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Daily News – 26.02.2019

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 26 / 02 / 2019

Brussels, 26 February 2019

Vers une Europe neutre pour le climat: l'UE investit plus de 10 milliards d'euros dans les technologies innovatrices et propres

La Commission européenne annonce aujourd'hui un programme d'investissement de plus de 10 milliards d'euros pour les technologies à faibles émissions de carbone et ce dans plusieurs secteurs, afin de renforcer leur compétitivité mondiale. Une action climatique innovante présente de nombreux avantages pour la santé et la prospérité des Européens, avec un impact immédiat et tangible sur la vie des citoyens - de la création d'emplois verts et implantés localement à la croissance, en passant par des maisons économes en énergie et avec une facture énergétique réduite, un air pur, des systèmes de transports publics efficaces dans les villes et des approvisionnements sécurisés en énergie et autres ressources. Le commissaire chargé de l'action pour le climat et de l'énergie, Miguel Arias Cañete, a déclaré: « Moins de trois mois après l'adoption de notre vision stratégique pour une Europe neutre pour le climat à l'horizon 2050, nous mettons l'argent à disposition. Notre objectif est de continuer à construire une économie qui réponde aux objectives de l'accord de Paris, à la fois moderne, compétitive et socialement équitable pour tous les Européens. Pour ce faire, nous aurons besoin de déployer des technologies innovatrices et propres à l'échelle industrielle. C'est pourquoi nous investissons dans la mise sur le marché de technologies hautement innovantes dans les industries à forte intensité énergétique, dans le captage, le stockage et l'utilisation du carbone, dans le secteur des énergies renouvelables et dans le stockage de l'énergie. Nous apportons aujourd'hui notre soutien au déploiement rapide des solutions technologiques dans tous les États membres et nous accélérons notre transition vers une société moderne et neutre pour le climat en Europe. » Un communiqué de presse et un MEMO sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

 

Humanitarian aid: EU announces over €161.5 million for Yemen crisis

As millions of people continue to suffer in Yemen, the European Commission has announced its intention to provide €161.5 million in humanitarian aid for 2019. This brings total Commission support for Yemen since the beginning of the crisis in 2015 to €710 million. Announcing the EU's contribution today in Geneva, at the International Conference on the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said: "Yemen is facing the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Four in five people are in need of assistance. With millions now threatened by famine, all must be done to deliver emergency support on the ground. […] Our new funding will allow partners to provide more food, nutrition, health services, shelter, sanitation, as well as education and protection programmes. Yet a political solution remains the only way forward." The EU has played a leading international role in mobilising support for the Yemen crisis. In 2018, EU humanitarian support reached over 14 million people in Yemen, helping the most vulnerable like women and children caught up in the conflict. The EU has repeatedly urged all parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and prioritise the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Read the full press release here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

The Juncker Plan supports pharmaceutical innovation in Austria and a technology transfer fund in Germany

The Investment Plan for Europe – the "Juncker Plan" – is backing two agreements today. In Austria, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), at the heart of the Juncker Plan, is supporting a €15 million European Investment Bank (EIB) loan to pharmaceutical company Marinomed Biotech. The financing will help Marinomed develop new therapies against allergies and respiratory and eye diseases. In Germany, the EIB group launched a €60 million Technology Transfer Fund with German research organisation Fraunhofer, with the support of the Juncker Plan. This Technology Transfer Fund aims to commercialise the research produced in Fraunhofer's 72 institutes across Germany, helping researchers bring the product of their work to the market, building stronger links between German research and industry and helping high-tech start-ups grow. Press releases are available here. As of February 2019, the Juncker Plan mobilised €380 billion of additional investments, including €4.4 billion in Austria and €35.2 billion in Germany. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Sustainable finance: Commission welcomes agreement on a new generation of low-carbon benchmarks

The Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and Member States on a new generation of low-carbon benchmarks needed to help boost investment in sustainable projects and assets. The European Parliament and Council still have to formally approve the rules. This agreement creates two new categories of low-carbon benchmarks: a climate-transition benchmark and a specialised benchmark which brings investment portfolios in line with the Paris Agreement goal to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5˚above pre-industrial levels. First proposed by the Commission in May 2018, the rules agreed today support the goals of the Capital Market Union (CMU) to connect finance with needs of the economy and the EU's agenda for sustainable development. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "With this agreement, investors will benefit from two reliable benchmarks to pursue their ambitious climate strategies. This is a milestone of the Commission action plan on financing sustainable growth, participating in reorienting capital flows towards sustainable investment". Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "I welcome the agreement which demonstrates that our Sustainable Finance agenda and goals to build a stronger Capital Market Union can work hand in hand. The EU is sticking to its ambitions to make Europe a more attractive place for investors by setting high disclosure standards and paving the way for long-term sustainable investment policies." Benchmarks have an important impact on investment flows. Many investors rely on them for the creation of investment products, for the measurement of performance of investment products and for asset allocation strategies. A press release is online. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)

 

African Swine Fever: eradication in Czechia confirmed

Less than two years after it has been hit by African swine fever (ASF), and following massive efforts to eradicate the disease, Czechia received today the support of the Member States to lift all the restrictions in the country. Following the discovery of the disease in a wild board in June 2017, in the district of Zlín, the Commission had deployed its EU Veterinary Emergency team of experts and started working very closely with the national and regional authorities to adopt veterinary measures to control the disease. This type of targeted measures has also been implemented in recent months in Belgium, the latest Member State concerned by the disease. Since no more cases of African swine fever had been identified in Czechia as of April 2018, the Commission proposed today to the Member States to lift all the restrictions. This proposal has been endorsed by a vote in a Standing Committee. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, welcomed this vote, stressing that "the example of Czechia demonstrates that, when the tools and strategies developed in the EU are properly applied, the disease can be controlled and even eradicated. It shows that our policies are effective and there is no place for unjustified trade restrictions. This is a small reward, yet we cannot afford to relax our efforts since the fight against African swine fever is still ongoing". The Commission will formally adopt the Decision in the coming weeks. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

 

New ACP-EU Partnership: EU and Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Leaders intensify the regional talks in Samoa

In the context of the ongoing negotiations to modernise relations between the EU and 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), chief negotiators met with Pacific leaders today. The talks' aim was to lay the ground for the creation of a EU-Pacific pillar, within the future agreement. The negotiators focused on the specific needs and priorities to address together in the decades to come. In Apia, Samoa, the EU's Chief Negotiator, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "Today's exchanges are a concrete example of how our future bilateral relations EU–Pacific, EU-Africa, EU-Caribbean, will grow deeper and stronger under the next ACP-EU agreement. We need to find new ways to fight climate change, and to protect our people and our planet. We also aim to foster blue growth in a sustainable way, and address cross border challenges together, such as human development and security issues." The full press release and a MEMO are available online. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Spotlight Initiative: EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

The European Union and the United Nations are announcing today a €50 million investment to tackle domestic violence in the Pacific region, as part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative. The €50 million contribution will fund new programmes to support concrete measures to end domestic and gender-based violence. It will do so by supporting preventive measures, and by providing protection and quality services to victims. Such measures will be accompanied by broader efforts to ensure women's economic empowerment and their participation in all aspects of society. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica stressed: "Two out of three women in the Pacific region suffer from domestic and gender-based violence. But it is not an exclusively “Pacific” problem - it is a global problem. We must all join forces with partner governments and civil society. With an additional €50 million investment we are building on and expanding existing efforts to help end violence against women and girls in the region.” Today's Spotlight Initiative high-level event for the Pacific marks the beginning of a consultative process between governments, regional bodies, civil society and development partners to design a programme that seeks to end domestic violence in the region. The full press release and a MEMO are available online. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Commission's report on water quality and flood risk management – improvements are there, but more needs to be done

The Commission published today its assessment of how Member States have implemented EU water legislation, highlighting successes and shortcomings. The six-yearly implementation report evaluates both Member States' River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans for the period 2015 to 2021. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “EU water law is a considerable success, but there is still much to do.Most of Europe's 130 000 water bodies are falling short of the high standards we need. I am calling on Member States to step up their efforts and ensure we deliver the quality that citizens need and nature requires, as soon as possible.” Today's findings show that although in a number of Member States the right policy measures were taken and a number of financial investments made, in many, river basins improvements in water quality will still take some time. The path towards full compliance with the objectives of EU water legislation before the final 2027 deadline is thus still challenging.On the issue of flood management, the report confirms that all Member States have fundamentally embraced the concept of flood risk management, although the quality of the results varies. Achieving the key objective of reducing the potential adverse consequences from significant flooding will require greater efforts from Member States in subsequent cycles. More information is available here. The report and Annex to it with recommendations to Member States are available here(For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Daniela Stoycheva - Tel.: +32 229 53664)

 

Commission launches pilot projects to reinforce EU's cybersecurity capacity

The European Commission is investing more than €63.5 million in four pilot projects to lay the ground work for building a European network of centres of cybersecurity expertise which will help to reinforce research and coordination of cybersecurity in the EU. The four pilots, CONCORDIA, ECHO, SPARTA and CyberSec4Europe are tasked to contribute to a common European Cybersecurity Research & Innovation Roadmap beyond 2020 and a European cybersecurity strategy for industry. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “We are counting on CONCORDIA, ECHO, SPARTA and CyberSec4Europe to assist us in pooling Europe's cybersecurity expertise and preparing the European cybersecurity landscape in order to efficiently implement our vision for a more secure digital Europe. These projects will assist EU in defining, testing and establishing the governance model of a European Cybersecurity Competence Network of cybersecurity centres of excellence.” The pilot projects were announced in September 2017 together with a wide-ranging set of measures to equip Europe with the right tools to deal with cyber-attacks and to build strong cybersecurity in the EU. In 2018 the Commission organised a dedicated call under Horizon 2020 to select the pilots, which involve more than 160 partners, including large companies, SMEs, universities and cybersecurity research institutes from 26 EU Member States. More information on the four pilot projects is available online. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083 - Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

Eurostat: les chiffres 2017 de l'emploi et du PIB par habitant, région par région

En 2017, neuf régions de l'Union Européenne (UE) sur dix, soit 253 des régions de l'UE, ont vu leur taux d'emploi augmenter. Le nombre de personnes occupées a diminué dans 26 autres régions et est resté stable dans 2 autres. La croissance de l'emploi a fortement varié d'une région à l'autre de l'UE et au sein des pays et dans l'ensemble de l'UE, l'emploi a augmenté de 1,6% en 2017. Quant au produit intérieur brut (PIB) régional par habitant, trois quarts de la population de l'UE habitent dans des régions avec un PIB par habitant au-dessus de 75% de la moyenne de l'UE. Exprimé en standards de pouvoir d'achat, le PIB régional par habitant allait, en 2017, de 31% de la moyenne de l'Union européenne (UE) dans la région bulgare Nord-Ouest à 626% de la moyenne dans la région Londres intérieure - Ouest au Royaume-Uni. Plus d'informations dans deux communiqués de presse sur les chiffres de l'emploi et le PIB par habitant en 2017 sont disponibles en ligne ici et ici. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini participates in the 7th World Congress against Death Penalty

Tomorrow, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini will address the opening ceremony of the 7th World Congress against Death Penalty, co-hosted by the European Union and Belgium. The event will last four days (26 February - 1 March) in the European Parliament, in Brussels. The Congress takes place every three years, bringing together many public and private actors involved in the cause of death penalty abolition. The event will be an opportunity to reiterate the EU's strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. This year's edition will especially reach out to private sector actors and explore new paths for collaboration towards the abolition of the death penalty. 1,500 participants from all over the world are expected to attend the four-day event. More information on the Congress is available online. The opening session will be livestreamed, follow it on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Xavier Cifre Quatresols – Tel.: +32 229 73582)

 

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

 

MEX/19/1431