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From promise to delivery: Commission welcomes final European Parliament votes under 2014-2019 mandate

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op woensdag 17 april 2019.

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European Border and Coast Guard: Stronger EU borders with a new standing corps of 10,000 border guards

Today, the European Parliament adopted the Commission's proposal to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard Agency with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027. The Agency will also have a stronger mandate on returns and will cooperate more closely with non-EU countries, including those beyond the EU's immediate neighbourhood. This reinforcement will give the Agency the right level of ambition to respond to the common challenges facing Europe in managing migration and its external borders. Welcoming today's positive vote, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Migration and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “The reinforced European Border and Coast Guard with a new 10,000 strong standing corps of border guards will give Member States the support where and when they need it to better manage their external borders. The standing corps will be operational and ready to be deployed to assist Member States as of 2021 and will gradually reach its full capacity of 10,000 border guards by 2027. This is a major step forward in the EU's collective ability to protect its borders and we can be proud of what we have achieved. […] The reinforced European Border and Coast Guard will bring about a Europe that protects: a Europe that is better at managing our common external borders, fighting irregular migration, carrying out returns and cooperating with partner countries, beyond the EU's immediate neighbourhood. After today's positive vote and adoption in the European Parliament, our main task is now to ensure the quick implementation of the Agency's reinforced mandate and the swift roll out of the standing corps. The preparatory steps will start in the coming weeks and the Commission will lend its full support in this process.” The full statement, factsheet and video are available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud - Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst - Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko - Tel.: +32 229 63444)

EU budget: future research and innovation programme Horizon Europe

The European Parliament endorsed today the provisional agreement reached by the co-legislators on Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme for the next budget period from 2021 to 2027. The European Commission presented in June 2018 its proposal of Horizon Europe with a budget of €100 billion. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “I welcome today's vote at the European Parliament. Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe's future, in knowledge and new solutions. That is why we set a new level of ambition to deepen Europe's innovation capability, provide lasting prosperity and preserve our global competitiveness. Horizon Europe is the most ambitious research and innovation programme ever. The European Parliament showed today that it stands behind Horizon Europe and with that behind the idea to keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation.” See full statement online. The budgetary aspects and some related horizontal provisions such as international association of the Horizon Europe programme are subject to the overall agreement on the EU's next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018. (For more information: Lucía Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56282; Mirna Talko - Tel.: +32 229 87278; Victoria von Hammerstein - Tel.: +32 229 55040)

New Deal for Consumers: European Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on strengthened EU consumer protection rules

The European Parliament confirmed today the agreement on stronger and better enforced consumer protection rules. The main improvements will be more transparency for consumers when buying online, effective penalties and clear rules to tackle the issue of dual quality of products in the EU. The European Commission proposed the new rules in April last year as part of the New Deal for Consumers. First Vice-President Timmermans said: "With this New Deal consumers will be better protected by more transparency and sanctions for traders who go rogue. Consumers will know what they're buying, and whom they're buying it from. This is what a fairer Single Market means." Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality added: ”With the New Deal for Consumers, there will be no second class consumers. It will no longer be possible for companies to mislead consumers by presenting different products as identical. Consumers will now feel as safe and transparent when they shop online, as when they enter a local shop. If companies don't respect these rights, they will face tougher sanctions.” The final adoption by the Council will take place in the coming months. A press release is available online. (For more information: Christian Spahr - Tel.: +32 229 50055; Melanie Voin - Tel.: +32 229 58659)

EU budget: a programme to boost EU leadership in space

The Commission proposed on 6 June 2018 a €16 billion EU Space Programme for the budget period 2021-2027 to boost EU space leadership. Today the European Parliament endorsed the provisional agreement reached by the co-legislators on the Programme. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “I welcome today's vote at the European Parliament. Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the daily lives of Europeans and for Europe to pursue its strategic interests. We therefore need to ensure continuity and financial stability in our space activities. The new EU Space Programme will not only do that, but also address global challenges, such as fighting climate change, a transition to a lower carbon economy, smart mobility and digital economy. More will be invested in space activities to adapt to new needs and technologies, while reinforcing Europe's autonomous and secure access to space.” See full statement online. The budgetary aspects and some related horizontal provisions of the future EU space programme are subject to the overall agreement on the EU's next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018. (For more information: Lucía Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56282; Victoria von Hammerstein - Tel.: +32 229 55040)

EU budget: European Parliament formally endorses the first ever digital programme

The European Parliament voted today in favour of creating the Digital Europe programme. This is the first ever EU programme dedicated to boosting Europe's strategic digital capacities and deployment of technologies in key areas. It aims to reduce Europe's current investment gap for areas where individual Member States cannot reach the necessary scale of investment to compete effectively on a global scale. The Digital Europe programme is an important step towards strengthening Europe at the world level by providing the Member States, businesses and citizens with state of the art digital technologies and infrastructure. The European Commission proposed an initial budget of €9.2 billion to align the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027 with increasing digital challenges. The programme will focus on co-investing with Member States in five areas: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and trust, advanced digital skills, and ensuring the wide use and deployment of digital technologies across the economy and society. More specifically, the European Commission proposed to fund projects to build-up and strengthen supercomputing and data processing in Europe, which is crucial for the development of many areas - from health care and renewable energy to car safety and cybersecurity. A part of the budget is planned to advance the use of artificial intelligence across the European economy and society, while ensuring an appropriate ethical and legal framework. The Commission's proposal also foresees supporting cyber defence and the EU's cybersecurity industry, as well as advancing digital skills and ensuring the digital transformation of public administration and public services and their EU-wide interoperability. More details about the Commission's proposal are available here. The budgetary aspects and exact provisions are subject to the overall agreement on the EU's next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke - Tel.: +32 229 58615; Inga Höglund - Tel.: +32 229 50698; Marietta Grammenou - Tel.: +32 229 83583)

Targeted adjustment of intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals

Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of a Regulation on Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) proposed by the Commission in May 2018. The new rules are designed to bring tangible benefits to Europe's competitiveness through a targeted revision of patent-related rules on pharmaceuticals. The Regulation introduces a carefully frame exception (‘export manufacturing waiver') to the patent protection of an original medicine: 1) EU companies will be able to export generic and biosimilar medicines to third countries where IP protection has expired or never existed 2) EU companies will be able to stockpile generic and biosimilar medicines during the final 6 months of the patent protection of the original medicine. It will thus remove a major competitive disadvantage of EU manufacturers compared to manufacturers based in non-EU countries and ultimately ensure a better deal for patients. It will help EU-based pharmaceutical companies tap into fast-growing global markets and will foster jobs, growth and investments. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs welcomed the outcome: “The Parliament has voted in favour of a well-calibrated adjustment to the current regime of supplementary protection certificates. The new regime will be decisive for Europe to stay attractive for innovative pharmaceutical companies while being able to compete with non-EU companies. We thank the co-legislators for all their efforts to make this important reform of Europe's patent rules possible." The manufacturing waiver could generate more than €1 billion net additional sales per year and up to 25 000 new jobs over 10 years, benefitting particularly SMEs. The Regulation now needs to be formally endorsed by the Council of the EU. The full effects of the SPC waiver will be felt from 3 years after the entry into force. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen's intervention in the Parliament ahead of the vote can be found here. More information online in a news item and a Q&A on the proposal. (For more information: Lucía Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56282; Victoria von Hammerstein - Tel.:+32 229 55040)

Strengthened controls and market surveillance ensure product safety on the EU Single Market

The Commission welcomes today's positive vote of the European Parliament on the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance. This Regulation will strengthen controls and improve checks on products on the EU market by national authorities and customs officers in order to remove unsafe and illegal products from the market. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said: "I welcome today's final vote of the Parliament on the provisional agreement to improve the safety of products on the Single Market. Whether it is toys, electronics, cars or breast implants - faulty products have no place in the EU. The Single Market is built on trust. With these new EU rules we are protecting consumers and honest businesses against rogue traders that try to sell unsafe products in Europe.” Actions against unsafe or illegal products can only be effective when authorities work together and share information. The new Regulation will therefore intensify sharing of information about illegal products and ongoing investigations so that authorities can take effective and rapid action against illegal products. It will also help national authorities to improve checks on products entering the EU market and strengthen controls at the external borders. The Regulation is part of a package of measures on safe products in the Single Market proposed by the Commission in December 2017, and follows the November 2018 Communication “The Single Market: Europe's best asset in a changing world” which called on Member States to renew their political commitment to the Single Market. The Regulation will now need to be approved by the Council and will then start to apply in 2021. (For more information: Lucia Caudet - Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Mirna Talko - Tel.: +32 229 87278; Victoria von Hammerstein - Tel.: +32 229 55040)

EU Visa Policy: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of stronger and more secure EU visa rules

Today, the European Parliament adopted the Commission's proposal to reform the rules on Schengen visas, making it easier for bona fide travellers to obtain a visa to come to Europe for short stays, whilst strengthening security standards and reducing irregular migration risks. Welcoming today's vote, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Migration and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “The new rules will facilitate tourism, trade and business while enhancing our security standards to detect those who pose a threat or have no right to enter the EU. They will also help improve cooperation with non-EU countries on the return and readmission of irregular migrants.” The tourism and travel industry plays a key role in the European economy, representing around 10% of the EU's GDP. Whilst EU Member States are among the world's leading tourist destinations, lengthy and cumbersome procedures can deter tourists from travelling to Europe, redirecting investment and spending to other countries and affecting the EU's economy negatively. At the same time, the benefits of visa travel need to be balanced with measures to adequately respond to present and future security and migration challenges. The full statement is available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud - Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst - Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko - Tel.: +32 229 63444)

Security Union: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of new and stronger rules to fight terrorist financing

Today, the European Parliament formally adopted stronger rules on cross-border access to financial information by law enforcement authorities during criminal investigations. A political priority for 2018-2019, the new measures will allow police to quickly access crucial financial information for criminal investigations, boosting the EU's response to terrorism and other serious crime. The rules will strengthen Member States' capacity to combat serious crime and improve cooperation between national authorities, Europol and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), building on the existing European anti-money laundering framework. Welcoming the adoption, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “The new rules adopted by the European Parliament provide a crucial tool to our European law enforcement authorities and will help to better protect EU citizens against terrorism and organised crime: They will make it easier to track the money used for terrorist and criminal activities and smoothen police cooperation across Europe." Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “Better cooperation and a faster exchange of information will complement the strong EU anti-money laundering rules and support the authorities in fighting money laundering and terrorism more efficiently.” Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King added: “Hitting terrorists in the pocket is an important part of closing down the space in which they operate and preventing them from doing harm - the adoption today of the new rules on access to financial information will help us crack down on the financing of terrorism more effectively.” The rules will allow more timely access to financial information by enabling law enforcement authorities to have direct access on a case-by-case basis to bank account information contained in national, centralised bank account registries, enabling the authorities to identify in which banks a suspect holds accounts. Data protection safeguards ensure that only limited information on the identity of the bank account holder and only in specific cases of serious crime or terrorism would be made available to law enforcement officers. The Directive will now need to be formally adopted by the Council. Once it enters into force, Member States will have 24 months to implement the new rules into national legislation. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud - Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst - Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko - Tel.: +32 229 63444, Melanie Voin - Tel.: +32 229 58659)

Commission welcomes the vote in the European Parliament on Commission's proposal for boosting trust in scientific studies on food safety

Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of the political agreement that was reached between the Parliament and the Council on the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain. Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen said:Commission's proposal for boosting trust in scientific studies on food safety will lead to a more effective, more transparent and more sustainable food safety system. It will reinforce the important role played by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in providing high quality, impartial scientific advice. It will increase transparency and will strengthen consumer confidence in the EU's safety and approval process and it will give industry a clear, structured framework in which to develop their businesses for the future. Today's vote represents a very positive outcome and a decisive response of the European Parliament to concerns raised by European citizens.” The agreement will now have to be confirmed by the Council. More information on the provisional agreements can be found here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru - Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola - Tel.: +32 229 87624)

EU budget: European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's vote for funding high-performance infrastructure to better connect Europeans

The European Commission welcomes the positive vote by the European Parliament on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) proposal, as part of the next long-term EU budget, covering the period 2021-2027. The new programme will enable the European Union to lead the way to climate neutrality, in line with the proposal A Clean Planet for all, and support infrastructure for safe, clean, secure and connected mobility, as proposed by the Commission in the Europe on the Move package. It will also prioritise environmentally friendly modes such as rail and the development of charging points for vehicles using alternative fuels. By making energy systems better interconnected, smarter and safer, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will help complete the Energy Union and support the clean energy transition. This will enable Europe to remain a frontrunner in the clean energy transition in line with the Juncker Commission's political priority to become the world leader in renewable energy. The digital strand of the CEF will finance strategic digital connectivity infrastructure. This will include 5G corridors for connected and automated mobility, terabit backbone networks linking high performance computers and their users, and gigabit connectivity for key socio-economic drivers (such as schools, hospitals, transport hubs, major public service providers and digitally intensive enterprises) and 5G-ready communities. All this will contribute to unlocking the next generation of Digital Single Market opportunities. A press release on the provisional agreement from 8 March with more information is available online. (For more information: For more information: Daniel Rosario - Tel.: +32 229 56185; Stephan Meder - Tel.: +32 229 13917)

EU budget: European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's vote on funding for the environment and climate action

The European Commission welcomes the endorsement by the European Parliament on the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action, as part of the next long-term EU budget covering the period 2021-2027. The funding will focus on protecting the environment and mitigating climate change, supporting a clean energy transition with increased energy efficiency and a higher share of renewables in the energy mix. This will be one of the tools enabling the EU to meet its climate goals and seek to become climate-neutral by 2050. In order to provide a better quality of life for Europeans and invest in a more sustainable future, the Juncker Commission is making an unprecedented effort to protect the environment and climate, notably by increasing the LIFE programme funding, and integrating climate action into all major EU spending programmes. This will help Europe to deliver on its commitments under the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, addressing some of the most important challenges of this century. The LIFE programme is among the EU funding programmes for which the Commission has proposed the largest proportional increase for the period 2021-2027. Raising the level of ambition for climate financing, the Commission has also proposed that at least 25% of EU expenditure across all EU programmes should contribute to climate objectives. More information is available online. (For more information: For more information: Daniel Rosario - Tel.: +32 229 56185; Stephan Meder - Tel.: +32 229 13917)

Digital Single Market: Commission welcomes European Parliament's vote on new rules to improve fairness and transparency of online platforms

Today, the European Parliament approved the new Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices that is aimed at establishing a fair, trusted and innovation-driven environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska, and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, welcomed the outcome of the vote in a joint statement: “We are delighted by the overwhelming support to the new rules on online platforms' trading practices among the members of the European Parliament. As the first-ever regulation in the world that addresses the challenges of business relations within the online platform economy, it is an important milestone of the Digital Single Market and lays the ground for future developments." You can read the full statement here. For more information see this factsheet. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tél.: +32 229 67083; Johannes Bahrke - Tél.: +32 229 58615; Marietta Grammenou- Tél.: +32 229 83583)

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