Connect with us

EU

Space conference: EU priorities for space in 2021

Published

on

This year's 13th Space conference offers high-level debates between key players of the European space domain in the essential issues Europe is facing today in this unprecedented context: recovery, development of secure public telecommunications, resilience, digital and green transition. On this occasion, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton delivered a keynote speech on 12 January where he laid out the main priorities for EU space in 2021, which are: the consolidation and development of our flagship programmes as tools for the digital and green transition, Copernicus and Galileo; Europe's strategic autonomy in space; the development of secure connectivity as the third main element of Europe's space capabilities and the positioning of Europe as the hub for space entrepreneurship in the world.

With the adoption of the Space Regulation and a robust financial envelope of €13.2 billion for the EU Space Programme, the Commission has the basis to develop Europe's leadership in space and consolidate past achievements. Today (13 January) High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell will deliver a keynote speech on the importance of space in amplifying the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, including in the defence domain, therefore advancing Europe's strategic autonomy. This will enable the EU to protect the security of the Union and of its citizens both on Earth as well as in space. In this regard, the EU will continue working to prevent an arms race while promoting a responsible behaviour and peaceful use of outer space. Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel also participated in the conference.

Commissioner Gabriel will highlight that funding and extensive support in research and innovation are essential for the EU to become a global leader in space. Horizon 2020 has been a key instrument, supporting the research community to develop breakthrough space technologies and concepts, while the incoming Horizon Europe programme will further enable innovation in the space sector. For more details, please find the programme here. All speeches will be available on EbS after delivery.

Brexit

‘It is not a friendly signal from the UK immediately after leaving the European Union’ Borrell

Published

on

The EU’s High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, was asked about the decision of the UK to refuse full diplomatic status to the EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida and his team in London. Borrell said that it was not a friendly signal from the UK immediately after leaving the European Union.

Borrell pointed out that the EU’s 143 delegations around the world had all - without exception - granted the delegations a status equivalent to that under the Vienna Convention. He said that the EU would not accept that the UK would be the only country in the world that will not give the EU delegation the recognition equivalent to that of a diplomatic mission. 

“Granting reciprocal treatment based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is standard practice between equal partners and we are confident that we can clear this issue with our friends in London in a satisfactory manner,” said Peter Stano, the commission’s spokesman for foreign affairs.

Continue Reading

EU

Kyriakides calls on Astra Zeneca to respect delivery schedules for its vaccine

Published

on

In response to AstraZeneca’s announcement that they were expecting to make shortfalls in the delivery of its COVID-19 vaccine, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has written to AstraZeneca stressing the importance of meeting the delivery schedules laid out in its agreement with the EU. 

Kyriakides reiterated in the letter that the scaling up of the production capacity has to happen concurrently with the conduct of clinical trials to ensure the availability of the vaccines as quickly as possible. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not yet given its authorization - a point that has led to criticism from EU states. Her spokesperson said that the scaling up of production was an important premise of the contract. 

The issue will be discussed in a meeting of the steering board made up of the European Commission, member states and the company today (25 January) where it will be made clear that the EU expects contractual obligations to be met. 

Chief Spokesperson for the European Commission Eric Mamer added that European Commission President had spoken with the CEO of AstraZeneca, where she reminded him that the EU has invested significant amounts in scaling up production.  However, she also recognized that production issues can appear with a complex vaccine.

Despite the publicized supply problems at vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca, Peter Liese MEP (EPP, DE)  said: "AstraZeneca's announcement to reduce the planned supply for the EU from 80 million to 31 million doses in the first quarter must not and will not be the last word. [...] they are apparently delivering to other parts of the world, including the UK without delay. The flimsy justification that there are difficulties in the EU supply chain but not elsewhere does not hold water, as it is of course no problem to get the vaccine from the UK to the continent. 

“The company cannot be interested in permanently damaging its reputation in the world's largest single market. Many in the company seem to be embarrassed by the matter. That's why I expect a change in the delivery plans for the EU in the next few hours, and an accelerated one at that. Even the 31 million doses, however, would be a significant improvement in the situation in the EU.”

Continue Reading

EU

Minister calls for Magnitsky-type sanctions in response to Russia's detention of Navalny

Published

on

European foreign ministers meeting today (25 January) will discuss the situation in Russia. Arriving at the meeting, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the EU needed to send a clear and decisive message that the arrest of Navalny and the detentions following Saturday’s (23 January) demonstrations in Russia are not acceptable. Landsbergis calls for the use of the Global ‘Magnitsky’ type sanctions. 

The EU has already condemned the detention of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny upon his return to Moscow (17 January) and called for his immediate release - as well, as the release of journalists and citizens who were detalined on Mr Navalny’s return to Russia. The EU has also called out the politicization of the judiciary in Russia. 

The European Union has already condemned the assassination attempt, through poisoning using a military chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group, on Alexei Navalny, to which it responded by imposing restrictive measures on six individuals and one entity. The EU has called upon the Russian authorities to urgently investigate the assassination attempt on Navalny in full transparency and without further delay, and to fully cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation.

It appears that the EU will request the immediate release of Navalny and others, before a possible visit of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell to Russia before imposing sanctions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Twitter

Facebook

Trending