Agriculture

 

Stop Overfishing! Climate Emergency

More than 50 scientists have signed a statement calling for action by the European Commission, European Parliament and EU member states to end overfishing “as an urgent and necessary response to biodiversity and climate crises”.  The scientists are urging the EU to set fishing limits within scientific advice, and recognise that “ecosystem-based fisheries management is critical to…

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Fighting Forest Fires this Summer

To prepare for the risk of forest fires during the upcoming summer, the EU is further reinforcing its European fleet of firefighting aircraft under the rescEU system. The EU is financing purchases by the Swedish government of 2 new firefighting airplanes to add to the reserve. This adds up to a total of 13 airplanes…

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Crisis Package Needed for Agriculture

The agricultural sector is in need of a specific fund outside CAP in response to the corona crisis, says the EPP. In an exchange of views in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development with Commissioner Janusz Wociechowski regarding the exceptional measures for the European farming sector, the ECR Group called for a specific agricultural fund outside…

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Digital Market

 

Commission Opens Anti-Trust Investigation Against Apple

The European Publishers Council (EPC) welcomes the European Commission’s decision to open formal antitrust investigations against Apple who, through abuse of dominance, are undermining the ability of news and magazine publishers to have direct commercial relationships with their readers or to offer iOS-device users alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps. The case will assess…

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Digital Services Act

Yesterday (9th June) on the 20th anniversary of the agreement of the e-Commerce Directive, EDiMA (The European Digital Market Association) has called on legislators to build on the strong foundations offered by the Directive in the future Digital Services Act. Speaking on the anniversary, Siada El Ramly, Director General of EDiMA said: “The many millions…

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Calls for Transparency on UK Scientific Advice

The UK Government has faced calls for greater transparency over the scientific advice given to ministers on the coronavirus outbreak. The calls came after it was revealed that the Prime Minister’s top aide, Dominic Cummings, had been attending meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Ministers have said they are following ‘the best…

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Economy

 

Jobs For Europe’s Youth

The European Commission says it is taking action to give young people all possible opportunities to develop their full potential to shape the future of the EU, and thrive in the green and digital transitions. The coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the often difficult start many young people face in the labour market. We need to…

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Transition to a Climate-Neutral Economy

The EU must transition towards a climate-neutral economy without letting disparities between regions grow any further, say regional development MEPs.  On Monday 6 July, the Regional Development Committee requested a significant increase in the budget allocated from the 2021-2027 financial framework (from EUR 11 270 459 000 in current prices to EUR 25 358 532…

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Time for a Grey New Deal?

A new report by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) highlights that older consumers could drive economic growth in the post-pandemic recovery but business is failing to meet their needs.   “Lockdown not shutdown: How can we unlock the longevity dividend post-pandemic?” argues that older people on a fixed income may have not faced as significant a financial shock as younger people yet lockdown has made it difficult for this group, particularly those…

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Energy

 

Bosnia Bans Hydro

The House of Representatives of the Parliament of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has voted to ban the construction of small hydropower plants across the Federation, in a huge win for communities who depend on the rivers. The decision followed a lengthy campaign by local communities and activists from the national Coalition for the Protection…

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Transition to a Climate-Neutral Economy

The EU must transition towards a climate-neutral economy without letting disparities between regions grow any further, say regional development MEPs.  On Monday 6 July, the Regional Development Committee requested a significant increase in the budget allocated from the 2021-2027 financial framework (from EUR 11 270 459 000 in current prices to EUR 25 358 532…

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Belarus says new nuclear plant will slash Lithuania’s dependency on Russian energy

A new nuclear power plant, thought to be the newest in the world, is set to become operational in Belarus this summer, despite continuing fierce opposition from neighbouring Lithuania.  The facility, called Astravyets, just 45 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and is set to go online this month with one principle aim being to…

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Environment

 

Bosnia Bans Hydro

The House of Representatives of the Parliament of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has voted to ban the construction of small hydropower plants across the Federation, in a huge win for communities who depend on the rivers. The decision followed a lengthy campaign by local communities and activists from the national Coalition for the Protection…

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Reducing Emissions from International Shipping

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has just voted on measures to reduce greenhouse gases in international shipping.  The decision to “amend the Regulation on monitoring, reporting and verifying carbon dioxide emissions from shipping”, also known as the “MRV Regulation”, will in future oblige large ships not only to report detailed data on their CO2 and…

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Flood Disaster in SW Ukraine

Earlier last week, intensive rains resulted in the largest flooding in the south-west of Ukraine in the last 50 years, with several casualties and damage to hundreds of homes. To alleviate the first needs, the Ukrainian authorities activated the EU protection mechanism, Sweden responded immediately and offered 1.2 kilometres of flood barrier, 250 hoses and…

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Healthcare

 

Food Help for Needy Families During Coronacrisis

Families struggling to put food on the table during the Covid-19 crisis face a delay in receiving additional help due to needless extra red tape in distributing funding, UK councils warn today. The UK Government last month announced £63 million to provide help directly to households on the breadline to afford food and other essentials…

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Key law enforcement and industry figures gather to debate coronavirus impact on illicit trade globally

For much of the year, the focus of governments across the world has been on facing down the challenges posed by coronavirus – a global pandemic and public health crisis unlike any seen for a generation. This challenge has had significant implications for law enforcement and government oversight globally, with governments and regulatory bodies struggling…

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Throughout its national efforts to face public health challenges, Morocco continues to show solidarity with its continent and its partners.

 By Nasser Bourita Covid-19 has spared no country, region or continent. In the Euro-Mediterranean area, as well as in Africa and Europe, it has struck indiscriminately, but with a degree of differentiation.  Firstly, there was differentiation in the timing: it hit the European countries before spreading to the Maghreb region and sub-Saharan Africa. Then, there…

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Investment

 

Incentives for Private Investments

Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi recently signed a €70.2 million assistance programme for Serbia. The Commission says it is aiming to kick-start the EU economy by incentivising private investments.  The Commission has proposed a new Solvency Support Instrument, which builds on the existing European Fund for Strategic Investments, to mobilise private resources to urgently support viable European companies…

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The Importance of Rule of Law for Investors

I met with Philippe Bresson to explore his experience of investing in Eastern Europe. Philippe manages the BEE Family Office, formerly BRICOSTORE Holding, a 160-year-old family-owned holding company that manages a variety of assets and holdings in various business sectors. It was originally focused on the retail sector in France and internationally.  In the late…

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Micro-Finance for SMEs

In order to stimulate small business financing in the Baltic States, non-bank business lender Noviti Finance, and the European Investment Fund (EIF), have signed a cooperation agreement to give micro businesses and farmers better access to funding of up to €25,000.  The guarantee is funded by the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) programme of the…

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Law and Justice

 

Fight Against Money Laundering

Negotiations on a draft resolution on the fight against money laundering were successfully concluded last week. The draft text, supported by Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Liberals, Greens and the Left, is based on a Green proposal. German Greens MEP Sven Giegold told this website: “This draft resolution is a success for the European fight against…

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Fighting Crime

The EPP group in the European parliament says Europe must be better equipped to fight criminal networks and their attempts to launder their ill-gotten gains.  There must be no sanctuary in Europe for organised crime’s dirty money”, stated EPP Group MEPs Emil Radev and David Casa ahead of today’s debate in the European Parliament on…

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EU Parliament Reiterates Concerns about Hong Kong

On 30 June, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress adopted the National Security Law in Hong Kong, which came into effect that day, the 23rd anniversary of the city´s handover to China from British rule. Under the law approved by mainland China´s legislature in May, Beijing will have sweeping new powers to impose…

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Trade

 

Key law enforcement and industry figures gather to debate coronavirus impact on illicit trade globally

For much of the year, the focus of governments across the world has been on facing down the challenges posed by coronavirus – a global pandemic and public health crisis unlike any seen for a generation. This challenge has had significant implications for law enforcement and government oversight globally, with governments and regulatory bodies struggling…

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Illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol: EU renews sanctions by one year

The Council today decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021. The restrictive measures currently in place include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain…

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Labour Reform in Vietnam Paves Way for Sustainable Development Change in EU-Vietnam Trade

The Vietnamese National Assembly has approved both the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement and ratified the International Labour Organisations (ILO)’s Core Convention against Forced Labour as part of a comprehensive labour reform. During the negotiation of the trade deal, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament had led the drive to obtain important labour and…

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Transport

 

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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Lisbon Metro Improvements Set to Cut CO2 Emissions

The European Commission has approved an investment of €83 million from the cohesion fund to improve the metro network in Lisbon, Portugal.  The project will improve the connection, efficiency and safety of the metro lines. It will better link Lisbon’s busy Yellow line, which serves the area with the highest employment density, with the Green line,…

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Brussels Airport Prepares to Increase Passenger Flights

Starting 15 June, Brussels Airport will considerably increase its passenger flights for all travel in the Schengen Area. The flight offer will increase progressively to exceed one hundred destinations in July, thus restoring the connectivity with Europe in a first stage and with the rest of the world at a later stage. Thanks to the…

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Technology

 

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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Morocco Produces New COVID-19 Test Kits

Good news for health professionals engaged in the battle to halt the spread of coronavirus.  Morocco has designed the first 100% Moroccan diagnostic kit for Covid-19, tested and validated by national agencies and the world renowned Pasteur Institute in Paris. The kit has been designed by the MAScIR Foundation (Moroccan Foundation for advanced science, innovation…

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COVID-19 Diagnostics and Treatments

The Innovative Medicines Initiative has provisionally selected 8 projects for funding from its fast-track Call for proposals on coronavirus diagnostics and treatments. In addition, it has boosted the IMI funding pot from EUR 45 million to EUR 72 million. On top of this, EFPIA companies, IMI Associated Partners and other organisations will contribute over EUR…

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