State aid: Commission adopts new guidelines on regional state aid
The European Commission has adopted the revised EU guidelines on regional aid (the ‘regional state aid guidelines’), which set out the rules according to which Member States can grant aid for regional purposes. State to companies to support the economic development of disadvantaged areas in the EU, while ensuring a level playing field between Member States. The regional state aid guidelines are the first set of state aid rules to be revised following the announcement of the Green Deal for Europe and European industrial and digital strategies . The revised regional aid guidelines include a number of targeted adjustments designed to introduce simplifications and to take into account the experience gained in the application of the previous rules, as well as to take into account new strategic priorities linked to the Green Deal for Europe and to European industrial and digital strategies. The revised regional aid guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022, which will give Member States sufficient time to draw up their regional aid maps. Member States can now notify the Commission of their future regional aid maps, which will be the subject of individual decisions. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President responsible for competition policy, said: “The new guidelines on regional aid which have been adopted today will enable Member States to help European regions the less fortunate to catch up and reduce disparities in terms of economic well-being, income and unemployment. These cohesion objectives are at the heart of our Union. We have also extended the possibilities for Member States to support regions facing transition challenges or structural challenges such as depopulation, so that the guidelines fully contribute to green and digital transitions while ensuring equal conditions of competition between Member States. The press release is available online.
Agriculture: Commission approves new geographical indication for Hungary
The European Commission has approved the application for inclusion of “Budaörsi őszibarack” from Hungary in the Register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). “Budaörsi őszibarack” refers to the peaches produced in the south-west of Budapest. They are characterized by an intense fragrance, a taste rich in aromatic and savory compounds, and a pronounced sweet flavor. The fishing produced in the region owes its quality to its culture and human know-how. The peach varieties found in the Budaörs region are the result of a tradition of peach selection dating back to the end of the 19th century. Nowadays, human expertise continues to play a key role in the cultivation of ‘Budaörsi őszibarack’, as the fruits of the fruit trees are thinned by hand during ripening, just as the fruits are picked at the hand. This new name will join 1,610 already protected food products, the list of which is available in the eAmbrosia database. For more information, see also the pages on quality policy.
Global Health Summit: launch of a consultation for stronger health preparedness and response worldwide
In the run-up to the Global Health Summit on 21 May 2021, the European Commission and the Italian G20 Presidency will host an online consultation for the scientific community and civil society organisations tomorrow, on 20 April. The Global Health Summit aims to develop a ‘Rome Declaration’ with principles that can guide multilateral cooperation and action to prevent future global health crises. Participants will in particular discuss how to enhance global cooperation, strengthen public health capacities and boost health security preparedness and response worldwide. A report outlining the findings of the consultation will feed into the preparation of the Rome Declaration principles. President von der Leyen will address the participants before the start of the discussion. The consultation can be followed via livestream from 12:30 to 15:30 CET.
Green taxation: Join tomorrow’s online event with Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Gentiloni
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, and Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, will co-host on Tuesday, 20 April, an online event on Green Taxation. The European Union has set out ambitious targets to tackle climate change and foster a cleaner environment, with a view to becoming a climate-neutral continent by 2050. Environmental taxation can play a positive and active role in achieving these objectives, by encouraging a switch to cleaner energy, more sustainable industry and greener habits. Green taxation can also contribute to a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term sustainable growth. Tomorrow’s event will feature debate and discussion around this important topic, with the participation of high-level representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament, Member States, the OECD, industry and civil society. The full agenda and event streaming can be found on the Commission’s website here.
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