SURE: Commission proposes additional €3.7 billion to six Member States to protect jobs and incomes
The Commission has proposed to the Council to grant an additional €3.7 billion of financial assistance to six Member States under SURE, the €100 billion instrument designed to protect jobs and incomes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposals follow formal requests for additional financial assistance under SURE submitted by Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta on top of the support that the Council has already approved. After assessing the requests submitted by the six Member States, the Commission proposes to the Council to approve the following in additional financial assistance: Belgium €394 million; Cyprus €125 million; Greece €2.5 billion; Latvia €113 million; Lithuania €355 million; Malta €177 million. This brings the total financial assistance proposed by the Commission under SURE to €94.3 billion for 19 Member States. This additional support will assist the six Member States in tackling the continued severe socio-economic impact of the crisis in light of the resurgence of infections and the containment measures introduced in response to it. The evolution of the health and economic situation has resulted in a further increase of public expenditure related to measures designed to protect workers and public health. These additional measures, and the extension of existing ones, qualify for support under SURE. A full press release is available here.
Agriculture: Short-term outlook report favourable for EU agricultural sectors
Today, the Commission has published the latest short-term outlook report for EU agricultural markets. This regular publication presents a general and sector-by-sector overview of the latest tendencies and further prospects for agri-food markets. The first 2021 edition concludes that the EU agricultural sector has shown resilience throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The sector performed relatively well thanks to increased retail sales and home consumption. In addition, prospects are favourable with a dynamic global demand and the reopening of food services (restaurants, bars, cafés) expected once the vaccination campaign is sufficiently advanced. Recent trade developments will reduce uncertainties around the EU’s trade relations, benefitting agricultural sectors. Among those developments, the U.S. and the EU have agreed to temporarily suspend tariffs related to the civil aircraft disputes early March 2021. In addition, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was concluded late 2020. Still, both sides will need time to adapt and provide necessary conditions for optimal trade exchanges. For full details concerning specific markets, see the news item and the report available online.
Green Deal Diplomacy: Commission participates in Net Zero Summit and joins forces with the International Energy Agency to expand the net zero movement
Tomorrow, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Kadri Simson will attend the Net Zero Summit co-hosted by Mr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Mr Alok Sharma, COP26 President, as part of the Commission’s climate and energy diplomacy. The Summit will bring together representatives from energy and climate ministries from more than 40 countries. Participants will discuss the essential contribution of the energy sector to achieving a climate neutral economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and focus on the implementation actions necessary to turn the growing number of net zero goals into reality. Today, ahead of the summit, the Commission and the IEA agreed to join forces to expand the net zero movement of governments and companies committed to help deliver the energy sector’s contribution to achieving net-zero economies and clean energy access in regions suffering from energy poverty. They will provide instruments of cooperation to feed into the UN High Level Energy Dialogue and COP26. A joint statement by the Commission and the IEA is available online.
Read the European Commission Daily News in full here.