Recovery Plan for Europe to Set Out


Coronavirus: President von der Leyen sets out the main features of the Recovery Plan for Europe

We know how much European citizens are looking forward to travel.
And we also need to maintain vigilance.

Today we proposed a common European approach to help #EUtourism get back on track while staying healthy and safe.— European Commission 🇪🇺 #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus (@EU_Commission) May 13, 2020

Coronavirus: President von der Leyen sets out the main features of the Recovery Plan for Europe

Yesterday, President von der Leyen gave a speech at the European Parliament plenary debate on the new Multiannual Financial Framework, own resources and the Recovery Plan, setting out the architecture and main features of the Recovery Plan for Europe that the Commission will soon present. Due to the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact on our lives and our economy, President von der Leyen said: “We will recover but it will take time. We need to support those that need it the most, we have to push for investment and reform, and we have to strengthen our economies by focusing on our common priorities like the European Green Deal, digitalisation and resilience.” The recovery package will consist of the new Multiannual Financial Framework revamped to take into account the impact of the crisis and of a Recovery Instrument. The recovery funding will be spent across three pillars: « The first pillar will focus on supporting Member States to recover, repair and come out stronger from the crisis. The bulk of the money will be spent within this first pillar, on a new Recovery and Resilience tool – created to fund key public investment and reforms aligned with our European priorities. The second pillar is about kick-starting the economy and helping private investment to get moving again. We will strengthen InvestEU. We will also create for the first time a new Strategic Investment Facility. This will help invest in key value chains crucial for our future resilience and strategic autonomy. Europe must be able to produce critical medicines itself. The third pillar is about learning the most immediate lessons of the crisis. We will strengthen programmes that have proven their value in the crisis, such as RescEU or Horizon Europe. We will create a new, dedicated Health Programme.” This short-term Recovery Instrument, which will include grants, will focus on where the greatest needs and the potential are, to be able to deliver. In addition to the safety nets already in place, President von der Leyen emphasised that this recovery package “will be the ambitious answer Europe needs”. The European Parliament will play its full role to ensure democratic accountability in this endeavour. The speech is available online in all EU languages. (For more information: Eric Mamer – Tel.: +32 2 299 40 73)

Procédures d’infraction du mois de mai: la Commission prend des mesures en vue d’une mise en œuvre complète, correcte et en temps utile du droit de l’Union dans l’intérêt des citoyens et des entreprises

Pour aider les citoyens et les entreprises à pleinement profiter du marché intérieur, la Commission européenne est en dialogue permanent avec les États membres qui ne respectent pas le droit européen et, au besoin, ouvre des procédures d’infraction à leur égard. Les décisions prises aujourd’hui, dans le cadre des décisions régulières d’infraction, comprennent 145 lettres de mise en demeure (143 mises en demeure and 2 mises en demeure complémentaire), 22 avis motivés et 5renvois à la Cour de justice de l’UE. Elle clôt également 70 dossiers en cours lorsque l’État membre concerné, en coopération avec la Commission, a résolu le problème et assuré le respect du droit de l’Union et que, dès lors, une saisine de la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne n’est pas nécessaire. Dans le contexte de la pandémie de coronavirus et la pression considérable sous laquelle se trouvent les autorités nationales, la Commission a informé les États membres que les délais de réponse aux procédures d’infraction lancées depuis le début de cette année seront prolongés pour tenir compte des circonstances exceptionnelles. Un résumé des principales décisions et les références des communiqués de presse correspondants figurent ici. Les aspects essentiels des procédures d’infraction de l’UE sont décrits ici. (Pour plus d’informations : Eric Mamer – Tél.: + 32 229 94073; Ewelina Juszczak – Tél.: +32 229 91745)

Coronavirus: European Institute of Innovation and Technology mobilises €60 million Crisis Response Initiative

As part of the European Union’s collective efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the EIT Crisis Response Initiativesupporting innovative solutions for social and economic recovery.  Through this initiative, the EIT makes available €60 million in additional funding to help innovators generate high-impact solutions that address the unprecedented challenges presented by the crisis. Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “In a time of crisis such as we are facing today we have to ensure that resources are targeted to deliver results expeditiously. We are ensuring financial support is increased and disbursed more quickly to those who are working on the most promising answers to the difficult questions COVID-19 poses. Thanks to the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, innovators in the EU will benefit from additional support helping them to overcome this unprecedented situation and continue delivering innovative solutions for Europe and its citizens.” The initiative will back short-term new innovation projects directly addressing the crisis (the Pandemic Response Projects strand), as well as provide support to high-impact start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to accelerate their post-crisis growth and help the economic recovery (the Venture Support Instrumentstrand). More information is available in the EIT press release. (For more information: Susanne Conze — Tel.: + 32 229 80236)

European Investment Advisory Hub sends projects worth €34 billion to European Investment Bank pipeline 

The European Investment Advisory Hub releases its 2019 annual report today, which provides an overview of the impact it has had across the EU. Launched in 2015 as a key component of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Advisory Hub has received more than 2,300 requests for advisory support and technical advice. The requests come from across the EU, with the majority coming from cohesion countries, and especially Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. As a direct result of the support received from the Advisory Hub, 150 investment projects worth a total of €34 billion are now being considered for European Investment Bank financing. Around half of those are potentially eligible for backing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments. This figure is expected to increase as advisory support translates into investable projects. Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “Providing local authorities and project promoters with tailored technical assistance can help unlock the financing they need to make their projects a reality. Thanks to the European Investment Advisory Hub, up to €34 billion could flow into various projects, including those in clean energy, innovation as well as smart and social infrastructure. We will build on this positive experience in the future InvestEU Advisory Hub.” You can find many examples of projects which have received support from the Hub on the Advisory Hub website. The press release is available here.  (For more information: Marta Wieczorek – Tel.: +32 229 58197; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

Coronavirus global response: EU provides humanitarian support in Horn of Africa region

The Commission is providing an additional €105.5 million to countries in the Horn of Africa as the coronavirus pandemic risks worsening the humanitarian situation across the region where many continue to suffer from armed conflict, displacement, and recurrent droughts and floods. Furthermore, a large-scale infestation of locusts threatens food security and livelihoods of many vulnerable people in the region. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU remains committed to help address humanitarian needs in countries in the Horn of Africa, all the more so in these challenging times. EU aid will support communities at risk of hunger and strengthen measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. A global pandemic requires a global response.” Funding from this aid package goes to humanitarian projects in Djibouti (€500,000), Ethiopia (€42 million), Kenya (€15 million) and Somalia (€48 million). It will help support health facilities in the provision of basic services, epidemics control and prepare them to face the coronavirus pandemic; provide food assistance to people in need, address the basic needs of refugees and internally displaced people. The full press release is available online. (For more information: Balazs Ujvari – Tel.: +32 229 54578; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Commission welcomes European Parliament’s confirmation that the 2018 budget was well-managed

The Commission welcomes yesterday’s approval by the European Parliament to the way in which the EU budget was managed and implemented in 2018. The vote, granting the ‘discharge’ to the EU budget, is a strong signal that the European Commission, together with EU Member States, did everything possible to make sure every euro from the EU budget goes where it is needed, to the benefit of EU citizens. On the occasion of yesterday’s vote, Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of the budget, said: “I am grateful to the Members of the European Parliament for their vote of confidence, and to the rapporteurs for their tireless work. Their message is clear: we should and will continue making the most out of the EU budget. It is a key expression of EU solidarity and instrumental to Europe’s joint response to challenges such as the coronavirus. Our forthcoming proposal on a reinforced long-term budget, including a strong Recovery Instrument, will further enhance the EU capacity to direct funds where the needs are, helping those most concerned by the ongoing crisis.” The annual budget discharge is the European Parliament’s final approval of how the European Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, has implemented the EU budget in a given year. The discharge vote is therefore the formal closure of the budget year in question. The European Parliament grants discharge on a recommendation from the Council. The procedure therefore allows the European Parliament and the Council to exercise democratic control over the way taxpayers’ money is being spent. (For more information: Balazs Ujvari – Tel.: +32 229 54578; Claire Joawn – Tel.: +32 229 56859)

La Commission salue l’adoption définitive du Règlement sur la réutilisation de l’eau par le Parlement européen

L’adoption par le Parlement européen du Règlement sur la réutilisation de l’eau proposé par la Commission en mai 2018 marque la dernière étape avant l’entrée en vigueur des nouvelles règles. Celles-ci définissent des critères harmonisés sur la qualité minimale de l’eau pour la réutilisation en toute sécurité des eaux usées urbaines traitées dans l’irrigation agricole. En rendant les eaux usées non potables utiles, les nouvelles règles contribueront également à réduire les coûts économiques et environnementaux liés à l’établissement de nouveaux approvisionnements en eau. Le commissaire chargé de l’environnement, des océans et de la pêche, Virginijus Sinkevičius, a déclaré : « Grâce au Règlement sur la réutilisation de l’eau, nos agriculteurs pourront non seulement compter sur des approvisionnements en eau plus prévisibles, mais les fournisseurs de technologies auront de nouvelles opportunités d’investissement. C’est une parfaite illustration de la manière dont l’économie circulaire fonctionne en pratique et agit pour tous. » Les nouvelles règles faciliteront et stimuleront l’adoption de cette pratique bénéfique, tout en garantissant qu’elle se fait de manière sûre et respectueuse de l’environnement. En temps de crise, l’importance d’assurer la résilience des chaînes d’approvisionnement alimentaire est de plus en plus évidente. La réutilisation de l’eau peut garantir à nos agriculteurs un accès à un approvisionnement en eau propre plus prévisible et les aider à s’adapter au changement climatique.Après son adoption au Parlement européen hier, le nouveau Règlement sur la réutilisation de l’eau sera publié dans le Journal officiel et entrera en vigueur 20 jours plus tard. La déclaration complète du commissaire Sinkevičius est disponible ici(Pour plus d’informations: Vivian Loonela – Tél.: +32 229 66712; Daniela Stoycheva – Tél.: +32 229 53664)

European Green Deal: Commission opens public consultation on new climate change adaptation strategy

As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission plans to put forward a new Climate Adaptation Strategy in early 2021, and is opening today a public consultation on this topic (available shortly). The new adaptation strategy will be building on the current strategy adopted in 2013. Stakeholders and citizens are invited to share their views and experience until 20 August 2020. Global and European temperatures have repeatedly broken long-term records in recent years and floods and droughts have increased dramatically. Climate change is no longer a faraway problem for future generation but its impacts on people, planet and prosperity are very real and we feel them here in Europe. The recovery from the current crisis will be an opportunity to make our society more resilient. This includes climate-proofing our economy, integrating climate aspects in risk management practices, and stepping up prevention and preparedness. The Commission is also publishing today the results of the new PESETA project, which presents the projected impacts of climate change on the EU and beyond. (For more information: Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel: +32 460 798012)

State aid: Commission approves State financing granted by Spain for Correos’s universal postal service obligation

The European Commission has found the compensation granted by Spain to Correos to fulfil its public service mission (so-called “universal service obligation” or USO) during the 2011-2020 period to be compatible aid under EU State aid rules. State-owned Correos is the biggest postal operator in Spain. In January 2020, Spain notified the Commission of its plan to compensate Correos with €1,280 million for carrying out its universal postal service obligation during the 2011-2020 period. This includes the provision of basic postal services throughout the country at affordable prices and at certain minimum quality requirements. Of this €1,280 million, €1,219 million was already paid to Correos prior to the notification. The Commission has therefore found that Correos had benefited from illegal (non-notified) aid. The Commission examined the measure under EU State aid rules on public service compensation. According to these rules, companies can be compensated by Member States for the extra cost of providing a public service mission, subject to certain criteria. This enables Member States to grant State aid for the provision of public services while at the same time making sure that companies entrusted with such services are not overcompensated. Avoidance of overcompensation minimises distortions of competition and guarantees an efficient use of public resources. The Commission’s assessment showed that the compensation granted by Spain to Correos will not exceed the net cost of the public service mission, meaning there is no overcompensation. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: « Easy access to postal services is vital for all EU citizens. Today’s decision enables Correos, to continue deliver basic postal services in all of Spain at affordable prices, without unduly distorting competition. »The full press release is available online. (For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel. +32 229 87024; Giulia Astuti – Tel.: +32 229 55344; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

State aid: Commission approves €21 million Czech aid to support environmental clean-up of site of former refinery in Ostrava

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Czech measure to support the environmental clean-up of the former OSTRAMO refinery. All industrial activities of the refinery, located in the Czech city of Ostrava, ceased in 1997. Despite the closure and termination of activities of the refinery, the site is still contaminated, in particular by petroleum hydrocarbons which are normally present in crude oil. The support, with a budget of approximately CZK 600 million (approximately €21 million), will take the form of a direct grant to the lessee of the site of the former OSTRAMO refinery, Global Networks s.r.o. The measure is intended to support the decontamination of the soil and the demolition of buildings necessary for the remediation of the contaminated site itself. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020. The Commission found that the measure will protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impact, in line with the European Green Deal. The Commission also found that the aid is limited to the minimum necessary and that the positive effects of the aid on the environment and public health outweigh any potential negative effect brought about by the public intervention. Finally, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with the “polluter pays principle”. Pursuant to this principle, the costs of measures to deal with pollution should be borne by the company who causes the pollution. Therefore, aid for the decontamination of sites can be granted only if the beneficiary company is not responsible for the pollution. In this case, the Commission concluded that the aid beneficiary is not responsible for the contamination. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case registerunder the case number SA.55522 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. (For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel. +32 229 87024; Giulia Astuti – Tel.: +32 229 55344)

State aid: Commission approves €88 million Bulgarian scheme to support micro and small companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €88 million (approximately BGN 173 million) scheme to support the Bulgarian micro and small companies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and 8 May 2020. The support measures available under the scheme will be to a large part co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€75 million). The support will take the form of grants. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of micro and small companies, including self-employed, and to help them to continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The scheme will be accessible to companies active in different sectors except agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry. It is estimated that approximately 17,300 micro and small enterprises will benefit from this support. The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57283 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. (For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel. +32 229 87024; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Metso’s minerals business by Outotec

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of the minerals business of Metso Oyj (“Metso Minerals”) by Outotec Oyj (“Outotec”), both of Finland. Metso Minerals supplies products and services for the mining, aggregates and recycling industries. Outotec is active in the minerals processing, metals, energy and water and services business. The companies’ activities overlap in the supply of capital equipment for the mining industry, including grinding, flotation, filtration and iron ore pelletizing equipment and related spare parts, wear parts and services at worldwide level. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the presence of large global competing suppliers of similar products and services as well as smaller specialised companies exercising a significant competitive constraint on the entity resulting from the acquisition. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9585.  (For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel. +32 229 87024; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Post source : European Commission Press

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