EU Commission Press

20 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Commissioners Gabriel and Urpilainen

(Source: European Commission)

Cultural diversity is one of the cornerstones of the European Union and one of its greatest assets. It is crucial to constantly nurture and cherish cultural diversity for the advancement of freedom, democracy, peace, prosperity, innovation and creativity.

Diversity is a great strength, but it is also fragile. In the past few months, we have witnessed the deliberate destruction of Ukrainian culture, of its institutions and its heritage by Russia’s unjustified military aggression. We have reacted swiftly to help protect Ukrainian cultural heritage, as well as to support Ukraine’s creative industry with several of our support measures.…

20 May: State aid: Commission approves €500 million Luxembourgish scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission has approved a €500 million Luxembourgish guarantee scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €500 million guarantee scheme will enable Luxembourg to mitigate the economic impact of Putin’s war in Ukraine and …

20 May: EU disburses €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has today disbursed €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Ukraine. Following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion, this urgent financial support helps Ukraine address its acute financing gap related to its exceptional humanitarian and defence needs. The first instalment of €600 million from this emergency Macro-Financial Assistance operation was disbursed in two tranches on 11 and 18 March.

These funds are provided to Ukraine in the form of long-term loans on highly favourable terms. They contribute to financing part of the sizable funding gap of the country, estimated by …

20 May: Macao: EU report highlights increasing challenges to political rights and fundamental freedoms

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission and the High Representative have today reported on political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region, covering 2021.

The report highlights that, in 2021, the way in which the ‘one country, two systems’ principle was implemented undermined the political rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Macao.

The annual report refers in particular to the increasing challenges for Macao’s media to express a broad range of views, and the practice of more and more self-censorship. The election of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR which took place on 12 September …

20 May: Increased support for EU farmers through rural development funds

(Source: European Commission)

Today, the European Commission proposed an exceptional measure funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to allow Member States to pay a one-off lump sum to farmers and agri-food businesses affected by significant increases in input costs. Such increases in prices, notably for energy, fertiliser and animal feed, are disrupting the agricultural sector and rural communities, leading to liquidity and cash flow problems for farmers and small rural businesses active in processing, marketing or development of agricultural products. By directly addressing these cash-flow challenges, helping to keep them afloat, the support will address the …

20 May: Humanitarian aid: EU releases additional €22 million in Bangladesh and Myanmar

(Source: European Commission)

The Commission is releasing an extra €22 million in humanitarian aid to ensure life-saving support for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, as well as Rohingya and other conflict-affected people in Myanmar. The funding will address immediate needs, including protection services, food assistance, nutrition, health and shelter.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The Rohingya crisis has reached unprecedented proportions and sustained international solidarity is essential to tackle the enduring humanitarian needs. The EU’s new aid package underlines our commitment to the most vulnerable refugees and their host communities in Bangladesh, …

20 May: Hong Kong: EU report sees a continued deterioration of fundamental freedoms

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission and the High Representative today reported on political and economic developments in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The 24th Annual Report to the European Parliament and the Council covers developments in 2021.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, said: “The 24th Annual Report comes at a time when fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong have deteriorated further. We witness continued shrinking space for civil society and the erosion of what was previously a vibrant and pluralistic media landscape.”

The report highlights that, in 2021, the ‘one country, two systems’ principle in Hong Kong was further undermined …

20 May: State aid: Commission approves €16 million Finnish scheme to support farmers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission has approved a €16 million Finnish scheme to support the agricultural sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The agricultural sector has been particularly hit by the input costs increase caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the …

20 May: Speech by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius at the opening of the European Maritime Day in Ravena, Italy

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Dear guests, dear friends of the Ocean,

It’s a great pleasure to be here with you today in Ravenna. I would like to thank the Italian organisers, the City of Ravenna, and the Region of Emilia-Romagna for the opportunity to speak today in person. For all the enthusiasm in making this event happen. And for the excellent organisation.

I must admit that after so many months of Zoom, Teams and Webex meetings, I am thrilled to see so many people in this room. So many blue economy stakeholders . What a success!

European Maritime …

19 May: Video message for the event “Towards zero segregation in education in Europe” (Romani Week)

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Dear colleagues,

Our Europe is founded on solid values: solidarity, inclusion, equal rights for all.

But segregation goes against those values.

Segregation is unequal access. And segregation in education is perpetuating inequalities and discrimination.

So I fully support this essential goal of zero segregation in European education. And I am delighted to associate myself to this event.

We are currently negotiating the new cohesion programmes. And are asking Member States to include clear commitments to non-discrimination, and to desegregation, in line with the objectives agreed in: the EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion …