16 May 2019
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS 15th MAY 2019Brussels Daily
COLLEGE MEETING: European Citizens’ Initiative “Save the bees!”
Today, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Save the bees! Protection of biodiversity and improvement of habitats for insects in Europe’. The organisers call on the Commission to ‘adopt legislation to maintain and improve habitats for insects as indicators of an undamaged environment’. The Citizens’ Initiative focuses on the creation of mandatory targets ‘to make the promotion of biodiversity an overall objective of the common agricultural policy; to dramatically cut the use of pesticides, ban harmful pesticides without exception and reform eligibility criteria; to promote structural diversity in agricultural landscapes; to effectively reduce nutrients (e.g. Natura 2000); to effectively establish conservation areas; to intensify research and monitoring and improve education.’ Under the Treaties, the EU can take legal action in areas such as the internal market, agricultural policy as well as the protection of public health and the quality of the environment. The Commission therefore considers the initiative legally admissible and decided to register it. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the initiative at this stage. The registration of this initiative will take place on 27 May 2019, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within 1 year, from at least 7 different Member States, the Commission will have to react within 3 months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.
Annual EU-Japan Business Round Table: trade, investment & industrial cooperation
Today in Brussels, the EU-Japan Business Round Table, an annual business summit designed to help develop trade, investment and industrial cooperation between the EU and Japan, is taking place. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will deliver the keynote address and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Cecilia Malmström and Phil Hogan will participate in key panels. On the Japanese side, Kenji Yamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Akimasa Ishikawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry will take the floor. The implementation of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be at the centre of the discussions. The Round Table will in particular cover cooperation in the areas of digital economy, climate change, circular economy and the agri-food industry as well as EU-Japan investment cooperation in third countries. The EPA entered into force on 1 February 2019, creating a market of 635 million people and representing just under a third of the world’s GDP. There are currently 64,000 direct EU exporters to Japan all over Europe, more than 88% of them are SMEs. The EPA will deliver real benefits to both European and Japanese businesses, but awareness and guidance are required to untap its full potential. The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation – co-funded by the Commission and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan – has made this aim central to its activities. The Centre’s EPA Helpdesk is providing companies with simplified and concise factsheets, practical guides and a series of webinars on EPA’s key aspects. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement were signed during last year’s summit in Tokyo, signalling a strengthened commitment for cooperation between the EU and Japan.
For more details see European Commission Daily News