Timeline European Union: Common Market (B) 2021-Present
Return to home Go to EU (A) The EU was initially formed as an economic trading
block. It has continued to grow and develop as a broad-based social
entity with open internal borders. May 9 is Europe Day.
(Econ, 7/28/07, p.55) 2021 Jan
4, It was reported that some EU specialist online retailers have
said they will no longer deliver to the UK because of tax changes
which came into force on 1 January.
2021 Jan 5, The European Union
said it would redouble its efforts to save the Iran nuclear
agreement despite what it calls Tehran’s “important breach" of
commitments made in the 2015 deal by starting to enrich uranium to
2021 Jan 5, Portugal
started consultations with other European Union countries to find
common ground for a new policy on migration, which has caused
humanitarian crises and deep political divisions in the bloc over
how to respond.
2021 Jan 6, Thirteen of the
EU's foreign ministers said in a joint letter to the bloc's
executive saying the EU should send coronavirus vaccines to its
Balkan neighbors and do more to combat the virus in Ukraine.
2021 Jan 8, The European
Union's drug agency approved doctors drawing one more dose from each
vial of the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech, in a move
that — combined with the purchase of 300 million extra shots of the
serum — could speed up the pace of vaccinations in the 27-nation
2021 Jan 8, European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen said EU countries are not allowed to negotiate
separate vaccine deals with pharmaceutical companies in parallel to
the efforts of the European Union as a whole.
2021 Jan 8, Data published by
the EU climate monitoring service said 2020 was the warmest year in
Europe since records began.
2021 Jan 14, Europe’s top human
rights court (ECHR) agreed to look into Ukraine’s complaint against
alleged human rights violations in the Russia-annexed Crimean
2021 Jan 15, The European
Union's drug regulator said that COVID-19 vaccine documents stolen
from its servers in a cyberattack have been not only leaked to the
web, but “manipulated" by hackers.
2021 Jan 15, US pharmaceutical
company Pfizer confirmed it will temporarily reduce deliveries to
Europe of its COVID-19 vaccine while it upgrades production capacity
to 2 billion doses per year.
2021 Jan 19, The European
Union’s top migration official criticized Bosnian authorities for
failing to properly care for hundreds of migrants living in sub-zero
temperatures on its territory, warning the Balkans country of its
obligations if it hopes to join the EU.
2021 Jan 20, The EU's executive
Commission said it has issued fines to Valve Corp., owner of a US
video game platform and five game makers, after they blocked players
from buying cheaper copies of the games in other countries in the
2021 Jan 21, Europe's top human
rights court found Russia responsible for a swath of violations in
Georgia's breakaway regions after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.
Georgia hailed the verdict by the European Court of Human Rights as
a major victory.
2021 Jan 21, EU government
officials said Pfizer has slashed in half the volume of COVID-19
vaccines it will deliver to some EU countries this week, as
frustration over the US drugmaker's unexpected cut in supplies
2021 Jan 21, Europe's disease
surveillance agency said that the three mutant variants of the
coronavirus that emerged in Britain, South Africa and Brazil pose a
high risk in Europe as they have led to increased transmissibility.
2021 Jan 22, EU Council
President Charles Michel told Russian President Vladimir Putin by
telephone to release opposition politician Alexei Navalny and
insisted on an investigation into his August poisoning.
2021 Jan 25, The EU said it
will require pharmaceutical companies producing COVID-19 vaccines
inside the bloc to register in advance any exports of doses to third
2021 Jan 27, European Union
police and judicial agencies Europol and Eurojust said that
investigators took control of infrastructure behind a botnet called
EMOTET. A botnet is a network of hijacked computers used to carry
out cyberattacks. The malware was first discovered in 2014 and
“evolved into the go-to solution for cybercriminals over the years.
2021 Jan 28, Qualcomm lost its
fight against a data demand from EU antitrust regulators after
Europe's top court reaffirmed the regulators' right to see it, in a
case that has already landed the company a 242-million-euro ($292.60
2021 Jan 28, The European
Union's drugs regulator approved the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine after
the pharma giant published its contract with the EU, amid a row over
whether it broke its vaccine commitments.
(The Telegraph, 1/28/21)
2021 Jan 29, The European Union
introduced tighter rules on exports of COVID-19 vaccines that could
hit shipments to nations like the United Kingdom, deepening a
dispute with London over scarce supplies of potentially lifesaving
2021 Jan, Exports from Britain
to the European Union reportedly fell by 68% this month as trade was
disrupted after the end of a transition period following Britain's
departure from the EU.
2021 Feb 2, Politicians in
Britain, Northern Ireland and the European Union condemned threats
against border staff that prompted authorities to suspend checks at
ports and underscored the tremors Brexit has sent through Northern
Ireland's peace process.
2021 Feb 10, The EU police
agency Europol said police have arrested 10 people in the UK,
Belgium and Malta for allegedly hijacking mobile phones belonging to
US celebrities including internet influencers, sports stars and
musicians to steal personal information and millions in
2021 Feb 11, The EU and the
World Health Organization said they would spend 40 million euros
($48.48 million) over three years to ensure better access to
COVID-19 vaccines in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova
2021 Feb 17, Europe's top human
rights court ordered Russia to release jailed opposition leader
Alexei Navalny, a ruling that will be unlikely to soften the
Kremlin's determination to isolate its most prominent foe.
2021 Feb 18, The European Union
took an important step toward fining Hungary for refusing to lift
restrictions on the financing of non-governmental organizations from
2021 Feb 18, It was reported
that health authorities in some European countries are facing
resistance to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after side-effects led
hospital staff and other front-line workers to call in sick, putting
extra strain on already-stretched services.
2021 Feb 19, The European
Commission said Britain's data protection laws were in line with the
European Union's despite Brexit and it would start a process to
allow a continued flow of police and financial data from the EU to
Britain for the next 4 years.
2021 Feb 19, It was reported
that the European Union has agreed to pay about 870 million euros
($1.06 billion) for its supply of 300 million doses of AstraZeneca's
COVID-19 vaccine and to receive them by June. The contract was
signed on Aug. 27, 2020. AstraZeneca revised down the timetable last
month because of production issues, leading to a bitter fight with
the EU over delayed supplies.
2021 Feb 22, The EU imposed
sanctions on 19 more officials in Venezuela accused of undermining
democracy or rights abuses in the crisis-torn South American
country. A total of 55 Venezuelan officials are now subject to EU
2021 Feb 23, An EU official
said AstraZeneca expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19
vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the
2021 Feb 23, It was reported
that Israeli, Palestinian, Qatari and European interests have
converged in recent weeks with the aim of getting gas flowing to
Gaza in 2023.
2021 Feb 28, Iran rejected an
offer by the European Union to set up direct talks with the United
States on reviving a nuclear deal with Tehran.
2021 Mar 2, The EU imposed
sanctions on four senior Russian officials over the jailing of
opposition leader Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most
high-profile political foe.
2021 Mar 3, Hungary's PM Viktor
Orban pulled his party Fidesz out of the largest political group in
the European Parliament before they could be expelled over EU
concerns over Budapest’s respect for democracy and the rule of law.
The EPP’s 180 members voted by 148 to 28 in favor of the new rules,
with four abstentions
(The Telegraph, 3/3/21)
2021 Mar 4, The European Court
of Justice said the UK has "systematically and persistently" broken
air pollution laws in its first ruling against the UK since Brexit.
(The Telegraph, 3/4/21)
2021 Mar 4, It was reported
that a shipment of a quarter million AstraZeneca vaccines destined
for Australia has been blocked from leaving the EU in the first use
of an export control system instituted by the bloc to make sure big
pharma companies would respect their contracts.
2021 Mar 8, The European
Commission expressed its astonishment following a decision by
Belgian authorities to prolong a ban on all non-essential travel as
part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
2021 Mar 9, The EU Parliament
lifted the immunity of Carlos Puigdemont, the former president of
Spain's Catalonia region, and two of his associates.
(SFC, 3/10/21, p.A2)
2021 Mar 10, The European
Parliament overwhelming adopted a resolution declaring the entire
27-member European Union a “freedom zone" for LGBT people, an effort
to push back on rising homophobia in Poland and elsewhere.
2021 Mar 11, Europe approved
Johnson & Johnson's single dose COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way
for the first shots to be delivered in a month as the bloc seeks to
speed up a stuttering inoculation campaign and boost its supplies.
2021 Mar 15, The European Union
launched legal action against Britain for unilaterally changing
trading arrangements for Northern Ireland that Brussels says breach
the Brexit divorce deal agreed with London last year.
2021 Mar 17, The European Union
criticized Turkish authorities for stripping a prominent pro-Kurdish
legislator of his parliamentary seat and seeking to shut down his
political party, saying these moves add to concerns over the
“backsliding of rights" in Turkey.
2021 Mar 22, The European
Council confirmed that EU officials have approved sanctions against
four Chinese officials and one Chinese entity for the "large-scale
arbitrary detentions" of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
2021 Mar 22, The European Union
imposed sanctions on Eritrea over human rights violations and
blacklisted the country's National Security Office which is tasked
with intelligence gathering, arrests and interrogations.
2021 Mar 23, EU ministers
agreed to extend to the end of July temporary EU catch limits for
fish stocks shared with Britain, to ensure fishing can continue
uninterrupted while Brussels and London seek a full-year deal.
2021 Mar 23, European Union
lawmakers refused to sign off on the budget of the EU’s border and
coast guard agency over concerns about allegations of rights
violations, hiring failures and harassment by senior Frontex staff.
2021 Mar 23, The United
Nations, United States, Russia and the European Union met virtually
to discuss relaunching their long-stalled effort to get Israel and
the Palestinians to negotiate a two-state solution to their
2021 Mar 26, The European
Union’s medicines regulator said it has approved new manufacturing
sites for coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and
AstraZeneca, in a move that could significantly boost Europe’s
supply of the shots and speed vaccination efforts across the
2021 Mar 26, Europe's drug
regulator said regdanvimab, the South Korean drugmaker Celltrion's
COVID-19 treatment, can be considered for patients at high risk of
severe illness, but added that the monoclonal antibody's benefits
were not entirely clear so far.
2021 Mar 30, The EU and UN
hosted dozens of nations and international organizations in virtual
talks to help tackle the humanitarian crisis deepening in Syria and
neighboring countries as the civil war there entered its 11th year
without a political solution in sight.
2021 Mar 31, The European
Medicines Agency says there is “no evidence" that would support
restricting use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in any
population despite reports of rare blood clots associated with the
shot. The Europe's drug regulator said it is investigating 62 cases
worldwide of a rare blood clotting condition which has prompted some
countries to limit the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
(AP, 3/31/21)(Reuters, 3/31/21)
2021 Mar 31, Diplomates said
the EU will target eight Iranian militia and police commanders and
three state entities with sanctions next week over a deadly
crackdown in November 2019 by Iranian authorities.
2021 Apr 1, It was reported
that the European Union has asked India to allow it to buy 10
million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute
2021 Apr 4, The European Union
called for the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from
Libya, describing it as a “precondition" for a return to stability
in the war-torn country.
2021 Apr 6, The European
Union's top officials met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan in Ankara. The visit came after EU leaders agreed to offer
Turkey new incentives despite ongoing concerns about the country's
backslide on democratic and human rights, and its energy ambitions
in the Mediterranean Sea.
2021 Apr 7, European and
British medicine regulators said they had found possible links
between AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine and reports of very rare
cases of brain blood clots, in a setback for inoculation campaigns.
An official said that the European drug regulator has received
reports of 169 cases of a rare brain blood clot in people who
received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, as the agency continued to
stress that the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the risks.
2021 Apr 8, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) accepted the Czech Republic's position on
mandatory vaccinations for children rebuffing parents' complaints
that the government violated their rights.
2021 Apr 11, Bulgarian PM Boyko
Borissov said the EU was negotiating a new contract with
Pfizer-BioNTech at a price of 19.5 euros ($23.22) per dose. The new
contract would cover variants, meaning that the companies would
offer enhanced shots if mutations of the coronavirus became
2021 Apr 12, The European Union
said it has imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders
and police chiefs, including the head of the elite Revolutionary
Guards, over a deadly crackdown in November 2019.
2021 Apr 13, It was reported
that 20 EU states are refusing to guarantee that suspected criminals
who are citizens of their country can be extradited to the UK,
reflecting the fact that Brexit means the UK is no longer part of
the European Arrest Warrant.
2021 Apr 15, It was reported
that the European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on another 10
individuals linked to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar and to target two
businesses run by the armed forces for the first time in protest at
the military takeover.
2021 Apr 19, The European Union
estimated that 150,000 Russian troops have already amassed for the
biggest military buildup ever near Ukraine's borders and that it
will only take “a spark" to set off a confrontation.
2021 Apr 20, Plans for a
European soccer superleague collapsed spectacularly as the project’s
six Premier League clubs — half of the Super League’s founding
members — walked away from the plan only two days after it was
(NY Times, 4/21/21)
2021 Apr 21, The EU reached a
tentative climate deal that is intended to make the 27-nation bloc
climate-neutral by 2050, with member states and parliament agreeing
on new carbon emissions targets on the eve of a virtual summit
hosted by US President Joe Biden.
2021 Apr 23, The European
Medicines Agency said that people who have received a first dose of
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine should get the second one too,
despite the rare risk of blood clots that have been linked to the
2021 Apr 27, The European
Parliament ratified the Brexit trade deal by a large majority in
what Boris Johnson called the "final step" of years of negotiations
over the UK leaving the EU.
2021 Apr 28, Ioannis Lagos, a
Greek far-right member of the European Parliament, refused to be
extradited from Belgium to Greece to serve a 13-year prison sentence
for being a high-ranking member of a criminal organization. On May 7
the Brussels prosecutor’s office said Lagos may be extradited. Lagos
had until May 10 to appeal the decision.
(AP, 4/28/21)(AP, 5/7/21)
2021 May 7, EU leaders met in
Portugal fot wo days of in-person talks.
(SFC, 5/8/21, p.A7)
2021 May 12, Judges at the EU's
General Court annulled a ruling by the European Commission that a
tax deal between Amazon and Luxembourg's government amounted to
illegal state support.
2021 May 17, The European Union
and the United States decided to temporarily suspend measures at the
heart of a steel tariff dispute that is seen as one of the major
trade issues dividing the two sides.
2021 May 19, The EU took a step
toward relaxing travel rules for tourists from outside the 27-nation
bloc when EU ambassadors agreed on measures to allow in fully
2021 May 19, US broadcaster
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) filed a legal case at the
European Court of Human Rights to challenge the "foreign agent"
label imposed on it by Russian authorities.
2021 May 20, The European
Parliament voted overwhelmingly to freeze efforts to ratify a
landmark investment deal with China until Beijing lifts sanctions
imposed in retaliation for the EU's condemnation of China's human
2021 May 21, It was reported
that Brussels has persuaded Washington to ease restrictions on
exports of materials needed by German biotech firm CureVac to make
its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
2021 May 21, European Union’s
top court ordered Poland to immediately stop extracting brown coal
at the Turow mine, which is on the border with the Czech Republic
2021 May 21, Europe's medicines
regulator said the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by
AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford must not be given to anyone
who has had blood clots with low blood platelets after receiving the
2021 May 21, The European
Union's drug regulator said a COVID-19 antibody treatment developed
by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology can be used to treat
patients who are at risk of severe disease and do not need
2021 May 24, Western outrage
grew and the European Union threatened more sanctions over the
forced diversion of a plane to Belarus in order to arrest opposition
journalist Raman Pratasevich. The dramatic gambit apparently ordered
by the country’s authoritarian president to suppress dissent was
denounced as piracy, a hijacking and terrorism.
2021 May 24, Officials in
Poland defied an injunction by the top EU court that ordered the
immediate closure of a major brown coal mine, saying it would shake
the nation’s energy system and lead to the layoff of thousands of
2021 May 25, EU leaders agreed
to donate at least 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer
nations by the end of the year as supplies steadily rise across
2021 May 25, Europe's top human
rights court ruled that British mass surveillance and
intelligence-gathering practices breached human rights laws, in a
partial victory for civil rights groups that had challenged the
practices exposed by former National Security Agency contractor
2021 May 25, Belarus’ isolation
deepened as commercial planes avoided its airspace, the European
Union worked up new sanctions, and a senior UN official said he was
concerned for the welfare of Raman Pratasevich, the opposition
journalist arrested in Minsk after his plane was diverted there. The
UN human rights watchdog demanded that Belarus release Protasevich.
(AP, 5/25/21)(Reuters, 5/25/21)
2021 May 26, Switzerland said
"no deal" to Brussels’ freedom of movement demands and pulled out of
seven years of tortured trade negotiations with the European Union.
(The Telegraph, 5/27/21)
2021 May 27, The EU called on
Iran to review a case of Narges Mohammadi, a prominent female human
rights activist, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison and 80
lashes on charges of protesting against the killing of protesters
during the country's 2019 unrest.
2021 May 28, The European
Medicines Agency recommended that the use of the coronavirus vaccine
made by Pfizer and BioNTech be expanded to children ages 12 to 15, a
decision that offers younger and less at-risk populations across the
continent access to a COVID-19 shot for the first time.
2021 Jun 1, Representatives of
the EU's 27 nations and the European Parliament agreed to a deal
requiring large companies in the EU to reveal how much tax they paid
in which country.
2021 Jun 2, The European Union
unveiled plans to revamp Europe’s ID check-free travel area after
national coronavirus restrictions placed new strains on tourism,
travel and business throughout the bloc over the last year.
2021 Jun 2, Britain and the
European Union agreed the first ever annual deal on the management
of shared fish stocks after Brexit. It must still be approved by EU
(The Telegraph, 6/2/21)
2021 Jun 4, The European Union
submitted a plan to the World Trade Organization that it believes
will more effectively broaden supply of COVID-19 vaccines than the
intellectual property (IP) rights waiver backed by the United
2021 Jun 4, The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said it and the European Union have
concluded the world's first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement, to
allow their airlines to easier expand services to and within the
2021 Jun 8, It was reported
that Google has bowed to pressure from rivals and will let them
compete for free to be the default search engines on Android devices
in Europe, widening a pledge to EU antitrust regulators two years
2021 Jun 9, EU antitrust
regulators said the market dominance of Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri
and Alphabet's Google Assistant has triggered concerns of potential
2021 Jun 9, A top European
Union court annulled the EU's approval of 550 million euros ($670
million) in state aid for German airline Condor, backing a challenge
by budget carrier Ryanair but suspending the application of the
ruling because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 Jun 9, EU lawmakers
endorsed a new travel certificate that will allow people to move
between European countries without having to Quarantine or undergo
(SFC, 6/10/21, p.A5)
2021 Jun 11, The European
Medicines Agency (EMA) approved a new manufacturing site in France
for the production of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine.
2021 Jun 11, It was reported
that EU fishermen have been granted the right to "plunder" UK waters
of red mullet, scallops and lobster after Britain failed to set
limits on the amount that can be caught in a post-Brexit agreement.
(The Telegraph, 6/11/21)
2021 Jun 15, The US and the EU
reached a deal to end their long-running dispute over subsidies to
Boeing and Airbus. This will mean the phase-out of billions in
punitive tariffs and ease trans-Atlantic tensions.
(SFC, 6/16/21, p.B2)
2021 Jun 16, EU members agreed
to add the US to the list of countries for which they should
gradually remove restrictions on non-essential travel. The
recommendation is non-binding, and national governments have
authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set
other entry conditions.
2021 Jun 19, Dozens of human
rights advocates briefly blocked Croatia’s border with Bosnia to
protest the European Union’s migration policies.
2021 Jun 24, The European Union
slapped economic sanctions on Belarus in response to what the EU
called the “escalation of serious human rights violations" including
the detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich.
2021 Jun 24, British mobile
operator EE said it was bringing back mobile roaming charges in the
European Union for new and upgrading customers from next January,
wiping out a benefit that has saved tourists and business travelers
millions of pounds since the charges were abolished in 2017.
2021 Jun 24, Cyprus said it
wants the European Union’s border agency Frontex to step in and
prevent the flow of migrant arrivals from Turkey that authorities
say have stretched the eastern Mediterranean island nation’s asylum
system to its limits.
2021 Jun 24, France and
Germany’s call for European Union summit talks with Russian
President Vladimir Putin were blocked late today after fierce
opposition from Poland and the Baltic countries.
(The Telegraph, 6/24/21)
2021 Jun 25, European Union
leaders greenlighted plans to give Turkey another 3 billion euros
($3.6 billion) over the next few years to provide fresh assistance
to Syrian refugees on its territory and to help the country boost
2021 Jun 25, Europe's medicines
regulator said it had approved the production of Johnson &
Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine at an additional site in
Italy, as it looks to speed up the supply of the shot in the