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Defence ministers met in "PESCO format" for the first time. They adopted a decision formally establishing the list of projects to be developed under PESCO (permanent structured cooperation) and a recommendation on an implementation roadmap.
For the last 10 years, the key EU law on chemicals ("REACH") has significantly enhanced the protection of human health and the environment and promoted alternatives to animal testing. Building on this, the Commission today proposes actions to further facilitate its implementation.
Today's Recommendation sets out operational measures to ensure faster detection and removal of illegal content online, to reinforce the cooperation between companies, trusted flaggers and law enforcement authorities, and to increase transparency and safeguards for citizens.
MEPs urge the EU and its member states to invest more in protecting bee health, fighting honey adulteration and supporting beekeepers.
The draft Withdrawal Agreement consists of six parts – including introductory provisions, citizens' rights, other separation issues such as goods placed on the market before the withdrawal date, the financial settlement, transitional arrangements, and institutional provisions – and a protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland.
The Council began preparations for the European Council meeting on 22 and 23 March. The Council also adopted a regulation to ban unjustified geo-blocking in the internal market and approved the reform of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period after 2020.
At the beginning of their meeting, the High Representative and the EU foreign ministers discussed the situation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. The Council also spoke about the latest developments in Venezuela, including the dire humanitarian situation in the country and its neighbours.
EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss the long-term EU budget and the institutional issues. Syria, Brexit, and relations with Turkey were also on the agenda.
The International High Level Conference on the Sahel, co-chaired today by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel group of countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger), has mobilised political support for the Sahel region, €414 million to support the Joint security Force of the G5 Sahel whilst reinforcing the coordination of sustainable development efforts in the region.
Ministers discussed the recommendations of a high-level group of experts on sustainable finance. The Council also adopted guidelines for the 2019 EU budget, stressing that a transparent and effective use of the budget will bolster the EU's credibility with its citizens.
Ministers exchanged views on the communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Council also had an exchange of views on the role of agriculture in the revision of the EU bioeconomy strategy of 2012.
Today the Commission proposes to give €104 million from the Solidarity Fund to four EU Member States that were hit by natural disasters in 2017.