21 Mar 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 21 MARCHBrussels Daily
Statements on World Water Day on 22 March 2017
In a Joint Statement by Vice-President Katainen, Commissioner Vella and Commissioner Hogan on World Water Day, the Commission reinforces its call for a more circular economy, promoting innovative water reuse in the EU which is good for jobs, farms and the environment. This is welcome news for the more than 1 million who work in the European water sector: “Water is essential for human health, to the natural environment and a precious resource for many sectors of the economy, where output and jobs in areas such as agriculture, navigation and energy production are often strongly water-dependent…Over the past decades, thanks to appropriate regulatory action, billions of euro of investment, and the efforts of millions of people working together, EU citizens can enjoy clean drinking and bathing waters.” On the same occasion, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission Mogherini made as well a Declaration on behalf of the EU reiterating the EU’s “commitment, through Agenda 2030, to achieve access and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, in particular to the most vulnerable groups. Our commitment to leaving no-one behind means that no-one should be deprived of access to clean water. The European Union has provided more than 2.2 billion euro to water and sanitation projects in more than 62 countries worldwide since 2007. The EU is determined to continue supporting people affected by natural and man-made disasters, by providing life-saving access to safe and clean water.” (
EU and Japan make joint commitment to reach a speedy conclusion to trade negotiations
President Juncker and President Tusk are meeting today with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, with the negotiations for a bilateral trade deal featuring prominently on the agenda. In a statement given before the meeting, President Juncker said: We believe this agreement is necessary because we believe in free, fair and rules-based trade. And so we will continue to look out towards the world, rather than return to isolationism. The EU is open for fair business. Our negotiations with Japan are now in a decisive – and hopefully final – stage. Prime Minister Abe’s visit will allow us to reiterate our political commitment to a highly comprehensive, ambitious and balanced deal, so that our capable negotiators make the necessary progress in the outstanding areas. Following our discussions today, I am very confident this will pave the way for a swift agreement this year. As we approach the final stages of the negotiating process, on the EU side we will continue to ensure a high level of transparency and engage directly with stakeholders and civil society on issues related to the negotiations. I look forward to continuing this close partnership with Prime Minister Abe at the upcoming G7 meeting in Taormina, and hopefully at the next EU-Japan summit where we can successfully conclude our negotiations. EU and Japanese negotiators will meet for a new round in Tokyo in April, and the process will intensify further thereafter. Alongside the trade agreement, the EU and Japan are also negotiating a Strategic Partnership Agreement, and leaders are expected to discuss the ongoing negotiations and press ahead for their swift conclusion. This new agreement would reflect Japan’s position as a key strategic partner of the EU in Asia and, alongside the trade agreement, demonstrates the partners’ joint commitment to open and rules-based trade as well as to the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Additionally, in the margins of the CeBIT digital business fair in Hanover, Germany Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Vĕra Jourová launched yesterday the dialogue on data protection and data flows with Japan, to further EU-Japan bilateral cooperation on the data economy. President Juncker‘s statements are available here.