EU-US Trade: European Commission endorses rebalancing duties on US products
The College of Commissioners endorsed today the decision to impose additional duties on the full list of US products notified to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as part of the EU’s response to the US tariffs on steel and aluminium products. Following today’s decision to apply additional duties to selected imports from the United States, the Commission expects to conclude the relevant procedure in coordination with Member States before the end of June so that the new duties start applying in July. The application of the rebalancing duties is fully in line with WTO rules, and corresponds to a list of products previously notified to the WTO. The WTO Safeguards Agreement allows for a rebalancing corresponding to the damage caused by the US measures with EU exports worth €6.4 billion (2017) being affected. The EU will therefore exercise its rights immediately on US products valued at up to €2.8 billion of trade. The remaining rebalancing on trade valued at €3.6 billion will take place at a later stage – in three years’ time or after a positive finding in WTO dispute settlement if that should come sooner. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “This is a measured and proportionate response to the unilateral and illegal decision taken by the United States to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports. What’s more, the EU’s reaction is fully in line with international trade law. We regret that the United States left us with no other option than to safeguard EU interests.” The imposition of rebalancing duties on a list of selected US products is part of the three-pronged response outlined by the European Commission that includes the launch of legal proceedings against the US in the WTO (on 1 June) and the possible triggering of safeguard action. A press release and the List of products for rebalancing is available online.
EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes today to create the InvestEU Programme, bringing EU budget financing in the form of loans and guarantees under one roof. InvestEU will integratethe multitude of financial programmes currently available and expand the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. With InvestEU, the Commission will further boost job creation, investment and innovation in Europe. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The Investment Plan for Europe has proven a success when it comes to mobilising private investment and creating jobs in Europe. It has already triggered almost €290 billion in investment that would not have been possible without it, and provided financing for 635,000 small businesses. With InvestEU, we are taking this successful model and expanding it across the many EU financing programmes on offer. We are simplifying, doing more with less, and placing a stronger focus on social investments.” The new programme will consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. A press release and memo are available online. Factsheets and legislative proposals are available here.
EU Budget: Commission proposes unprecedented investments in infrastructure networks and space technology
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is today proposing two programmes that will boost Europe’s economy by investing in strategic sectors. First, the Commission is proposing to renew the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’, with a budget of €42.3 billion to support investments in the infrastructure networks for transport (€30.6 billion), energy (€8.7 billion) and digital (€3 billion). This represents a 47% increase compared to 2014-2020, showing the EU’s commitment to a well-connected and integrated Union where citizens and businesses can fully benefit from free movement and the single market. The Commission is today proposing that 60% of the budget contributes to climate objectives, which will consolidate Europe’s global leadership in the fight against climate change (More information: see press release and factsheet). European leadership is also at heart of the second instrument. With a budget of €16 billion, the new EU Space programme will help maintain and further enhance the EU’s role in this field.Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the daily lives of Europeans and for Europe to pursue its strategic interests. The new programme builds on successes such as Galileo and EGNOS in satellite navigation, Copernicus in Earth observation and will develop new security components. It will invest more in space activities, adapting to new needs and technologies to foster a strong and innovative space industry. A press release, FAQs and a factsheet on the new EU Space Programme are available online.
EU Budget: The European Commission is today proposing to create the first-ever Digital Europe programme and invest €9.2 billion to align the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027 with increasing digital challenges.
With the Digital Single Market strategy we have established a regulatory framework that is fit for the digital age. This needs to be matched with equally ambitious funding and investments in the Digital Europe programme for increasing EU’s international competitiveness as well as developing and reinforcing Europe’s strategic digital capacities. These key capacities concern high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills and ensuring their wide use and accessibility across the economy and society by businesses and the public sector alike. Read the Press Release here
College of Commissioners welcomes the Austrian Government ahead of the Austrian presidency of the Council
Today the Austrian Federal Government is visiting the European Commission ahead of Austria’s presidency of the Council. This morning President Juncker met bilaterally with Sebastian Kurz. A working lunch is taking place with the Austrian Government and the College of Commissioners, which will be followed by a press point by President Juncker and Chancellor Kurz at approximately 14:45. Follow the press conference live here. Photos of the visit will be available on EbS