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On 1 July 2020, Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Expectations are high – after all, the “honest broker” Germany has to swiftly succeed in reaching an agreement on the recovery plan. The social security of Europeans is also to be improved.

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Whether Brussels, Paris, London or Vienna: Europe too has seen many protests against racism and police violence since the violent death caused by police officers of Afro-American George Floyd on 25 May 2020 in Minneapolis. In the plenary of the European Parliament, a debate was held on 17 June.

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In principle, the AK welcomes the project of a common European data strategy, but points out that numerous considerations regarding comprehensive data protection, balanced opportunities for consumers and data users as well as opportunities of fair competition for small companies and improved regulation of the large "data collectors" must still be incorporated into the strategy. As the representative of the interests of all employees in Austria, we also pay particular attention to the effects of collecting and processing data on employees.

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Daniela Zimmer

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Ulrike Ginner

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On 27 May 2020, it finally happened: The Commission presented its eagerly awaited recovery plan. 500 billion Euro shall put the European economy back on its feet and pave the way for forthcoming transformations; further 250 billion shall help individual Member States with favourable loans.

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Das aktuelle Factsheet der Reihe „EU & International auf einen Blick“ gibt eine Übersicht über die wichtigsten Maßnahmen, die die EU-Institutionen in Zusammenhang mit der Coronakrise bis Mai 2020 ergriffen haben. Darüber hinaus zeigt es die zentralen AK-Forderungen für einen ökologischen und sozial gerechten Wiederaufbau Europas auf.

 

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Peter Hilpold

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Alice Wagner

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The COVID-19 crisis once more shows the necessity and urgency of a Digital Services Act. The issue is now also dealt with by the European Parliament apart from being the reason for Commissioner for Digital, Margrethe Vestager, to be invited to an exchange of views.

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On 6 May, Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni presented the Spring 2020 Economic Forecast. The EU is faced with a recession of unprecedented scale. However, there are also grounds for hope.

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Nobody could know the extent of the Coronavirus crisis when the Commission published its Country Report for Austria on 26 February 2020. The right lessons must be learned before the European Semester takes the next steps.