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European Commission Daily News – 25 March

Brexit preparedness: EU completes preparations for possible “no-deal” scenario on 12 April

As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April, the European Commission has today completed its “no-deal” preparations. At the same time, it continues supporting administrations in their own preparations and urges all EU citizens and businesses to continue informing themselves about the consequences of a possible “no-deal” scenario and to complete their no-deal preparedness. This follows the European Council (Article 50) conclusions last week calling for work to be continued on preparedness and contingency. While a “no-deal” scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it. Since December 2017, the European Commission has been preparing for a “no-deal” scenario. It has published 90 preparedness notices, 3 Commission Communications, and has made 19 legislative proposals. It is now important that everyone is ready for and aware of the practical consequences a “no-deal” scenario brings. The Commission published today a press release and a series of reader-friendly factsheets on a “no-deal” Brexit in all EU languages. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.:+32 2 299 86500)

Brexit preparedness: Removal of Galileo back-up sites from UK territory continues

As part of its Brexit preparedness work, the Commission is taking the necessary operational steps to ensure business continuity and preserve the security of the Galileo satellite navigation system after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.  The Galileo back-up sites located in the United Kingdom’s territory are being transferred to the EU. Following a Commission decision in January 2018, the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) back-up site has been moved to Spain. Now the two Galileo Sensor Stations located on the Falkland and Ascension Islands are being removed. The Galileo sensor stations located on the Ascension and Falkland Islands host cryptographic material/EU classified information, which in accordance with the EU security rules is not allowed to be located in the territory of third countries, unless relevant agreements are in place. Today the Commission has amended the relevant legal act determining the location of the ground-based infrastructure of the system established under the Galileo programme and setting out the necessary measures to ensure that it functions smoothly. The removal of these two stations does not affect the overall performance of Galileo services, which remains excellent, as there is sufficient capacity in the system. Galileo, the EU’s global satellite navigation system, has been providing positioning and timing services to around 600 million users since December 2016. The number of users continues to grow and Galileo provides an increasingly precise signal across a range of valuable services. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56282; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 2 299 86500)

The Juncker Plan supports the construction of a new agri-food production unit in Brittany

The Investment Plan for Europe – the Juncker Plan – is supporting a EUR 40 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the Sill food group in Brittany. This funding, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), at the heart of the Juncker plan, will build a new infant milk production unit and develop the group’s innovation strategy. Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “With this agreement, the Juncker Plan demonstrates its ability to support the development of our territories. Agribusiness is a vital sector for Brittany and this loan will enable Sill to develop more innovative industrial processes, export more of its production and – most importantly – create jobs in the region. A press release is available online. The Juncker Plan has already generated nearly € 390 billion in investment, including € 64.3 billion in France, and supported 929,000 businesses across Europe. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel .: +32 229-56153; Enda McNamara – Tel .: +32 229 58615)

Commissioner Vella participates in the 10th Monaco Blue initiative to improve global ocean governance

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, is today participating and delivering a keynote speech at the 10th “Monaco Blue Initiative” event. The high-level event, hosted by Prince Albert II of Monaco, provides a framework for discussions on global challenges of ocean management. In his speech, Commissioner Vella took stock of achievements made by the EU to protect the oceans in the past two years. The international community has agreed to set aside 10% of the planet’s waters as Marine Protected Areas by 2020. Protecting marine and coastal areas and their biodiversity through the Natura 2000 network, the EU has already surpassed that goal. Speaking at the conference Commissioner Vella said: “Marine Protected Areas need to be well-designed and well-run. Only then can they contribute to better ocean health. And our research shows that well-managed Marine Protected Areas are not just good for the environment. They are good for the economy as well.” In Southern Europe MPAs generate an average of 640,000 euros each in income to sectors like hospitality and tourism services. The European Union is also promoting new and effectively managed Marine Protected Areas beyond Europe, including in the Southern Ocean. The Commission and the European External Action Servicepublished recently a Joint report outlining the progress made since the adoption of the Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance two years ago. The 50 actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans in Europe and around the world are all successfully being implemented. With the Single-use Plastics Directive the Commission took ambitious steps to reduce plastics litter in the seas and oceans.The speech by Commissioner Vella can be found here(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva – Tel.: +32 229 53664)

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