Category Archives: eu

GEAR 2030 for sustainably growing automotive sector

 “The car industry is at a turning point. The emissions scandal has seriously damaged its reputation and credibility. Public health and the environment are at stake, societal expectations are changing and global competition is tough. This report is a good basis for a (re)start. I am pleased that it is broadly supported by both government and industry. Clearly we can achieve our goals through close collaboration.” Said Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

The High Level Group “GEAR 2030” has issued its report for a globally competitive and sustainably growing automotive sector. Jointly, public and private sector representatives brought together by the European Commission recommend that the car industry invests in clean, zero emissions vehicles and connected and automated driving. The Commission will now reflect on the recommendations and explore policy options to address them. A number of initiatives are already in the pipeline, such as the upcoming second Mobility Package including tighter CO2 standards, and the initiative for battery development and production in Europe. The car industry plays a pivotal role in the Commission’s Industrial Policy Strategy announced by President Juncker in his State of the Union speech.

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EIB: EUR 4.7 billion investment

“We continue to observe an investment drought in the European economy hurting the future competitiveness of the continent, and market gaps in long-term financing opportunities available,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. “The new projects approved today continue EIB’s contribution towards filling those gaps, to supporting sustainable investment across Europe and around the world. But we also stand ready to help regions to get back on their feet when natural disasters strike, as today’s financing package for Italy shows.”

The board of the European Investment Bank approved a total of EUR 4.7 billion of new financing for 30 projects across Europe and around the world at its meeting in Luxembourg today, including EUR 530 million for natural disaster recovery in Italy.

Reconstruction efforts will follow 40 different extreme weather events in 16 Italian regions over the last three years. This will help to finance urban reconstruction, including housing and public buildings, as well as financing to small companies and agricultural businesses impacted by recent natural disasters.

Other approved operations included backing for road and rail transport, renewable energy and electricity interconnectors, industrial innovation, healthcare, education and off-grid solar energy.

Investment Plan for Europe

Financing for eleven projects approved by the EIB board will be backed by the Investment Plan for Europe and support overall investment totaling EUR 1.6 billion in fifteen EU countries.

Today’s approvals included support for research and development in Bulgaria, Germany, France and Denmark as well as financing for transport and social infrastructure in Poland.

Improving urban, regional and national transport

A total of EUR 1.8 billion of new financing was approved for 8 new rail and road transport projects. This includes support for rail and road network modernisation in Poland, new trams in the Rhine-Neckar conurbation and new intercity rolling stock for use on routes between Paris and the Normandy coast.

New financing for congested urban roads in Tunisia was also approved, supporting construction of 8 new road junctions in the city of Sfax.

Supporting sustainable energy and improving electricity networks

Support for investment in new onshore windfarms in Latvia, as well as new small scale geothermal, biomass and solar power schemes across Italy, was approved amongst a total of EUR 664 million for new energy investment.

The board also backed financing proposals to modernise and reduce energy use in district heating in Krakow, to construct a new combined heat and power plant fuelled by waste in Sofia and to build a 400kV electricity interconnector between Romania and the Moldovan capital Chisinau.

It also agreed to a new scheme to support energy and water efficiency investment by private householders in Portugal.

Enabling corporate innovation and research

The EIB board approved more than EUR 495 million of new financing to support innovation by private companies. This includes modernisation of steel manufacturing in Germany and France, development of catalysts in Denmark, energy efficient cables in Italy, and research into new vaccines in Bulgaria.

Improving health and education facilities

Reflecting the EIB’s commitment to support long-term investment in social infrastructure and innovation, new financing to support the design, construction and fitting out of a new medical simulation centre in Warsaw and modernisation of high schools in the Seine-Saint-Denis department was also approved.

Backing urban regeneration

The board gave the green light for proposals to support city wide regeneration, renovation and preservation investment schemes in Limerick and financing investment in cities across Silesia.

Support for small business investment

A total of EUR 560 million of new financing to be managed in partnership with local banks was approved. This will improve access to finance by small and medium sized companies in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.

EU: better use of European Arrest Warrant

 “The European Arrest Warrant is a success story. It shortens drastically the time for criminals to be transferred from one EU country to the other. It allows these criminals to be brought to justice in the country where they committed their crime. A more efficient cooperation between justice authorities will improve safety in Europe “. Said Commissioner Jourová opened the High Level Expert meeting on the European Arrest Warrant today, where a handbook was presented.

The European Commission is releasing today a handbook to support judicial authorities to make better use of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to improve the fight against cross-border crime.  Since its launch in 2004, the European Arrest Warrant has been the most used EU instrument of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, with 16,144 European Arrest Warrants issued in 2015. The European Arrest Warrant allowed for the speedy extradition of, for example, a terrorist involved in the Paris attacks caught in Brussels and a gang of armed robbers sought by Italy whose members were arrested in six different EU countries. The handbook provides a series of tips and recommendations to help judges and practitioners when they issue or execute a European Arrest Warrant.

EU to facilitate food donation

 

The Commission adopted today guidelines to facilitate food donation in the EU, a key deliverable of the Circular Economy Action Plan.

Welcoming the adoption, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “I am particularly happy that today, on the occasion of the World Food Day, we have a good news to report. In EU around 550.000 tons of food are redistributed to 6.1 million people by food banks in the EU, but that’s only a fraction of the estimated volume of food which could be redistributed to prevent food waste and help fight food poverty. I am convinced that the guidelines adopted today will not only help industry and charity organisations to make their job easier and hence provide to those in greatest need but also become a reference for national authorities and operators to facilitate food donation in the EU”.

The aim is to clarify relevant EU legislation and help lift barriers to food donation. The EU guidelines will help donors and recipients of surplus food to make sure that they respect relevant requirements such as food hygiene and food information to consumers, thereby ensuring safe food donation practices. The guidelines also promote common interpretation of EU rules applicable to food donation, including those related to VAT.  The EU guidelines were developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste bringing together Member States, international organisations, industry, food banks and other charity organisations.

#IMF2017: EIB claims better cooperation on migration

Irregular migration and forced displacement is not new. But for too long we have lacked a joint, coordinated approach to address both the root causes of this phenomenon and its consequences.
Global institutions like Multilateral Development Banks have a special responsibility to cooperate. It is urgent for us to improve the way in which we work together as we bring assistance to people in all the countries concerned.” Said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Better coordination of the work of Multilateral Development Banks could have a significant impact on the millions of people around the world affected by the migration and forced displacement challenge. This is the thinking behind a new proposal debated today by representatives of the world’s multilateral development banks and countries from the G7 in Washington at the IMF/World Bank Group annual meetings.

EIB President and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva were co-chairing the meeting alongside Vincenzo La Via, one of Italy’s high level representatives at the G7.

President Hoyer added, “As the destination of thousands of tragic journeys across the Mediterranean, Italy, which chairs the G7 this year, has been shouldering a disproportionate part of the task of dealing with desperate migrants and displaced persons arriving in Europe. I believe we must respond positively and urgently to Italy’s request to strengthen cooperation among MDBs in this area. We must get better at how we MDBs as a group help address the shocks and stresses that arise from this profound change.” 

EU guidelines for sales farmland

EU Member States have the right to restrict sales of farmland to preserve agricultural communities and promote sustainable agriculture.

The European Commission has issued guidance to help Member States protect agricultural land from threats such as excessive price speculation and ownership concentration.  But in doing so they must comply with EU law, in particular rules on free movement of capital. In 2015, the Commission launched infringement procedures against Member States that discriminate against investors from other EU countries and create disproportionate restrictions on cross-border investment. In today’s Communication, the Commission provides indications to Member States on what they can do to regulate the sale of farmland, based on case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Today’s Communication responds to a call in March by the European Parliament, which asked the Commission to set a clear and comprehensive set of criteria for land market regulations to ensure a level playing field in compliance with EU law.

EU calls for Banking Union by 2018

“A complete Banking Union is essential for the future of the Economic and Monetary Union and for a financial system that supports jobs and growth. We want a banking sector that absorbs crises and shares risks via private channels, thus ensuring that taxpayers are not first in line to pay. Today we are presenting pragmatic ideas to move forward with risk sharing and risk reduction in parallel. We hope that these will be useful food for thought for EU co-legislators to reach consensus on the remaining measures by 2018.” Said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

The Banking Union must be completed if it is to deliver its full potential in making the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) more stable and resilient to shocks, while limiting the need for public risk sharing. This is beneficial for the entire Single Market. Building on the significant progress already achieved, the Commission is today publishing a Communication that sets out an ambitious yet realistic path to ensure agreement on all the outstanding elements of the Banking Union, based on existing commitments by the Council. This comes ahead of the December Euro Summit, in an inclusive format, where completion of the Banking Union will be part of discussions on further deepening the EMU. Together with the Capital Markets Union (CMU), a complete Banking Union will promote a stable and integrated financial system in the EU.

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