Roberta Metsola won the election in the first voting round, where she received an absolute majority of 458 votes out of 690 cast in the remote secret vote, among three candidates. At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, Kosma Złotowski (ECR, PL) withdrew his candidacy, bringing the number of candidates down to three.
Today, European society needs the contribution of universities and other higher education institutions more than ever. The two new initiatives adopted today, a European strategy for universities and a Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation, will support universities in this endeavour.
The French Minister for Agriculture and Food, Julien Denormandie, presented the presidency’s priorities in the area of agriculture and fisheries. These priorities include, on the one hand, the reciprocity of trading standards – in other words, ensuring (chiefly by means of ‘mirror clauses’) that agri-food products imported into Europe abide by the EU’s environmental and health standards, particularly as regards the sustainable use of phytopharmaceutical products – and, on the other hand, low-carbon agriculture, in particular carbon sequestration in agricultural soils.
MEPs honoured the memory of Parliament’s late President David Maria Sassoli in a ceremony during the Plenary in Strasbourg on Monday. Opening the ceremony, Parliament’s acting President Roberta Metsola said: “Europe has lost a leader, democracy has lost a champion and we have all lost a friend. He always knew how to translate the values he believed in into concrete action.”
As one of the first concrete initiatives under the 2022 European Year of Youth, the Commission published its proposal for a Council Recommendation on youth volunteering to facilitate transnational youth volunteering under the European Solidarity Corps or other schemes at national level.
The Commission has adopted the 2022 work programme of Creative Europe, which will be followed by the launch of the relevant calls for proposals. With a budget of around €385 million, nearly €100 million more compared to 2021, Creative Europe strengthens its support to creative and cultural partners taking due account of the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis and the growing global competition.
Today, the Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) launched the new EU SME Fund, which offers vouchers for EU-based SMEs to help them protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. This is the second EU SME Fund aiming at supporting SMEs in the COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions for the next three years (2022-2024).
The new own resources proposed today will help to repay the funds raised by the EU to finance the grant component of NextGenerationEU. The new own resources should also finance the Social Climate Fund. The latter is an essential element of the proposed new Emissions Trading System covering buildings and road transport, and will contribute to ensuring that the transition to a decarbonised economy will leave no one behind.
A clear and uniform acceptance period for vaccination certificates will guarantee that travel measures continue to be coordinated, as called for by the European Council following its latest meeting of 16 December 2021. The new rules will ensure restrictions are based on the best available scientific evidence as well as objective criteria.
The Commission has adopted the Multiannual Indicative Programmes (MIPs) of Global Europe setting out priority areas for cooperation with partner countries and regions around the world for 2021-27. This also includes the financial allocation for 2021-2024 (country level) and for 2021-2027 (regional level) that will support this cooperation for a total of almost €26.3 billion.
The European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID‑19 vaccine Nuvaxovid, developed by Novavax, the fifth COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU. This authorisation follows a positive scientific recommendation based on a thorough assessment of the safety, effectiveness and quality of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and is endorsed by the Member States.