Brussels Daily
18 Feb 2019


Brussels Daily

Brexit preparedness: Commission intensifies “no-deal” customs preparedness outreach to EU businesses

The European Commission has today stepped up its “no-deal” outreach to EU businesses in the area of customs and indirect taxation such as VAT, given the risk that the United Kingdom may leave the EU on 30 March this year without a deal. The outreach campaign launched today is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to prepare for the UK’s exit of the European Union without a deal, in line with the European Council (Article 50) conclusions of December 2018, calling for intensified preparedness work for all scenarios. This campaign should help to inform businesses that want to continue trading with the UK after 30 March on what they need to do to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. Preparing for the UK becoming a non-EU country is of paramount importance if significant disruption for EU business is to be avoided. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “With the risk of a no-deal Brexit increasing as we get closer to March 29, the European Commission and national customs authorities are working hard to be ready to introduce checks and controls on goods flowing between the EU and the UK. This is key to protecting our consumers and our internal market. A lot depends on the ability of businesses trading with the UK to get up to speed with the customs rules that will apply on day one in case of no deal. There is no time to lose and we are here to help with the information campaign.” Today’s launch aims to raise awareness amongst the EU’s business community, especially SMEs. A range of material has today been made available to businesses, including a simple 5-step checklist, providing an overview of the steps that need to be taken. While the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario cannot be mitigated, today’s campaign should complement national efforts to inform EU businesses and help to reach out to affected businesses in the EU27 Member States. Preparatory work, supported by the Commission, is also underway in Member States to ensure that national customs infrastructure and logistics are ready to deal with a no-deal scenario. A press release in online. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 8718)

Transforming the power sector: New report about integrating renewable energy

The Commission hosts a launch event of a report on innovations that will transform the power sector on Tuesday 19 February in Brussels. The report “Innovation Landscape for a Renewable-Powered Future: solutions to integrate variable renewables” by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will be presented by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin in the presence of Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. With its “Clean Energy for All Europeans” –package the EU has already started the modernisation and transformation towards a climate neutral economy. Implementing the package will further boost innovation, and the EU can continue to show leadership and support the rest of the world by exporting innovative solutions in the fight against climate change. The Commission’s vision “Clean Planet for All” aims at modernising the EU’s economy making it the first major economy to become climate neutral by 2050. The vision foresees a central role for renewable energy in this transition. IRENA is the global intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a renewable energy future, and serves as a platform for international co-operation and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis in Turin, Italy

On 20 February, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, will travel to Turin, Italy, to attend the 4th edition of the International Food Journalism Festival. He will deliver the keynote speech at the festival, and will present awards to the winners of the “Journalism in food safety and information to consumers” award. Ahead of his visit to Italy, Commissioner Andriukaitis said, “Food safety and food quality are areas that touch the lives of Europeans directly every day, so it is good to see them becoming more and more engaged in these topics. In the age of disinformation and fake news it is essential to have high quality journalism ensuring that the information to the public is always true and accurate. Therefore I will be glad to meet and award journalist awarded at this event.” He will then travel to Madrid on 21 February, where he will meet with Ms Maria Luisa Carcedo, the Spanish Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, and Mr Luis Planas, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229  91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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