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#S&D - It is Europe’s responsibility to lead climate action and speed up implementation of #SDGs

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It is up to the European Union to take charge and ensure that the proper action is taken to actively address climate change. This is the key message delivered by the Socialists & Democrats delegation in New York who have actively participated at the 2019 Climate Action Summit, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit and the High-Level Dialogue Financing for Development.

S&D MEPs, the vice-president responsible for a Green New Deal, Miriam Dalli, the development (DEVE) committee co-ordinator, Udo Bullmann, the DEVE committee member Marc Tarabella and the environment (ENVI) committee member, Javier López, also joined the climate strike in New York and in EU member states, demanding action to tackle climate change. The S&D delegation held meetings with key stakeholders and participated in discussions on how to tackle climate change. This year’s General Assembly of the United Nations included a summit on Climate Action, intended to enable the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

S&D Vice President for a Green New Deal, Miriam Dalli, said: “The EU must take the lead in responding to the climate emergency. With the US administration going backwards on climate change, and worrying developments in Brazil and elsewhere, the European Union must lead from the front.

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“The commitments made at the Climate Action Summit were not sufficient and we are going to do everything we can to step up our ambition. We need to reduce our emissions in Europe by 55% by 2030 so that we can achieve a carbon neutral economy before 2050.  This will be a huge transformation for our society and we have to ensure it’s done in a fair and sustainable way.”

S&D co-ordinator on the development committee, Udo Bullmann, said: “To achieve equal, sustainable and fair societies, Europe and the rest of the world need to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are universal and indivisible: we cannot achieve peace if we do not stop climate change; we cannot stop climate change without addressing inequalities in our societies. Our political group is saying loud and clear that the SDGs must guide everything that the new European Commission does and make sure that our internal policies are coherent with our external policies.”

S&D's MEPs are in New York for #UNGA and they bring with them our call for climate action and to speed up implementation of SDGs. More from @Miriamdalli@UdoBullmann@marctarabella and @fjavilopez

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European Commission

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia

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The European Commission has disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8bn in grants and €705m in loans, over the lifetime of its plan. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

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The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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Belgium

EU Cohesion policy: Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy receive €373 million to support health and social services, SMEs and social inclusion

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The Commission has granted €373 million to five European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) operational programmes (OPs) in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy to help the countries with coronavirus emergency response and repair in the framework of REACT-EU. In Belgium, the modification of the Wallonia OP will make available an additional €64.8m for the acquisition of medical equipment for health services and innovation.

The funds will support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in developing e-commerce, cybersecurity, websites and online stores, as well as the regional green economy through energy efficiency, protection of the environment, development of smart cities and low-carbon public infrastructures. In Germany, in the Federal State of Hessen, €55.4m will support health-related research infrastructure, diagnostic capacity and innovation in universities and other research institutions as well as research, development and innovation investments in the fields of climate and sustainable development. This amendment will also provide support to SMEs and funds for start-ups through an investment fund.

In Sachsen-Anhalt, €75.7m will facilitate cooperation of SMEs and institutions in research, development and innovation, and provide investments and working capital for micro-enterprises affected by the coronavirus crisis. Moreover, the funds will allow investments in the energy efficiency of enterprises, support digital innovation in SMEs and acquiring digital equipment for schools and cultural institutions. In Italy, the national OP ‘Social Inclusion' will receive €90m to promote the social integration of people experiencing severe material deprivation, homelessness or extreme marginalisation, through ‘Housing First' services that combine the provision of immediate housing with enabling social and employment services.

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In Spain, €87m will be added to the ESF OP for Castilla y León to support the self-employed and workers who had their contracts suspended or reduced due to the crisis. The money will also help hard-hit companies avoid layoffs, especially in the tourism sector. Finally, the funds are needed to allow essential social services to continue in a safe way and to ensure educational continuity throughout the pandemic by hiring additional staff.

REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6bn additional funding (in current prices) to Cohesion policy programmes over the course of 2021 and 2022. Measures focus on supporting labour market resilience, jobs, SMEs and low-income families, as well as setting future-proof foundations for the green and digital transitions and a sustainable socio-economic recovery.

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