Agriculture

 

EU-Mercosur Trade Causing Amazon Deforestation

A new report commissioned by the French government on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, to be presented to French Prime Minister today shows that solely the expansion of beef production in the Mercosur region as a result of the deal would accelerate deforestation by at least 25% annually and destroy 36,000 km2 of forest per year, which…

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European Forest Strategy

The European Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development Committee has adopted MEP Petri Sarvamaa’s (EPP/FI) own  initiative report on the European Forest Strategy. The Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) welcomes the adopted report and encourages the European Parliament to adopt it in plenary session this month of October. The report manages to strike a balance between the many…

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Rosbif et Brexit

The British Meat Processors Association has urged the UK government to address its concerns about the current Brexit talks. On Wednesday, its CEO Nick Allen said, “Despite reassurances from our PM last week that “we’re ready for any eventuality”, the reality is that many key issues remain unresolved. Brexit contingency preparations are proceeding at a snail’s pace and…

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Digital Market

 

Impact of AirBnB on cities

The cities alliance engaged in regulating Short Term Holiday Rentals (STHR), met last week with the European Commission Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager.  The mayors and representatives of cities want stronger regulations on the STHR market in order to counter the harmful impact of STHR on the housing market and make neighbourhoods more liveable. The rise…

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Internet Access for All

European Parliament President David Sassoli has responded to former EU commission chief Romano Prodi on the importance of internet access for all. Sassoli said, “More than ever in these months of lockdown, many millions of people in Europe and around the world have been forced to rely on an internet connection to work, study, buy…

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Council Acts Against Cyber Crime

The Council has decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks.  These include the attempted cyber-attack against the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and those publicly known as ‘WannaCry’, ‘NotPetya’, and ‘Operation Cloud Hopper’. The sanctions imposed include a travel ban and an asset freeze. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to…

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Economy

 

Prince Charles Speaks Out

HRH Prince Charles, “Climate change is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic” The following are highlights of his address today. The borderless Climate bio-diversity and heath crisis are all symptoms of a planet that has been pushed beyond its boundaries, without swift and immediate action at a unprecedented case…

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Banks Caught Laundering Dirty Money

Some of the world’s biggest banks reportedly let criminals and fraudsters move dirty money around the world, according to leaked banking documents seen by BBC Panorama. More than 2,000 sensitive banking papers detailing more than two trillion US dollars’ worth of transactions were analysed after being leaked to BuzzFeed News and shared with the International…

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Ideas for a New World

On 23 September at 16.00, the second virtual meeting in a series of public dialogues – ideas for a new world – will take place. The initiative, promoted by the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, brings together philosophers, writers, economists, representatives from European civil society and the world of work.  The aim of the dialogues…

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Energy

 

Finland Supports 55% GHG Emissions Reduction for 2030

Finnish Industries says it has identified five conditions that need to be in place to successfully achieve the 2030 emissions reduction target.  Achieving a more ambitious EU 2030 target will however require companies to make unprecedented investments – and within less than a decade, it warns. Therefore, economic reconstruction, recovery funding and climate measures need to…

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EP To Vote on Recovery Plan

MEPs are set to demand the European recovery plan dedicates billions to large-scale energy efficiency programmes to lift millions out of energy poverty, in a vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday (16 September).  As energy poverty rates soar due to Covid-19, energy savings and building renovations could finally get the attention they deserve, says…

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Slovenia Slams Frackers

A UK gas company, Ascent Resources, has officially begun procedures to start an investor dispute against Slovenia for taking measures to protect its groundwater from fracking,  in a case that could see the country paying out tens of millions of euros in damages, under the controversial Energy Charter Treaty.  The case has emerged today, as…

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Environment

 

Prince Charles Speaks Out

HRH Prince Charles, “Climate change is now rapidly becoming a comprehensive catastrophe that will dwarf the impact of the coronavirus pandemic” The following are highlights of his address today. The borderless Climate bio-diversity and heath crisis are all symptoms of a planet that has been pushed beyond its boundaries, without swift and immediate action at a unprecedented case…

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Greens Call for Climate Protection

The Greens/EFA group are calling for support for refugees, climate protection and a permanent binding mechanism to uphold the rule of law in Europe.  Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, commented: “The current state of this Union is defined by our own failures; by the fact that EU governments let…

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EU-Mercosur Trade Causing Amazon Deforestation

A new report commissioned by the French government on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, to be presented to French Prime Minister today shows that solely the expansion of beef production in the Mercosur region as a result of the deal would accelerate deforestation by at least 25% annually and destroy 36,000 km2 of forest per year, which…

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Healthcare

 

EESC Civil Solidarity Prize

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) invites civil society organisations, private companies and individuals from the European Union and the United Kingdom to submit their projects for its unique Civil Solidarity Prize, launched in July as a special, one-off replacement for its flagship annual Civil Society Prize. The EESC aims to reward as many as 29…

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More Transparency Needed for Vaccine Trials

Memes like this have started to pop up on social media reflecting public anxiety about vaccines. AstraZeneca issued a press release announcing that clinical trials for their coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, under development resumed last week in the UK. The vaccine AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-off company, Vaccitech. It uses…

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Harmonised Methodology Needed to Deal with the Pandemic

Common definitions, health criteria and methodologies are key to effectively fighting the ongoing pandemic and its economic consequences in the EU, MEPs say. Worried by the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases across Europe, MEPs deplore that member states have not learned the lessons from the beginning of the crisis and have yet again taken…

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Investment

 

UN Holds “SDG Moment”

The COVID-19 pandemic is still holding the world under its spell. Inequalities are worsening worldwide and putting many achievements of recent years in danger.  The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are key in the struggle for amelioration. Today, Friday 18 September, marks an important day in this struggle. The first ever annual ‘SDG Moment’ has been held, setting…

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EP Demands EU Medicine Security

The European Parliament has called for the EU to be more self-sufficient when it comes to medicines and medical equipment so that affordable treatments are available at any time. Parliament addresses the root causes of recent medicine shortages in a resolution, adopted by 663 votes to 23 and 10 abstentions. MEPs call for an increased…

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Europe Needs Housing Action Plan

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has sounded the alarm and called for an urgent European housing action plan, stressing that an EU strategy is essential to ensure universal access to decent, sustainable and affordable housing in the future. Decent and affordable housing is running short in the EU and, for this reason, a…

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Law and Justice

 

Libyan sanctions

The Council today (21 September) decided to impose targeted restrictive measures on two persons responsible for human rights abuses in Libya and three entities involved in violating the UN arms embargo in place for Libya.  They will be added to the EU’s list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures related to the Libyan conflict.  The sanctions imposed comprise a travel ban and…

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Banks Caught Laundering Dirty Money

Some of the world’s biggest banks reportedly let criminals and fraudsters move dirty money around the world, according to leaked banking documents seen by BBC Panorama. More than 2,000 sensitive banking papers detailing more than two trillion US dollars’ worth of transactions were analysed after being leaked to BuzzFeed News and shared with the International…

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Hungary Criticises Soros Funded NGOs

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó criticised  what he called “the blackmail of the NGOs”, which Europe needed to put an end to.  Speaking after meeting his Maltese counterpart, Szijjártó said it was time to “speak clearly about the role of the Soros-backed NGOs within the Mediterranean region”, in reference to international financier and philanthropist George…

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Trade

 

EU-Mercosur Trade Causing Amazon Deforestation

A new report commissioned by the French government on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, to be presented to French Prime Minister today shows that solely the expansion of beef production in the Mercosur region as a result of the deal would accelerate deforestation by at least 25% annually and destroy 36,000 km2 of forest per year, which…

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Control of EU Arms Exports

The European Parliament has called for stricter EU-wide controls on EU arms exports, better end-use control of exported arms, more coordination of national decisions on arms exports, a publicly accessible database on national arms exports and, for arms subsidised through the European Defence Fund, a sanctions mechanism for breaches of the eight EU export criteria….

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EP Demands EU Medicine Security

The European Parliament has called for the EU to be more self-sufficient when it comes to medicines and medical equipment so that affordable treatments are available at any time. Parliament addresses the root causes of recent medicine shortages in a resolution, adopted by 663 votes to 23 and 10 abstentions. MEPs call for an increased…

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Transport

 

Brussels Airport Health Accreditation

Brussels Airport complies with the recommendations by ICAO and the protocol issued by EASA/ECDC to ensure that it has Airport Health Accreditation. The Airport makes every effort to ensure that their facilities are hygienic and safe to welcome passengers. The combination of the various health safety measures allows them to meet the highest standards, and to satisfy…

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Emirates Weathers the Economic Storm

Interview with Jean-Pierre Martin, General manager Emirates Belgium and Luxemburg Q: Can you spell out the impact of the pandemic on your airline-business? A: On 25 March, Emirates temporarily suspended all passenger flights as directed by our regulator the UAE GCAA. That hit us hard and we regret the impact on our customers, but Emirates fully supports Dubai and the UAE’s…

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COVID-19 Test Centre opens at Brussels Airport

The Test Centre at Brussels Airport for COVID-19 will open on Monday 14 September. At this Test Centre, passengers can get a COVID-19 test on site at the airport. The Test Centre will also be open to those who are not travelling but need to have a test taken for contact tracing purposes. From 14th of…

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Technology

 

Adoption of Health Technologies Faster in Low Income Countries

Low- and middle-income countries could soon leapfrog high-income countries in their adoption of new AI-enabled technologies in health, suggests a report led by the Novartis Foundation and Microsoft.  Technologies such as mobile phone trading platforms, e-banking, e-commerce, and even blockchain applications have often been adopted faster and more comprehensively in low- and middle-income countries than…

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55 New Grants Approved as Part of Horizon 2020

Fifty-five grantees of the European Research Council (ERC) have been awarded Proof of Concept funding to explore the commercial or societal potential of their research results.  The grants are part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.  The awarded projects cover a variety of topics e.g., making gecko-inspired gripping technology to help automate…

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Belarus Electric Buses Take Europe and India by Storm

In the European Union, with the Green Deal aiming to make the continent ‘climate neutral’ by 2050, low-carbon technology in transport will be key to reducing emissions. A Belarusian electric bus manufacturer has caught the attention of transport authorities in the UK, Poland and Spain with its innovative electrical system. BKM Holding is a tram,…

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