11 Jun 2021 09h30Online
The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, with the transition period ending on 31 December 2020. As the first Member State to ever have left the EU, the full extent of the impact of leaving is not yet fully known.
However, two key issues can be discussed already: prospects for devolution of powers in the UK and the EU post-Brexit, and vaccine rollout on both sides of the English Channel.
In the first panel, the issue of devolution of powers will be discussed – both from the EU and the UK perspectives.
From 1 January 2021, hundreds of powers previously exercised by the European Union flowed back to the UK Government. In its wake, Brexit has exposed the more fragile and underdeveloped aspects of devolution in the UK where relationships between London and local authorities are fraught. Westminster has been accused of "power grabbing" by the Scottish Government. The past months have been filled with many accusations that the devolution of powers has not gone as promised.
How many of the powers have been or will be devolved to UK local government? Is the UK intending to decentralise internally following the transfer of competences from Brussels or will the powers be kept by Westminster?
Another important question the speakers will try to answer is whether we can see any devolution of powers within the EU post-Brexit. Was the UK leaving the EU a wake-up call for the European Commission and the Brussels elites? Or maybe the opposite happened – the exit of the UK created more room for the EU to centralise the system?
In the second panel, speakers will assess the reasons behind the UK being able to vaccinate its citizens at a pace much faster than the EU.
The UK has been leading in the vaccine roll-out compared to the EU and in the absolute numbers of administered vaccines. The UK vaccinated over 25 million people by March 2021, whilst in the EU the highest number of vaccinations administered was by Germany at around 10 million.
Criticism over the vaccine roll-outs in the EU ranged from the badly drafted contracts with pharmaceutical companies to the varying strategies that have emerged, in particular, with some Member States banning the AstraZeneca vaccine while others continued to administer it. The EU's decision to prioritise solidarity and to export vaccines (including to the UK) has been criticised by some for holding back the coronavirus response. What mistakes have been made on the EU side and what lessons could the EU learn from the UK in this regard?
|11 June Conference:||Post-Brexit Europe – local government perspective|
|9.30 a.m. - 9.45 a.m.|
• Władysław Ortyl, ECR CoR President, Marshal of the Podkarpackie region
• Gordon Keymer, Former ECR CoR President and former Leader of Tandridge District Council
|9:45 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.|
Panel I – EU and UK post-Brexit: What has changed?
Moderator: Rob Jonkman, ECR CoR First Vice-President and Alderman in Opsterland
Exchange of views with:
• David Simmonds, Conservative Member of UK Parliament
• Oldřich Vlasák, ECR CoR Vice-President and Councillor in Hradec Kralove
• Cllr Judith Wallace, North Tyneside Council
|11.00 a.m. - 11.15 a.m.||Break|
|11.15 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.|
Panel II – Vaccine rollout: Why has the EU been lagging behind?
Moderator: Roberto Ciambetti, ECR Member and President of Veneto Regional Council
Exchange of views with:
• Maurice Golden, Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament
• Cezary Przybylski, ECR CoR Member and Marshal of the Lower Silesian Region
• Cllr Linda Robinson, Leader of Wychavon District Council
|12.30 p.m. - 12.45 p.m.|
Matteo Bianchi, Member of Parliament and Councillor in Morazzone, Italy