10th Ministerial Conference on Trade gives new impetus to Euro-Mediterranean economic integration
The trade ministers and senior trade representatives of the member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean met yesterday in Brussels for the 10th ministerial meeting. The meeting, which was held for the first time since 2010, focused on a number of trade-related priority areas and produced two action plans that will facilitate and promote trade and investment in the region. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “We have made concrete progress on a number of issues and have taken another step forward in realizing the economic potential of this region through trade. but it has become very clear from the discussions that restrictions or protectionism are never the solution and that the only way to achieve our goals is to have fair and open trade. ” Ministers agreed to work in 2018 on new rules of origin that should provide businesses with greater flexibility in sourcing components and ingredients in various parts of the region. They also approved an action plan to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and to cooperate in a number of sectors including automotive, textiles and clothing, environmental goods and services and information and communication technologies. They also discussed the possible establishment of a regional working group on sanitary and phytosanitary cooperation and a possible road map for the approximation of technical requirements for products marketed in the region. Participants recognized the great potential that a regional free trade area could have once finalized and agreed to continue work by the 2019 ministerial meeting. More information is available online.
President Juncker participates in Tripartite Social Summit
Tomorrow, President Juncker will participate in the Tripartite Social Summit in Brussels. He will be accompanied by Vice-President in charge of the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, and the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labor Mobility, Marianne Thyssen. The Tripartite Social Summit is a bi-annual opportunity for exchanges between representatives of European employee and employer organizations, the European Commission, the European Council, EU Heads of State or Government and Ministers of the European Union. Employment and Social Affairs of the countries holding the current and the next Presidency of the Council of Presidents of the EU. This edition is entitled “Achieving the objectives of the European Pillar of Social Rights”, a subject that will also be discussed at the European Council on 22 and 23 March. At the Tripartite Social Summit, participants will discuss how to strengthen innovation, job creation and social equity in the multiannual financial framework, the challenges for employment and social dialogue in the framework of the new formulas and economic and social convergence to boost growth. More information here
WiFi4EU: Commission opens registration phase for EU funding of free Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas
Today, the European Commission launched the WiFi4EU web portal. Currently, municipalities across Europe are invited to register their data before the first call for projects in mid-May, in order to benefit from EU funding to build free WiFi access points. The WiFi4EU program offers vouchers worth € 15,000 to municipalities for setting up free WiFi access points in public spaces, including libraries, museums, public parks and public squares. As stated by President Jean-Claude Juncker, the WiFi4EU initiative aims to connect “every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centers of public life by 2020”. municipalities can use the good WiFi4EU to buy and install Wi-Fi equipment (wireless access points) in the centers of their local public life. Network maintenance costs will be covered by the municipality. Networks funded by WiFi4EU will be free, without advertising and without collecting personal data. Funding will only be granted to networks that do not duplicate free public or private offers of similar quality in the same public space. You can find more information in a press release, Q & A and a presentation.
The Juncker Plan reaches 274 billion euros of investment mobilized
The Juncker Plan is now expected to generate 274 billion euros of investment in the EU and benefit 600,000 SMEs. This represents around 87% of the original target of mobilizing EUR 315 billion by the summer of 2018. These new figures follow the latest transactions of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to be approved by the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Thanks to the EU budget guarantee under the Juncker Plan, the EIB Group has approved € 55 billion in funding for projects and SMEs in the 28 Member States that will mobilize the € 274 billion investments. In concrete terms, 374 infrastructure and innovation projects – representing € 41.3 billion in funding – have been approved under EFSI. In addition, 389 financing agreements – worth € 13.7 billion – have been approved for small businesses (SMEs). Currently, the top five countries ranked according to SIEF investment triggered, relative to GDP, are Greece, Estonia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain.
25-year-old single market: Presidents of the European Parliament, the Commission and the rotating Council Presidency welcome its fundamental progress for the benefit of all Europeans “
A market, a Europe”: the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the holder of the rotating presidency of the Council and Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov, published today a joint declaration to commemorate 25 years of the single market of the European Union. “The single market offers European citizens the freedoms and opportunities that our parents and grandparents could only dream of and our social market economy benefits all of us,” they said, adding: “In the 25 In recent years, we have made major breakthroughs: we no longer have to pay roaming charges for our mobile phones, our energy bills are cheaper, our consumer rights are better protected, and wherever we do our business. In Europe, we continue to improve the functioning of our single market day by day by putting an end to unauthorized geo-blocking by giving consumers more choice when it comes to their retirement investments or improving access to public procurement contracts “. You can find the entire joint declaration here
Commission showcases how science and innovation can benefit Europe’s cultural heritage
As part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the European Commission is today organizing a High Level Horizon 2020 Conference on Innovation and Cultural Heritage to present some of the most promising innovations to preserve and enhance heritage. cultural heritage for future generations. Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: “We must preserve our cultural heritage for future generations. Research and innovation are our great allies – they offer advanced solutions and technologies for We are taking advantage of the opportunity of the European Year of Cultural Heritage to highlight the long-term projects that can protect and promote heritage. ” Commissioner Moedas, responsible for research, science and innovation added: “Cultural heritage is an unlimited source of innovation where traditions meet cutting-edge technologies.” Our ambition is to make Europe the leader Global Heritage Innovation Initiative with the support of Horizon 2020, the European Research and Innovation Finance Program. “Commissioner Gabriel, in charge of the digital economy and society, concluded: “Technological and digital innovations have unique potential because they facilitate access to our heritage in a way that has never been achieved in our world. For example, the Europeana platform is not just a digital treasure that preserves our cultural heritage but a channel and an open door to our past, present and future. ” You can find a press release online