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The European Commission has adopted an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the European Union.
The Commission has proposed new rules and actions aiming to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The combination of the first-ever legal framework on AI and a new Coordinated Plan with Member States will guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation across the EU.
The Council's and the European Parliament's negotiators reached a provisional political agreement setting into law the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050, and a collective, net greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (emissions after deduction of removals) of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.
At its meeting of 20 April 2021, EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) concluded that a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to the product information for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen. PRAC also concluded that these events should be listed as very rare side effects of the vaccine.
The Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe, comprising representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, is launching the multilingual digital platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe inviting all EU citizens to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole.
The Eurogroup held a discussion on insolvency frameworks and looked into ongoing work on the euro as a digital currency. Ministers were also briefed about the outcomes of recent international meetings and reviewed the Eurogroup's transparency policy.
The Commission has launched the first call for proposals under the new European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027. The European Solidarity Corps supports young people wishing to engage in volunteering activities in a variety of areas ranging from helping people in need to supporting health and environmental action, across the EU and beyond.
The Commission presented a new Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025), focusing on preventing the crime, bringing traffickers to justice and protecting and empowering victims.
The Commission presented a new EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime, focusing on boosting law enforcement and judicial cooperation, tackling organised crime structures and high priority crimes, removing criminal profits and ensuring a modern response to technological developments.
The Commission has taken steps to ensure that borrowing under the temporary recovery instrument NextGenerationEU will be financed on the most advantageous terms for EU Member States and their citizens. The Commission will use a diversified funding strategy to raise up to around €800 billion in current prices until 2026.
Once in place, the new measures will allow the Commission and other EU agencies and bodies to import and purchase goods and services VAT-free when those purchases are being distributed during an emergency response in the EU. The recipients might be Member States or third parties, such as national authorities or institutions (for example, a hospital, a national health or disaster response authority).
The Commission is mobilising €123 million from Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, for urgent research into coronavirus variants.
The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the law on the judiciary of 20 December 2019, which entered into force on 14 February 2020. The Commission also decided to ask the Court of Justice to order interim measures until it has issued a final judgment in the case.
The European Commission has disbursed €13 billion to six EU Member States in the sixth instalment of financial support under the SURE instrument. This is the third disbursement in 2021. As part of today's operations, Czechia has received €1 billion, Belgium €2.2 billion, Spain €4.06 billion, Ireland €2.47 billion, Italy €1.87 billion and Poland €1.4 billion.
EU4Health will make a significant contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery by making the EU population healthier, supporting the fight against cross-border health threats and boosting the EU's preparedness and capability to respond effectively to future health crisis, as part of a future strong European Health Union.
EU leaders met via video conference to take stock of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation. They also discussed transatlantic relations together with US President Joe Biden. The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, relations with Russia, the single market, digital agenda and the international role of the euro were also on the agenda.
The Commission adopted the first annual work programme of Erasmus+ 2021-2027. With a budget of €26.2 billion, (compared to €14.7 billion for 2014-2020), complemented with about €2.2 billion from EU's external instruments, the new and revamped programme will fund learning mobility and cross-border cooperation projects for 10 million Europeans of all ages and all backgrounds.
The Commission has presented an Action Plan for the development of organic production. Its overall aim is to boost the production and consumption of organic products, to reach 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030, as well as to increase organic aquaculture significantly.
The Commission has adopted the first comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, as well as a proposal for a Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee, to promote equal opportunities for children at risk of poverty or social exclusion.