09 Mar 2020


Brussels, Brussels Daily

The first 100 days of the von der Leyen Commission: the first big steps on our journey

This morning, President von der Leyen presented the main challenges facing her Commission on the 100th day of her mandate during a press conference. The Commission is now dealing with new, pressing priorities, namely the situation at the Greek-Turkish border and the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, we remain committed to driving the work on the twin transition, towards a green and digital Europe. The von der Leyen Commission is therefore acting on all fronts. Tonight, President von der Leyen will meet Turkish President Erdoğan to discuss solutions to end the pressure at the EU’s external borders. In parallel, the Commission is coordinating an EU-wide effort to solve the issue of unattended minors on the Greek islands. As regards the COVID-19 outbreak, the Commission’s Response Team is working with the Member States on preparedness, risk assessment, joint procurement and funding of research on diagnostics, treatment and vaccines. In view of these new priorities, President von der Leyen highlighted the need for a swift agreement on the next long-term EU budget, today more than ever. On the twin transition that Europe facing, the von der Leyen Commission has moved from talk to action within its first 100 days. The European Green Deal has sent a clear message worldwide and the European Climate Law presented last week has turned the hard ambition of becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 into hard legislation. In the digital area, the Commission has introduced milestones, with a common position of risks linked to 5G networks rollout, a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and a Data Strategy. The President’s opening remarks at the press conference will be soon available here. A press release and factsheets are also available online, as well as an op-ed by President von der Leyen: ‘Move fast, build to last: Europe’s new generation’.(For more information: Eric Mamer – Tel.: +32 229-94073; Dana Spinant – Tel.: +32 229 90150)

Sustainable Finance: Commission welcomes expert group reports on EU taxonomy and the EU Green Bond Standard

Today, the Commission has welcomed the publication by the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance of a report on the EU’s classification of green economic activities – or taxonomy – and a report on the EU Green Bond Standard. The Technical Expert Group is made up of members from across civil society, academia, business and the finance sector, and assists the Commission in developing policies on sustainable finance. Today’s report on taxonomy contains recommendations on the design of the EU’s ‘green list’, including guidance on how companies and financial institutions can use it. The Commission will use this report as a basis to develop rules setting out the EU’s classification of green activities for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “Sustainable finance will be essential to mobilise much-needed financing to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. These reports by the Technical Expert Group are welcome as they provide excellent input for us to develop our final standards on climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. They will also help us establish EU green bond standards as part of broader measures to spur the take-up of sustainable finance in Europe.” The Commission will adopt the classifications for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation in the form of Delegated Acts by the end of 2020, as set out in the Taxonomy Regulation. In addition, the report on the EU Green Bond Standard provides further guidance for businesses and market participants on how to use the recommendations made in June 2019 by the Technical Expert Group. The Commission will use an upcoming public consultation on sustainable finance to explore a possible initiative for an EU Green Bond Standard. The Technical Expert Group will continue to meet in an advisory role until the end of September 2020 and provide advice on various sustainable finance topics. The Commission will organise a web-based stakeholder dialogue on these final reports (available here) on 12 March. (For more information: Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 229 86500; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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