COLLEGE MEETING: Commission presents updated approach to fiscal policy response to COVID-19 pandemic
The European Commission today adopted a Communication setting out general guidelines for the conduct of fiscal policy for the Member States in the coming period. It presents guiding principles to ensure the appropriate design and quality of budget measures. It contains the Commission’s considerations concerning the deactivation of the general exemption clause or the continuation of its activation. It also provides general guidance on general fiscal policy over the coming period, including the implications the Recovery and Resilience Facility will have on fiscal policy. The Commission is determined to provide a coordinated and coherent response to the current crisis. This requires credible fiscal policies that address the short-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the recovery, without jeopardizing medium-term fiscal sustainability. The communication adopted today aims to support these objectives. Finally, in the communication, the Commission confirms its intention to relaunch the public debate on the economic governance framework, once the recovery is well underway. A press release, a question-and-answer document and the communication are available online.
Joining forces to protect biodiversity worldwide: Commission acts to engage more supporters
On the occasion of the World Wildlife Day, the Commission reiterates its invitation to all world institutions to raise their voices to build the momentum for nature and help convince more governments to be ambitious at the crucial Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP 15) later this year. Exactly a year since the Commission launched its Global Coalition ‘United for Biodiversity’, more than 200 institutions worldwide – national parks, research centres and universities, science and natural history museums, aquariums, botanic gardens and zoos – have already joined forces to tackle the biodiversity crisis. The Commission has also joined the intergovernmental High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, launched at the One Planet Summit in January this year, actively supporting the goal to conserve at least 30% of land and sea by 2030. Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said: “Humanity is destroying nature at an unprecedented rate, and we risk losing nearly 1 million species. This is a direct threat to our own health and wellbeing, as we are fully dependent on the planet’s rich web of life. We must urgently restore balance in our relationship with nature and reverse biodiversity loss. Action starts with awareness and the work done via coalitions like ‘United for Biodiversity’ is crucial to help put our natural environment on the path to recovery.” Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “On this year’s World Wildlife Day and as we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of the Global Coalition ‘United for Biodiversity’, we are also highlighting just how much we stand to lose in a world without nature. This is why we are acting with all means to bring aboard more partners worldwide and call upon nations to join the High Ambition Coalition as we come closer to the decisive CoP 15.” With their collections, education and conservation programmes, the institutions forming part of the global coalition are important ambassadors to raise public awareness about the dramatic effects of the current biodiversity crisis. More information is in the press release and the full list of organisations of the Global Coalition is here.
Investment Plan’s Advisory Hub supports investments in climate and social infrastructure sectors in Croatia
With funding from the European Investment Advisory Hub under the Investment Plan for Europe, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) will set up its own advisory services for investments in key sectors of the Croatian economy, such as environment, resource efficiency, circular economy, smart cities, and social infrastructure. HBOR will support a wide range of projects promoted by Local and Regional Self-Government Units (LRGUs), focusing particularly on underdeveloped regions, to boost the quality and volumes of public sector investments in Croatia. Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “Thanks to a grant by the Investment Plan for Europe’s Advisory Hub, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) will develop its own advisory services to help local and regional authorities to prepare and implement projects in key sectors like circular economy, smart cities, and social infrastructure. The project shows the benefits of tailored advisory support and technical assistance to boost the effectiveness of public sector investments to the benefit of citizens across Croatia.” 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.
Sea dues: the Commission proposes to renew the special tax regime for the French outermost regions of the EU
The European Commission today adopted a proposal renewing the dock dues regime in the EU’s outermost regions of Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique and Réunion for the period 2022-2027. This regime allows the granting of exemptions or reductions in the sea tax in favor of a limited list of locally produced products. The current 2014 proposal would expire in June 2021. The measures announced today aim to continue to encourage economic activity and maintain the competitiveness of local products in these outermost regions of France. Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said in this regard: “The Commission is well aware of the importance of the dock dues regime as a major resource for local authorities in the outermost regions in question, but above all as a support device for economic and social development. We will continue to support the local economies of these regions, which, in addition, have been strongly affected by the crisis. The press release is available online.
Read the European Commission Daily News in full here.