Brussels News

European Commission Daily News 4th May

Agriculture: Commission approves new geographical indication for Belgium

The European Commission has approved the application for the inclusion of “Escavèche de Chimay” from Belgium in the register of protected geographical indications (PGI). The “Escavèche de Chimay” is a cold preparation of cooked fish coated with a vinegar and gelled sauce containing onions. It comes from the region of Entre Sambre et Meuse, in Wallonia, in the south of Belgium, characterized by its forests and its many small rivers. The “Escavèche de Chimay” is linked to its terroir by the specific features of the landscape of Chimay and its surroundings. Indeed, from the 15th century, the establishment of forges and furnaces in the Chimay region had a considerable impact on this landscape. Many artificial lakes and ponds were created for the needs of this metallurgical industry and these are still visible. This industry experienced a phase of decline at the end of the 18th century and then completely disappeared in the middle of the 19th century. These ponds have since been converted into fishing grounds. Today, the producers of “Escavèche de Chimay” are still located around the old forges of Macquenoise, Virelles and Nismes. This new name will join 1605 food products already protected, the list of which is available in the eAmbrosia database. For more information, see also the pages on quality policy.

Team Europe partners with Equity Bank to support Kenyan business and agriculture amid COVID-19

The European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB), working together as Team Europe, are providing new support for Equity Bank to enhance financing to Kenyan companies most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The financing package will support access to finance at appropriate conditions for Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including in the agriculture sector, through €100 million loans from the European Investment Bank to Equity Bank and €20 million of European Union grant support. Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “The EU is working to revamp our cooperation with our African partners to tackle the common challenges that affect people’s lives, in particular the youth. We want to build back better together from the COVID-19 pandemic to guarantee a sustainable, green and just recovery. The SME sector is a lifeline for employment, including for the most vulnerable populations and in particular in critical sectors such as agriculture. Agreements like the one signed today to support Kenyan SMEs to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 and will help us to achieve this.” New technical assistance, backed by the European Union, will further strengthen Equity Bank’s capacity to assess, execute and monitor longer-term agricultural value chains investment projects and further develop provision of long-term financing for agriculture. For more information see the press release and the dedicated webpage on EU cooperation with Kenya

Commission launches new European Climate and Health Observatory

Today, the Commission and the European Environment Agency are launching the European Climate and Health Observatory. As announced in the recently adopted Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, the Observatory aims to create, connect, pool and provide the knowledge, expertise and tools required to tackle the health challenges related to climate change, making our societies more resilient. There are clear warnings that the climate crisis will bring about more frequent and serious health emergencies, and climate change is already having an impact on people’s health and health systems. More frequent and intense extreme weather events, the emergence and spread of new infectious diseases, threats to the safety and security of food and water, and the loss of biodiversity are all expected to generate serious health risks and amplify existing health problems. At a launch event this afternoon, high-level speakers from the Commission and the European Environment Agency will explain how the Observatory will help us to understand, anticipate and minimise these threats. You can register and follow the launch event here from 14:00-16:00 CET. 

Read the European Commission Daily News in full here.

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