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Commenting on the latest Teagasc National Fodder Survey which shows a deficit of three million tonnes, IFA President Joe Healy said it is clear that farmers will need more help to close this gap. 

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Speech by Commissioner Phil Hogan at Opening of Wageningen University Academic Year



Prime-Minister Rutte, Professor Fresco, Professor Mol, ladies and gentlemen,

As always it’s a pleasure to be in the Netherlands to speak about agriculture. This is a country that proudly carries the title of second biggest exporter of agricultural produce in the world. The agricultural and horticultural sectors play a crucial role, accounting for 10% of the Dutch economy and employment.

I’m also very happy to be back at Wageningen University. I am particularly honoured to be here in the year of your 100th anniversary, which is a tremendous achievement.

I regularly reference the fact that in Europe “we have some of the world’s leading agriculture research institutes, with decades of expertise” – and Wageningen ranks number one in the world in the field of Agriculture & Forestry.

The writer William Gibson famously observed that “the future is here. It is just not evenly distributed yet.”  As I saw during my visit to Wageningen in November 2016, your researchers and students are playing a central part in helping to create the future today, and then distribute it as widely as possible, for the benefit of all, not just for the Netherlands and the EU but all around the world.

I want to make sure that policymakers, including those in the European Commission, are giving you all the opportunities and supports you need to do this vitally important work.

As EU Commissioner for Agriculture, I view it as my mission to encourage young people such as yourselves to become farmers, farm advisers, to code or build better machines, to build new European companies and brands, to make rural areas vibrant and to ” evenly distribute” the future.

And contrary to what some people might tell you, under the Common Agricultural Policy we do have a policy for each and every one of those areas.

I was born on a family farm in Ireland, and represented a rural area in the national Parliament and Government for over 27 years. So, I am aware of the contribution of agriculture to jobs, economies, public goods, from long years of direct experience. I am also aware of the long years of expertise and vocational training that the Netherlands offered farmers in Ireland and other EU countries to aim for the highest levels of productivity and farming excellence.

Today I would like to tell you about our future plans for the CAP, and how our proposals can support a great leap forward for research and innovation in the agriculture and food space.

Current R&I Programmes

And what better place to do this than in the Netherlands. The Dutch are at the forefront of agricultural innovation and understand better than anyone else the importance of research and innovation in this sector. These are exactly the values that I want to build into the future Common Agricultural Policy.

Of course we are not starting from scratch. Already today, through the Horizon2020 programme, we support researchers; while the CAP supports training and installation for young people who want to get into farming, advice for all farmers, as well as services through a farm advisory system.

The CAP provides money for innovative on-farm investments, for setting up new companies in rural areas, and for all of these people to work with each other and bring the newest solutions on-farm, through the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture.

The CAP has always been a frontrunner in using technology and this has contributed to it being one of the most successful EU policies. As the technology has improved, so too has policy implementation – and ambition.

The CAP was the first to use aerial imagery and satellite imagery in its operational processes. It was the first community to deploy geographic information systems such as the Land Parcel Identification System at such scales.

That success is reflected in high performance: Less than 2% of CAP Direct Payments expenditure is made in error.

And more importantly, the CAP is achieving its goal of ensuring a livelihood for farmers and rural communities while maintaining food security – preserving the large variety of high quality, safe, and delicious products and culinary traditions we enjoy in Europe.

These are real and meaningful steps. But now I believe we are ready to move things to the next level.

Future CAP – Satellite Technology

You are all familiar with the scale of the challenge. The global population is increasing rapidly, while the pressure on our climate and environment is greater than ever before.

Farmers play a crucial role in providing safe and high quality food for our citizens and they do this in dramatically changing climatic conditions as shown by the drought in central and northern Europe this summer.

The severe drought experienced by many countries, including the Netherlands, has given us a timely reminder of the urgency of the crisis. The drought dried Dutch rivers and destroyed Dutch crops, mainly corn and potatoes. Farmers worked throughout the night to save anything they could and irrigate as much as possible.

The European Commission took swift and decisive action to offer various supports and derogations to Member States, and I would like to thank the Dutch government for their constructive approach. Minister Carola Schouten and I have been in regular contact throughout July and August to find solutions for Dutch farmers.

Europe stands behind our farmers by helping alleviate their immediate problems and, aware of the fact that such events will only become more frequent, accompanying them with better and more appropriate measures in the future as provided for in the CAP reform proposals. We need to address the bigger problem.

Farming and food production needs to get smarter, cleaner, and greener – and fast. Farmers need to adopt new technologies as part of building climate resilience.

We have been talking about precision agriculture and smart farming for many years already. Now we need to take it to the European mainstream, and the CAP needs to lead the charge. Let me offer just a few examples of where we need to ramp things up.

Europe now has the world’s most comprehensive, high performance, civil constellation of Earth imaging satellites – the Copernicus Sentinels. These offer significant new sources of data for key CAP tasks such as yield forecasts, as well as new priorities such as improved performance monitoring.

We have world class navigation and positioning with Galileo.

We have the capacity to handle big data in the cloud.

And we have an active, creative and productive scientific community advancing the use of Artificial Intelligence.

These technologies help us confront the paradox: the new CAP has more demands placed on it than ever before, yet paradoxically it must also deliver simpler implementation, and implementation targeted to more local conditions.

Technology can help our key stakeholders, both farmers and administrations, to avoid complexity, AND keep financial assurance at the same high level as before.

Technology can help to build systems based on results – we can actually observe and measure progress.

Administrators and farmers will get warnings – not notices of non-compliance.

Farmers will not be checked by sampling – everyone is treated the same, so it is fairer.

And crucially, farmers and administrators will not have to spend hours and days filling in forms and dealing with unwanted officials visiting their land.

In this way, technology can deliver a simpler, better-targeted and better performing EU agri-food production system.

Future CAP – Digitization

It is also high time that EU agriculture policy gets serious about digitisation.

Tim O’Reilly, the visionary who famously promoted the terms “open source software” and “Web 2.0” said that governments should stop trying to be vending machines for punctual solutions to problems and turn instead into facilitators, into platforms where everyone’s agency is welcome, where solutions are found collectively, where knowledge is built through practical engagement in solving each other’s problems.

It is in this light that the European Commission is advancing policies to facilitate increased digitization. For agriculture, this means that we are investing in new technologies; including digital tools; that will help the farmer to save both time and money while at the same time optimizing yields.

Horizon Europe

Of course, lofty words must be matched with resources. In other words, the EU needs to put its money where its mouth is. And I am pleased to say that we have done exactly that.

For the EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for Horizon Europe – the most ambitious research and innovation programme ever.

Of this, 10 billion is dedicated to Food and Agriculture: this is a real breakthrough.

I will work closely with my colleague Commissioner for Innovation and Research, Carlos Moedas, to ensure that these funds contribute to more innovative and circular food systems.

There will also be a far stronger synergy between Horizon & CAP: Two key elements will contribute to the research and innovation agenda:

MS will be required to make available to farmers a system of Farm Advisory Services, which will include advice on all the requirements and conditions at farm level related to the CAP Strategic Plans, such as how to ensure compliance with environmental legislation on water, pesticides, and clean air; how to improve risk management; and how to access innovation and technology.

The second element is to encourage generational renewal and to bring a more technology-focused generation into the sector. Young farmers will benefit from a number of measures, some mandatory, others voluntary.

CAP Strategic Plans

Last, I would like to tell you about the key reform of our proposal for the future CAP: the new delivery model for achieving better results.

Under the new delivery model, each MS will design a CAP Strategic Plan: put simply this is an integrated policy roadmap explaining how they will reach their agreed targets and deliver their agreed results. The Commission will approve and support each of those plans.

There are 9 key policy objectives that MS must meet in their CAP Strategic Plan: knowledge and innovation is one of these. And generational renewal is another.

In other words, each MS must outline in detail how they propose to boost research and innovation, and support generational renewal, in their agri-food sector over the 7 year budget period.

The new system will deliver real, measurable results. For example, I have long signalled the need for the next CAP to show a higher level of environmental and climate ambition in line with the expectations of our citizens. I believe that farmers are crucial to meeting our sustainability goals.

The Commission’s proposal delivers on that belief.  Actions under the CAP are expected to contribute 40 per cent of the overall CAP budget to climate mainstreaming.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proposing to put the provision of high quality food at the centre of the European Agricultural Policy post 2020. This means that the CAP will contribute to food security for consumers, but also benefits in relation to sustainability, energy and climate action, trade, the circular economy, the bio economy, the digital economy, rural jobs and rural viability, and our precious food culture and traditions.

And with the help of new technology and innovation, we will protect our own natural resources, as well as deploying those technologies to Africa and elsewhere to help feed the growing population of the world.

These are important policy areas for any government and should not be taken for granted in any EU Member State. The only group of people that can achieve these policy objectives for all of us are well trained farmers – the type of people that are educated and trained here in Wageningen University.

Those professional farmers must be paid a reasonable income to do this critically important work and therefore it is necessary to be mindful of a well-funded EU Common Agricultural Policy. We should not take for granted this successful policy.

Let me conclude by thanking you once more for inviting me here today. Thank you, and the best of luck for this academic year!

The persistent dry periods and hotter-than-usual conditions are constraining yield potentials. Yields of for winter cereals are down and forecasts for spring barley have been revised downwards.

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EU trade defence: stronger and more effective rules enter into force

The new trade defence rules will become effective as of tomorrow, 8 June. All new investigations initiated on or after this date will be subject to the modernised anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.

The changes coming into force tomorrow, aimed at modernising the EU’s trade defence toolbox,enable the EU to impose higher duties in some cases by changing the ‘lesser duty rule’; shorten the investigation period to accelerate the procedure; increase transparency and predictability of the system for EU firms; and reflect the high environmental and social standards applied in the EU. They conclude a major overhaul of the EU’s trade defence instruments, including also a new anti-dumping methodology put in place in December of last year.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The EU believes in open and fair trade but we are not naïve free traders. We have shown our teeth when we had to by adopting anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures. And now we have new and improved trade defence rules in our arsenal to face down some of today’s challenges in global trade. Make no mistake – we will do whatever it takes to defend European producers and workers when others distort the market or don’t play by the rules.”

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “Finally, this long-awaited reform can be rolled out and put into action. European companies have been looking for a modern set of rules. I am very confident that this provides us with the necessary tools to efficiently defend our industries from unfair trade practices. We believe in open, rules-based trade. Now, we are better equipped to stand up for our companies if other countries don’t stick to the rules.”

The new rules will shorten the current 9 month investigation period to 7 months for the imposition of provisional measures and make the system more transparent. Companies will benefit from an early warning system telling them if provisional duties will be imposed, which will help them adapt to the new situation. The Commission will support smaller and medium-sized companies (SMEs) via its specific “SME helpdesk” to make it easier for them to participate in trade defence proceedings.

Also, as a result of changes to the so-called ‘lesser duty rule’, in some cases, the EU may be able to impose higher duties. This will apply to all anti-subsidy cases, as well as antidumping cases concerning imports produced using raw materials and energy provided at an artificially low price.

As part of its investigations, the Commission will also take into account the costs of compliance with EU social and environmental legislation when calculating the levels of duties it can impose based on economic damage caused to companies. Furthermore, it will also not accept price undertakings, in general, from countries that have a bad record on implementing core International Labour Organisation standards and environmental agreements. For the first time, trade unions will also be able to participate in trade defence investigations.


Together with the new anti-dumping methodology, already in force, this is the first major overhaul of the EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy instruments in 15 years. It is the result of almost five years of work, including broad consultations with multiple stakeholders and negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission first proposed a reform of the EU’s trade defence instruments in 2013. The Council reached a compromise in December of 2016. After a political agreement was found between the EU institutions in December of 2017, the Council endorsed the compromise in April of 2018. Following the final endorsement of the new rules by the European Parliament, the new legislation will now enter into force on 8 June.

For More Information

Factsheet on the modernised EU trade defence

Q&A on the new measures

New antidumping methodology

General information on EU Trade Defence

SME guide to trade defence


Agriculture: €179 millions pour for promotion of EU agri-food products

The 2018 programmes for the promotion of EU agri-food products will focus primarily on the markets with the greatest potential growth, essentially countries outside the European Union (EU).

The 2018 work programme was adopted on 15 November 2017, and as in previous years will allow EU funding from the common agricultural policy budget to be used to co-finance promotional campaigns for EU agri-food products.

A total of €179 million will be available for promotion programmes selected for EU co-financing in 2018, compared to €142 million in 2017. More information here


EUROSTAT: September 2017 – Euro area international trade in goods surplus €26.4 bn – €3.1 bn surplus for EU28

The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in September 2017 was €187.1 billion, an increase of 5.6% compared with September 2016 (€177.2 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €160.7 bn, a rise of 5.1% compared with September 2016 (€152.9 bn). As a result, the euro area recorded a €26.4 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in September 2017, compared with +€24.3 bn in September 2016. Intra-euro area trade rose to €157.6 bn in September 2017, up by 4.9% compared with September 2016. Full text available here

Bringing inland waterways to the forefront of efficient, digital and low-carbon transport

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc is attending the Inland waterways and ports dialogue in Strasbourg today. The event gathers stakeholders and EU decision-makers to discuss a vision for inland waterways transport towards 2030. At this occasion Commissioner Bulc said: “European inland waterways and ports have united people and facilitated growth for centuries. Therefore I welcome the sector’s vision towards even more sustainability and innovation. It is high time to boost the potential for a digitally connected, low-carbon, and highly skilled inland navigation and port sector. A major step was achieved yesterday, with the adoption of the Directive on professional qualifications in inland waterways by the European Parliament. The Directive is now only pending the approval of the Council of the EU.” Inland waterway transport, that is, the use of rivers, canals and lakes for connecting people and trade, provide a reliable and environmentally-friendly transport option. The sector is small in relative terms, but with 140 billion tonne kilometres makes a considerable contribution to the EU’s transport system and the aim is to realise more multimodal integration. The EU seeks to make inland waterways a decarbonised, digital and innovative alternative, which provides efficient mobility throughout the EU. EU-supported projects in the sector do not only improve navigability, but also the ecological status and resilience against climate change.  This can be achieved for example by promoting smart, clean and modular barges, and multimodal inland ports, as well as by deploying alternative fuels.


Commission reports on progress in Bulgaria and Romania under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism

The European Commission issued today its latest reports on steps taken by Bulgaria and Romania to meet their commitments on judicial reform and the fight against corruption, and in the case of Bulgaria organised crime, in the context of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) set up when the countries joined the European Union in 2007. Today’s reports looks concretely at the progress made to meet the recommendations issued by the Commission in its January 2017 CVM Reports. On Bulgaria, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “We have seen progress in many areas but there is still more work needed. Bulgaria has met or made progress on several of our recommendations, but not yet all. I count on the Bulgarian Government to implement all the planned reforms, and to avoid backtracking, so that we can move towards the goal of ending the CVM under this Commission’s mandate.” On Romania, Timmermans said: “We have seen progress in some areas but there is still more work to be done. Romania has met some of our recommendations, but there is not enough progress yet on others. I count on the Romanian Government to pursue the necessary reforms, and to avoid backtracking, so that we can work together towards the goal of ending the CVM under this Commission’s mandate.” The Commission’s last reports in January 2017 took stock of overall progress in the past ten years and identified 12 specific recommendations for Romania and 17 specific recommendations for Bulgaria, which would help them move towards fulfilment of all CVM benchmarks. The Commission will assess progress again towards the end of 2018. Press releases are available online on the reports for Bulgaria and Romania, and a Memo provides more information about the CVM process and the benchmarks and recommendations. The CVM Reports are available online here.


The future of EU finances: Commissioner Creţu discusses Cohesion policy after 2020 in the Council

This morning, Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu discussed the future of EU funds with the ministers in charge of cohesion, on the basis of the 7th Cohesion Report. Commissioner Creţu said: “Cohesion policy should keep on investing in all EU regions and address the main challenges of our times; the fight against social exclusion and youth unemployment, migration, adaptation to globalisation and climate change. It should continue to support sustainable transport, health and digital infrastructure, small businesses and innovation, focusing on areas where the highest EU value added can be achieved.” On how Cohesion policy can best support structural reforms, Commissioner Creţu suggested that the process of fulfilling and assessing the preconditions to successful investments (so-called “ex-ante conditionalities“) should be reviewed. Incentives for reforms could be provided throughout the funding period and not only in the beginning. “We should also reflect on whether the European Semester annual cycle and the mid-term planning of Cohesion policy could be better linked,” the Commissioner added. Commissioner Creţu called for “a lighter, proportionate and tailor-made approach” to claiming EU payments for beneficiaries: “Real or simplified costs should not be the only options. Many countries support payments upon fulfilment of pre-agreed conditions.” Finally, the Commissioner suggested that similar projects financed under different EU funds should be treated the same way, for example as regards public procurement. The Commissioner’s speaking points are available here. A press conference with Commissioner Creţu and Mr Jaak Aab, Minister of public administration and political representative of the Estonian Presidency responsible for Cohesion policy, is organised in the Council’s Europa building at 13h CET and live on EbS.


Commission to amend Land Transport Agreement with Switzerland

The Commission has asked today the Council for a mandate to negotiate with Switzerland an amendment of the 1999 bilateral Land Transport Agreement. This amendment is necessary to allow Switzerland to participate in the European Union Agency for Railways, as foreseen by the Agency regulation. Switzerland applies rules equivalent to those in the EU in the areas of railway interoperability and railway safety, it fulfils the conditions for participation as a third country in the work of the Agency. Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: “Switzerland is an important partner for the EU, situated at the heart of the European rail network. Its participation in the work of the Agency European Union Agency for Railways would be mutually beneficial, particularly for railway safety and interoperability.” The mandate requested by the Commission is needed exclusively to negotiate the necessary amendment to the bilateral Land Transport Agreement. Following this action, the exact terms of Swiss participation in the Agency would be negotiated directly between the Agency and Switzerland.


EU and China strengthen cooperation on education, culture, youth, gender equality and sport

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong met on 13-14 November 2017 on the occasion of the 4th EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue in Shanghai. The dialogue was launched in 2012 to build trust and understanding between the peoples of the EU and China. This year’s exchanges focused on culture, but education, gender equality, youth and, for the first time, sport were also discussed. Following the meeting, Commissioner Navracsics said: “EU and China increasingly share global responsibilities. We work together on complex issues, from fighting poverty and tackling climate change to boosting trade and security. We build on shared views but sometimes we need to bridge differences. Promoting mutual understanding and respect between our people and cultures is therefore today more important than ever if we want to succeed.” Over the past decade the EU and China have closely cooperated in the areas of education, training, culture, multilingualism and youth through sector-focused policy dialogues. In 2012, the European Commission and China decided to integrate these sectoral activities under the High Level People-to-People Dialogue, which complements the EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and High Level Strategic Dialogue. The full press release in EN/FR/DE is available online.


EU and ASEAN step up their cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) are marking a milestone in their 40 years of bilateral relations, as they are holding their first high level dialogue on Sustainable Development on 17 November in Bangkok. More specifically, the two regions aim to promote green growth, address the challenges posed by climate change and empower women and girls as key drivers of change. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, who is representing the EU at the high level dialogue, said: “The EU and ASEAN are two of the most advanced examples of regional integration. We are therefore natural partners for promoting Sustainable Development, and our cooperation is growing: we are launching today three new ASEAN-EU flagship programmes for a total of EUR 85 million.” The new programmes will further strengthen EU-ASEAN cooperation and support the ASEAN states’ efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change. Recognising that empowering women is a key component for sustainable development, the project launched today under the Spotlight Initiativewill empower women migrant workers in the ASEAN region. Secondly, the EU will support policy dialogue, which will facilitate experience sharing among policy makers, experts and civil society across all sectors from trade and economic development, to social, environmental and security affairs, bringing the ASEAN region and the EU closer together. Thirdly, the EU also promotes sustainable trade and economic integration in line with the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025. The EU has significantly stepped up its support to the ASEAN region, having doubled it to over EUR 170 million for 2014 to 2020. This is in addition to EUR 2 billion already provided to ASEAN Member States at the national level.(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela.


State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Irish credit union resolution scheme

The European Commission has found the prolongation of an Irish scheme for the orderly winding-up of credit unions to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular with the 2013 Banking Communication (see also MEMO). The objective of the scheme is to safeguard financial stability when a credit union becomes unable to meet regulatory requirements. It allows Ireland to provide aid for transferring the assets and liabilities of a failing credit union to an acquirer through a competitive process. This will help to achieve the maximum value for the assets and liabilities, ensuring that the aid is limited to the minimum necessary for an orderly winding-up, and that no buyer gains an undue economic advantage through the acquisition of under-priced assets and liabilities. The scheme is valid until 31 May 2018. The Commission initially approved the scheme in December 2011. It has been prolonged several times since then, the last time in July 2017. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the reference SA.49274.


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Axion by BP and Bridas

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Axion Energy Holding S.L. of Spain by BP p.l.c. of the UK and Bridas Corporation of the British Virgin Islands.  Axion is active in the refining of crude oil and the sale of petroleum products and its derivatives in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It is currently solely controlled by Bridas. BP is active in crude oil and natural gas exploration and production as well as in the refining, supply and transportation of petroleum and related products, along with alternative energies. Bridas is a holding company with indirect activities in exploration, development, production and transportation of crude oil and natural gas, in power generation, and the sale of fuels, lubricants and associated products. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because Axion has negligible activities within the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8671.





European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2017 – Statement by Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Today we mark the 10th anniversary of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day, by raising awareness once more about the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – one of the biggest threats to global health. With 25 000 deaths per year and €1.5 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU, a robust communication effort is needed more than ever. But raising awareness is not enough, we need action that bridges differences and raises the level of all Member States to that of the highest performer. With increasing resistance even to last-resort antibiotics such as Colistin, we face a frightening “post-antibiotic” future where we could lose the ability to perform any major surgery, organ transplant or successfully implant devices like new hips or heart valves. By 2050, AMR could potentially kill one person every three seconds and become a more common cause of death than cancer. It is precisely to avoid this unthinkable future that on 29 June we presented a new One Health action plan against AMR, building on nearly two decades of EU action in both the human health and veterinary health sectors, taking account of the lessons learnt from the previous EU actions. It stresses that we need to tackle antimicrobial use in people and animals simultaneously, while better addressing the role of AMR in the environment. It stresses that the EU should play a leading role in the fight against AMR and should add value to Member States’ actions. The goal of the new Action Plan is to preserve our ability to effectively treat infections in humans and animals. The key objectives are: ‘Making the EU a best practice region’; ‘Boosting research and innovation’; and ‘Shaping the global agenda’. The Statement is available online.



Commissioner Jourová participates in the first G7 Ministerial on gender equality in Taormina, Italy

Today and tomorrow, Commissioner Jourová is representing the European Union at the G7 Ministerial meeting on gender equality, held in Taormina, Italy. This is the first ever G7 Ministerial dedicated to the topic of gender equality. Ministers from the G7 countries will discuss the implementation of the G7 Roadmap for a Gender Responsive Economic Environment, adopted by G7 Leaders at the Summit held last May. Commissioner Jourová said ahead of the meeting: “This first G7 ministerial on gender equality is an important statement to the world. The #MeToo campaign reminded us that violence and sexual harassment is not a problem limited to one country or one region, or just to some women. Also in all G7 countries, women continue to earn less than men. We need to fight the persisting gender inequalities together at international level. We want women to be able to participate fully in order for our economies and societies to thrive.” The Commissioner will attend a working lunch on Women’s economic and political empowerment and then take part in a working session on preventing and combating gender-based violence. On Thursday, the participants will adopt a Final Declaration calling on all G7 countries to adopt national Action Plans on combatting gender-based violence. Commissioner Jourová will also participate in the press conference at 13:30. The European Commission dedicated 2017 to fighting violence against women; it will dedicate its annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on 20-21 November to “Women’s rights in turbulent times”, and present an Action Plan to tackle the gender pay gap on 20 November.


Commissioner Andriukaitis attends World Health Organisation Ministerial Conference on Tuberculosis in Moscow

On 16-17 November, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, is in Moscow participating in the first World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Ministerial Conference “Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: a Multisectoral Response”. Ahead of the visit, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: “Tuberculosis is the world deadliest infectious disease. The time has come to join forces and strengthen our efforts – across borders, across sectors, across organisations – to eradicate this disease. I am looking forward to work together with colleagues form WHO,  OIE, the global fund , UNICEF, OECD and the World Bank towards this goal”. Later on Thursday, he will hold a bilateral meeting with the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. On Friday, the Commissioner will attend the ministerial parallel panel on research and innovation. In the margins of the Conference, bilateralmeetings with the Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, Ms Veronika Skvortsova, and the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, Mr Alexander Tkachev are also foreseen.

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