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European Commission

Macro-financial assistance: EU disburses €125 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina and €50 million to the Republic of Moldova

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The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has carried out another round of disbursements under the €3 billion macro-financial assistance package for ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners. The programme is a concrete demonstration of the EU's solidarity with its partners to help respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission has disbursed €125 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina and €50 million to the Republic of Moldova. This support is provided through loans at very favourable rates. With these disbursements, the EU has successfully completed five out of the 10 MFA programmes in the €3 billion COVID-19 MFA package, and disbursed the first tranches to all partners. The Commission continues to work closely with the rest of its MFA partners on the timely implementation of the agreed policy programmes. 

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European Commission

EU Code of Conduct against illegal hate speech online: Results remain positive but progress slows down

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Today (7 October) the European Commission has released the results of its sixth evaluation of the Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online. The results show a mixed picture as IT companies reviewed 81% of the notifications within 24 hours and removed an average of 62.5% of flagged content. These results are lower than the average recorded in 2019 and 2020. While some companies have improved, results for others have clearly worsened. As in previous monitoring rounds, a main weakness remains insufficient feedback to users' notifications. Finally, a novelty in this year's evaluation is the information provided by IT companies about measures they have taken to counter hate speech, including actions to automatically detect such content. More information is available in our press release and in this factsheet.

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European Commission

EU Code Week kicks off to raise awareness on coding and other digital skills

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EU Code Week, a grassroots initiative co-ordinated by the European Commission that focuses on boosting computational thinking, coding and related digital skills of young people, as well as training for teachers, kicks off with an online event today at 17h CET. Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said: “Being able to understand code and to write it in a meaningful sequence, is truly the superpower of the 21st century. Those who participate in the EU Code Week have a wonderful opportunity to acquire and improve their coding skills or teach others how to code.”

Participants of this year's EU Code Week can take part in 18 Code Week challenges that include concrete examples of how to bring coding to the classroom developed by Code Week, its partners and the community. The real enthusiasts can take on several more challenges, including Code Week bingo, as well as share their results on social media in order to win original prizes. Activity organisers are also encouraged to form CodeWeek4All networks of at least ten like-minded groups or from three different countries and gain Certificates of Excellence. And, on 14 October, teams of young coders from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia and Romania will compete for the title of the winner of the EU Code Week Hackathon Final 2021. Finally, a 15-hour EU Code Week online Bootcamp is available until 18 October for pre-primary, primary and secondary school teachers of all subjects, who are interested in teaching coding and computational thinking to their pupils. For those interested to follow the EU Code Week, a one-stop-shop of free resources is available in the Learn and Teach sections of the website. More information is available here.

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Environment

EU Sustainable Investment Summit: President von der Leyen calls on global partners to set global standards and support sustainable investment

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This morning (7 October), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) delivered the opening address at the EU Sustainable Investment Summit, the first annual event on sustainable finance hosted by the European Commission. In her speech, the President spoke about the current rise in energy prices: “In these very weeks, we all see how crucial it is to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal. So in the long term, the European Green Deal and renewables are the solution to the rising electricity prices. Every euro spent on renewable energies does help our planet. And it equally helps the consumers. But it is also an investment in the resilience of our economies. So, we have to speed up our work on the European Green Deal to become more energy independent.”

President von der Leyen identified two key challenges we need to address to boost global sustainable investment: First, how to attract more capital towards sustainable investment. Second, how to bring more countries on board, and raise the global ambition. The speech was also an occasion for her to recall Europe's commitment and leadership: “Europe can lead by the power of its example. Europe has become the home of sustainable investment. The European green bond market today is worth around €1 trillion. We have built the largest carbon market in the world, with our Emissions Trading System. And later this month, we will strengthen our leadership, when we will start issuing green bonds worth €250 billion, as part of NextGenerationEU. This is a leadership we are proud of, and we will keep consolidating.” Finally, looking ahead to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, the President said: “The COP26 in Glasgow will be a moment of truth for the global community. Ambitions need to be backed by concrete plans. And Europe will continue to engage, with the highest level of ambition.”

The full speech is available online, and you can watch it here.

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