News on EU Polices

30 Jun: Defence Industry: the Commission kick-starts the European Defence Fund with €1.2 billion and awards 26 new industrial cooperation projects for more than €158 million

(Source: European Commission)

The Commission adopted today a package of decisions supporting the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defence industry. The adoption of the first European Defence Fund (EDF) annual work programme paves the way to the immediate launch of 23 calls for proposals for a total of €1.2 billion of EU funding in support of collaborative defence research and development projects. Furthermore, under the EDF’s precursor programme, the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP), 26 new projects with a budget of more than €158 million were selected for funding. In addition, two major capability development projects received today a directly awarded grant of €137 million under the EDIDP.

Margrethe Vestager, …

30 Jun: Long-term vision for rural areas: for stronger, connected, resilient, prosperous EU rural areas

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission has today put forward a long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas, identifying the challenges and concerns that they are facing, as well as highlighting some of the most promising opportunities that are available to these regions. Based on foresight and wide consultations with citizens and other actors in rural areas, today’s Vision proposes a Rural Pact and a Rural Action Plan, which aim to make our rural areas stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous.

To successfully respond to the megatrends and challenges posed by globalisation, urbanisation, ageing and to reap the benefits of the …

30 Jun: Consumer protection: Commission revises EU rules on product safety and consumer credit

(Source: European Commission)

Today, the European Commission has proposed revisions of two sets of EU rules to enhance consumer rights in a world reshaped by digitalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission is reinforcing its safety net for EU consumers, for example, by making sure that dangerous products are recalled from the market or that credit offers are presented to consumers in a clear way, easily readable on digital devices. The proposal updates both the existing General Product Safety Directive as well as the EU rules on consumer credit to safeguard consumers.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “Consumers face …

19 May: State aid: Commission publishes results of evaluation of EU State aid rules for agriculture, forestry and rural areas

(Source: European Commission)

The European Commission has published a Commission Staff Working Document summarising the results of an evaluation of the State aid rules for the agriculture and forestry sectors and for rural areas. The evaluation concludes that, overall, the existing rules work well, are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the sectors concerned. However, some targeted adjustments may be necessary to align the current rules with the current EU priorities, in particular the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Green Deal.

The evaluation was carried out as part of the ongoing review of the State …

17 May: Cyberspace: Strengthening cooperation in promoting security and stability

(Source: EEAS)

The European External Action Service (EEAS), in cooperation with the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), held a scenario-based discussion with EU Member States and international partners on 17 May 2021. The discussion, the first of its kind, focused on how to address international security challenges related to cyberspace.

All EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Republic of South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States participated in the discussion. The aim of the scenario-based discussion was to improve the mutual …

17 May: Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights: focus on foreign interference

(Source : European Parliament)

EU Member States have come under continuing external threats, which pose serious risks for democratic societies. Parliament’s new Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the EU, including Disinformation, makes part of the Union’s toolbox to counter these attacks, states Chair Raphaël Glucksmann in the opening article of this issue of the Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights. He adds that new rules have to be set and national legislations must be harmonised. 

Other issues featured in this month’s newsletter include the impact of teleworking on workers and society, education and youth in post-COVID Europe, …

17 May: Guide on EU funding for tourism

(Source: EU Commission)

To help you to find the EU funding you need for your business among all EU programmes, the European Commission launches today the Guide on EU funding for tourism.

This new edition is digital only and available now at the following link:

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/tourism/funding-guide_en

This online guide highlights the wide range of funding programmes financed by the new budget, Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, and Next Generation EU. With these resources and this guide, we’re supporting the move towards a more digital, sustainable and inclusive EU.

The guide will help you find appropriate funding. It contains links to relevant …

14 May: Voices from the field: Economic empowerment of youth with disabilities project in Uganda

(Source: EEAS)

Voices and views

The overall objective of this project seeks to contribute to the empowerment of vulnerable youth in Northern Uganda so as to promote economic development, good governance, and the prevention of crime and social or political unrest.

Octavos Kebisiiba, a beneficiary of the “Economic Empowerment of Youth with Disabilities project in Uganda” dropped out of school in senior three due to challenges of school fees. Octavos said she did not have much support from her family.  With support from the project, Octavos under took training in hair dressing and financial literacy for a period of three months. After …

13 May: Support to EU-Georgia Research and Innovation Cooperation: Information Day on the new European Framework Programme “Horizon Europe”

(Source: EEAS)

Press releases

In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia in its capacity as coordinator of the National Contact Points for Horizon Europe in Georgia, the European Commission invites researchers from the public and private sectors in Georgia to participate in an Horizon Europe Information Day. 

With the objective to support successful participation of Georgia in the EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe and the European Research Area, the (virtual) event will take place on the 28th of May 2021 at 13.00’ (Tbilisi time) with a duration of approx. 4 hours.

The Info Day will give the attendees the opportunity to receive information about the structure of …

12 May: Mergers: Commission to assess proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook

(Source: EU Commission)

Mergers: Commission to assess proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook

The European Commission has accepted requests submitted by Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania to assess the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook under the EU Merger Regulation. Facebook, based in the U.S., is a provider of websites and applications for mobile devices offering social networking, consumer communications and photo and video-sharing functionalities, including the messaging channels Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Messaging. Kustomer, based in the U.S., offers a customer relationship management (‘CRM’) software as a service (‘SaaS’) specialising in assisting …