Antibiotics expected to return to EU capitals in a month

Antibiotics expected to return to EU capitals in a month

The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

The shortage of antibiotics and other drugs has caused governments across the European Union severe headaches as citizens grow increasingly angry as they deal with the consequences of not being able to access essential medications.

Painkillers and drugs against fever (anything containing Paracetamol or Ibuprofen), as well as antibiotics, are in short supply in pharmacies, and children’s medicines are particularly scarce.

According to the EU generics boss Adrian van den Hoven, the antibiotics market is expected to stabilise in about a month as long as the rate of infections declines.

However, the continent is currently plagued by a combination of influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus, leading to a surge in hospitalisations and the demand for medicines. With some three months of winter and flu season left, there are concerns that supply chains may be stretched to breaking point.

EURACTIV’s network looked at the current situation in EU capitals as well as examined the reasons why the EU market reached such a deadlock. Read more.


ECB will continue hiking rates, Croatias central bank governor says. The European Central Bank (ECB) will continue raising its interest rate this year, depending on inflationary pressures and the effect of previous rate hikes, the central bank governor of the newest eurozone member, Croatia, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview. Read more.



Belgian nuclear reactors extended for another 10 years. The government and French company Engie agreed to extend the lives of nuclear reactors Doel 4 and Tihange 3 to help mitigate the ongoing energy crisis. Read more.



German minister wants to ban semi-automatic guns after new year riots. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has called for tighter gun control following new years’ riots and a far-right coup that have recently shaken Germany, though her very own coalition partners may well thwart such plans. Read more.



French government wants to maintain hunting on weekends. Hunting will continue to be allowed on weekends in France, according to a government plan presented on Monday that has left environmentalists disappointed but still needs parliament approval. Read more.



Beleaguered Austrian government heads into multi-day retreat. Faced with an energy crisis, a war on Europe’s doorstep, low polling figures, and still reeling from the wake of COVID-19, the Austrian government hopes to regain its bearings by going on retreat to the picturesque town of Mauerbach. Read more.



Britain’s groundbreaking satellite launch ends in failure. Britain’s attempt to become the first European nation to launch satellites into space ended in bitter disappointment early on Tuesday when Virgin Orbit said its rocket had suffered an anomaly that prevented it from reaching orbit. Read more.

UK, EU agree ‘way forward’ on data sharing in step to ending N.Ireland trade row. Britain and the European Union agreed a way forward on data-sharing on Monday, in a step towards resolving issues stemming from post-Brexit rules governing trade with Northern Ireland, the two sides said in a joint statement. Read more.



Finns divided over NATO permanent bases. Finns are divided over permanent NATO bases and their country’s role in the alliance, but an overwhelming majority favour future membership, a survey published by MTV3 on Monday has found. Read more.



Sweden, US discuss military cooperation amid continued NATO freeze. Sweden and the US held discussions on increasing military cooperation as Turkey and Hungary continue to block NATO membership for the country, Defence Minister Pål Jonson announced Monday. Read more. 



Spanish centre-right will try to avoid governing with ‘difficult’ far-right. Centre-right party Partido Popular (PP) will try to avoid forming a coalition with the far-right party VOX as it would be very difficult to govern alongside them, PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo said ahead of the general election set to be held at the end of the year. Read more.



Meloni, von der Leyen take stock of Europe’s burning issues. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met at government headquarters in Rome to discuss the burning topics of migration, the war in Ukraine and the national recovery plan. Read more.



Portuguese flag carrier to face week-long cabin crew union strike. The National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel will go ahead with plans to give notice of the seven-day strike to be staged at the end of January by cabin crew working for the national flag carrier TAP, the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC) said in a note sent to members. Read more.



Slovak experts predict more stable gas prices for 2023. Europe will survive this winter if countries continue to reduce energy consumption, with Slovak households rather than companies benefitting the most from government intervention, energy experts said in a survey conducted by Denník N. Read more.



Polish MEP slams recovery bill based on deal with Commission, cites Timmermans. The European Commission cannot dictate laws to member states nor agree on bills with governments before they are adopted by national parliaments, social democrat MEP Robert Biedroń (S&D), quoting Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, while referring to the new Supreme Court bill. Read more.



Czech court acquits Babis in EU subsidy fraud case. The Prague Court acquitted former prime minister and presidential candidate Andrej Babiš for alleged fraud in the so-called Stork Nest case involving the alleged illegal tapping of €2 million in EU subsidies to build a congress centre. Read more.



Croatian PM asks retailers to cut euro-inflated prices by Friday. Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said his government had “an arsenal of tools” to punish those who raised prices after the country adopted the euro last week and said “they have time until Friday” to return prices to previous levels. Read more.



Bulgarian Constitutional Court opens case on military aid to Ukraine. Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court will examine a request to assess the decision to provide military support to Ukraine, filed by pro-Russian populist party Vazrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov on behalf of his party. Read more.



Swedish presidency gets to work on Kosovo EU membership application. Sweden, which holds the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Council, has started consultations regarding Kosovo’s membership application which was filed in December. Read more.



Albanian capital third most expensive in the region. Tirana, the capital of Albania, is the third most expensive place to live in the Western Balkans, after Budva and Belgrade, the Numbeo 2023 Cost of Living report has found. Read more.


  • EU: President of the European Council Charles Michel, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg sign the third Joint Declaration on NATO-EU Cooperation;
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds meetings with chairs of European Parliament’s Groups: European People’s Party, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Greens/EFA, Renew Europe, The Left;
  • Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis holds videoconference with Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe;
  • Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel participates in the EPP Presidency Coordination Meeting;
  • Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union Commissioner Mairead McGuinness holds meeting with Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Verena Ross;
  • Commissioners Ylva Johansson and Nicolas Schmit give opening address at the Launch of Labour Migration Platform;
  • France: Press conference for publication of Copernicus Climate Change Service 2022 annual report;
  • Denmark: WHO Europe digital briefing on Covid-19;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

Written by Kristel Haire