Tomorrow, Saturday 8 May, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will join the president of the European Council, the 27 EU heads of state or government, and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, for an EU-India leaders' meeting by videoconference, hosted by the Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa. High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell will also participate. Bringing together all members of the European Council and Prime Minister Modi for the first time demonstrates the strength of the EU-India Strategic Partnership, and the mutual willingness to advance our relations. The meeting takes place in the context of a dramatic coronavirus situation in India, to which the European Union has responded in full and swift solidarity. Through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, the Commission has co-ordinated and co-financed the delivery by 16 member states of oxygen, ventilators, medicines and personal protective equipment in one of the largest ever responses of the Mechanism.
The value of this is estimated at over €100 million. The European Commission has also made a financial contribution of €2.2m to the World Health Organization's to increase testing and patient care capacities in India. The leaders' meeting will provide an opportunity to convey the EU's continued solidarity and willingness to support India at this difficult time. Leaders are also expected to take steps to strengthen EU-India trade and investment links, to agree a partnership on connectivity, and to discuss the fight against climate change, technology cooperation, and foreign and security policy challenges. President von der Leyen, President Michel and Prime Minister Costa will hold a joint press conference following the conclusion of the meeting, foreseen at 16h CET (15h local), which will be streamed live on EbS. More information on the meeting is available on the website.
EU and Japan hold high-level policy dialogue on education, culture and sport
On 10 May, Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel held a videoconference with the Japanese Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Koichi Hagiuda (pictured), to discuss EU-Japan co-operation in the fields of their portfolios. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation and support from their respective programmes, and agreed to join forces on researcher mobility. This ongoing cooperation has taken on new significance during the COVID-19 crisis, which has hit these sectors hard.
Commissioner Gabriel said: “Education, culture and sport bring people together – to learn, to teach, to create and to compete. International cooperation in these areas will always lead to a better understanding – like between Europe and Japan. In Brussels, as in Tokyo, we are looking at the future of education and the digital transition. I was delighted to exchange ideas and good practices in this field, as well as in culture and sport, with Mr Hagiuda and his team.”
Ahead of the Summer Olympic Games in Japan, Minister Haiuda shared updates during the meeting on the organisation of such a large-scale event in these unprecedented times. Commissioner Gabriel and Minister Hagiuda also welcomed the progress of the three special joint EU-Japan Erasmus Mundus Master programmes in robotics, extended reality, and history, which were launched as an outcome of the first policy dialogue of July 2018. Finally, they both emphasised the importance of people-to-people exchanges and agreed to maintain direct discussions on a regular basis. The forthcoming EU-Japan Summit will further highlight the scale and breadth of cooperation under the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement. A joint statement and more information following today's meeting are available online.
Social Europe: President von der Leyen and College members to participate in Porto Social Summit
Today (7 May), Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) will participate in the Social Summit in Porto, organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU. Executive Vice-Presidents Vestager and Dombrovskis, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell as well as Commissioners Gabriel, Schmit and Ferreira will also take part. The Porto Social Summit will bring together EU institutions, Heads of State or Government, social partners and civil society representatives. The summit will be an opportunity to renew the joint commitment to a strong social Europe and a fair, inclusive and resilient recovery. In March, the Commission put forward an Action Plan to further implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and address the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic, as well as more long-term demographic, societal and technological challenges. The Action Plan also proposes EU-level targets for employment, skills and social protection to be achieved by 2030. Dedicated sessions will focus on the topics ‘From Gothenburg to Porto' and ‘Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights', followed by three parallel workshops dedicated to ‘Work and employment', ‘Skills and innovation' and ‘Welfare state and social protection'. Speeches at the opening and closing sessions of the first day of the Summit will be live on EbS, as well as the press conference with Presidents von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel and Portugal's Prime Minister Costa which will take place at +/- 19:40 CEST. A press release on the outcomes of the first day of the Summit will be published in the evening. More information about the programme of the Porto Social Summit as well as media arrangements is available on this website.
Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans attends Petersberg Climate Dialogue
Today (7 May), Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans participates in the 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, an annual high-level political meeting of over 30 ministers from around the world, co-hosted by the German government and the COP26 Presidency. The meeting will start at 14h CEST today with remarks by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Their speeches will be live-streamed here. This year's Petersberg Dialogue will focus on the preparations for the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. It will address pressing issues such as enhancing countries' climate-resilience and adaptation capacity, scaling up international climate finance, and promoting transparent international carbon market rules. The meeting will be held virtually for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission will publish Executive Vice-President Timmermans' remarks climate finance on Friday here. For more information see here.
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