09 Oct: Statement by Commissioner Kyriakides on World Mental Health Day *

(Source: European Commission)

Ahead of the World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, made the following statement:

“Citizens across the EU and the world have showed impressive resilience and strength in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. But at the same time, after 18 months of living with COVID-19, a silent pandemic of mental health challenges is sweeping across the European Union and beyond, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. Already existing inequalities have become even more apparent.  

That is why this year’s theme, ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’, is …

06 Oct: Speech by Vice-President Schinas on EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Good afternoon and welcome to our College read-out here in Strasbourg.

Before moving to the Strategy, there are a few HR decisions, which I would like to mention:

Today, the College decided to appoint Ana Gallego Torres as Director-General of the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers.

The College has also appointed Hilde Hardeman as Director-General of the Publications Office.

The College also discussed foreign affairs. We were informed first by the President of her recent tour of the Western Balkan capitals and her discussion with the President Biden. Also by HRVP on the foreign …

05 Oct: Remarks by Commissioner Gentiloni at the ECOFIN press conference

(Source: European Commission)

Good afternoon. We had a continuation this morning of the discussion on energy prices. This confirms the importance of the work that will be done in the coming days. We will have next week the Communication from the Commission providing a tool kit and common measures. The European Council will also address the issue.

We also discussed the state of play on recovery plans.

So far, we have endorsed 22 of the 25 plans we have received. Our latest positive assessments concern the plans for Romania, Finland and – earlier this morning – Estonia.   

The Council …

22 Sep: Remarks by Commissioner McGuinness at the press conference on the review of EU insurance rules

(Source: European Commission)

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Good afternoon, thank you Valdis for that introduction.

When we look back over 5 years when Solvency II came into being, back then it was really a major change in the European rulebook for insurers, aligning prudential rules with state-of-the-art risk management practices.

And Solvency II is a global leader, so we can be proud of our achievements in that regard.

Because Solvency II has provided a solid base for the single market in insurance, letting insurance companies operate across the EU and of course protecting consumers and businesses.

So again with some confidence: …

22 Sep: Remarks by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis at the read-out of the College meeting / press conference on the review of EU insurance rules

(Source: European Commission)

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Good afternoon and welcome to our College read-out.

Before moving to the subject of this press conference on the Review of the Solvency II Package, let me give you a brief overview of what else we discussed.

Today, the College adopted a proposal on the review of the Generalised Scheme of Trade Preferences for low-income countries.

I will give a second press conference, just after this one, to explain the details of this proposal to you.

Furthermore, the President debriefed on the discussions she attended in the context of the General Assembly of the …

22 Sep: Remarks by Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, at the press conference on the new EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences

(Source: European Commission)

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Ladies and gentlemen,

For fifty years, the EU has supported vulnerable developing countries by giving them preferential access to the EU market.

This has been a shining example of how trade policy can stimulate growth, create jobs and help to eradicate poverty.

By removing import duties, we have helped these countries to diversify their economies, develop sustainably and play a fuller part in the global economy. And this without harming EU industry.

So, we know this preferential system as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences – or GSP.

It has encouraged countries to improve human …

17 Sep: Kenya: Speech on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the EP debate

(Source: EEAS)

Speech delivered by Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson

Ms President, Honourable Members,

Thank you for this debate that I take on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President [Josep] Borrell.

Kenya is a key partner of the European Union and a pillar of stability in a troubled East Africa. President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President [of Kenya, Uhuru] Kenyatta have decided in June 2021 to further deepen the European Union-Kenya relations by launching a strategic dialogue on issues and agendas of common interest.

The European Union and Kenya share common values and principles, and the European …

16 Sep: Press remarks by Vice-President Jourová on the Recommendation on the safety of journalists and other media professionals

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like first to pay tribute to the journalists who have paid the highest price for doing their job, those who risk their life every day to inform people, to scrutinise the action of the governments, to report on crimes.

Talking to the families of murdered journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak were the most difficult moments of my past mandate as the Commissioner for Justice. One of the most difficult of my life.

I promised them that I would work to make things change. The recommendations today are …

10 Sep: Speech by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič at the Queen’s University, Belfast

(Source: European Commission)

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Thank you Professor Hayward.

Dear Honorary Consul General,

Dear members of the faculty,

Dear students,

Ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honour and a pleasure to be here today – not least as it is my first visit to Northern Ireland. Having previously been limited to virtual means of communication, it is certainly a nice change.

As author Terry Pratchett said: “The best research you can do is talk to people.” For that, you cannot beat a face-to-face conversation.

Given that Queen’s University Belfast can trace its roots back more than two centuries, I …

08 Sep: College read-out on the 2021 Strategic Foresight Report by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič

(Source: European Commission)

 [Check against delivery]

Good afternoon and welcome,

It is my pleasure to inform you about our first College meeting, following the summer break.

Now let me turn to our second annual Strategic Foresight Report, which was adopted today, so it can inform the upcoming Commission Work Programme and setting of priorities. You may recall that last year’s report focused on resilience as a new policymaking compass. We showed what the pandemic had taught us about Europe’s resilience across four dimensions: green; digital; social and economic; and geopolitical.

This year’s Communication zooms in on the geopolitical dimension of …