moderately a “first step in the process towards adoption and ratification … leaving ample time for political deliberations and public debate.”

Leverage: That means ratification within the European Parliament, for instance, is perhaps delayed till China fulfills its commitments to 2 International Labor Organization norms particularly: the Forced Labor Convention (C029) and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (C105). Perhaps extra importantly, it additionally means there’s an opportunity for a visit to Beijing for Michel or von der Leyen, or each — and may they handle to coordinate, maybe even the 2 of them collectively — subsequent 12 months for a great previous signing ceremony.

The Commission’s delight: “The negotiated result is the most ambitious outcome that China has ever agreed with a third country,” the briefing mentioned, including that after lengthy talks and “concrete developments in the last weeks” it was doable to get “the required substantive commitments from China” on the three areas coated by the settlement: “market access, level playing field and sustainable development.”

Here’s the dividend: The negotiations, which started seven years in the past, come to an finish with an settlement that can “improve market access of European investors to the Chinese market of 1.4 billion people” — together with “in crucial sectors such as new energy vehicles, cloud services, financial services or health,” mentioned the Commission. The deal will even embrace guidelines towards compelled expertise switch, transparency for subsidies, and on limiting state-owned enterprises.

Further studying: Hans von der Burchard has the tick tock on how Angela Merkel received the deal throughout the road — offering the icing on the cake of Germany’s Council presidency.

CORONA UPDATE       

MORE IS COMING: To assist quell impatience in a number of international locations, the EU is shopping for a further 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, presently the one coronavirus shot authorized to be used within the bloc, von der Leyen introduced Tuesday. That’s an additional half of the variety of doses beforehand secured as a part of an advance buy settlement.

Valuable leftovers: The accomplished deal might translate into much more new doses, past that determine. Officially, every vial accommodates sufficient of the system for 5 doses; in actuality there’s sufficient for a sixth — and regulators, together with Italy’s, have began approving the usage of the leftovers. If proof reveals six doses can certainly be reliably extracted, the EU’s personal regulator, the European Medicines Authority (EMA), will advocate altering the phrases of its authorization too, Sarah Wheaton experiences.

Late to the get together: But the EMA is unlikely to have the ability to approve the coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford in January, the regulator’s Deputy Executive Director Noël Wathion instructed Het Nieuwsblad in an interview. “They haven’t even filed an software with us but,” Wathion mentioned. There’s not sufficient paperwork even “to warrant a conditional marketing license,” he added.

ALSO LATE TO THE PARTY: Travel between the U.Okay. and plenty of EU international locations has been disrupted for greater than per week now due to considerations a brand new variant of the coronavirus from the U.Okay. might unfold across the EU. Yes, it might certainly, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control concluded on Tuesday in a brand new danger evaluation. Sarah Wheaton has extra.

TECH POLICY BUCKET LIST: The corona disaster took misinformation to an entire new, deadly, stage. Online falsehoods “can have a life-or-death impact, particularly as countries start to roll out coronavirus vaccines,” Mark Scott writes in a plea to raised combat disinformation on-line — which might in all probability imply tighter regulation.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: France is planning to impose a 6 p.m. curfew in cities and areas the place coronavirus an infection charges are surging, in keeping with Health Minister Olivier Véran. More.

PEAK VACCINE ENVY: The Greek authorities’s vaccination plan states “priority staff critical for … government functions” could be included within the first group to get vaccinated, collectively with docs, nurses and people residing in nursing houses. But dozens of presidency officers have acquired their jabs earlier than most well being care staff. Alexis Tsipras, the leftist opposition chief, blasted the transfer in a Facebook submit. “Vaccination of the president of the Republic and political leaders was a symbolic move and a powerful message to the citizens,” he mentioned. But the “ministers and common secretaries” who “lined up for a selfie with the vaccine” were “not symbolic gestures but executive favors.” Nektaria Stamouli experiences from Athens.

THIS AGAIN: Anti-Semitic COVID conspiracy theories have topped a listing of 2020’s worst international anti-Semitism incidents, compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Jerusalem Post has a write-up.

COVID IN US: Republican Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow has died of COVID-19. POLITICO has the main points.

INTERESTING READS       

WHAT BRITS WILL BE TALKING ABOUT TODAY: TV impressionist Rory Bremner helped avert a Conservative Party revolt on Europe coverage after prank-calling a Euroskeptic MP and pretending to be Then-Prime Minister John Major, in keeping with information launched by the National Archives. Here’s a write-up.

DO SLOVAKS DREAM OF ELECTRIC CARS? “Slovakia made a winning bet on combustion-engine cars,” writes Joshua Posaner. “It’s the world’s largest carmaking country per capita … But electric vehicles are a completely new industry — and the worry in Slovakia is that there will be fewer factory jobs for making EVs than to assemble conventional cars, and those might not be located in Central Europe.”

QUIZ — WHAT THE GREEN DEAL MEANS FOR YOU.

OVER AND OUT       

NAVALNY UPDATE: Russian state investigators on Tuesday mentioned they’d opened a brand new prison case towards opposition chief Alexei Navalny. Reuters experiences the transfer is being seen as a sign to Navalny to not return to Russia from Germany, the place he’s recovering after what’s broadly thought-about to have been an tried assassination.

2020 — THE YEAR IN CARTOONS.

2020 — THE YEAR IN A POLL: Donald Trump is Americans’ most-admired man, in keeping with Gallup’s annual survey. He deposed former President Barack Obama, who’d had a 12-year run with the title. POLITICO has a write-up.

BIRTHDAYS: MEP Bartosz Arłukowicz; Former MEPs Jacqueline Foster and Alessandra Mussolini; ANSYS’ Annabelle Cheney; Kersti Kaljulaid, president of Estonia; U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

MANY THANKS: Hans von der Burchard and our producer Miriam Webber.

primarily based on web site supplies www.politico.eu

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