22 May 2019
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS 21ST MAY 2019Brussels Daily
To prepare for the risk of forest fires during the upcoming summer, the Commission is launching today the first fleet of firefighting aircraft under the new rescEU system to tackle natural disasters. So far seven firefighting airplanes and six helicopters will be part of the rescEU fleet during an initial transition period, and the Commission is working together with the participating countries to add extra assets in the coming weeks. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “rescEU is a concrete response, a European response, to help our many citizens who face the threat of natural disasters. We were all shocked, as Europeans, when many people lost their lives in the last years due to forest fires from Portugal to Greece. European solidarity must be about protecting citizens and helping each other in difficult times. rescEU offers practical solutions and puts European solidarity firmly into action.”Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides added:“Forest fires do not wait. To save lives and protect citizens, the EU and its Member States joined forces and made rescEU a reality. With rescEU, we have an extra “safety net” at times of crisis. I am very proud to see our European forest fire fighting fleet becoming a reality this summer. I would like to thank each and every participating State that has contributed to this fleet – preparing us in the best way possible for this year’s fire season.” Europe has witnessed severe natural and man-made disasters in recent years: forest fires, floods, storms and earthquakes resulted in loss of lives – more than 100 in 2018. To better protect citizens in need, rescEU reinforces the Union’s collective ability to prevent, prepare and respond to disasters that affect our societies as of now. The press release and a MEMO are available online. Photos of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a video of the EU’s Copernicus programme and a factsheet on the EU’s emergency centre.
The European Union and China have signed an agreement on civil aviation safety and a horizontal aviation agreement to strengthen their aviation cooperation.The agreements follow up on the EU-China Summit of 9 April and will serve to boost the competitiveness of the EU’s aeronautical sector and enhance overall EU-China aviation relations. This marks yet another key deliverable under the Juncker Commission’s Aviation Strategy for Europe – designed to generate growth for European business, foster innovation and let passengers profit from safer, cleaner and cheaper flights. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “In an increasingly unsettled world, Europe’s partnership with China is more important than ever before. The EU firmly believes that nations working together makes the world a stronger, safer and more prosperous place for all. Yesterday, we took a first big step in this direction by signing two aviation agreements with China that will create jobs, boost growth and bring our continents and peoples closer together. Yesterday’s agreements show the potential of our partnership and we should continue on this path of cooperation. For it will always be in unity that we find strength.” Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “China is one of the European Union’s most important strategic partners and we attach a lot of importance to our excellent relations on transport matters. We are mutually interested in better connecting Europe and Asia and making it easier to move goods, services and people between Europe and China. That applies to aviation, too. Yesterday’s agreements will boost the European Union’s trade in aircraft and related products, and ensure the highest levels of air safety.”
Ministers from seven Black Sea countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine – are meeting in Bucharest today to endorse the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea. With this, the Black Sea region joins the rest of the sea basins bordering the EU in setting a basin-wide initiative for more, and more sustainable, economic growth. The Common Maritime Agenda – the first of its kind in the region – is the result of a process initiated and backed by the European Commission. Between 2015 and 2018 alone, the European Union has supported the region’s blue economy, which represents all economic activities related to our oceans, seas or coastal areas, with more than 13 million euros. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Today the Black Sea region has taken a step towards a new type of sea basin strategy – one based on workable cross-border projects. This will push the region’s blue economy forward sustainably. The countries that share the shores of the Black Sea can make this a success and the European Commission will continue to offer its full support.” Black Sea countries will pursue three goals: healthy marine and coastal ecosystems; a competitive, innovative and sustainable blue economy; and fostering investment in the blue economy.
For more details see European Commission Daily News