Fig. 18 Rembrandt van Rijn, Moneychanger, 1627, oil on panel, 32 x 42 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 828D (Bredius 420) (artwork in the public domain)

Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.

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The European Commission has launched an initiative on the evaluation and revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation with an overall aim to ensure a future-proof and crisis-resistant regulatory system. The revision is intended to ensure access to affordable medicines, to foster innovation, including in areas of unmet medical need, to improve security of supply and address shortages, to promote technological development and to reduce red tape.

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Today, the European Commission will publish its annual Rule of Law Report. The new report could now intensify the conflict between the EU and the two Central European member states. Given the continued undermining of democratic principles in Poland and Hungary, one would expect not only a retrospective analysis, but also concrete recommendations for action against violations of the rule of law. However, this does not seem to be the case.