Commission Work Programme 2021

The Commission on Monday adopted its 2021 work programme, designed to make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous, while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age. It contains new legislative initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen’s political guidelines and follows her first state of the union…

EP Resolution on Education

Voicing concerns over the damage inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic on Europe’s education systems, the S&D has publicly called on the European Council and Commission to develop and implement concrete solutions to bridge the educational gaps created between different member states. Members of the European Parliament will cast their votes on a resolution on the…

Farm To Fork

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted the opinion “From Farm to Fork” at its September Plenary session, following the European Commission’s communication on the Farm to Fork Strategy – for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system.  As an integral part of the European Green Deal, this is the first EU strategy claiming to encompass the…

Healthy Workplaces

The Commission, together with the  European Agency for Safety and Health at Work,  has launched the EU-OSHA 2020-2022 campaign ‘Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load’.  The campaign focuses on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are impairments of bodily structures, such as muscles, joints and tendons, that are caused or intensified primarily by work or the work environment. …

Coronavirus Response

The Commission has announced the first provisional results of the implementation of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and (CRII+). From the beginning of the crisis, and thanks to the flexibility introduced in the Cohesion Policy, the EU mobilised over €13 billion in investments to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, through the ERDF and…

EU To Miss Plastic Recycling Targets?

There is a significant risk that the EU will not meet its plastic packaging recycling targets for 2025 and 2030, according to a review by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). The update of the legal framework for plastic recycling in 2018 reflects the EU’s increased ambitions and could help boost recycling capacity. The scale of the…

Supporting Roma in the EU

The European Commission has  adopted a new plan to support Roma in the EU. There are seven key areas of focus: equality, inclusion, participation, education, employment, health, and housing. For each area, the Commission has put forward new targets and recommendations for Member States on how to achieve them, both of which will serve as important tools to monitor progress and ensure that the…

Mairead McGuinness, Irish candidate for the financial services portfolio.

During her introductory speech, Ms McGuinness told MEPs that her guiding priority would be to put people front and centre of the roll out of the EU’s financial services architecture. The financial system must be used to underpin a more inclusive society. Ms McGuinness also said she would prioritise lending to the real economy, especially…

Valdis Dombrovskis, candidate for the trade portfolio, on greener trade, enforcement, China and Mercosur.

Mr Dombrovskis announced “the launch of a WTO trade and climate initiative, focusing on green goods”, acknowledging that “today, trade is about much more than just trade”. He intends to reshape the EU’s future trade policy to make it more sustainable, including in the Mercosur trade deal where the EU must “find lasting solutions for the Amazon…

New SME Strategy

COVID-19 has been a tsunami for SMEs. The EU’s proposed new SME strategy, which predates the crisis, fails to cope with the huge challenges that have since jumped to the fore, says the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in a recently adopted opinion. COVID-19 has dealt a very serious blow to SMEs across Europe,…