European Commission Daily News 15th Jan
Investment Plan’s Advisory Hub supports green urban development in German cities
The European Investment Advisory Hub will provide a grant of up to €500,000 under an agreement signed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Thüringer Aufbaubank (TAB). Thanks to the funding support, TAB will help German municipalities to initiate, plan and implement infrastructure investments in key sectors, such as energy and resource efficiency, the circular economy and green urban development. It will also create an online tool to perform economic efficiency analyses of projects, helping to improve their soundness. The objective of this initiative is to reinforce municipalities’ internal capacity to structure and deliver sustainable investment projects for the benefit of local residents. Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “Thanks to a grant by the Investment Plan for Europe’s Advisory Hub, Thüringer Aufbaubank in Germany will help municipalities to plan and implement infrastructure investments in key sectors like energy and resource efficiency and the circular economy. The project shows the benefits of tailored advisory support and technical assistance to project promoters in accelerating the green transition to the benefit of cities and their inhabitants.” As part of the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, the Advisory Hub supports the development and local delivery of advisory services through a call for proposals for national promotional banks and institutions. A press release is available here. (For more information: Marta Wieczorek – Tel.: +32 229 58197; Flora Matthaes – Tel.: +32 229 83951)
EU files WTO panel request against illegal export restrictions by Indonesia on raw materials for stainless steel
Yesterday, the EU has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on raw materials necessary for the production of stainless steel. The measures the EU is challenging concern an export ban on nickel ore and domestic processing requirements on nickel ore and iron ore. These measures illegally restrict access for EU steel producers to raw materials needed for stainless steel production. Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Following repeated attempts to resolve this issue directly with Indonesia, the EU is now forced to take action and refer this issue to the WTO. We will always act to protect the rights of our economic operators and safeguard the level playing field for EU producers. The fact is that no WTO member is permitted to restrict exports of raw materials in this way, imposing illegal restrictions to favour domestic producers. We will take the necessary measures to restore fair conditions for the EU steel industry, as is our right, and as we have undertaken to do as part of our implementation and enforcement agenda. These are very challenging times for the EU steel sector, which is faced with global overcapacity, illegal subsidisation and other trade-restrictive measures, as well as the COVID-19 economic crisis. We will take every possible action to support our steel operators in this difficult environment.” The EU will at the next meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on 25 January 2021 request the establishment of a panel to rule on the legality of the Indonesian measures at hand.
Full European Commission update is available online.