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The Lost Opportunities List

The list of 29 opportunities so far lost by the UK

Opportunities lost since 1 January 2021

Since 1 January 2021 the European Union has not stood still. It continues to offer new opportunities and benefits to its citizens and businesses that we in the UK are no longer entitled to.

The Lost Opportunities List documents those benefits that have become available to everyone in the EU member states since 1 January 2021 when the UK fully left the European Union - benefits that we would have had access to had we remained in the EU.

The list is not about all the benefits, such as freedom of movement, that we knowingly (?) gave up when we left the EU, it is about future benefits and opportunities that all citizens of the EU have access to, but we do not.

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The Lost Opportunities List

29.

A trusted and secure Digital Identity for all Europeans

03/06/2021


 

The Commission today proposed a framework for a European Digital Identity which will be available to all EU citizens, residents, and businesses in the EU. Citizens will be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their European Digital Identity wallets with the click of a button on their phone. They will be able to access online services with their national digital identification, which will be recognised throughout Europe. Very large platforms will be required to accept the use of European Digital Identity wallets upon request of the user, for example to prove their age. Use of the European Digital Identity wallet will always be at the choice of the user.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age said: “The European digital identity will enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles. Be that renting a flat or opening a bank account outside of our home country. And do this in a way that is secure and transparent. So that we will decide how much information we wish to share about ourselves, with whom and for what purpose. This is a unique opportunity to take us all further into experiencing what it means to live in Europe, and to be European.”


28.

Creative Europe: Over €2 billion to support the recovery, resilience and diversity of cultural and creative sectors

26/05/2021


 

The Commission has today launched new actions to support the cultural and creative sectors in Europe and beyond, following the adoption of the work programme for the first year of the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme. In 2021, Creative Europe will allocate an unprecedented budget of around €300 million to help professionals and artists from all cultural sectors to collaborate across disciplines and borders, in order to find more opportunities and to reach new audiences. Today's adoption lays the foundations for the first calls for proposals under the new programme. These calls will be open to all organisations active in the relevant cultural and creative sectors. The total programme budget of €2.4 billion over seven years has increased by 63% compared to the previous one. Creative Europe also aims to increase the competitiveness of cultural sectors, while supporting their efforts to become greener, more digital and more inclusive. Special attention is given to reinforcing the resilience and recovery of the cultural and creative sectors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Over 8 million people across the EU work in a cultural activity. Culture knows no borders and no nationalities. Art represents a window to the world and contributes to building bridges among all of us. At a time when museums, cinemas, cultural heritage sites, theatres, all start to reopen, I want to reiterate the Commission's support for the cultural and creative sectors. With an increased budget, Creative Europe will strive to reinforce the recovery of the sectors while promoting the immense diversity and creativity that they offer us.”


27.

Closing the digital skills gap in Europe

28/04/2021


 

European Investment Fund and EIT Digital team up to close digital skills gap in Europe

The agreement between EIF and EIT Digital, an innovation community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) supporting the EU's digital transformation, has a maximum volume of €2.5 million. This financing will allow EIT Digital to offer deferred payment schemes for students and learners participating in its courses, thus improving access to education. Future EIT Digital students and learners will be able to apply for the new scheme from June 2021 onwards, it is expected that around 500 people can benefit from the scheme.

The evolution of professions, rise of new technologies and digital transformation of industry and society require new educational profiles and skills sets. In response, EIF and EIT Digital jointly facilitate access to education and training that provide a combination of digital and entrepreneurial skills to students and professionals. The agreement is part of the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot, a new initiative dedicated to stimulating access to finance in education, training and skills, backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “The digital transition profoundly changes the way we live, study and work. We must equip people with the right skills to master this transition and make the most out of the opportunities the future brings. Thanks to the EU Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot and the EIF, even more students and entrepreneurs looking to expand their digital skills will benefit from the education and learning offers of the EIT Digital School.”


26.

Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules and actions for excellence and trust in Artificial Intelligence

21/04/2021


 

The Commission proposes today new rules and actions aiming to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The combination of the first-ever legal framework on AI and a new Coordinated Plan with Member States will guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation across the EU. New rules on Machinery will complement this approach by adapting safety rules to increase users' trust in the new, versatile generation of products.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “On Artificial Intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have. With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted. By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way. Future-proof and innovation-friendly, our rules will intervene where strictly needed: when the safety and fundamental rights of EU citizens are at stake.”


25.

New Knowledge Centre on Earth Observation to further strengthen evidence-based policymaking

20/04/2021


 

The EU has launched a Knowledge Centre on Earth Observation, to maximise the use of knowledge generated from Earth Observation, in particular from the European Copernicus Programme, in EU policymaking. The ultimate goal of the Centre is to support the efficient implementation of the Commission's political priorities, in particular the European Green Deal and the Digital Agenda.

It will provide systematic monitoring of the policy needs and priorities for Copernicus products and services and transform best practices and state-of-the-art science into policy-tailored services.

The Knowledge Centre also aims to ensure that the evolution of the Copernicus programme and other Earth Observation and research investments of the Commission remain responsive to EU policy.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “Earth Observation is a powerful tool to monitor the health of our planet. The climate and biodiversity crises have already started changing the face of the Earth. Close observation of environmental trends and new patterns will provide the data necessary to design evidence-based policies and deliver results that protect our planet, our health and our livelihoods.” 


24.

New strategy for fighting trafficking in human beings

14/04/2021


 

The Commission is presenting today a new Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025), focusing on preventing the crime, bringing traffickers to justice and protecting and empowering victims. Between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 14,000 registered victims within the European Union. Globally, traffickers make estimated profits of €29.4 billion in a single year. With demand for exploitation expected to continue, traffickers moving their acts online and the pandemic likely to create the conditions for increased exploitation, today's strategy sets out the measures that will allow the EU and its Member States to continue strengthening their response.

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: ”Fighting trafficking in human beings is part of our work towards building a Europe that protects. Traffickers prey on people's vulnerabilities. With today's Strategy, we are taking a three-pronged approach, using legislation, policy and operational support and funding in tandem to reduce demand, break criminal business, and empower victims of this abominable crime.”


23.

New 5-year strategy to fight organised crime across the EU and better use of digital tools for investigations

14/04/2021


 

Today, the Commission is presenting a new EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime, focusing on boosting law enforcement and judicial cooperation, tackling organised crime structures and high priority crimes, removing criminal profits and ensuring a modern response to technological developments. Organised crime groups continue to develop and evolve, as shown by their rapid adaptation to the coronavirus pandemic, for example through the increase in counterfeit medical products and online crime. Organised crime groups active in Europe are involved in a variety of criminal activities, with drugs trafficking, organised property crime, fraud, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings being prevalent. In 2019, criminal revenues in the main criminal markets amounted to 1% of the EU's GDP, i.e. €139 billion. 

The Strategy sets out the tools and measures to be taken over the next 5 years to disrupt the business models and structures of criminal organisations across borders, both online and offline. 

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “Criminal syndicates increasingly use new technologies and seize any opportunity to expand their illegal activities, online or offline. The recent emblematic cases like EncroChat have exposed how sophisticated these organised crime networks are. This shows how important our efforts to tackle organised crime across borders are. Today's Strategy will help hit these criminals where it hurts the most, by undermining their business model which thrives on a lack of coordination between states.” 


22.

Commission opens first European Innovation Council calls worth €1 billion

09/04/2021


 

Following the launch of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the announcement of the first funding opportunities, today the Commission opened the first EIC Accelerator calls. The funding worth over €1 billion aims to help scale up start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses that have the potential to achieve high impact. While over half of the funding is open to breakthrough innovations in any field, €495 million are earmarked for innovations that support the European Green Deal as well as digital and health technologies.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The EIC Accelerator is a unique funding instrument of the EU. It supports the development of breakthrough innovations through crowding-in private investors and offering support services to scale up. It will lead Europe at the forefront of innovation and new technologies, and help us tackle the health, environmental and societal challenges we are facing.”


21.

€123 million for research and innovation to combat the threat of Coronavirus variants

07/04/2021


 

The Commission is mobilising €123 million from Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, for urgent research into coronavirus variants. This first emergency funding under Horizon Europe adds to a range of EU-funded research and innovation actions to fight the coronavirus and contributes to the Commission's overall action to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impact of coronavirus variants, in line with the new European bio-defence preparedness plan HERA Incubator.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “We continue to mobilise all means at our disposal to fight this pandemic and the challenges presented by coronavirus variants. We must use our combined strength to be prepared for the future, starting from the early detection of the variants to the organisation and coordination of clinical trials for new vaccines and treatments, while ensuring correct data collection and sharing at all stages.”


20.

€10 billion to develop and expand breakthrough innovations for 2021-2027

18/03/2021


 

European Innovation Council launched to help turn scientific ideas into breakthrough innovations

The European Commission launched today the European Innovation Council (EIC) with a budget of over €10 billion (in current prices) for 2021-2027 to develop and expand breakthrough innovations. Building on a successful pilot programme under Horizon 2020, the new EIC is not only a novelty of Horizon Europe, but it is also unique in the world: it combines research on emerging technologies with an accelerator programme and a dedicated equity fund, the European Innovation Council Fund, to scale up innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Around €3 billion of the EIC's budget will go towards the EIC Fund.

Furthermore, the first annual work programme of the EIC is published, opening funding opportunities worth over €1.5 billion in 2021. At the same time, two prizes for Women Innovators and the European Capital of Innovation are opened for applications.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for ‘A Europe Fit for the Digital Age', said: “We now have a fund to support small and medium sized companies that do breakthrough innovation, access equity and scale up innovative start-ups. This is a way to convert research results into business and to develop visions for technological and innovation breakthroughs.”


19.

Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic

17/03/2021


 

Today the European Commission is proposing to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The Commission will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates. Member States remain responsible to decide which public health restrictions can be waived for travellers but will have to apply such waivers in the same way to travellers holding a Digital Green Certificate.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová said: “The Digital Green Certificate offers an EU-wide solution to ensure that EU citizens benefit from a harmonised digital tool to support free movement in the EU. This is a good message in support of recovery. Our key objectives are to offer an easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects data protection. And we continue working towards international convergence with other partners.”


18.

EU disburses further €9 billion under SURE to seven Member States

16/03/2021


 

The European Commission has disbursed today €9 billion to seven EU Member States in the fifth instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument. This is the second disbursement in 2021. As part of today's operations, Czechia has received €1 billion, Spain €2.87 billion, Croatia €510 million, Italy €3.87 billion, Lithuania €302 million, Malta €123 million and Slovakia €330 million. This is the first time that Czechia has received funding under the instrument. The other six EU countries have already benefitted from loans under SURE.

These loans will assist Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment. Specifically, they will help Member States cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures that they have put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, including for the self-employed. Today's disbursements follow the issuance of the fifth social bond under the EU SURE instrument, which attracted a considerable interest by investors.

So far, 16 Member States have received a total of €62.5 billion under the SURE instrument in back-to-back loans. Throughout 2021, the Commission will seek to raise in addition over €25 billion through the issuance of EU SURE bonds.


17.

The Republic of Ireland today joins the EU's Schengen Information System, the largest and most widely used information sharing system for internal security and external border management in Europe

15/03/2021


 

Ireland is today joining the EU's Schengen Information System, the largest and most widely used information sharing system for internal security and external border management in Europe. The UK is excluded from using this system.

The entry into operation of the system in Ireland will support cooperation between law enforcement authorities on fighting cross-border crime and terrorism, helping to enhance internal security in Europe.

When conducting passport checks at the Irish border, law enforcement authorities will now receive real time information on people accused or convicted of crimes in other EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. National authorities will also have access to information on missing people in need of protection and stolen property, such as vehicles. To facilitate this cooperation, Ireland has set up a national SIRENE bureau, connected to other Member States' bureaux, operational 24/7, and in charge of coordinating additional information exchange in relation to alerts. At the end of 2020, the Schengen Information System contained approximately 93 million alerts. It was accessed 3.7 billion times in 2020 and contained 209 178 hits (when a search leads to an alert and the authorities confirm it).


16.

Connecting Europe proposals worth €33.7 billion agreed

12/03/2021


 

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) proposal, worth €33.7 billion, as part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027.

The Connecting Europe Facility programme supports investment in Europe's transport, energy and digital infrastructure networks. It will support the twin green and digital transition, by contributing to the ambitious targets for the European Green Deal and the Digital Decade.


15.

Pay Transparency: equal pay for equal work

04/03/2021


 

The European Commission has today presented a proposal on pay transparency to ensure that women and men in the EU get equal pay for equal work. A political priority of President von der Leyen, the proposal sets out pay transparency measures, such as pay information for job seekers, a right to know the pay levels for workers doing the same work, as well as gender pay gap reporting obligations for big companies. The proposal also strengthens the tools for workers to claim their rights and facilitates access to justice. Employers will not be allowed to ask job seekers for their pay history and they will have to provide pay related anonymised data upon employee request. Employees will also have the right to compensation for discrimination in pay.  

New measures, which take into account the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both, employers but also on women, who have been hit in particular hard, will increase awareness about pay conditions within the company and give more tools to employers and workers to address the pay discrimination at work. This will address a number of substantial factors contributing to the existing pay gap and is particularly relevant during COVID-19 pandemic, which is reinforcing gender inequalities and puts women into greater risk of poverty exposure.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Equal work deserves equal pay. And for equal pay, you need transparency. Women must know whether their employers treat them fairly. And when this is not the case, they must have the power to fight back and get what they deserve.”


14.

10 year Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

03/03/2021


 

Today, the European Commission presents an ambitious Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 to ensure their full participation in society, on an equal basis with others in the EU and beyond, in line with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which establish equality and non-discrimination as cornerstones of EU policies.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová said: “The protection of the rights of persons with disabilities has to be at the centre of our efforts, including in our response to the coronavirus. People with disabilities have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. We must strive to ensure that people with disabilities quality of life improves and their rights are guaranteed!”


13.

€102.6 million for the year 2021 to better the environment for businesses, reinforce the healthcare systems, strengthen social and educational systems and overall enhance the resilience of Member States.

02/03/2021


 

Today, the Commission approved 226 projects in all 27 Member States that will support their efforts in designing and implementing national reforms to enhance growth. These support actions are delivered in the framework of the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) and will have a total budget of €102.6 million for the year 2021 to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Reforms are necessary to better the environment for businesses, reinforce the healthcare systems, strengthen social and educational systems and overall enhance the resilience of Member States and stakeholders when facing difficult challenges and global crises. The Technical Support Instrument is a powerful tool that can enable Member States to carry out the reforms they need for a sustainable growth.”


12.

Helping EU consumers cut their energy bills and carbon footprint

01/03/2021


 

To help EU consumers cut their energy bills and carbon footprint, a brand new version of the widely-recognised EU energy label will be applicable in all shops and online retailers from Monday, 1 March 2021. The new labels will initially apply to four product categories – fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, and television sets (and other external monitors). New labels for light bulbs and lamps with fixed light sources will follow on 1 September, and other products will follow in the coming years.

With more and more products achieving ratings as A+, A++ or A+++ according to the current scale, the most important change is to return to a simpler A-G scale. This scale is stricter and designed so that very few products are initially able to achieve the “A” rating, leaving space for more efficient products to be included in the future. The most energy efficient products currently on the market will typically now be labelled as “B”, “C” or “D”. A number of new elements will be included on the labels, including a QR link to an EU-wide database, which will allow consumers to find more details about the product. A number of ecodesign rules will also come into force from 1 March – notably on reparability and the need for manufacturers to keep spare parts available for a number of years after products are no longer on the market.

Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “The original energy label has been very successful, saving an average household in Europe several hundred euros per year and motivating companies to invest into research and development. Until the end of February, over 90% of products were labelled either A+, A++ or A+++. The new system will be clearer for consumers and ensure that businesses continue to innovate and offer even more efficient products. This also helps us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.” 


11.

New Regulation to ensure EU travellers continue to benefit from free roaming

24/02/2021


 

To ensure that citizens can continue to enjoy roaming without additional charges when travelling in the EU, the Commission proposed today a new Roaming Regulation. At a time when non-essential travel is discouraged, this is an important action in preparing a brighter future. The new regulation will prolong the current rules that are due to expire in 2022, for another 10 years. It will also ensure better roaming services for travellers. For example, consumers will be entitled to have the same quality and speed of their mobile network connection abroad as at home, where equivalent networks are available. The new rules will also secure efficient access to emergency services, including improving awareness about alternative means for people with disabilities, as well as increase consumer awareness on possible fees from using value-added services while roaming.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “Wherever we are in Europe, we can check in with our loved ones, talk business and share stories while on the road without worrying about costly bills. The end of roaming charges is a prime example of how the EU keeps millions of citizens connected and improves their lives. The new rules will keep roaming at no extra charges and make it even better.


10.

EU to invest nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition

23/02/2021


 

The Commission proposed today to set up 10 new European Partnerships between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry. The goal is to speed up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe, and to make European industry more resilient and competitive. The EU will provide nearly €10 billion of funding that the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investments in support of the transitions, and create long-term positive impacts on employment, the environment and society.

The proposed Institutionalised European Partnerships aim to improve EU preparedness and response to infectious diseases, develop efficient low-carbon aircraft for clean aviation, support the use of renewable biological raw materials in energy production, ensure European leadership in digital technologies and infrastructures, and make rail transport more competitive.


9.

New European Bauhaus project - how we live better together after the pandemic

18/02/2021


 

Today, the European Commission launched the design phase of the New European Bauhaus initiative - an environmental, economic and cultural project, aiming to combine design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment in order to help deliver the European Green Deal. The core values of the New European Bauhaus are thus sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness. The goal of the design phase is to use a co-creation process to shape the concept by exploring ideas, identifying the most urgent needs and challenges, and to connect interested parties. As one element of the design phase, this spring, the Commission will launch, the first edition of the New European Bauhaus prize.

This design phase will lead to the opening of calls for proposals in autumn this year to bring to life New European Bauhaus ideas in at least five places in EU Member States, through the use of EU funds at national and regional level.

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: "The New European Bauhaus is a project of hope to explore how we live better together after the pandemic. It is about matching sustainability with style, to bring the European Green Deal closer to people's minds and homes. We need all creative minds: designers, artists, scientists, architects and citizens, to make the New European Bauhaus a success.”


8.

A renewed multilateralism fit for the 21st century

17/02/2021


 

Today, the EU put forward a new strategy to strengthen the EU's contribution to rules-based multilateralism. The proposal suggests to make use of all tools at the EU's disposal, including its extensive political, diplomatic and financial support to promote global peace and security, defend human rights and international law, and to promote multilateral solutions to global challenges.

Josep Borrell, said: “Multilateralism matters because it works. But we cannot be multilateralists' alone. At a time of growing scepticism, we must demonstrate the benefit and relevance of the multilateral system. We will build stronger, more diverse and inclusive partnerships to lead its modernisation and shape global responses to the challenges of the 21st century, some of which threaten the very existence of humanity.”


7.

EU invests €121 million in environment, nature and climate action projects

17/02/2021


 

The European Commission today announced an investment of €121 million for new integrated projects under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action. This funding – increased by 20% compared to last year – will promote the green recovery and help Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia to reach their green targets. These integrated projects are expected to channel significant additional funds, helping Member States to make use of other EU funding sources, including agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, as well as national funds and private sector investment.


6.

EU adopts €750 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility

11/02/2021


 

The EU is working to turn its €750 billion recovery package into action.

The Council today adopted a regulation establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which lies at the heart of the EU’s recovery plan. It will make €672.5 billion in grants and loans available for public investment and reforms in the 27 member states to help them address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to foster the green and digital transitions and to build resilient and inclusive societies.

Member states will receive support from the facility on the basis of their national recovery and resilience plans, which are currently under preparation.

With the Recovery and Resilience Facility in place, it is time to focus all efforts on the preparation and submission of ambitious national recovery and resilience plans. The new facility offers the EU member states the unprecedented possibility of supporting recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and of undertaking green and digital transitions in an inclusive way. We need to make the best use of this opportunity.

João Leão, Portugalʼs Minister for Finance


5.

European Innovation Council Fund: first equity investments of €178 million in breakthrough innovations

06/02/2021


 

The Commission has announced today the first round of direct equity investment through the new European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. 42 highly innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will together receive equity financing of around €178 million to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations in health, circular economy, advanced manufacturing and other areas.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: “Europe has many innovative, talented start-ups, but too often these companies remain small or relocate elsewhere. This new form of financing – combining grants and equity – is unique to the European Innovation Council. It will bridge the funding gap for highly innovative companies, unlock additional private investments and enable them scale up in Europe.”

The equity investments, ranging from €500.000 to €15 million per beneficiary, complement the grant financing, which has already been provided through the EIC Accelerator Pilot to enable companies to scale up faster. This is the first time the Commission has made direct equity or quasi-equity investments, namely equity investment blended with a grant, in start-up companies, with ownership stakes expected to range from 10% to 25%.


4.

Europe's €4 billion Beating Cancer Plan: A new EU approach to prevention, treatment and care

03/02/2021


 

Today, on the eve of the World Cancer Day, the European Commission is presenting Europe's Beating Cancer Plan – a main priority in the area of health of the von der Leyen Commission and a key pillar of a strong European Health Union. With new technologies, research and innovation as the starting point, the Cancer Plan sets out a new EU approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care. It will tackle the entire disease pathway, from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, focusing on actions where the EU can add the most value.

Europe's Beating Cancer Plan will be supported by actions spanning across policy areas from employment, education, social policy and equality, through marketing, agriculture, energy, the environment and climate, to transport, cohesion policy, and taxation.

The Cancer Plan is structured around four key action areas with 10 flagship initiatives and multiple supporting actions. It will be implemented using the whole range of Commission funding instruments, with a total of €4 billion being earmarked for actions addressing cancer, including from the EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme.


3.

Commission disburses €14 billion to support jobs post-pandemic

02/02/2021


 

The European Commission has disbursed €14 billion to nine Member States in the fourth instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency) instrument. This is the first disbursement in 2021. As part of today's operations, Belgium has received €2 billion, Cyprus €229 million, Hungary €304 million, Latvia €72 million, Poland €4.28 billion, Slovenia €913 million, Spain €1.03 billion, Greece €728 million and Italy €4.45 billion. All nine Member States had already received financial support under SURE in 2020, under one of the first three issuances and disbursement operations that took place in 2020.

These loans will assist Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment. Specifically, they will help Member States cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures that they have put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, including for the self-employed. Today's disbursements follow the issuance of the fourth social bond under the EU SURE instrument, which attracted a considerable interest by investors. The notable oversubscription was translated into favourable pricing terms, which the Commission is directly passing on to the benefitting Member States.


2.

European Commission launches Green Consumption Pledge, first companies commit to concrete actions towards greater sustainability

25/01/2021


 

Today, the European Commission is launching its new Green Consumption Pledge, the first initiative delivered under the New Consumer Agenda. The Green Consumption Pledge is part of the European Climate Pact which is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe.  With their signatures, companies promise to accelerate their contribution to a green transition. The pledges have been developed in a joint effort between the Commission and companies. Their aim is to accelerate the contribution of businesses to a sustainable economic recovery and to build consumer trust in the environmental performance of companies and products. Colruyt Group, Decathlon, LEGO Group, L'Oréal and Renewd are the first pioneering enterprises that are participating in this pilot project. The functioning of the Green Consumption Pledges will be assessed in a year from now, before next steps are taken.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “Empowering consumers to make green choices – that is what we set out to do last autumn, when we published the New Consumer Agenda. For informed choices, consumers need more transparency on the carbon footprint and sustainability of products. This is what today's initiative is about. I therefore warmly welcome the five companies to the Green Pledge and I applaud them on their commitment to go beyond what is required by law. I look forward to working with many more companies, so we can boost further sustainable consumption in the EU”. 


1.

Additional and more flexible funding to help those most in need

21/01/2021


 

The EU Parliament voted today to continue making additional resources available in 2021 and 2022 in order to provide food and basic assistance to the most deprived.

The adapted regulation allows member states to continue to use the additional funds made available for post-COVID-19 recovery under the REACT-EU initiative in 2021 and 2022. Member states can choose to increase the resources provided in the FEAD regulation for food aid and other basic assistance for those most in need. In order to alleviate the current burden on public budgets, the additional resources will not be co-financed by member states and the Commission will provide pre-financing to further expedite delivery.

“This pandemic has had far-reaching consequences on people’s quality of life, especially on those who were vulnerable to begin with. More than 20% of all Europeans have seen their situation deteriorate. This fund will be the instrument to support them in finding their way out of poverty and back into society”, says rapporteur Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová on the agreement.